Change is good. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Last fall, I attended the DiabetesSisters PODS Leadership conference. Shawn Shepheard of The Leadership Advantage led a session about creating our vision for the future. We each wrote down our biggest opportunities and what challenges might keep them from becoming reality. It was the kind of quality time you rarely get the luxury of spending on yourself. The experience forced me to think long and hard about Diabetic Foodie’s future.
After the conference, I reached out to Shawn and asked if he could help me work on a 2020 business plan for Diabetic Foodie. I felt it needed some new energy. He agreed and we had a call that was life-changing.
Discovering My Unique Abilities
Shawn suggested I spend some time thinking about the things I’m passionate about that I love to do. He said people who are “successful” and “happy” spend more than 80% of their time using these unique abilities. Through a series of exercises, I determined I was at about 17%. Yikes.
Next, I tried to figure out how I could mold Diabetic Foodie into something that allowed me to use my unique abilities most of the time. To make that work, I would need to hire a bunch of people to do the things I didn’t want to do, and I would have to manage them all. Management is something I’m fairly good at, but have no passion for. It’s not one of my unique abilities.
I taught a couple of classes at my local Lifelong Learning Institute and really enjoyed it. Around the same time, I had a conversation with my friend from DiabetesSisters, Christel Oerum of Diabetes Strong, about my work with Shawn. Christel mentioned she was interested in starting a food blog.
What’s Next for Shelby?
By January I was making plans to offer my first in-person cooking class. I had located a commercial kitchen to use and scheduled an Instant Pot class for March 21. Nine people signed up. My lifelong best friend passed away on March 7 and her memorial service was planned for March 21, so I rescheduled my cooking class for May 16. Almost immediately stay-at-home orders were issued for my state (Virginia) through June 10. Both the memorial service and the class were postponed indefinitely.
In business-speak, I pivoted. I offered my Instant Pot class online via Zoom. Cameras, lighting, and the configuration of my kitchen posed challenges, but it was kind of fun trying to figure it all out. And, thank goodness, my audience was very forgiving!
As staying home became the “new normal,” I started hearing from people who lived alone. Their social outlet, eating in restaurants with friends and family, had been taken away. They were looking for connection. I realized that while we couldn’t share food together, we could share a food experience. We could cook together online and have fun conversation along the way. Cook & Chat with Shelby was born.
My ultimate dream is to combine cooking classes with travel experiences, but the pandemic won’t allow that to happen for a while. The good news is that I have plenty of time to work out the details!
If you want to keep up with what I’ve got cooking (so to speak), please reach out via my website (currently a work in progress) or on Instagram or Twitter. I’d also love it if you’d sign up for the Cook & Chat with Shelby mailing list.
What’s Next for Diabetic Foodie?
What does this mean for Diabetic Foodie? Remember that conversation I had with Christel? We both realized that Diabetes Strong taking over the reins of Diabetic Foodie made perfect sense for both of us. To that end, as of June 1, 2020, I’ll be leaving Diabetic Foodie in the oh-so-capable hands of the team at Diabetes Strong. You can expect great things in the future.
Please welcome the new owners of Diabetic Foodie and show them all of the love you’ve thrown my way over the last 10 years.
I’m so grateful for all of you and everything you have taught me. Until we meet again…
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