Hello and good day!
This is my 523rd day in a row writing one of these emails to our newsletter subscribers.
If you've been reading along the entire time, I thank you so much for coming on the journey with me.
It is astonishing how fast so many days can pile up.
My goal is to write for 1,000 days in a row and by now I feel quite certain that I will achieve that goal.
After the 1,000 days are up, I'll probably just keep on going.
The habit is so engrained now.
I originally set this goal for two principal reasons.
First, I had the desire to give something that was extra and free to our chocolate customers.
Not everybody wants to get the types of messages and stories that I write. For those people, the unsubscribe button is always an option, and some people exercise that option on a daily basis.
On my end, I wanted to know that I was giving all that I could.
As somebody who loves to read, I thought that decent reading material might be attractive for certain folks.
For whatever reason, I had a notion that I could write every day for a long stretch.
I figured that my time and a little bit of entertainment and maybe even something that turns out thought provoking could be a pretty good freebie. At least I would know that I gave an extra bit of effort and value to make people happy.
I'm not a writer by trade.
I'm an accountant by training and I've earned most of my living as a business-to-business salesman.
For 70% of our company's history, we didn't sell any chocolate directly to the public. We exclusively sold our products to restaurants and chocolatiers as wholesalers. My father and I opened those accounts one by one over the course of a decade.
Selling chocolate via cold call and industry networking events doesn't require very much writing.
A few short emails, but nothing long form.
The second reason I set a goal of 1,000 days in a row for myself is that I know from 16 years as a business owner that most business goals take 3 - 5 years to completely come to fruition.
Round about November 2021, we set the goal for ourselves of becoming a vertically integrated chocolate product manufacturer.
That means we buy cacao directly off of trees and maintain ownership of the cacao all the way through to the production of the final products we sell on our website and in our shops.
Not many other companies do that.
We had no experience with product manufacturing two years ago and no idea what in the world we were doing when we got started.
We knew how to produce three varieties of very good 1.1-pound blocks of chocolate, a 68% dark and two good milks, a 36% and 47%. Those were the products we'd been selling to wholesale clients for a long time.
But as for sea salt caramel turtles, mint patties, and all the rest, we learned the craft on the fly. We're getting pretty good now, but we're only two years into this thing. We'll only know how the story actually turns out in another 1-3 years.
I figured that if I am sending out a company email every day for a thousand days in a row, that'll mean that by necessity we'll still be in business after a thousand days.
It's sort of a parallel goal.
The two maybe help each other along in some way.
Also, if I am publicly espousing our company's values and plans for the future, I feel we have a greater obligation to follow through on our words.
I'm not too keen on failing or lying in public.
As for the work of writing. Here is something that I've learned.
You must write on inspiration.
I've suffered from writer's block several times over the last 523 days. It usually comes when you are supposed to write something, but your heart isn't in it.
For example, today, I was going to continue on with my story from yesterday, but what I am writing now is what my soul is telling me needs to be said.
When you write messages from your soul, the work is so much easier.
It pours out of you.
The challenging thing is that sometimes my soul is calling me to write stuff that I feel very unsure about. Some mornings when I hit send, I think to myself, "I must be nuts to actually send this out."
I have a crisis of conscience several times per week.
However, that is separate from the ease with which the work manifests.
When you work from your heart, the work comes straight out. You don't have to force it at all.
When you white knuckle it, every sentence is a battle.
Here is another example of that.
I've never once had to cajole myself to go work a shift in our chocolate shop.
I love working in the shop. It is heart work.
I love to sweep the floor.
I love to wipe the counters.
I love to serve the free hot chocolate.
I love to tell customers about the samples.
I love chatting with people and hearing their stories.
Even when it is very busy and we are working hard, serving a ton of people and flying all over the place, it is very joyful.
Naturally, we find ourselves exhausted at the end of the day, but it is a very satisfying expenditure of energy.
Such is the case with writing, and I'd assume that the situation is similar in just about every line of work.
When you are doing work that is from your heart, it feels pretty darn good.
You might have a little hitch in the beginning getting yourself going, what with objects at rest wanting to stay at rest.
But once you are in it, there aren't many things better in life than to look back and know you put your soul into an activity.
I had more that I wanted to say, but lately several people have told me that my emails run too long sometimes.
This too is proof of my assertion above.
Work from the soul and you won't want to stop. You'll want to keep going and going.
As long as you follow your inspiration, work almost magically flows out of you.
Thank you so much for time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!
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