Teri Holland (00:03.694)
Can baking bread change your life? Well, that's what we're gonna talk about in this episode of Success in Mind.
Teri Holland (00:17.21)
I recently started baking bread. Now I know that most of you got your sourdough fix in 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, but I didn't jump on that bandwagon. I was, I don't know what I was doing, but I wasn't baking bread then. And then recently I got inspired to bake bread, to make sourdough bread to be exact.
when I was visiting my old Toastmaster club and one of the newer members brought a loaf of sourdough bread that he had made. And this was for the Christmas party and he had brought fresh-made sourdough bread. And I told him, you know, I've always wanted to try making sourdough bread, but it just seems so daunting of a task. And he said, no, Terry, it's easy. So then he asked if I would come to the next meeting.
he said he would give a talk on how to make sourdough bread and he'd bring some starters. So of course, obviously I had to go because I wanted to learn how to make sourdough bread. So I went to the next meeting and he held up to his word. He brought starter, he brought recipes, but not only that, he actually did kind of a live cooking show right there in the meeting. It was it was pretty remarkable.
and he answered our questions, he really answered my questions anyway of what I was concerned about, and he really guided us through the process of making bread. So for the past several weeks, I've been making about one loaf a week, sometimes more, well about a loaf a week or so. I've made three so far, three loaves, and I've been learning stuff along the way, and this got me thinking to how does the act of making bread
relate to being an entrepreneur and could making bread really be life-changing? I found that through making the bread, it was putting me in this calm, meditative state. Now I regularly meditate, I lead meditations, I practice self-hypnosis as a hypnotherapist, and I found myself going into a similar state just through the act of making bread. And I started to question...
Teri Holland (02:31.63)
could making bread be life changing? I now look forward to making the bread. There's something about getting my hands into the dough and forming something with my own hands that not only am I making something, but something that's going to nourish my husband and I, something that we can enjoy eating, that's feeding us, and it's feeding me at a whole other level. And yes, it's delicious bread, but it's also feeding something in my soul that I didn't know I needed.
So really, I got to thinking about this and I brought it to my husband's attention and I said, I feel like making bread, the act of it is kind of a meditation. And he said, well, it makes sense really, because when you're making the bread, you have to be very present. And it really is a mindful engagement to make bread. Bread making demands that you give your full attention, that you are drawn into the present moment.
It doesn't matter what else is going on in your life or what's happening around you, but in that moment, you're drawn into just focusing on making the bread. You need to measure ingredients. I use a scale, I weigh out the ingredients as Scott taught me in Toastmasters. So I'm weighing everything out and carefully weighing and measuring everything. And then you need to knead the dough and that in and of itself is an act of mindful presence.
And it's a connection really that my hands are shaping this dough, are forming the dough, and turning it into something else, something that we can eat. And then you need to monitor the rising of the dough and watch it for when it's ready, when the first proofing is done, and then you need to shape it, which is another hands-on mindful act of shaping the dough.
and then it goes through its second proofing in which you have to be aware of at what point is it ready to go into the oven. And not to mention that in between you're feeding the starter and discarding starter and taking care of your starter and the better you take care of it the better your bread is going to be. So it's an act of mindfulness where we get to be fully immersed in the task at hand and this act helps to quiet the mind.
Teri Holland (04:55.806)
and can bring us into a state of flow, reducing stress and enhancing feelings of wellbeing. And I think that's pretty remarkable. It's also a sensory experience, the nature of breadmaking. It engages all of our senses, doesn't it? It's the feel of the flour, the sound of the dough being kneaded. It's the sight of the bread rising, the smell of it as it's rising.
smell of it baking, all of our senses come into play. And then of course once it's finished and we get to taste that delicious warm bread, all of our senses come into play. And I feel like it really encourages a deeper connection to the physical world and a heightened awareness of our sensory experiences. So if you haven't made bread before, I really encourage that you try it, whether it's sourdough or another kind of bread.
to just get your hands into the dough to make something. And you know in today's world we have stand mixers and stuff and I own a stand mixer but I choose to make my bread with my hands because there's something about that connection to the dough that feeds my soul, quiets the mind, it takes me out of any stress I'm feeling.
I'd be curious to see if it even lowers cortisol levels because I feel like it does. I feel like my stress really begins to melt away.
Bread making is a slow process, especially sourdough requires so much patience as you wait for the dough to ferment and to rise. And this encourages the act of patience and acceptance. And this really relates to so many of our meditation practices.
Teri Holland (06:48.35)
And really it's an exercise in letting go of the need for immediate results. In our world today, we're so used to instant gratification. You order something on Amazon, we expect it the next day. I don't know about you, but I'm really disappointed when I'm waiting for my Amazon order and it's longer than a day. If it, oh, if something's going to be a week, who has that kind of patience? I'm waiting for a couple of orders right now, not through Amazon, through other companies. And it's going on.
multiple weeks, several weeks, and I am monitoring the shop app on my phone, which if you don't know what that is, it's an app that connects to your email and it knows when you've ordered something and will track, like it pulls all the tracking codes for you. So it tracks all of your orders and I am on there hitting the refresh every single day thinking, where's my orders? Where are my orders? But in making bread, we really have to be patient. It's not going to happen right now.
much to my husband's disappointment, by the way. You know, just yesterday, we decided we were going to make a roast for dinner and we'll be at the grocery store picking up some ingredients. I said, do you want some bread for tonight's dinner? Cause we both like to dip our bread in the gravy. I said, do you want bread for tonight's dinner? He said, well, are you going to make me bread? And I said, if I start making bread tonight, it might be ready Tuesday at this point. Like we're not...
I can't make you bread that you can eat tonight. It really is an act of patience. It doesn't happen instantly. And it helps us to disconnect from that need of instant gratification. It's an exercise in letting go of having those immediate results. And it's really a valuable lesson in slowing down.
Teri Holland (08:41.758)
Making bread allows for creativity and personal expression, from shaping the loaf to when you score your loaf, if you put in a design or how you do it. All of this is a creative process and allows us to express ourselves through the act of making the bread. And I cannot stress enough how this act of creating something with your hands can be so deeply satisfying and meditative.
giving us a sense of peace and accomplishment. But how does all of this relate to business?
Well, the act of making bread can really be a metaphor for entrepreneurship.
Just like in entrepreneurship and in making bread, we need to embrace the slow rise with patience and perseverance. You know, at first glance, the process of making bread is so straightforward. You mix the ingredients, you knead the dough, you let it rise, you shape it and bake. But any bread maker will tell you that each step is a delicate balance requiring patience and attention.
The first lesson for any entrepreneur is akin to the fermentation process. Just as yeast needs time to work its magic, and in turning flour and water into risen dough, business ideas and ventures require time to ferment and mature. Rushing the process can result in half-baked outcomes, whereas allowing ideas to develop fully can lead to a more robust and successful business.
Teri Holland (10:27.55)
And in business, we need to need, we need to need our dough. I'm having a little bit of fun with the puns here if you can't tell. Kneading dough, it's physical and it's sometimes a challenging process requiring strength, endurance, adaptability. I remember the first time I made my Baba's cinnamon buns, which was just a few months ago. That was my first foray into anything bread related.
and kneading the dough and the dough was getting tough and it was, you know, working the dough with my hands. I said to my husband, I said, women back in my Baba's generation must have had arms of steel. Like they must have been the strongest women alive because this is work. Like this is to do this every day. This is work. This is effort.
So kneading dough requires strength and endurance, and so does business. I mean, that's a perfect analogy, isn't it, for navigating the entrepreneurial journey where we have challenges and setbacks and it's inevitable. So just as a baker must learn to feel the dough and adjust their technique, adding some flour or adding a little more water, entrepreneurs, we need to learn how to be resilient and adaptable, ready to pivot strategies in response to feedback.
or changing market conditions. I mean, I can't even tell you how many entrepreneurs I know who have had to pivot in the last several years because of changing markets, uncertainty in the marketplace. You had to pivot, adapt, change. I have, I've absolutely changed my business over the last several years. Bread making also offers this endless possibility of creativity, as I mentioned before, and...
And this creativity comes from experimenting.
Teri Holland (13:01.678)
And just as making bread gives us endless possibilities for creativity that comes from experimentation with the bread, this really mirrors the entrepreneurial need for innovation and differentiation. In a competitive market, we need to offer a unique value proposition or a way of solving a problem in a novel way, and that can set us apart in business in several ways.
And just like bakers, we must be continuously experimenting to find our perfect recipe for success. And also knowing that one person's recipe might not yield the same results as it will for another person.
you know often and that's a good place to start though when you're looking for a recipe for success in your business is to model someone else's successful recipe but that doesn't always get us where we need to go so then learning how to adapt that recipe to suit our own needs. So the journey of making bread
reminds us the importance of patience and resilience, creativity and even community. Something that Scott told us when he was teaching us about sourdough bread is that it was really the act of making sourdough bread that began to bring humans together in more of a community and civilization because they needed to work together in order to make the bread. You needed someone to harvest the grains and mill those grains.
produce the flour and they would work together to do this and then when they had the bread made they would sit down and break bread together. And as entrepreneurs we really need community to be able to support us and to grow together. And these qualities are essential in an unpredictable and changing path of business.
Teri Holland (14:49.002)
So if you find yourself kneading dough or waiting for it to rise, just remember that these simple acts are not so different from the journey that you're on as an entrepreneur. And let the life-changing magic of making bread inspire and guide you to shape your own path to success.
So I'll keep you posted on my bread making journey. If you follow me on Instagram, I do post each loaf and share kind of what I'm learning along the way. I'm definitely in the experimenting phase now. I have followed Scott's recipe exactly for the first few loaves. The third loaf though, I changed my timing a bit and it wasn't as good, but that's how we experiment, right? And I'll leave you with this final thought.
something that Scott said was, if you combine yeast, flour, salt, water, and you apply heat, you will have bread. That's it. And I think we can look at business in the same simple way that if we combine perseverance and tenacity, resilience, a good product, a willing market, you'll have success.
So breadmaking can be a deeply meditative process. It's a great way to slow down, to engage all of our senses. And it's a simple and deliberate act that can help shape our lives. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you liked this episode. If you did, share it with a friend, leave a five-star review. And as always, I hope you have an amazing day.