We had the good fortune of connecting with Libby Bell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Libby, how do you think about risk?
If you ask anyone who knows me well, they will tell you I am an impulsive person. You could probably ask someone who doesn’t know me well and they will guess the same. One can tell by my outgoing demeanor that I may be more likely than others to jump without hesitation- many outgoing people give this impression. We seem to speak and act without thinking, fully embracing the now and just being. I love to leap without looking, to jump and feel the wind on my face, excitement rushing through my veins…it’s way more fun that way. If not, I get bogged down with too many decisions and paralyzed with fear, thus not doing anything at all. So instead… I just jump! Being risky is different than being impulsive though, but they do have similarities. Risk involves a potential loss or gain of value after an action taken but is not necessarily just a decision made spur of the moment, that’s just an impulse. Everyone knows even a calculated risk is still a risk though. A risk has a spark of impulsivity but it is also honed by willpower. Willpower is a muscle you have to train and condition, it gets stronger with time. Willpower is the bridge between being impulsive and being a risk taker, between making a decision purely in the spur of the moment and making a decision that is calculated but still needs a metaphorical “push off the ledge” to be enacted. I consider myself much more of a risk taker today than I did a year ago when I started my business, purely out of practice. Just like willpower, I had to train and condition my risk-taking muscle. With each risk I took, I got even more confident at taking risks. The more I used my innate impulsiveness to make spur of the moment decisions, whether it be in designing my logo, or in deciding to attend my first farmers market or not, or in purchasing some of my larger equipment- each decision was a risk that wouldn’t have been made if I wasn’t innately impulsive but each decision I made was also perfect for further conditioning my risk-taking muscle.
When Olympic athletes are interviewed and asked if they were nervous before their competition, they generally say no. They say no because they consider themselves excited, not nervous. Life is how you perceive it. Life is not about moments that happen to us but about how we choose to react to the moments happening to us. We can train and condition our brains to be either nervous or excited. We have the choice. It may take some practice and patience, but it mostly is just about one’s perspective. You have to train your brain to think positively.
A year ago, I almost didn’t launch my cookie company. I almost didn’t push the “Post” button, launching my first initial Facebook post, asking friends and loved ones for donations in exchange for cookies during the second shutdown here in California in December 2020. I was convinced everyone was going to make fun of me and basically be outraged that I had the audacity to name my cookie “The Cookie”. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like today if I had not been brave enough to post it. As outgoing as I may be, I actually do struggle with quite a bit of social anxiety. At times in my life, I couldn’t go to the grocery store or even walk to my mailbox without feeling incredibly self-conscious and insecure, so I would literally choose not to instead. I would stay inside, alone, out of fear. It was a pretty sad existence that only I was capable of saving myself from. Luckily life gifted me numerous experiences that helped me to learn to love myself unconditionally and also handed me some tools to help too. I wouldn’t be the person I am today or where I am today without some of the different courses I’ve taken, shows I’ve watched, or memes I’ve read that have helped to expand my perspective on life and who I am and who I am capable of becoming. I am where I am today because of my belief in myself. I gained this belief, not only through taking risks and acquiring knowledge, but also through meditating and by listening to positive affirmations at night while I sleep. Affirmations reprogram your subconscious. Mediation and affirmations are the ultimate tools for transforming your perspective in order to manifest the life of one’s dreams. We are the creators of our destiny- us, ourselves, only me, only you. Only I will decide where my life will go. Only you will decide where your life will go. Lebron James in his mediation series on the Calm app says he doesn’t train for the preseason, he’s training for the Playoffs- always. He said he would have never become the star athlete that he is today by just other people believing he could do it… he had to believe too. We have to believe. I believe. Take the risk. Each risk is conditioning your perspective to be excited versus nervous. My advice? Just do it!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I currently have a cottage food permit to bake and sell my mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe from my apartment in University Heights. Throughout this last year I have been selling the cookies on my website, on DoorDash, at local corner stores and at farmers’ markets. Other than that I think it’s great! I aspire to open a storefront someday soon where I can sell cookies, pizookie, ice cream sandwiches, shakes, decorated cookie cakes and the dough-to-go. The pizookies will be baked to order and will be topped with vanilla ice cream and enjoyed at one of a handful of patio tables. A warm, gooey pizookie made with organic flour and eggs, premium Mexican vanilla, Nestle Tollhouse chocolate and pecans. The pizookies are life changing. I aspire to franchise my concept. People tell me all the time that The Cookie is the best cookie they have ever had! Try it today!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to dedicate my shoutout to my mother. My mom most definitely deserves a shoutout, not only because I use her chocolate chip cookie recipe, but also because of her unconditional love and support. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today without both of my parents but especially my mom. My mom has been on the other end of the phone in numerous situations where my mood was less than ideal and her kind and caring spirit never wavered. She was particularly kind on days after farmer’s markets when I would be up practically the entire night baking. My mom is a ray of sunshine. Thanks for everything Mom! I love you!