Unstuck in Action: Committing to a dream

September 13, 2012


Rachel Miller

Age: 30

Location: Yuma, AZ, a small farming community near the Mexican border

Day job: Executive chef and manager for From the Farm kitchen and store in Yuma, AZ  

Aspiration: Own and operate an online bakery; become a food writer and photographer

How did you hear about the Unstuck app?

“I’m sure I read about it somewhere and thought ‘Oh, I have to check this out,’ so I downloaded it. I don’t think I used it at first. But then I was in a transition period, struggling with what I was going to do with my career.

 “I was reading Daniel LaPorte’s ‘The Fire Starter Sessions’ on my iPad and something triggered that I have the Unstuck app. I thought I’d just play with it and see what it does. I was like ‘Holy crap! This gives me the little bit that I need to fix my thinking and complete the circle.”

How were you stuck in your career?

“I’m a chef, but I didn’t always want to be one. I went to Penn State for journalism, but never knew what I wanted to do with it.

“I interned at the Pentagon, worked in PR, moved to Arizona to help my brother with his racing company. Then I went to Le Cordon Bleu and worked in a lot of restaurants: Bouchon in Las Vegas; True Food, JG Steakhouse, and The Parlor in Scottsdale, AZ, where I was the pastry chef.  But I love to travel, and would like to be a food writer and photographer eventually.”

How did Unstuck help you take action?

“It was helpful in making me think about things differently. It makes you think about little things that you don’t think about—like ‘I’m procrastinating, why am I? What is the root of why I’m not getting things done?’”

How were you acting in that stuck moment?

“I was an Idle Achiever. The app said I need to commit, and I agree with it. I knew I was procrastinating, but when I read it I was like, ‘Oh, that makes sense.’ It’s different when you see it in front of your eyes. I knew I needed to work on this.

 “I did the Tell Me Why tool in reference to my personal blog that I hadn’t been working on. It turned out a big thing for me was fear. One of the things I love about food is there is always something new and interesting, so how do I blog as an expert when there may be another way to do it?  It shook me up. There are so many food blogs and so many people who are experts. I don’t want to be someone who other people say is wrong.

 “It got me thinking that I’m human. I’m learning. And that’s why I love my job. I don’t have to be an expert sitting up on a hill. I don’t have to be this all-knowing whatever. It was really powerful. A confidence builder. It was just something little in my mind that wasn’t letting me move forward.”

 Now that you’re unstuck, what are you working on?

“There’s my blog, Croissant in the City. And I’m putting together an online pastry company called Pistol Whipped Pastry. I’m starting with a thick, soft graham cracker and homemade caramel sauce.

 “I’ve been writing artisan profiles for ‘Arizona Vines and Wines’ magazine. And I blogged for five months on stratejoy.com about my quarter-life crisis. Slowly, I’m getting more writing work. At some point I’ll have the pastry company running pretty well and be writing on the side. Someday.

What was it like to get unstuck?

“A relief. Weight off my shoulders. I still like to use the Unstuck app sometimes for bigger problems in my life. I play around with it to make myself think more deeply.”

If you could change one thing about Unstuck, it would be:

“My favorite part is the cards in the pile. It just really, really works well! I don’t think I’d change anything about it.”

If you would like to be interviewed for the Unstuck in Action series, contact us at ideas@unstuck.com.

More Unstuck Advice

Why can’t I finish what I started?   There’s great satisfaction in getting things done. We get involved. We learn things. We find order in chaos. And the ultimate reward: We ...
Silver Linings Playbook: Pat Solatano gets unstuck as an Idle Achiever His stuck moment: After losing his job and his wife, and spending eight months in a mental health facility, Pat Solatano wants to transform his life ...
Question: You know you want to, so what’s stopping you? You’ve got an idea that you’re all fired up about. This is it! you think. The answer I’ve been looking for. But you’re stallin...