The Little Permaculture Things – The Perchance Wood Chipper

So I’m coming home from this walk that I do with my neighbour in the morning. That’s another story

I’m trying to be quiet so I creep creep creep. Shoes off at the door, I slip gently as Gem sleeps. I slide into the kitchen, switch on the water for the tea..

Then I hear BRRR BRR BRRR out on the street

It frightens the life right out of me.

What’s all that whirring, I’m up off my feet. My heart is skipping to the beat. As I climb on the back of the seat to throw open the curtain to have a look-see.

Hell YES. I do a massive Cheshire Grin. Today is just beginning and I’ve already got a win. Don’t worry, Emmy, you didn’t miss the bins…

I’m straight up, shoes on, get the buckets from outside and head over the road.

A chipper, mate. I am CHIPPER mate.

So, the sound I was hearing was this industrial-sized wood chipper and it’s cutting down trees from a neighbour’s garden. I’m a bit apprehensive because I’m not really sure if they’re allowed to give away the chips of trees.

To me, I’m looking at a treasure mine of mulch. Naturally-grown trees, straight from the street I live in, all chipped up and ready to spread on my beds. Mostly carbon with some dicey bits of nitrogen thrown in from what looks like yucca leaves.

Anyway, chance me arm, as they say.

I go over, bits are just flying everywhere. He’s got all the gear on. High-vis bloody everything from coast and tails to a nice shiny helmet. Nobody can miss him. But he’s got those plastic goggles and it’s spitting rain so he’s having trouble seeing stuff and he’s got ear defenders on because it’s so brain-jarringly deafening.

So I approach through the tornado of leaves and thunderous engines and he sees me last minute and has to turn everything off. I feel bad now, like maybe I’ve wasted all his time for two measly buckets-worth. Maybe he’ll be like, ‘Nope, boss don’t let me because of insurance and law suits and this, that, and the other nonsense red-tape barrier’.

Anyway, long story short, I put my anxiety aside and ask anyway. He’s glad to give me some. Happy about it, even. He’s chatting to me about how he puts it on his allotment, I’m telling him about how to use it to make some compost-type teas. He’s giving me good ratios to spread it.

What’s the takeaway from this? Get out in the community and ask! You’ll find people are willing to help you out after a little face-to-face conversation and a little chuckle.

I ran out after and gave him a cheeky beer. Hopefully the weather clears up and he can enjoy it in his allotment later!

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Until the next odd permaculture thing happens in my community – ciao! x

Permie Entrepreneurs Are Go #6

Hello again you regenerative rascals, and welcome to your weekly dose of actionable insights and inspiration to help grow your regenertaive startups!

This week, we’re exploring the concept of visioning. When we start out, it is so very tempting to jump straight into strategy, knuckle down and run away with an idea. However, having a vision helps us to know what we’re working toward, to predict the ongoing hurdles we may face, and to practically mesaure our success.

So let’s take a look at some of the experts I’ve encountered this week on my entrepreneurial journey, and decipher what they have to say about visioning.


Self Care

Motivation, Meditation, and Finding Peace in The Information Era by Deepak Chopra (Entrepreneur Mag)

Deepak Chopra is an expert of alternative medicine and advocates this famously through his books, keynote speeches, and presentations. Not only is he well known for his spiritual advocacy of meditation and other forms of energetic healing, Deepak is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and an extremely successful entrepreneur in his own right.

In this podcast, Deepak discusses the methods he uses to cope with overstimulation in this world, including the 9 step process he has honed for coming up with ideas and advancing their capacity into a workable solution – whether that be in life or in business.

Lessons from Deepak Chopra

  1. Insight comes from a quiet mind – In the information era, it is hard to find a place to rest our minds. However, if we’re constantly overstimulated, there is no room for the brain to relax and form connections that bring about new ideas. Meditation and quieting techniques are integral to reaching new insight.
  2. The 9 ‘I’s toward new ventures –  Intended outcome, selectively gather Information, Intense dive into analyzing this information, Incubate the ideas by completely letting it go, Insights as spontaneous breakthroughs, leading to Inspiration, Implementation in a small way, Integrate this with everything, Incarnation
  3. Have a morning routine that outline intentions – Deepak starts his day with 4 intentions: To have a joyful and energetic body, To have love and compassion in his heart, To have a reflective, clear mind, and To have a lightness of being. These intentions allow him to face each day with a way to get over stumbling blocks toward his vision.
  4. Stop comparing and redefine success – When we compare ourselves to others, we measure the wrong things to appear successful. Deepak urges one to have a progressive realisation of where you’re going and that if you’re on that path, you are succeeding. Visioning is a great tool to measure this metric.
  5. Long-term success needs passion and joy – You’ll quit if you’re not passionate. Audiences are drawn to those who are enthusiastic and willing to share.

Deepak Chopra is a world-renowned write, who combines entrepreneurial success with spiritualism, connecting the self to the world around it. You can learn some in-depth lessons from his highly acclaimed book –

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams


Entrepreneurial Strategy

4 Steps to Communicating Vision by Michael Hyatt (Lead to Win)

Michael Hyatt is a leadership mentor, who has written and spoken extensively on leadership, goal setting and planning. He is the former chairman and CEO of publishing company, Thomas Nelson, and now leads a podcast to help coach new entrepreneurs into managing business better.

This episode states the importance of visioning as a tool and how we should go about it. As entrepreneurs, we love to dive right in without planning, but this wing and prayer approach leaves us without measurable metrics to understand success, and without a clear action plan to follow to reach any goals we may have. Michael Hyatt uses this episode to run through how and why we should create a vision before asking about strategy, and why this narrative helps us to clearly define products, markets and impact.

Lessons from Michael Hyatt

  1. Visions need to point to a larger story – In order for a vision to be something that remains sustainable, it needs to inspire more than just yourself. The vision needs to hold purpose beyond your own personal success, that points to change in the outside world, as this inspires innovation in thinking across your whole team over time.
  2. Stand in the future and work back – When writing a vision statement, don’t write it as a ‘we will’ document. A vision statement should be written from the future as though you have achieved those things already. In doing this, you can sketch out the details later to fulfil that vision – through reverse engineering, but by putting yourself there, you can truly create a visceral and clearly painted picture of what that future looks like. It should be so compelling, that people want to follow you to that future.
  3. Vision affects hiring – You’ll be hiring people who will make personal decisions on behalf of your company. With a clear vision, you can find people who will represent this and make decisions that fall in line with your overall goal.
  4. Vision statements are powerful filters and decision making tools-  When a question comes up in business, you should be able to run it through your vision statement. If it fits this statement, then the decision should be to go ahead – whether that be a new piece of software, new product, new employee, etc.
  5. Inspirational, Concrete, Practical, Visible – You need to make sure that your vision statement inspires people to want to follow it, while also being clear in its internal culture and outward message. It should be practical, guiding people into exactly how you’ll pursue it and showcase it, while also being visible to the public – this means communicating it constantly and consistently through social media, your website, media, PR, and so on.

Michael Hyatt’s books on leadership and strategy provide easy-to-follow plans for success – starting with vision. If you’d like a step by step guide to success, here’s a great one to get your teeth into.

Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals


Permaculture

Collaboration Over Competition to More Quickly Achieve Our Shared Goals by Whitney Bauck (Green Dreamer)

Whitney Bauck is a conscious fashion writer. The associate editor for Fashionista, Whitney has also contributed writing to the New York Times, The Washington Post, Billboard and many other big magazines. Her own blog, Unwrinkling, dives into exploring some of the heavy topics and shaky issues regarding the fashion industry and its practices, opening debates that need to be discussed frankly and honestly in order to preserve the art, while repairing the culture.

As permaculturists, the idea of fashion can be somewhat abrasive as we associate it with consumerism and throwaway trends. However, fashion is still a route to regenerative entrepreneurship if we recognise its power as a collaborative medium for expression, while remedying some of the more undesirable practices.

In this podcast, Whitney jumps straight in by expressing that while fashion is important, we should not be damaging our planet for it. She wanders around the points of the fashion industry not being held responsible for their practices, not realising the power of their trend-setting, and how people can work together through fashion to achieve the shared vision we’re trying to create in the world.

Lessons from Whitney Bauck

  1. Fashion doesn’t have to be destructive – While the idea of consumerism may seem that we’re turning a quick buck from non-biodegradable fabrics, Whitney points out that through regenerative agriculture and fashion, we have a new route to supporting more entrepreneurial journeys through using sustainable biodegradable natural fibres for clothing. Changing this practice makes good business sense for the farmers, fashionistas, and wearers.
  2. Natural fashion breeds collaboration – The social ecosystem in which natural fashions have been born has led to companies supporting each others within these industries, helping to push a new awareness out to the masses. This collaboration is seeing the trend in natural and sustainable clothing grow rapidly – accelerating our pace toward the end goal of mass adoption and proving that cooperation works more effectively at reaching our shared goals that competition.
  3. Fashion is a place to push agendas – While fashion may have been used to incite consumerism, fashion can in fact, be a place to push agendas. Terms like ‘voting with your dollar’ mean that people who choose more regenerative practices in relation to clothing help to push the agenda of natural fibres and fairer farming practices to shift the paradigms around fashion and consumerism, and encouraging people to purchase natural, organic clothing by making it trendy and current.
  4. More responsible consumerism is possible – While essential that we reduce consumption, by putting money into companies with more eco-friendly and ethical practices, profits are driven through to farmers and workers who are ordinarily penalised in the fashion system.

If you’d like to sneak a closer look at Whitney’s divergent mind, check out her blog on fashion, theology, and consciousness.

UNWRINKLING


Permie Emmy’s Weekly Wild Card

This week I’m goind in hard with the practical. No doubt you’re itching to get started, so let’s put pen to paper with this excellent business model canvas that helps you to unpack what’s in your mind.

Example of how you fill it out, using Patagonia’s business model

The Sustainable Business Canvas by Flourishing Business

I’ve been reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. While I haven’t quite finished it (which is why I haven’t posted it here yet), it does provide a great tool for those looking to start out with a vision for their company. While it’s not a vision statement as laid out above, a Lean Canvas is a way to start asking integral questions about your business and how it would operate.
While ventures that are seeking only profit may benefit from Ries’ template of the Lean Canvas, TheFlourishingBusiness.org has gone one further to provide a business model canvas that fits more suitably with green businesses and ecopreneurship.

Firstly, this slideshow is a toolbox that shows you how to use the canvas and fill it in properly.

The canvas itself, a way to consider all the processes, the stakeholders, and the needs and outcomes that may be associated with your idea. In doing this, you’re able to create a picture surrounding the metrics you may need to measure success, the inputs you’ll require to get it off the ground, and you’ll be able to predict any issues that could arise, while building an action plan to get yourself started.

Here’s a blank version for you!

Lessons from Flourishing Business Canvas

  1. Environment, Society, Economy – Interestingly, this business plan looks at the same three things that we consider in permaculture – earthcare, peoplecare, fairshare – helping you to understand how your idea affects the wider environment and the human resources internally and externally, as well as understanding how various types of revenue move through the system.
  2. Build and Tear Down – This business model allows us to consider not only the empires we intend to build, but also the systems we intend to disrupt to get rid of bad behaviours. It invites us to look into what we’re offering back to the ecosystem, how we’ll build reciprocal relationships, and what poor value systems we’ll deconstruct with our ideas.
  3. From patterns to details – As we would with a permaculture garden, this system enables us to look at the bigger picture patterns we hope to achieve, allowing us to later delve into the details. By breaking down the idea into its components, we can see the wider patterns, enabling us to see the details emerge concerning which actions we need to take and in which order.
  4. A working feedback document – You’ll find that with using this document, you can return to it over and over and refine and improve it as the idea morphs and changes. With feedback loops you may find the stakeholders are different, or the channels to reach customers aren’t working, or that you’re upholding ideas you’d rather deconstruct. While this is a great place to start, it’s also an excellent feedback tool to show change and to measure if you’re sticking to the plan.

You can head over to their website to understand more about what Flourishing Business do, where you’ll find more resources and tips to help you.


Well, my sustainable stallions, I hope this week has been a helpful hand in getting you started toward your journey of growth. Through creating visions we can set a path to the future on which we can build strategy, without galloping out the gate blindly.

I hope it’s been as useful for you as it was for me!

Permie Emmy x

If you’d like to donate toward getting my entrepreneurial journey on the road to building a regenerative business incubator permaculture site, please donate here:

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If you’d like to find out more about what I’m aiming to do with the money, you can read my blog about my plans for a regenerative business incubator.