My Life-Changing-Dream-Chasing Big News, Four Tips to Find Your Calling, and a Device That Helps Make it Happen



Food Gift Love HP x360 :: Eat Boutique

I’ve been keeping something from you. I’ve felt all weird about it for so many months. Please, forgive me.

When big things happen, I usually tell you, too much, too often. I remember when I shared how frightened I was two years ago, and you rallied to support me like the best friends I knew you were. I was in a strange city, waiting to find out if I had won some award, freaking out about the good stuff and the tough stuff associated with building a small business on my own. Your comments eased me like nothing else ever has. I cried and smiled and never forgot the  kindness you showed me in my crazy moment. You guys are really pretty great.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve felt like I’ve been keeping a secret, the sort of secret I don’t mind sharing in person — in fact, come over for a cup of lemon tea and I’ll blurt it out all over you. But putting it out there online takes it to a serious place. By typing it here, it’s as if I’m committing myself to something and, while it’s absolutely wonderful news, I want the right to change my mind, okay?

If we can agree to that… If we can agree that I can change my mind, then I think it’s time to share. I’ve talked to all the powers that be around me, and we’ve all agreed that it’s the best possible time.

Food Gift Love HP x360 3 :: Eat Boutique.

BEFORE I spill my secret though, I need to tell you that this story is sponsored by the HP Pavilion x360, a devise that’s super unique and one-of-a-kind, sort of like my food life. I tell you that because (a) sponsored posts are very important to small businesses and (b) you have to know, you must know, that everything I write here is my own — my own words, opinion, and story.

Now onto my news, the news I have every right to change my mind about at any point, remember?

For the last few years, I’ve been doing three things. First, I’ve been building this baby business, Eat Boutique, full of food story goodness, my favorite food from small businesses, gift boxes created just for you and in-real-life pop-up events and markets. Second, I’ve been writing a cookbook full of 100 recipes to make, wrap and share, which will finally be in all of our hands in October. And, thirdly, I’ve been doing the first two while working a full-time role as a technology executive, a role that required me to travel to Europe all the time.

Effective late last year, scratch that third one.

Scratch that third one!


Food Gift Love HP x360 1 :: Eat Boutique

The universe is in my favor, the planets joyfully aligned and the stars have definitely conspired around me. After too many years of 18-hour days and non-stop travel, I’m now totally focused on living the life I dreamed. Meaning, I can now say that my full-time job is running my own food business and, thank goodness, I’ve found my life in food.

I’m a little anxious about it all, which is likely why I didn’t share immediately. The thing is, j’adore technology. It will always run through my veins and be central to my food business; sometimes, the travel-technology-life is just too exciting and I am such an Internet start-up girl at heart. And honestly, it’s devices like the HP Pavilion x360 that get me revved up to continue living the technology life.

I can’t say I won’t change my mind, but I’ve been ready to jump full-force into this baby business for a while. It’s time. Let’s just do this and everything we’ve always wanted to do already.

I know that this food life is for me. Building my own business is important — we all want to be our own boss — but building a life in food has been the goal, the light, the reason I was put on this planet. I don’t doubt that, ever.

Food Gift Love HP x360 4 :: Eat Boutique

Over the last few months, I’ve shared this news with some of you, almost in hushed voices over coffee cups, at our Eat Boutique pop-up boutiques. Do you want to know what most of you say to me? You say, “I want to do that. I want to find my calling. How can I do that?”

Ladies and gentleman, I want to take this opportunity to tell you 4 bits of advice that got me to this moment so that you can get to your moment. With much gratitude to the HP Pavillion x360, a device that also offers four cool modes — it can go into laptop mode, tablet mode, tent mode and stand mode — I’m going to share the answers to my most asked question at every single event.

Here you go…

Food Gift Love HP x360 5 :: Eat Boutique


1. Just start.

No one is going to write you a blank check to live your dream, so you’re going to have to just start doing something, anything, to get there. If you think you may want to write; start writing. If you think you may want to work for a non-profit; find a way to do that asap. Whatever it is, find small ways and small moments to just start. I started by clicking a button called “publish” on a blog post. I didn’t write well, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say, I just knew I had to start. The start will, without a doubt, cascade you into the next thing, and then the next thing, and then the next thing, that gets you closer to your calling.

2. Try everything.

If you don’t know what you want to do, you need to dabble in a little bit of everything to figure it all out. While working in technology, I worked every possible task from content development (writing!) to business management (worrying about the numbers!) to customer service (good old hospitality!). I also worked in a restaurant, ran a department store dedicated to flowers and even wrote unpaid pieces for anyone, everyone, to see what it felt like to be a writer. Go do all of that or everything that might interest you. You’ll get the privilege of deciding what you DO NOT want to do, and you may come across the ONE THING YOU LOVE.

3. Be stupid.

You may not know what you want to do and you certainly may not be an expert at it. Do this: let yourself be stupid, ask questions, and learn. The easiest way to figure out why you were put on this planet is to just start, try everything and, then, don’t pretend you’re an expert. If you knew it all, you’d be doing it right now. So whether you’re looking for your calling at age 18 or age 58, say “I don’t know” a lot and let someone else make you smarter.

4. Believe.

I know this sounds obvious but it’s the hardest one for most people to get. No one else will believe in you until you do. If you figure out that food or fashion or taking care of people is your passion, start doing it and believe that you can. I run a food business and my underlying calling is in service and hospitality. After years of starting and trying everything and being stupid so I could learn, learn, learn, I learned that I can provide a superior level of service and I believe that I can, too. I believe in me. Go believe in you.

I should add this: I believe in you, too.

You are all so kind and caring and sweet to me. I’m putting out into the universe that each of you find your calling. I’ve met many of you in person. I know you and, listen to me right now, you so got this.

Thank you for letting me share my moment with you. Onward, as ever, to building this food dream in the sky. And see you in person, so soon!

Just so you know, this #bendtherules post was created in partnership with the folks that bring you the HP Pavilion x360 and Meghan Trainor’s That Base Tour, a tour that HP is supporting via this exciting gadget. Meghan Trainor is also a Massachusetts girl who writes catchy pop songs that you just can’t get out of your head… in the very best possible way.

Food Gift Love HP x360 6 :: Eat Boutique

Photos styled and taken by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio.

Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers and shares our version of #foodgiftlove. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop.

You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramTumblr and Pinterest.


Eat Boutique is the go-to resource for all things food gifts, including one-of-a-kind, small-batch products and inspirational articles. We’ve got food gifts in our award-winning shop and story-driven recipes for everyday cravings, special occasions, and for anyone who needs a little food gift love—and, really, who doesn’t?!

Follow Eat Boutique here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Follow Eat Boutique’s founder Maggie here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.


  • MAGGIE!!! Congratulations!!! I’ve always marveled at how you’ve done all these amazingly wonderful things AND had a full-time job, but now I’m excited to see all the great things that are to come now that your time is all your own. Cheers to your new chapter!

  • Christi in MA


  • How wonderful, congratulations Maggie! Dreaming big is how amazing things become a reality.

  • Kimberley

    YAY! Big congratulations lady.

  • heidi | white loft studio

    so happy you made this transition….cheers to chasing + living your dream XO

  • ROCK ON! Good for you. Believe!! Congratulations and keep going!

  • fabiola

    I AM SO HAPPY AND PROUD FOR YOU!!!!!! Congratulations, you are amazing and are doing awesome things, you rock it!

  • Kimberly

    Yay for you! and thanks for the wise words!

  • Ashley

    YES!! So excited for you.

  • Cathy Barrow

    So happy to hear this news. You deserve this life, MzMaggie – you’ve built it out of whole cloth. Looking forward to seeing you in a few quick minutes. xoxCathy

  • Bill Pfleging

    Maggie, it’s a long way from our Tripod days together, I’m so glad you’re finally free from the corporate job world! I left my last corporate job as an online community director back in 2003 and I’m now living my own dream life. My first year was a bit scary, I’ll admit. Like you I had thoughts of changing my mind and going back into a corporate position, but between the little local computer business I started and Minda’s writing we managed to pay the bills, so I stayed self employed. Minda and I wrote our highly praised book The Geek Gap a couple years later, then I returned, after 20+ years away from it, to my music career. Now, Minda and I have recently moved to the beautiful Seattle area, her freelance writing career has never been stronger, and I’m now building a successful business as a singer/songwriter and lead guitarist. All because I choose to follow my bliss. I’m so thrilled you’re following yours as well. Wishing you much happiness and success from here in the PNW!

    • Blast from the past! Hi Bill! Give a huge hug to Minda. It’s nice to see us all doing what we love. I just adore Seattle, one of the best places on earth. Enjoy!

  • Susan Maynard

    SO wonderful Maggie!!! Congrats, it’s a dream but one you have worked so hard for. Enjoy! I can’t wait to share the fruits of your labor 🙂

  • Carol

    Maggie, first off, CONGRATULATIONS on taking this next step. Of course you have the right to change your mind but I just read your wise advise about one step leading to the next step and so on. I see you going forward to many opportunities ahead!

  • Jessica

    So proud of you, this is amazing news! Killing it big time, lady!! <3

  • {Gail} A Stack of Dishes

    You are my super hero! Goodness world, hang onto your hat! If you could accomplish all this while working full time I can only imagine what you can do with two free hands!! Very exciting!

  • Nancy White

    Congratulations on taking the LEAP. If there’s ever anything I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask!

    • Thank you, Nancy! I may just take you up on that. FLA for FGL! xox

  • That’s such great news Maggie! I’m so excited for you. Can’t wait for the book to finally come out. I’ve been telling everyone that I’m friends with an author! So proud of you! XOXO

    • Oh Jeni, you too sweet. You’re an author too, you know. 🙂 I know this all started back at COM!

  • kempaes

    UH-MAZE-ING! I’ve been following Eat Boutique for a while – stopping in at the pop-ups and such but not reading daily. I didn’t realize you did all of this PLUS worked a full time job that required lots of travel. That is truly amazing. I don’t even know you but I feel so excited for you! Amazing to be able to do this thing that you love and put so much work into full time. Eeek! It inspires me!

  • JulieCook

    Brava! So glad you are on the road to success!

  • Maggie, I´ve been reading EatBoutique since the early years, and I am so happy for you. Full-time working on the “food life” can be challenging but hey, is fun AND delicious.;)

    I always admired your work, tenacity and your way with words, this post fits so well my own approach to life and work, I just hope one day I get the chance to share a hot cup of tea and a slice of cake with you girl.

    Looking forward to your book. 🙂

    • Oh Heidi, I adore your work too! I do hope we can share a croissant and tea or maybe something spicier at some point. Get to NYC or up to Boston! xo 🙂

  • charlotte penrose


    I have to thank you for all of the inspiration you have provided me in these last few years by running a business, part of a new internet, which harnesses the world online for the betterment of their community, city, state & Earth. I may be incredibly partial for shortly after I moved to Boston I somehow found out about your event in Fort Point at the old 12 Chairs shop and tried EH Chocolatier’s passion fruit white chocolate caramels for the first time! I can truly say you have markedly ameliorated my life in Boston! But really, finding out the amount you have achieved was with a full-time non-stop traveling job proves the enormity of what one hardworking, visionary person can do…and I thank you for demonstrating that. I cannot wait to see what you build with even more laser focus!

    All of the best,
    Charlotte Penrose

    • You’re so sweet, Charlotte. Thank you for sharing this! Gosh, we go back so many years 😉

  • Nadia

    Hi Maggie, I love your site and your posts. Congrats on the cookbook can’t wait to read it! I am also in the food gift business and would like to discuss pop-up shops. I am a healthy gift box company based out of Toronto. I have toyed with the idea of possibly doing pop up shops to share more of the artisanal products but also to allow potential customers to taste the healthier options that are on the market today. Would you be willing to discuss how to go about doing a pop up shop via email? my email is: Thank you in advance for your time

  • Gina

    Maggie, I missed this – somehow – but now I know and how exciting for you! I do have to say, that what I had been noticing as of late – on your posts both fb and insta – were that the wow factor has gotten bigger! Not that they weren’t previously, but I sensed something different and now I know why. So happy for you, for going after what you want. Big hugs!