You sit in your gray cubicle on a dreary Tuesday morning.
You glance down to your right at the tiny clock on your computer screen. It’s only 10:37 a.m. A voice inside your head urges you to start the list of pressing tasks your boss assigned. And you would happily begin – if you had the motivation.
Two years ago, Audrey Chang endured a similar morning. The then 22-year-old was working at her first job since graduating with an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A realization struck.
“I AM FALLING INTO A ROUTINE AND I DESPERATELY NEED A CREATIVE OUTLET.“
After careful thought Audrey left her comfortable, yet unfulfilling private equity job where she sold CEO’s on methods to develop their business. Instead of seeking another company to join, Audrey decided to create her own by combining her entrepreneurial spirit and creativity with a life-long love of baking.
The transition wasn’t always easy. In January 2012, Audrey was living in New York City with a friend. By day she worked at her private equity position while baking on the side. Two months later, Audrey started giving her macaroons away for free. Many people responded by telling Audrey she needed to sell her dessert treats for a living. The rest is history.
Today, Audrey owns Audabon Bakeshop – a mobile bakery offering some of Philadelphia’s best gourmet pudding and French macaroons. The 25-year-old creates delicious treats like:
You might find yourself wishing you could create your own business by doing something that’s enjoyable and fulfilling. Here is a secret. You can.
Below are several important lessons Audrey learned on her journey from unfulfilled employee to thriving business owner:
**The hardest part of getting started is knowing where to start. A lot of people delay what they want to do because they feel the need to be prepared. You have to take that leap of faith because you are never going to be 100% prepared.**
**Self-awareness is important. Sometimes people just aren’t self-aware. They say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Work on getting to know your strengths and weaknesses.**
**The hardest part of being self-employed is that you have to look at yourself critically. There have been times where I have told myself I wasn’t working hard enough because I was too comfortable.**
**College is very valuable. I learned a lot and grew as a person at Penn. But college might not be a good option for everyone. You don’t have to go to college to create a successful business.**
**The leadership skills I developed at my private equity job have helped me in some ways more than academics. Specifically with learning how to talk with people persuasively and learning that things will never be perfect. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and adjust.**
**As an entrepreneur, know when to say no.**
If you’re in the Philadelphia area, check out Audabon Bakeshop which is currently available on the University of Penn campus and the Chapterhouse Cafe and Gallery at 620 S 9th Street. In addition, Audabon Bakeshop is in talks with retailers near their old location at the Suburban Station concourse at 16th and Arch streets to resume macaron service to the area as soon as possible. Audabon Bakeshop is on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AudabonBakeshop.