Who comes to mind when you hear the word entrepreneur?
Any women you can think of? What about Lady Gaga or my favourite Oprah Winfrey?
Some of the common characteristics of an entrepreneur are passion, perseverance and learning. Can you see these features in your favourite entrepreneur?
As I sit updating my resume I contemplate writing Entrepreneur as my current role. But do I display these features in my Jamaican Products business?
My vision is to bring you an authentic Jamaican Patty through a marriage of local Australian beef and imported Jamaican products. A patty contains various fillings and spices baked inside a golden yellow flaky pastry shell. As the name suggests Jamaican Patties are commonly found in Jamaica and often eaten as a full meal.
With my superannuation to fund the scheme I established a bakery at home. Now that is passion!
Initially I made the pastry by hand, but was faced with sore arms and uneven pastry thickness. The Rondo benchtop dough sheeter in my bakery put an end to these problems.
Manning the dough sheeter with a hit of the knobs I control dough movement from left belt to right belt and back, as the dough got thinner and longer. Before you knew it the dough was falling off the sheeter arm onto the bench and then handing in the air. I moved away from the controls and tried rolling the dough onto a rolling pin. The machine was too quick for me and in this position my arms could not reach the stop button.
The weight of the dough hanging off the machine caused the sheet of dough to break as I tried moving it to the other side. There was dough everywhere, on the floor, ceiling, all over me and it was 1am. I sat looked at the mess and wondered how seasoned bakers do it. The photos show a rolling pin, which I had acquired, as there is no rolling pin attached to my machine. Probably I can leave the rolling pin on the machine and use its speed to my advantage. Two containers storing ingredients should do the trick.
By 2am I had cleaned up and with new dough and the pair of containers I was ready to start again. I watched with joy as the dough rolled onto the rolling pin with the containers on either side to hold the rolling pin in place. But that was the left side and the dough needs to be thinner. 3am I had the strips of dough in the freezer. Surely that shows perseverance.
I drew a sketch of what I needed for the machine, rolling pin holders for each end. I contacted the local machine distributor but they were neither interested in my suggestion nor shared with me what other bakers do. I contacted the manufacturer in Switzerland. They replied within 2 minutes and organised for the distributor to visit me and discuss the issue. With each interaction I learn more about baking techniques and the machine.
As I reflect on the term entrepreneur I reply, yes I have what it takes to use the term. I showed commitment, passion and faith to fund the scheme from my superannuation. Yes, I persevered moving from rolling the dough by hand to become a novice baker using a dough sheeter. I encountered challenges but enjoyed finding solutions with a desire to learn.
So there on my resume I describe myself as an entrepreneur.