I RECENTLY LOST my mind** and joined my wife in a business venture. She met a local craft baker--Diane--a couple of years ago and has since become good friends with her.

Diane's bakeshop is across a monastery and beside lettuce field, along a road called Heroes Farm.

Take a minute to let that sink in.

Across a monastery. Beside a lettuce field. Along Heroes Farm road.

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ASIDE FROM DIANE'S one-of-a-kind coconut cream pie (seriously, where else have you heard such a thing?), revel bars, brownies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and granola cereals, the shop also carries minimally labeled food products from the area: dark cocoa bars wrapped in rough, brown newsprint; powdered ginger tea; a strong local coffee blend called barako (a testosterone-brimming alpha bull).

This insanity has its perks though. Aside from an ongoing excuse to have pie and cookies for breakfast, a few business-related missives that I'm sure you've heard about elsewhere but would not appreciate as much if you hadn't experienced getting into business with your spouse and her friend.

1. Great, unique products sell themselves. People just need to know they exist and experience first-hand how great they are.

2. It feels good to support--not just someone's business--but someone's craft.

3. Being in business involves accepting the risk, however small, of looking like a fool.

This risk is especially difficult to accept when the audience of your foolishness is your spouse, a friend, and a limited circle within which you sell.

4. Craftspeople are as much the product as the product itself.

Yeah, sure, the products taste great. But what gets you in for the long haul is because you're buying into Diane and her personal history.

5. Unless you're the one standing in front of the customer, shut up about how the customer should be dealt with.

And finally...

6. Unless you're the one in the workshop creating the product with your own hands, shut up about how the product should be made.

**Actually, I had lost my mind a long time ago.