Podcast Episode: The Ups and Downs of Business with Laurel Harlan

I’ve been shifting the focus of the podcast a little bit lately- away from the practicalities of running a cake business (although that will always remain my main goal) and more into talking about the emotional and mental health side of running a small business. We all know that making cookies and cake pops is not really all that difficult to do, but the emotional fallout from a customer complaint or the exhaustion that comes from running a business can really be pretty hard to deal with at times. So for quite a while now I’ve been wanting to talk to somebody on the podcast, who has some experience with that. Then, exactly the right person appeared in my life (by popping right up in my email inbox)!  She’s the amazing Laurel Harlan and she’s a private practice therapist and she owns a cookie business! Listen in today to get some really awesome advice from Laurel about dealing with the difficult emotions that tend to come up when running a business.

“The fear is in the front seat of the car with you.”

Laurel is from Columbia, Missouri and her first company is a private therapy practice, which she’s been running for the last thirty-seven years, called Human Dynamics. Her cookie business is called Kiss Me Cookies and she’s been running it for the past three years. Listen in now to find out more about Laurel and how she copes with the ups and downs of running her businesses.

Show Highlights:

  • The way that Laurel’s brain got lit up and sucked her into running a cookie business.
  • How Laurel has to be creative in her two very different businesses.
  • Laurel’s take on why there are so many cookiers and cake makers who are dealing with mental and emotional health issues.
  • Laurel’s notion that people with anxiety and depression actually come to baking as a way to find some relief.
  • Developing boundaries and finding the right balance when running your business.
  • The importance of practicing self-care while running your business.
  • How Laurel managed to find a good balance in her business life.
  • How Laurel had to find new ways to take care of things when her office manager retired.
  • You will always hit potholes when running a business.
  • Being fortunate enough to really love what you do for a living.
  • The emotional leap from calling something you do a hobby, to calling it a business.
  • The scary process of mentally shifting your definition of yourself, as a woman.
  • Developing more confidence, as a small business owner.
  • Laurel’s philosophy for developing more confidence in herself.
  • The emotional things that tend to trip people up.
  • How vulnerable should you allow yourself to be on social media?
  • The difference between privacy and secrecy.
  • Becoming selective about who you share your personal stories with.
  • Some great insights from Laurel for those of you who are suffering from anxiety or depression.
  • Don’t forget to breathe!

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