Week 1

Here's what happened on this week's episode of Sarah's Journey Through Entrepreneurship


Sarah Skeates

2/7/20225 min read

Blog #2. Week 1 as a fulltime Snackologist. New word, who dis (wow, sorry, that even made me cringe).

Holy shit, what a week.

Firstly, with lockdown number 742 coming to an end, my other life as an F45 coach has taken an upwards turn and not only do I get to workout in studio again (THANK GOD), but I also get to coach a few times a week, which means getting this body used to waking up at 4:40 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so that was hilariously exhausting this week.

Secondly, as I was building my budget AF photo studio on Monday (I’ll get into that in a moment), I was hit with a (welcome!) surprise wedding on Wednesday for an old friend of mine who I was more than happy to oblige but was also secretly terrified of completely screwing up.

I then proceeded to sleep for 10 hours on Wednesday evening, which I haven’t done since my 20-something blackout days of drinking until 5 AM and wasting away in a comatose state until about 4 in the afternoon. [Pre-kid life, AMIRITE?]

Alright, moving on.

Lastly, I took on a cool little project for the 8-week F45 Challenge that takes up about 5-6 hours of my week and brings in some more income while I work on getting myself situated in this new life of entrepreneurhood (more new words! Aren’t you happy to be here improving your vocabulary?)

Anyway, story time:

About 12 years ago, I took a photography course with my brother, and we learned a bunch of awesome stuff that was 100% forgotten until I dusted off my DSLR and pretended I had a single clue what I was doing, so I could pretend I was a professional entrepreneur (fake it till ya make it). All my pictures were turning out orange, with shadows in places there shouldn’t be, which is incredibly frustrating when I’m pointing lamps directly at my boards, basically melting the cheese into the meat, sweating on my camera, tripping on wires, and smashing my head on the ceiling. So, I watched a 10 minute DIY video on how to make soft boxes, reflectors and snoots (yes, very professional-sounding) out of cardboard, aluminum foil, parchment paper and bull clips (and yes, they look as low budget as they sound, but workin’ out pretty well so far).

If you’re a photography buff, I apologize if these pictures make you cringe or offend you or your profession in any way. I’ve learned quickly that this business relies largely on capturing followers’ (and potential followers’) attention in approximately 0.3 seconds (thanks to our ADHD brains that crave instant gratification and a constant hits of serotonin), so I had to learn pretty damned quick how to actually show off my creations. Still a work-in-progress, but I’m finding my feet and will get there eventually.

Halfway through this little project, I got a text to put together a couple of boards and fruit trays for a 20-person wedding for pickup in about 36 hours. Time to get to shopping.

Obviously, food—and particularly cheese and charcuterie—needs to be as fresh as possible, so this 20-person grazer was tricky considering it needed to be picked up by 9 AM Wednesday morning and these things take a minute to put together. You have a window of about 24 hours to chow down a charcuterie board (can be pushed to 36 if properly stored) once you open the meat and cut the cheese (heh).

I’ve never put a fancy fruit tray together for a paying client before, so when asked for a quote, I low-balled it. I did this for two reasons. One, I made assumptions on how long it would take and how much it would cost me, and two (full transparency here), a lack of confidence. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t make any money—and I have no regrets, because every experience is a learning experience—but what I’m starting to understand, and trying to get better at, is valuing myself, my time, and my snacks. After I was through with that particular creation, I put pen to paper and will charge almost double what I had quoted in the first place for future fruit tray requests. It's a learn-as-you-go process, and I'm choosing to trust it.

In talking to one of our members at the gym who has experience sending large quotes to her clients, she reminded me of something (which may sound sexist, but intentions are pure): think like a man. Women tend to be more timid about money in general (though I feel like that pendulum is swinging in a wickedly opposite direction these days—queue the applause). We want to be liked, and we feel all the feels – empathy, compassion, sympathy, GUILT, the list goes on – and it gets in the way of our business. Men, on the other hand, will slip that piece of paper across the desk and say things like, “Take it or leave it,” and move on with their day burning $100 bills to light their cigars. Kudos to you—I need to learn a thing or two (or 768).

(Sidenote: as I was googling things like "lighting a cigar with $100 bill" and "rich men" an interesting article came up on a UK news site titled "Rich men are the most likely to get through life by pretending they know more than they actually do, study finds," and I am not even close to surprised).

My days as a buyer taught me the meaning of partnership and value, and how to get what I want, while servicing others. The LAST thing I ever want to do is make my clients feel ripped off – that’s just bad juju (and terrible business acumen). I want them to open that box and gasp in delight as they take in a feast for the eyes before diving into blissful indulgence… and then reordering for a special occasion or simply because they don’t feel like making dinner that night.

Some pictures from the impromptu wedding feast:

As this segment of my business ramps up, hitting it hard with content and trying to figure out ways to extend my reach, I have side projects on the go (like making F45 Meals for our members who want to kick start healthy habits); I’m constantly trying to better myself and learn new things (like getting my nutritionist certification) and keeping myself grounded in the present while thinking up big ideas for the future of Snacks By Sarah.

Up next, a little rewind through time to dive into the “why” behind my decision to leave my corporate position and start on this new, and totally crazy journey.