Jonah Bakes - our small business hero

Updated: Jun 16

✦ Jonah is a Seven-Year-Old Brilliant Baking Star in the Making

We're highly impressed with Jonah. He's only seven but there's so much we can learn from Jonah as a small business owner. March is Small Business Month and Jonah Bakes has our clear, unanimous vote as our Brilliant Small Business Hero.

Small but mighty

Despite his tender years Jonah has already started an incredible career as a baker! He is self-taught, self-motivated and has lots of support and love from his family and friends. His business has even expanded nation-wide.

Many small business owners remember what it felt like when they first started out. They really had to work up the courage to dive in the deep end.

Jonah blew our minds away and totally stole our hearts when we got to know his story. Here is a seven-year-old who has found his true vocation and is making it a reality.

How is he doing it and what is drawing so many people to him?

An unstoppable passion and faith

Jonah has a rare form of skeletal dysplasia.

This is a genetic disorder affecting the bones and joints. It hinders growth and development and causes abnormally-shaped bones. This usually occurs in the head, spine, arms and legs.

This is not all that his tiny seven-year-old body has to deal with. He also has Hajdu-Cheney syndrome (HCS) which is another rare genetic connective tissue disease. Around the world, there are only 50 known cases of people who have this disease. It is characterised by acroosteolysis of the hands and feet, developmental defects of the bones, teeth and joints.

In spite of this, Jonah continues to bake. And he continues to do the next thing he needs to do every single day to make his small business grow and delight customers across the country.

Finding his happy place

Jonah was first bitten by the baking bug when he saw his mother cooking in the kitchen.

The kitchen became a magical place where amazing things happened and where hundreds of possibilities existed. There was nothing you couldn't do in a kitchen with all the beautiful ingredients and fascinating tools. For Jonah, his little fingers understand perfectly how it feels to go from random flour, butter and eggs to holding a warm, fresh, perfectly baked cookie... it is magic!

The kitchen has become Jonah's happy place. It is where he can expand his possibilities and do what he truly enjoys.

After Jonah baked his very first batch of cookies, there was simply no turning back for him. That was it and it is now his vocation.

Those who have found their vocation will attest, it brings you clarity, focus and joy in what you do every single day.

What businesses can learn from Jonah

If you are a small business owner just starting out or if you are feeling run down by the challenges of keeping your business going, Jonah's story can serve as sweet inspiration to keep you going. If you ever get the chance to meet Jonah in person, it won't be just his sweet bakes that you'll remember.

You'll notice his single-minded dedication, clarity, faith and joy in what he does. And if you share your story with him, he'd encourage and cheer you on without battling an eyelid. Jonah has experienced more challenges than most and understands why it is so important to lift one another up.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom we have gleaned from Jonah.

1) Possibility over perfection.

With his disability, Jonah has lots of mountains to climb. Many other random movements which we do not even think about, such as running or jumping are all forbidden. The bones are brittle and any fall means a risk of fracture. And that means being in a cast for several weeks. Over and over again.

So he wasn't born with all the perfect conditions. And Jonah has not let that become a reason to give in or give up. If we all waited for the perfect 'everything' to happen before we started on our dreams, nothing would happen.

Jonah chooses to focus on possibility instead of perfection. And he is forgiving with himself when he hasn't done something perfectly. A little "oopsy" is his way of saying, that's okay, we'll keep going or we'll try again!