Success Lessons Learned from a French Bakery

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hen & heiferToday I am singing the Hallelujah Chorus in praise of hen & heifer, the new French bakery that just opened in my town. I could go on and on about the mouth watering croissants, the silky yogurt parfait or the caramelized crusted sweetness of the cannele, an amazing treat from the Bordeaux region of France that to me tastes like a toasted marshmallow in cake form, but that would just be cruel to those of you who don’t live close enough to sample these delectable treats.

hen & heifer has become so popular in the short time since it opened that lines of croissant loving locals form at 6:30 a.m. in anticipation of the 7:00 a.m. store opening. By 8:30 most mornings the almond, traditional and chocolate croissants are gone and I think could be bootlegged for a street value close to that of heroin!

But as I said, to go on would be cruel! What I really want to highlight about this little gem of a place that has my heart and my town aflutter is its secrets to success. Some might look in and say, “Oh, I wish I could just do what I love and instantly have lines of people clamoring to throw money at me for the deliciousness I’ve created.” In fact, I’ve had many a life coaching hour spent with clients lamenting this very thing.

So what can be learned from the “overnight” success of the petit powerhouse that hen & heifer has become?

Whether you are seeking success in relationships, with money or in a career, you can tear a page from the hen & heifer play book and get about creating a croissant line, so to speak, for yourself.

3 keys to hen & heifer like success:
1. be a conduit for what wants to flow through you

This is sort of a version of “build it and they will come.” Obviously here in my town there was a huge hole in the market for quality French baked goods! Who knew? Nobody maybe, at least not directly, but the owners of hen & heifer followed their hearts and it turns out what wanted to be born through them was just the bundle of joy that townsfolk had been waiting for!

2. start small
Take another look at the picture above. It’s a shoebox of a place–an adorable shoebox to be sure, but tiny just the same. The owners wisely started small taking manageable steps to get to their destination. Whenever most of us try to start a new venture be it getting organized, losing 20 pounds or changing jobs, we take an all or nothing approach that quickly falls flat. Instead take baby steps and build momentum as you succeed. Organize one room per month, substitute a new veggie for your usual French fries or take a class to polish your skills while still at your old job. Small successes (or even setbacks) inform you about how best to move forward and which path to take next.

3. honor your calling
Obviously the pastry chef genius at hen & heifer loves to bake. But had he listened to conventional wisdom, which may have told him, “baking is a hobby, not a career,” or “become a doctor/lawyer/investment banker so you can make the big bucks,” the world would have been devoid of his particular gifts. When you do what you love, you come closer and closer to living the purpose for which you were created.

Life lessons come to us from many sources. Today I praise hen & heifer bake shop for the inspiration I see in their success. What about you? What lessons are you learning from sources in your everyday life?

4 thoughts on “Success Lessons Learned from a French Bakery

  1. Today I praise my life lesson that some things are meant to be and some not and that is way it is supposed to be. I applied for a job and realized it was not want I wanted. I didn’t get the position and felt bad that I was not considered. After sorting this out in my head I realized that this is what I wanted. I didn’t want to be offered the job, but yet I was feeling rejection. I worked it through and I’m grateful for things that happen the way they should be.

  2. On this 12th day of praise, I am thankful that I have a Father in Heaven that I can go to with any problem that arises and find comfort and strength. Like David, a great king in the Bible, I internalize my problems. Yet, when David went to God with his problems he found peace and comfort. So today, I praise the life of David and the example he provided as a great hero of faith.

  3. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it,
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