Permie Entrepreneurs Are Go #5

Welcome back to another week jammed packed with actionable resources for permie entrepreneurs, ecopreneurs and regenerative businesses!

This week we’re diving into understanding not only the world around us, but how we fit into it and work with it – rather than against it. This includes unpacking how to take inspiration from our surroundings to feel more ourselves, how to look for patterns to mimic for our own success, and how to work with produce to build a viable enterprise.

Without further ado, let’s explore how self care, entrepreneurial strategy, and permaculture can help to build your viable regenerative enterprises!


Self Care

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Reading Your Body, Reading the Land by Adam Haritan (Good Life Revival)

Creator of Learn Your Land, Adam Haritan talks extensively about how healing your body and healing the land are one and the same. Drawing from his own experiences of feeling unhealthy and unmotivated, Adam speaks about how making a connection with the land around him has helped him to feel more at home and more at peace with himself. Following his career in a metal band, Adam studied nutritional science.

Despite his efforts to improve his own health. Adam found limits to conventional science, finding time in nature and self-learning provided him a more fulfilling route to holistic healing. Learning both mushroom and plant identification simultaneously, Adam has found solace in connecting with kindred spirits and in connecting to the larger landscapes around him.

Lessons from Adam Haritan

  1. Find the diet that’s best for you – While Adam has tried out vegan diets and been proffered a series of miracle eating habits, he found that through self-learning and eating natively to his community, he feels distinctly more healthy and happier. While he supports learning from academia and listening to others opinions, ultimately everyone is different and you need to find what works for you to eat a sustainably healthy diet.
  2. Knowing plants makes you feel at home – When we start to learn about the nature around us, we’re not only able to forage for a much healthier diet, we can also connect with the land we’re on – rather than just being a tourist. For Adam, he says this connection brings him a much better sense of home that he craved so desperately when he was younger.
  3. You can’t learn alone – While self-learning is very valuable, we need to recognise that even the books and literature we draw from was contributed by others. Go out and find like-minded people, clubs to join, meetups to attend. You’ll learn so much from others who are so desperate to share.
  4. Develop a strong enough ‘why’ – In order to truly stick with your goals in a sustainable way, there has to be a strong enough purpose as to why you do what you do. When you find that passion, you find the fuel to drive it to become something bigger than yourself.

Adam offers a great course on foraging mushrooms, which you can sign up to here –

Foraging Wild Mushrooms


Entrepreneurial Strategy

Blueprint for Success by Tony Robbins (Entrepreneurs on Fire)

Tony Robbins doesn’t really need an introduction – or he shouldn’t – but in case you don’t know, he’s possibly the most successful business growth developer and motivator in the world today, as well as being a kick-ass entrepreneur in his own right. Aside from building billion-dollar companies and writing business bestsellers, Robbins also does a great amount of philanthropy, helping to free women from trafficking and providing a billion free meals to the needy over 10 years.  

In this podcast, he gives a blueprint to his success, breaking down why and how traditional education fails us, and how to become a self-learner that propels oneself TOWARD  your vision. This talk brings incredible insights into how he came to succeed and the ethos you should have driving your attitude.

Lessons from Tony Robbins

  1. Leaders are readers – Self-education is everything. Those who can self-learn are able to use the wealth of resources around them to solve any problems they come across. If you’re not learning, you’re stagnant.
  2. Find the patterns – Patterns are everything – as we know from permaculture. Find the patterns to why people failure, and avoid them. Find the patterns to why people are succeeding, and copy them. Objectively analyse the patterns in your own life and define better ones that model behaviour you want, and break the patterns that don’t.
  3. Leaders anticipate, losers react – Don’t wait for things to happen to you and then try to manage the crisis. Look at the potential outcomes, using every experience as a learning curve. In this respect, we can predict the outcomes of certain events, in order to better prepare ourselves or steer the ship in the most prosperous direction.
  4. Fear is paralysing – If you’re frightened of what might happen, you’ll never do anything. Everyone will fail – it is inevitable when you’re trying to find your way. The fear of failure will keep you from putting a foot forward. Only through striking out will you gain experience – whether it be experience of mistake not to repeat, or experience of success to pattern.
  5. You need a higher purpose – Human don’t need much to be happy on an individual level. What do you really need? A good beer and good meal and a dime in your pocket? In order to keep driving your regenerative business, you need to have a higher goal as to why you’re doing it – it has to be something that will drive change on a level bigger than you.

Tony’s newest book of excellent advice on entrepreneurial acceleration can be found here:

Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook


Permaculture

Growing Tomatoes for Profit by Conor Crickmore (Permaculture Voices)

Conor Crickmore is an educator and expert in small scale farming. Pioneer of Neversink Farm, Conor prides himself on large and small scale changes made on his farm that contribute to a fractal system that works both on as a whole and as systemic arms within it. Along with his wife, he’s grossing $350,000 a year with his farm, while also producing a myriad of excellent courses to teach future small-scale farmers.

This podcast delves into the specifics of growing tomatoes for profit – both practically and economically. For those of us who have tried to grow veggies, particularly tomatoes, for profit – you will have encountered hurdles and questions regarding species selection, marketing, grafting/seed, and diseases. Conor dives right in there, uncovering all his secrets of how he not only grows tomatoes successfully, but turns a profit through his entrepreneurial skill.

Lessons from Conor Crickmore

  1. Grow out of season – It’s pretty easy to extend seasons and to grow tomatoes when the market is being flooded by big producers. This is the best time to make profit and increase your customer base as you won’t experience so much competition.
  2. Limit variety – While tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes, with multicoloured heirlooms catching our fancy, often customers will get choice blindness if offered too many options. Conor reduces his selection to 3 colours of heirlooms, a couple of cherry varieties and a beef steak. This encourages easier choice while also reducing workload when growing as there are fewer plant specifications to work to.
  3. Think about marketing first – Considering the tomatoes you grow, your target audience, what sells best, how you’ll present them at market, and how they’ll be packaged will help you to sell better. This will help in the picking and packing process, as well as working out how to upsell with other veggies on the day.
  4. Don’t throw too much risk in your system – Conor doesn’t actually make his own potting soil as he prefers to be sure of the exact mix he is getting. Equally, he grafts all his tomatoes for longer seasons and resistance to root disease. These observations and changes to his system means he’s reducing risk.

If you’re interested in learning more from Conor, check out his highly-acclaimed online courses here:

Neversink Courses


Permie Emmy’s Weekly Wild Card

This week’s wild card is an oldy but a goody. Extremely poigniant in regards to Extinction Rebellion, who are fighting to show our unsustainable system for what it is. 

What is it you ask? Well here’s a great insight.

The Story of Stuff

This is a concisely explained and well-illustrated description of the linear system operating in our world and how that linear system is destroying the planet we live on. Confined by consumerism, we’re extracting resources, polluting through production, using up through consumerism, and polluting again with waste.

Not only is this completely unsustainable, mathematically it doesn’t work out well for us in the end. Both the people and the planet embroiled in this man-made system are being harmed and are threatened with extinction. The crux is that, as we created this particular fairground ride, we can also create a better one that’s regenerative, that puts back the resources we use by conscious consideration or regeneration.

Lessons from the Story of Stuff

  1. One third of natural resources have been depleted in the last 3 decades – When we consider this (I think now it’s about 50% in 4 decades), we realise how little time we have left before we deplete everything that sustains us; especially when we consider that consumption is rising and so is the population.
  2. If you don’t buy or own stuff, you don’t have value – The system is created to force people to buy and own all kinds of things they don’t need, replacing them at a rapid rate to keep that system growing. Those who don’t buy into the system have a very small voice and are inevitably buried by those that perpetuate it.
  3. The system externalises true costs – The real costs of extraction, production, exploitation, and pollution aren’t captured in the reporting of the system. With many factories and production processes moved to developing countries, indigenous land and economies are eroded, leaving the most vulnerable people to be forced to work in unhealthy environments – further reducing their prosperity.
  4. The system was DESIGNED After WW2, Victor LeBow, a retail analyst, (among others) designed this very system encouraging consumerism as a way of life to feed the economy by influencing the people to burn up and replace resources to force expansion. If it was designed so recently, it can be redesigned again.
  5. Our waste methods produce the world’s most toxic man-made chemical – Dioxin is mostly produced from burning waste in incinerators. If we know this is the world’s most toxic chemical, why work with a system that allows its production at unprecedented and ever growing rates? It makes no sense. Regenerative businesses must seek to reduce waste and bypass this system with new methods of reinvesting waste back into the system – there’s no such thing as waste, just things in the wrong place.

You can check out more of what The Story of Stuff Project are doing by heading to their website.


I hope this week has been another inspiring catalogue to help boost your entrepreneurial journey and encourage ecopreneurship both in your head and in your hands.

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:

I’d Like To Help!

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.

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7 Newsletters Permaculture & Regenerative Entrepreneurs Should Read

As we shift gears to try to bypass antiquated and consumptive systems in favour of regenerative business practices, we need to understand how to restructure our own startups and enterprises.

Tempting as it is to green-wash our ventures, devising new systems of operating that work with nature rather than against it are integral.

This means delving into regenerative production and utilisation of resources to cycle energy, while also adhering to empowering employment practices and fairshare systems of revenue.

To aid in your enterprise design, I’ve compiled a list of 10 prominent newsletters that tackle all aspects of ecopreneurship upfront.

If you’re not having these sent your inbox each day/week/month, get subscribing now. You’ll find tools for practical development as well as resources for keeping up to date with trends in the sector that you can learn from and leverage in your own endeavours.


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What It Is: This newsletter looks at the intersection of planet, people, and profit, addressing the latest trends in sustainable and regenerative business practices. Focusing on business being a vehicle to drive change in a positive direction, Triple Pundit zooms in on company profiles to showcase what they’re doing to move in new directions, while also offering important guides to assist readers in implementing innovative business practices.

Why You Should Read It: Crossing over the 3 permaculture ethics, this newsletter delves into global issues and enables you to understand where you can fit into global business trends, as well as providing strategies you can employ.

www.triplepundit.com


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What It Is: Written by Gareth Kane, one of the UK’s most prolific sustainability and CSR practitioners, this newsletter has a more subjective twist while exploring concepts of waste, sustainability strategies, and regenerative people management. This newsletter combines opinion pieces that deal with the current climate issues, as well as actionable advice on how to implement regenerative practices in your own companies.

Why You Should Read It: Kane works on the front line of business sustainability and has a great deal of experience in turning companies around to employ better practices. He has insightful commentaries into what’s happening in the green arena and opens conversations that aren’t necessarily being had, when they very much need to be.

www.terrainfirma.co.uk


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What It Is: This blog gives regular updates on procedural changes in various industry sectors that are leading toward more green and eco-friendly practices. Equally, they provide insightful content on how you can shift your own processes, switching out unsustainable practices, and restructuring your operations to incorporate more regenerative methods of working. From marketing tips for green businesses to tax changes to packaging alternatives, this newsletter is a great resource for permaculture startups and small eco businesses.

Why You Should Read It: Rather than just offering generic ideas on how to improve, this newsletter identifies exact brands, companies, suppliers and so on that you should be using to shift your footprint. Additionally, you’ll find expert interviews that speak directly with real-world entrepreneurs to talk about how they’ve made changes, the impact of them, and how you can do the same.

www.greenbusinessbureau.com


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What It Is: Eco-Office Gals, written by Jennifer, is an attempt to help businesses re-orientate themselves toward eco-friendly practices. A guide to taking steps to cut out non-regenerative practices, this is very much a hands-on directive aimed at both environmentally-friendly activities and entrepreneurial skills. With blogs covering topics such as kitting out an eco-friendly restaurant kitchen, how to build a website, green marketing techniques, and creating an outdoor office space, this blog is a refreshing directive for all industry sector start-ups.

Why You Should Read It: Often permaculture start-ups have the practical skills to make products, run a farm, process produce and so on, but lack the entrepreneurial know-how to market and promote products and services effectively. This newsletter has excellent actionable tips to get you going, especially if you’re budget and time poor!

www.eco-officegals.com


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What It Is: See Change is a magazine the focuses on social entrepreneurship. It tackles issues social and community issues in businesses, from discrimination to community development to education and inclusion. You’ll find great use cases, project explorations, and interviews that provide reviews of what businesses and communities are doing around the world to promote social cohesion and tackle climate issues together. It also provides guides on how to implement certain social inclusion practices in your own business.

Why You Should Read It: Understanding people management and community outreach as an ecopreneur is integral. This blog will help you to identify areas of improvement within your own enterprise to improve communication, conditions and relationships, and leverage community connections to bring green practices to your own neighbourhoods and audiences.

www.seechangemagazine.com


Green Business

What Is It: This is a newsletter aimed at eco startups and green small businesses, providing guidance on how to implement eco-friendly practices from the start. It combines information on tools that businesses can use to get started and encourage growth, as well as practical sustainable ways to improve procedures, focus pieces on companies employing green practices, and green product reviews. The blog provides regular hands-on advice such as which printer you should be using, environmentally-friendly business events to attend, and designing a green office.

Why You Should Read It: This is a really diverse blog that traverses a number of topics and delves deep into companies that are succeeding in providing these answers. Equally, if you’re a small business owner, you’ll find easy tips to follow, as well as simple-to-grasp language and accessible products to use.

www.futureofbusiness.info


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What Is It: Green Biz has a couple of newsletters to follow: Green Buzz and Verge. Green Buzz keeps you up to date with what’s happening in the global sphere on sustainability and green practices in business. The insightful articles are focused on breaking open topics to incite conversation around current news and trends. It also features interviews with prolific influencers in the field, as well as problem-solving ideas to tackle bigger picture issues. Verge focuses on technology that will accelerate the green revolution. This is a great help for permaculture businesses who’d like to improve efficiency with tech, as well as understanding how technology is infiltrating the eco sectors to change business practices.

Why You Should Read It: With a great remit of writers on board, the blogs are insightful and engaging, without being afraid to tackle controversial topics. The experts featured give an insider look into what’s happening in the global forum, while enabling you to understand where your venture can fit in with current trends, while keeping up to date with jargon and groupthink!

www.greenbiz.com

Permie Entrepreneurs Are Go #4

Well hello my beautiful collection of regenerative entrepreneurial minds, holistic managers, and permaculture enterprise leaders!

Welcome to this week’s edition of my FREE weekly newsletter.

This week we’ll be looking at how to lighten the loads on our plates while increasing our productivity and knowledge – whether that be by prioritising the essential, increasing your workforce in the right way, or expanding your permaculture practice.

I’ve got a world of treats for you this week, with a little bonus resource I really enjoyed listening to this week. So let’s jump right in!


Self Care

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How to Master Essentialism by Greg McKeown (on Tim Ferriss’ podcast)

Greg McKweown is a specialist in essentialism. His main goal is to get people to declutter their lives to understand how to prioritise what matters, whether it’s your family, your business, or your passion project. The overcrowding in our minds leads to heavy anxiety, stress, and depression – all of which can be killers. This in-depth and practical conversation with Tim Ferriss gives a detailed step by step system for switching the unimportant for the important, and how to deal with fall out of that in order to progress effectively and meet all your own personal goals.

Lessons from Greg McKeown

  1. Filter out noise – Most things aren’t essential. Most things aren’t helping you reach your long term goal. Understanding how to filter out the noise by designing your steps forward will help you to see what ‘noise’ falls by the wayside of unimportance.
  2. Learn about trade-offs – You need to write a list of all the things that are the most important, including your long term goals, then write a list of what takes up a lot of time, but isn’t so important. These are the things you can trade off.
  3. Learn to say a ‘polite no’ – Saying no is hard, especially when it is to family and friends, but often people don’t know the true cost of time. Craft a ‘polite no’ as this will help you to let people down without offending them or feeling guilty.
  4. Ask 3 key questions to find your path – Ask yourself: what am I inspired by? What am I good at? Does it meet a significant need in the world? If it does all three, you’re golden.

If you’d like to declutter your life even further, Greg McKeown’s book really helps to break down the process to get you there.

You can grab a copy of

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less here.


Entrepreneurial Strategy

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A Coaching Session on Hiring by Cameron Herold (Mixergy)

Cameron Herold is the founder of COO Alliance and a business development mogul. He’s worked with countless huge companies to grow exponentially, assisting with hiring, process, cutbacks, visions, and literally every step you can imagine to get businesses moving closer to their goals. In this podcast, he gives a comprehensive guide to hiring people.

For regenerative businesses that want to scale, understanding the process of hiring is extremely important to ensure we have happy employees that contribute effectively, while making sure all our practical needs are met. Herold gives invaluable insights here of how to start by looking at oneself and one’s processes and then explaining how to move forward into the business of interviewing, setting tasks, and monitoring employees to build a fruitful business.

Lessons from Cameron Herold

  1. If you don’t have an assistant, you are the assistant – Administrative tasks take up time in our day and space in our brains. Getting an assistant, even part time, can lighten the load and make sure you’re organized without forgetting what’s on the to-do list when a crisis pops up.
  2. Find the yin to your yang – Especially in regards to hiring a COO, it is imperative that you list all the things you enjoy doing and do well. Then list all the things that need doing that just don’t fall into your remit. Now find someone who can do that second list well.
  3. Surrender to being ‘good enough’ – As perfectionists, we alway think people fall short in comparison to how we handle our ‘babies’. Hire someone who can devise systems to get the job done and then work out a measure of ‘good enough’ and allow them to get on with it without micromanaging.
  4. Ask hard questions – In interview processes, do not just look for what they think you want to hear. Ask hard questions so you can see the soul of the person. Ask them to give you examples of a time they lost a company money, a time they lied, a time they dropped the ball, a section of their resume that’s exaggerated. And then use ‘the threat of reference’ – “When I call your reference, how will they answer that question”.

Cameron Herold writes a pretty unusual blog post about this that you can find here –

Everything I Know About Recruiting I Learned Duck Hunting


Permaculture

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A FREE Permaculture Design Course Handbook by Doug Crouch

Doug Crouch is a practitioner and inspiring teacher. In fact, he taught me. Having been his student in his PDC, I can vouch for the fact that everyone in that classroom, from the dude who worked for NASA to the hydroelectric plant manager to the doctor to the humble hostel owner was in awe of him. He’s a charismatic thought leader, visionary and teacher. He believes in fair share to the highest level and has therefore spent so much time, energy, and money compiling this extremely comprehensive and extensive manual as a supplement to the PDC. Whether you’ve taken your PDC or you haven’t, this is a mindblowing resource that delves into all the aspects covered in the course and more. I use this constantly, going back and forth to remind myself of the ins an outs of what I’m doing, to help design new systems based on Doug’s versions of the principles, and to take lessons from the journeys he’s experiencing in his own life. Honestly, this is an INVALUABLE resource and we’re lucky to have Doug bringing this together for us.

Lessons from Doug Crouch

  1. Fairshare to build resources – Not only does Doug give this resource away for free, you’ll notice some of the artwork on the pages. Doug strives to give back to the permaculture community by hiring within it to help drive the creation of his resources.
  2. Conscious consumption – Doug’s article on conscious consumption is a great look at how we need to be more aware of what we’re using in life. In order to make the maths of our businesses work, as well as the larger figures for regenerative economy, we need to cut back in some areas and rechannel economics into more local and ethical production.
  3. Freemium models in consultancy and education – Aside from this free book, Doug does a lot of free work helping other people’s projects, both with his hands and with his consultancy. He’s always been quick to help his previous students, which has helped us all to grow. By offering out his help, he’s growing the next generation of regenerative individuals, who all pump back into the system in which he works. While he may not feel the effects directly every time, they cumulatively provide an environment in which Doug’s consultancy business and educational programs can thrive.
  4. Small and steady solutions – Doug has been building this resource for many years. By adding to it a little at a time, he’s built and encyclopaedia to help those looking to break into the field. What would appear to be a mammoth task at first has been possible because he’s broken it down over time and kept at it.

I fully advise you to take a course with Doug – he’s a prolific and inspiring teacher. Here is a list of the courses he has this year.


Permie Emmy’s Weekly Wild Card

I decided to add a wild card in each week of something that’s grabbed my attention a spurred me on that bit further.

Russell Brand on the Joe Rogan Experience

Two of my favourite people in one place. So very different from each other but converging on so many levels simultaneously.

Russell Brand comes from pretty much the same place as me – just over the river. This is interesting because we both came from towns that sit in the greyness of London without any of the get-up-and-go of the city – places where young people kick cans and wonder if they’ll ever get out, while still feeling the urban pull of consumerism and the promise of a better life.

In this talk, Joe and Russell run through it all – from babies in bikinis to DMT experiences to hunting and veganism to entrepreneurship and permaculture.

Lessons from Russell Brand and Joe Rogan

  1. Your opinion isn’t always right, maybe it’s underdeveloped – The pair come from very different angles on hunting but manage to open the debate in ways that enable each other to see something new. Russell, especially, brings home the point that just because an opinion is yours, doesn’t make it right or finite or better than anyone else’s. The more we learn, the more our opinions expand and grow.
  2. Seeing behind the system is both frightening and enlightening – By breaking down the barriers of the systems that confine us, we begin to see the cogs that work in the clock, the semantic that hold us hostage – and this helps to understand what is holding us back and how we can move to change this.
  3. No matter the differences, love and compassion are universal – Even between these two who radically differ in come ways, there is an innate understanding that the search for love and compassion will be the thing that binds us to find solutions that help us to muddle through.
  4. Using a hammer to break the system won’t work – finding alternatives is crucial – If we continue to try to attempt revolution through pushing back against a system that’s stacked against us, we’ll lose. Building viable alternative systems of governance and economics – Russell even mentiond entrepreneurship and permaculture in the same sentence! – will help us to make the existing oppressive regimes obselete.

I’ve always considered Russell Brand to be somewhat of a mentor – perhaps due to our close geographical and cultural proximity, but also due to our obsessive and addictive tendencies. His new book, mentors, talks about how to find and work with mentors – highlighting his own.

You can buy it here: Mentors: How to Help and Be Helped


I hope this week’s bag of marbles gives you something to get your brain buzzing!

Permie Emmy x

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

I’d Like To Help!

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.

 

Permie Entrepreneurs Are Go #3

Welcome back to my series on regenerative entrepreneurship. I hope the resources I’ve been feeding you so far are helping you to grow, and providing you with some useful insights into how to better plan your own startup.

This week, I’d like to provide you with some mentorship from some of the world’s top entrepreneurs who’ll share the lessons they’ve learned from their lifelong learning journeys they’ve taken, as well as drumming home some important messages about habit forming and scheduling – whether it be a personal calendar or a cut flower garden.

Enjoy this week’s insights; I hope they’re useful.


Self Care

Change Your Habits, Change Your Life by Ramit Sethi (Chase Jarvis LIVE)

Ramit Sethi is a financial wizard, entrepreneur, an straight-talking systems designer. He built himself single handedly on systems that help to automate his life and manage his finances and is now out to teach others to do the same with his companies GrowthLab and I Will Make You Rich. This podcast goes into depth about the habits you should be using as an entrepreneur to take better care of your personal life, which will leak over into your professional life, leading to more positive results. From working out to writing a calendar, Ramit talks about what works for him and his clients, giving great actionable tips for you to follow in your own life.

Lessons from Ramit Sethi

  1. Get a Calendar – If you don’t plan your life, life will plan it for you. Make sure to build in active time for your future goals.
  2. Use systems not goals – If we design systems that help us to complete tasks automatically to achieve our visions, we’re more likely to succeed – rather than relying on our willpower.
  3. Eat. Sleep. Work out – Take care of your body as this is the vessel that nutures your brain!

To get more insights from Ramit Sethi, check out his book I Will Teach You To Be Rich


Entrepreneurial Strategy

Lessons from Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Ray Dalio, and Other Icons by Tim Ferriss

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For those who don’t know Tim Ferriss, he’s an inspirational thinker who tries to influence his students into thinking more effectively in systems. By using other mentors, aside from himself, he creates an environment for his listeners and readers to learn actionable business strategies to better build themselves into more comprehensive entrepreneurs. This podcast gives you the pleasure of hearing lessons from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, from Tony Robbins to Richard Branson. Tim Ferriss asks them to explain the commonalities of those that succeed, along with real life lessons they’ve learned in their own work. This piece is a great snapshot into the minds of some of the most successful business gurus in the world, told in very humble and simplistic anecdotes.

Lessons from the Experts

  1. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes – This is a great mantra by Tony Robbins, who is explaining that patterns happen over and over, but not necessarily excatly the same. You need to look for the echos of what seems similar to before.
  2. Successful people are incredible listeners – Chris Sacca makes the great point that those who listen hard learn more, while also not tipping their hand.
  3. Audacious goals, Realism, and Determination – Ray Dahlio gives his three steps to success, which involving dreaming big and being unconventional, dealing with reality by learning better processes from assessing mistakes, and by being determined.
  4. Focus, Learn, Practice, Apply – Derek Sivers gives this great 4 step process, honing in on the importance of practicing your art but also going out and putting it to the test.

For more goodies from Tim Ferriss, you should join his free weekly newsletter here.


Permaculture

Business Opportunities Growing Cut Flowers by Benny Pino (on Permaculture Voices)

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Benny Pino of Loblolly Farm has turned to exclusively growing cut flowers. In this podcast, he discusses the intricacies of such a business model, providing insights on where to target your market, how best to corner the audience you do have, and how to better boost profits optimising the potential market you have around you. From understanding seasoned scheduling to comprehending how to best position your products, Benny Pino delves into the hurdles he’s faced, as well as providing small and large-scale solutions to suit those who are considering entering a non-veg based model of agricultural production. He also gives great tips for anyone wanting to add cut flowers as a side hustle.

Lessons from Benny Pino

  1. Go back to the books – Anyone who wants to get into flower production exclusively needs to understand that it is extremely technical.
  2. Side hustlers can use plug-and-play – If you want to add flowers to your side hustle, use easy-to-grow favourites like sunflowers and other summer annuals which are much more forgiving.
  3. Leverage seasons – Selling bouquets at markets can turn a pretty penny, but a wedding can bring you a season’s worth of farmers’ market profits in one day.

If you’d like to support Diego Footer’s Permaculture Voices podcast, you can head here.


Hope that gives you something to get your brain stuck into!

Permie Emmy x

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

I’d Like To Help!

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.

 

 

 

Permie Entrepreneurs Are Go #2

I hope that last week’s post was as insightful for you all as it was for me. This week, I have another candy shop of delights for you, with a bit more of a practical twist.

As I mentioned before, I’d come to the conclusion that there were 3 main patterns I was seeing when it came to advice about how to be a more productive and effective entrepreneur: self-care, entreprenurial strategy, and permaculture skill.

So this week’s set of lessons focus on some practical elements we can include in our entreprenuership design – how we can use our bodies, our timing and our communites to more effectively achieve our goals.

I’ve decided to add a few lessons I’ve learned from each resource to help guide you more effectively and show you what I’m learning from it all at the same time.


Self Care

Yoga Podcast by Adam Hocke

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from trying to get my brain to work well, it’s that exercise is literally the key. Getting oxygen into the blood flow does more than any coffee or caffeine pill could ever do. 

Adam is an incredible teacher who uses an audio medium (in an incredibly illustrative manner) so you can focus on your practice without having to worry about viewing a video. 

If you’re looking for something manageable, he has everything from 30 minute morning ‘get up and go sessions’, to lessons that are targeted to certain body parts (the spine, legs and bum etc) to sessions spent working on certain moods, to hardcore power pushers that get you from here to there. A full 10 out of 10 for me. If you know nothing about yoga, try his full basic session – it is excellent to get you going straight away.

Lessons from Yoga with Adam

  1. Strength, Flexibility, Balance – The combo of all three of these things is what helps you to progress more easily through the moves. You need to work on all three.
  2. Find your edge – There’s no point struggling as much as there is no point going through the motions. With each move, find the point that’s a little harder than before. Too hard and it makes you angry, but a little harder and you’ll find ‘flow’ where you’re completely in the present as your mind can think of nothing else but what you’re doing. This really helps to clear you brain.
  3. Always be working on the basics – Your downward dogs, sun salutations and the like always need improvement. They provide the foundations for everything else – don’t neglect them.

If you enjoy Adam’s classes, you can donate to him here.


Entrepreneurial Strategy

Timing is Everything by Daniel Pink (on Tony Robbins Podcast)

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World-class author and entrepreneurial research, Daniel Pink brings up the issue of timing in this podcast. Bearing insights into his recent New York bestseller, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink makes the poignant point that we often discuss how and why we’re doing things both in life and business, but we rarely consider ‘when’. The research has shown that whether you’re taking a meeting, freelancing, or planning a large project, when we carry out those things make a phenomenal difference. This is a great podcast for those in the planning stages looking to create an implementation strategy, as well as for those looking to better project manage.

Lessons from Daniel Pink

  1. Different people work on different timings – Work out who are your morning people, late night people, and middle of the day people. Schedule meetings and activities according to this in order to bring the best out in people.
  2. Creativity in the morning – Studies are showing that we do our best creative work in the morning and experience a lull later in the day. Use the later lull for administrative work.
  3. Take breaks – Breaks are integral to productive functioning. Studies have shown that breaks help us to clear our minds and to look back on what we’ve been doing throughout the day. Those who are most successful take breaks, both long and short – lunchtime and holidays.

You can purchase Daniel Pink’s When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing here.


Permaculture

Labor Investment Collectives by Paul Wheaton featuring Shawn Klassen-Koop

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Paul Wheaton is a well-known permaculturist, master gardener, and software engineer. Dedicated to expanding the community’s knowledge, Paul Wheaton provides a variety of free resources including his blogs and podcasts to help spread awareness of certain mechanisms for solid permaculture design, from plants to governance. In this episode he explores the concept of Labour Investment Collectives with Shawn Klass-Kloop, the co-author of How to Build a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys. ‘Labour Intensive Collectives’ is a term they invented for this idea of shared labour to get jobs done more quickly, while also learning skills in the process of helping. It not only gives you a chance to practice and learn skills but also to lead and manage projects. It’s a little slow to start as a podcast, but a great concept to consider.

Lessons from LIC

  1. Collective learning – LICs enable collective learning, where you can use the others in your group to teach you things you don’t know. Equally, by working with another project manage on their project first, you can learn your skill from the expert.
  2. Management Opportunities – Learning a skill is one thing, learning to manage a project is something else. By working in LIC, you can gain skills by working on other projects and then move on to practice managing your own project.
  3. Collective projects save time and money – By using the people within your LIC, you save time and money on projects as what you would do individually, you can now do faster with the help of many hands. Equally, you don’t need to hire labor and train them.

If you’d like to back Paul Wheaton’s Kickstarter for his new book Building a Better World in Your Backyard, head here.


Hope that gets you thinking and moving!

Permie Emmy x


I’m producing this newsletter to drum up a tribe to foster entreprenurial learning in permaculture and regenerative businesses with the aim of building a working model in the future with a business incubator school. 

If you’d like to donate a little something something to help me get this regenerative business incubator school on the road, you can click here:

 

Sort Your Systems – Lessons From Ramit Sethi

As I mentioned previously, I’m starting my entrepreneurial journey. This is a post from my professional website: http://www.yarnnarratives.com, where I offer corporate storytelling services to help companies design action steps to success from their vision. I thought I’d share it with you guys, as it has some pretty interesting insights.

Every entrepreneur gets into a rut; a place where they can’t work out whether the slog is worth what appears to be minimal rewards. You begin to ask yourself if you’re really cracking it or just breezing by.

As a continuous learner, I have a strong belief that when you can no longer get answers from your own paradigm, it’s time to shift that tablecloth and let the dishes smash, just to see what patterns they make on the floor. After all, every Grandfather clock needs to shift its pendulum every now and again to keep the tick tocking.

So, for me, I have had always had a residual dream of owning a regenerative business incubator that walks outside the regular lines of what we expect from business incubators – based on the Permaculture school of thought. While none of us can argue that there are a menagerie of innovative technologies being developed within the embrace of Silicon Valley, I can’t help but feel it still follows this linear pattern of consumption.

For me, I feel that for our generation to truly become disruptive, we need to shake of the dust and recreate our economic models and reconsider our whole mode of working. In this sense, my idea of creating a regenerative business school based on a tangible model of economically-sound business seems as plausible as it is impossible to do.

However, rather than bow down to the pressure of failure, I’ve decided to turn my ears toward some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business thinkers to try and learn some lessons from the horses’ mouth.

One of those very horses is a dude called Ramit Sethi. I’ll be frank, when I first came across his blog ‘I Will Make Your Rich’, I couldn’t help but turn my nose up at his arrogance. However, instead, I listened and the guy’s got a lot to say for himself and many a lesson we could all learn.

So from my many earfuls, I thought I’d impart some of his wisdoms = or at least what I’d taken from them.

losers have goals, winners have systems

We all set goals. I will weigh 15 pounds less in 10 days. I will get three clients in the next three months. I will save $1500 by April. The problem with these goals is that while we set them, we give ourselves completely unrealistic steps to get there. Well, if I just do a 5 mile walk every day, apply for 15 gigs a day, and skip my $4 morning coffee from Starbucks then I’ll get there.

However, these unobtainable actions are just crying out for failure. The moment that we skip it once, we skip it all. We know this from doing diets. One cheat day make us feel like a failure so we just give up. Our New Year’s resolutions fall foul the one day we mess up. Oh, I’ve bailed today so I might as well give up.

What Ramit is saying is that instead of leaving these ‘goals’ to our human fallibility, let’s set systems up where they happen (more) automatically so we can’t fail. Put a direct debit in place so the money is gone before you can spend it. Pick a gym that’s on your way home from work so that you can’t skip it out when it’s right next to your path home. Add an automatic referral template and request to every gig you do so they feel obliged to pass it on.

Set up systems that work for you, so you don’t have to. As a permaculturalist, this is literally the biggest thing we promote. I don’t water the plants every day because I have rainwater catchment systems that divert water to my drought-hardy plants, which in turn, store the water in dry season. That way, I don’t have to have it on my never-ending list of things to do each day; it does it itself.

eat. sleep. workout. repeat.

This, I can’t stress enough. I remember when I used to be one of those ‘I can’t even run a bath’ girls. We’re in an era where commenting on someone’s weight makes us feel guilty about working out. Where the word ‘busy’ makes us stay up until 1am just to feel productive. Where sourcing good food makes you a ‘fried food foodie’ rather than a successful human.

Don’t believe the hype.

Believe this. Your emotional brain is there to pump chemicals into your system to make you respond to your environment. For example, cortisol is given to your body as a stress response. While this was good when we were living in a survive or die lifestyle, now we’re inundated with the stuff. It’s a killer. The prefrontal cortex is designed to help rebalance those chemicals as well as making logical decisions.

If your prefrontal cortex is overloaded by having to remedy to chemical imbalance caused by crappy food, over-stress from sleep deprivation, and a lack of oxygen from slumping in front of a computer – guess what, it’s not able to be it’s best logical, creative self.

Eat properly. The nutrients help to keep the immune system in check which stops you getting sick. Instead of hunger pangs that distract you and cause stress to the brain, you’re energised enough to be your best creative self.

Sleep properly. Sleep deprivation kills. It causes stress, it induces Alzheimer’s, and most apparently, it makes you feel passed off. And no-one works well pissed off.

Work out. Aside from saying that your body is the temple that carries all the potential of what you can do in your life, working out allows oxygen to flow the brain. Oxygen helps you think.

know how to define your work

People always used to ask me to define permaculture in one sentence. It used rile me so bad. If you can’t be bothered to understand, you don’t deserve to know.

Wrong.

If you want people to understand, know how to explain it. Know how to categorise it, tune it up, and repackage it for people to get it – or at least be hooked to ask more.

Permaculture is a set of design tools that allow you to turn linear, wasteful systems that degrade our time and resources into regenerative productive systems that bring comprehensive value, whether that be food growing systems or energy systems or communication systems.

It’s not conclusive in its definition. It’s not even comprehensive. But it gives a definitive insight that invites further questions of ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘show me where this has happened’.

The biggest and most foolish assumption is to presume people care or need what you think is important. To make them know that it important, you have to define what it is and why it’s important.

keep a calendar

If you don’t manage your time, life will. When you don’t schedule what’s going to happen to you, life will come and invite itself for dinner and talk late into the night.

Waking up each morning knowing what you have to do and what’s on your plate will help you better digest what is to come. If you wake up disorganised, your day will be disorganised. You won’t be able to keep track of tasks in the long and short term and it leads you to forgetting what needs to be done.

Prioritising your life is one of the most effective ways of ensuring everything gets taken care of. If you don’t have a calendar laid out, you can’t prioritise. Things you were meant to remember fall to the wayside.

More importantly, small steps toward your long term goals, like writing a paragraph of your business plan or a chapter of your novel get pushed back and back until they never get done.

Get a calendar. Schedule time for all the urgent things you need to do, like your job and your family requirements. Then schedule in your long term goals as every day tasks and start taking actions each day toward them – penned in so you don’t end up skipping over them in your mind.

In short…

Ramit has some valid stuff to say. As a thinker and an achiever, he’s designed systems that have got him to the top of his game.

I’m not saying I’ve interpreted everything the way he meant it. I’m not saying his words are gospel. But what I am saying is that the lessons I have perceived from him are starting to set me on a track of reorganizing my life from distant drums to actionable steps toward my goals – using systems and logistical time management to get there.

If you’re interested in hearing more of what he has to say, I highly recommend this podcast: Chase Jarvis LIVE with Ramit Sethi

Permie Entrepreneurs Are Go #1

In my own personal journey to become a more rounded permaculture entrepreneur, I’ve realised that there are a few elements we need to hone in on. While permaculture presents the ethics of earth care, people care, and fair share, I’ve been trying to understand what makes an entrepreneur be able to pursue their endeavour without burning the candle at both ends.

From the yellow pages of resources I’ve been drawing from recently, I see continuous patterns emerge that teach me to look at 3 main things: self-care to preserve your major resource (you), business management, and applicable permaculture skills.

I’ve decided that the most valuable thing I can share with my audience are the lessons that I have learned the most from as I go. While these resources are available to everyone, by providing a centralized place that you can access them, I’m hoping you can learn alongside me. Not only is this helping me to be a more progressive and productive permaculture entrepreneur, I’m hoping it will do the same for you. In terms of my wider goal to provide a regenerative business incubator, I will be using this curation as a route to demonstrate the type of educational platform I seek to provide in the future.

For now, we’ll start with curation of the resources I’m reading, listening to, and watching, but hang tight – there are bigger fish ready for the frier. I’ve been talking with a few interesting souls who are willing to offer their own insights, so soon I’ll be bringing my own unique conversations as podcasts, articles and videos, with some of the bright sparks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting along the way.

To kick things off, here are my picks for this week.

Self-Care

The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown

Brene Brown calls herself a vulnerability researcher. As entrepreneurs and thinkers, we often find ourselves laboured with the incessant shame of feeling like we aren’t good enough. This often leads us to not even taking first steps on our goals. By recognising our vulnerabilities, we can learn to be brave and to value ourselves and our ideas; this teaches us inner compassion. By learning to be compassionate to ourselves, we teach ourselves to only accept passion from others – a powerful driver for change in our own lives and other.

For the startup permaculture entrepreneur, this is a resource that empowers you to understand why we hide and how we deal with this.

Entrepreneurial Strategy

The Startup School by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a world-renowned entrepreneur and business teacher. Leading thinkers around the world, he capitalised on the dot com bubble and rose to the top through hard work and systematic thinking. This series is a collection of excerpts from a course he put on for passionate, hand-selected entrepreneurs. It includes actionable insights into entrepreneurship, helping you to understand how to get started, from your attitude, to testing, to getting through dip periods, to gaining funding. In short, this is an excellent resource. It gives you real world steps you can take and tackles many of the big questions we have about how to get started.

Permaculture

Grow Your Own Eggs by Justin Rhodes

Justin Rhodes is known as the chicken man. He runs a successful and economically sustainable chicken farm and spends his spare time trying to educate others on how to do the same. This is a free video course that runs you through all you need to know to get yourself up and running. The course includes information on what chickens can do for you, how to build your own chicken coops, how to feed your chickens in a fiscally responsible manner, and how to get everything started.

 

If you’d like to sponsor my journey to funding a permaculture business incubation school, please donate at my Patreon by clicking here: I want to support permaculture entrepreneurs!

Daring Greatly – The Lean Business Vision

One of my best friends, Phoebe, came to visit me. We haven’t seen each other in a couple of years now I guess, and seeing an old friend is such a balm to life. It brings such comfort but also shakes you out your skin with a whole handkerchief of unsolicited but well-deserved truths.

She’d recently been on an ayahuasca retreat. For those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s a psychedelic experience that comes from ancient practices. It’s a natural substance that induces an inward experience – hallucinations somewhat, but kind of more along the lines of sorting out your own inner demons and truths. There’s a lot to say for it. I’m not here to argue the ethics of whether people should be doing it or not, but what I do know is that I saw someone who had managed to settle some of their own personal grievances and was now seeing a clearer path forward.

Part of that path was understanding that deep knowledge within oneself of the connectedness of all things in the universe was not enough. That knowing that fractals perpetuate on every level just simply wouldn’t cut it. Now, especially at our transitional ages, the question was what we could, nay, would do with that knowledge.

A friend of a friend recently, amidst a drunken conversation of the meaning of it all and Egyptian history and the patterns of birds, said to me: ‘Yes, you’re right, it is fascinating, but is it useful’.

This has stuck with me. This and my friend Phoebe reminding me less than delicately that my dedication to wanting a sustainability school was only a pipedream if I did nothing to get myself on that track to it happening.

I’ve been considering accountability and how I hold myself accountable to my own goals. Brene Brown, a vulnerability researcher famous to many of us, talks about ‘Daring Greatly’. Putting oneself out there is difficult because it leaves you vulnerable to failure. It leaves you vulnerable to falling flat on your face and everyone telling you they were right that it wouldn’t work. But after all, the man in the arena is far more likely to win than the one jeering from the sidelines.

Brene Brown refers to this famous statement by Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

But I guess nobody talks about the strongest critic being yourself. Myself. It’s me jeering from the sidelines, snidey and slick-witted, sneering about how I don’t have enough money to achieve it, how nobody cares, how nobody will help me, how it isn’t even needed or worthwhile. After all, someone else could do a far better job than me.

The First Step

Brene Brown talks about how shame has two heads. ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘Who do you think you are’. It’s harrowing when they converge. That’s how this idea has always sat in my head – I’m not good enough to do it, and who do I think I am to even try?

So my point, I guess, is to find traction, I must first put myself out there. Not to the external critics but to myself. I must hold myself accountable for this dream and say I’m going to take steps to achieve it.

But that’s one small step. To get to what I’m aiming for, I must first decide the actual vision I’m trying to achieve. To do this, if it weren’t me, I would tell someone to use this visioning tool I created – I’m sure someone else has come up with it before me, but for the sake of my own sanity, I created it within my own paradigm.

I imagine where I am five years from now, where I’m sitting, what I’m drinking, what I see.

Five Years From Now…

I’m sitting on a deck outside my own home. I’m drinking a glass of homemade fruit wine. I look behind me and my home is a beautiful cob house with a big open back. In front of me is a terraced vegetable garden that drops off, and the view is of rolling hills. It’s late afternoon, the sun is still hot but sagging in the sky. I can hear my husband laughing with my little girl. They’re gardening below, collecting salad for dinner. I can smell the homegrown chicken roasting in the cob oven to the right of me. A good friend and owner of our on-site market garden comes up to me, dirt between his fingernails. He slumps down next to me, tired, and cracks a beer made by our on-site brewer. People start to gather around the table for dinner. It’s been a hard day’s work and we’re all working to get the site back to normal after a week long of yoga courses and PDCs. We’re retreating back as a family and everyone starts to tell horror stories and funny tales of the week before. My husband comes back with my daughter and kisses me on the forehead as they go inside to prepare salad. We’re this family of individual goals all intertwined in something that works to build each other and provide education.

Setting the Vision

What I want is so complex. Or perhaps I lack the linguistic ability to define it right now, but in my deep dark gut I know it can work, breed, breathe.

So this post is about me setting the vision, so that we all know what I’m working toward. I know the logistics are glitchy. I know the nay-sayers can tear holes in my holes but perhaps just with this simple outline, I can define a framework for us all to work upon; so here it goes.

THE PLAN

The first arm is a school. The main aim is not to teach sustainability skills but to teach us all how to create regenerative economically-sound businesses. Right now permaculture stands on a cliff where the physical and social have been ironed out by the economics are still a little frantic.

The school will offer courses, like many other sustainability and permaculture schools. 1-4 week courses covering yoga teaching teacher, medicinal herbs, natural building, sustainable leadership, social permaculture, non-violent communication, and so on and so on.

But. Most importantly, we will be a regenerative business incubator. Young entrepreneurs will come for 6 months to a year and we will offer them a program that teaches business skills – from communication to marketing to management and leadership – alongside a hands-on internship working with an economically sound business that operates on site.

Because here’s the real thing. Every sustainable permaculture school I’ve seen so far only survives because of education. That proposes that you cannot make the model work without charging to teach others to do a model that doesn’t work. That’s a freaking ponzi scheme. Or as Eric Reis refers to it in his book The Lean Startup, it’s ‘success theatre’ – inflating growth based on the appearance of growth, though it may not be plausible or economically viable.

While I agree that education is absolutely vital, I reject the idea that the model cannot work without financial supplements from education – the model should stand alone.

I propose that my site will have a plethora of functioning businesses serving as a working model who will each have the primary goal of being an economically sound institution, providing whatever business they care to, from a market garden to a massage parlour to a honey making business – but it MUST be economically sustainable and it will mentor a future entrepreneur through the school.

So this takes me to the second arm. The businesses on site will work together to become a working model of regenerative economics, using each other as a resource to help provide each other with the things they need. The market garden will work to trade with the restaurant who in return may feed the gardener. The beekeeper will provide was for the lipstick maker who will in return help to tend to the environment in which the bees will live. The intricacies will be decided between the businesses using a diverse currency system of FIAT, crypto, local currency, and timeshares.

This part is complex. Of course, parts of each business will need to be sourced from outside. But the school itself will assist by providing business lessons to help these businesses learn to sell online, to the local community and afar. The businesses will work with the school to provide paid mentorship to the interns, to provide workshops to the school’s guests, and to provide lessons to other incoming vacation guests from the third arm – the resort.

The resort will house the course guests, while also providing a business model that will entice weekend getaways, corporate retreats, and so on. By collaborating with the on-site businesses, the resort will provide activities for guests. By collaborating with the school the resort will provide accommodation for the course participants. By collaborating with local businesses, the resorts can offer tours and days out. By bringing in weekend guests, the resort will help to provide income to the on-site businesses through sales of goods, such as local honey, dinner from the restaurant, or through services like yoga lessons or massages.

Lean Disclaimer

This isn’t a business plan. Not every step is ironed out. I’m not even getting going into the concepts of local currencies and the intertwined nature of digital industry-specific cryptocurrencies – that’s for a whole other post.

Right now, I’m holding myself accountable. This is the bare bones of my lean business plan. The kinks aren’t smoothed over yet. The structure isn’t there.

But what is there is a person saying that this is my vision. And right now, blood, sweat, tears, and every business book and podcast under the sun – I’m trying to work out how to make it a coordinated concept that can be actionable.

I’m inviting you to join me on this journey. To give me your two cents worth. To guide me on what to read, think about, adjust. But most of all, I’m letting you know that I’m game. That I’m daring greatly.

That I’m in the arena.

x

 

If you’d like to support me on my journey, please donate at my Patreon. It would be greatly appreciated.

www.patreon.com/permieemmy

Bangkok’s Green Pockets – The Wild Wee Woods in the Giant Metal Jungle

Now, it’s no secret that the pollution in Bangkok is unreal. Some days it’s so hazy that you can’t see the horizon and it makes you sit back and wonder if you’re experiencing the end of the world. Some days, when it rains it drowns the pavement and you end up with an oil slick ice rink that makes you slip and slide all over the show, as the rain brings the pollution to floor level. Some days it’s so bad that working out is more of a hazard than a health boost.

Despite this though, nestled in the new city of glitzy robot tower blocks and buzzing automobiles and flying trains, you’ll find that Bangkok is dotted with mini jungles.

IMG_0459.JPGWhen I look out my apartment window, yes I do see skyscaping metal boxes and thick tar rivers of screaming traffic, but I also see these nuggets of nature, blissfully working as their own spheres of serenity and productiveness. Luckily, there are certain rules in Thailand that mean you can’t build too close to temples, which helps to maintain these little pockets of paradise. Unlike the manmade falseness of picture-perfect parks – man’s ironic attempting at recreating what he tore down – these bundles of bushes are cacophonies of natural occurrences.

IMG_0465.JPGIn these parts you’ll see the natural patterns of the jungle springing up, with the multiple forest layers pushing through to beat that race with concrete. Often positioned, not strangely, next to poorer neighbourhoods, you’ll find that these gashes of green are abundant with edible plants and forest foods. These small jungles are teeming with life and in that, provide life. From the butterfly peas to the morning glory vines, from the banana and mango trees to the wild basil and turmeric and ginger, from the tamarinds to the yucca, you will find these miniature microcosms mimic the larger forest of which they were once part. And you will find their inhabitants live very similarly too, despite the urban sprawl and prevailing poverty that is being thrust upon them.

IMG_0462.JPGFor the likes of me and the other dusty computer kids of this choking city, we probably owe our lives to these little islands of oxygen. They drink in the smog and spit out a treat for us to guzzle, barely noticing of its giver. While the pollution is bad here, hell it will get worse when they start cutting back those clusters to create curls of creeping windows that reach the sky for more commuters to rest their anxious heads after a long, hard days typing on the box inside a box. When will we learn?

I guess right now, all we can do is thank that the sacredness of these places helps to keep the demolition team at bay. For now.

 

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Emancipation Economics – Social Permaculture & Cryptocurrency

I’ve been knees deep in the permaculture world (officially) for just over a year and I want ya’ll to realise where a year of permaculture can lead you. I went from digging out drains to speaking on stages so quick my head’s spinning like a yo-yo in the early 90s.

Social permaculture is still new and no disrespect to the fore-people that lead the way (honour and love to Starhawk, Looby McNamara, and Adam Brock in particular), but we’re still working on the vague, missing out some of the finer and somehow monumental concepts. Let’s take the economics.

I know, right, thrilling. You’re probably gripping your seat, thinking, I can’t wait to learn more. Please unwrap this candy of delight she is about to discuss. Give me that sweet sugar of maths and logic rolled into one like a statistical ball of all-consuming fun.

Oi. Don’t knock it, right. I want to take you on a journey of whole systems thinking in a direction none of us conceived. Standing in the awe of my PDC teacher talking about tree types, I never thought I’d be about to indulge you with the transition economics and real world whole systems thinking of incredible cryptocurrencies.

BURN THE WITCH, I hear you cry. Don’t be scared. I promise I’ll be gentle. But I really think it’s time we talked about this.

We can pretend that a market garden is going to give us a self-sustaining future where we can survive on selling our products at the market. We talk about cottage industry like selling tinctures is gonna send our kids to college. It isn’t, and here’s why, you bunch of self-indulging capitalists. While the system that leads to making those products may be regenerative, the economics you employ to market them are not. Oh you think they are, I thought they were. Don’t worry, this ain’t no high horse situation. I’m not buying a ladder to get on my trusty steed.

It’s this simple. I recently took a job in analyzing cryptocurrencies. As a hardened anti-technologist, this was my version of reading the Bible to use educated arguments to slam homophobic Christians. I partly took this job to prove the idiocy of cryptocurrency.

But I was wrong. 180 flip on my view. You wanna see real anarchist economics in action with whole systems design? This is where you should be looking.

Rather than talk to you about the ins and outs of cryptocurrency, I’d rather give you an example. We all know that’s far easier to swallow.

The cryptocurrency I will be explaining is called Tutellus. It works with a whole systems design that brings in students, teachers, and businesses to benefit each of them. So first, I want to outline the problem.

HERE’S WHAT SUCKS

Students: As students we get ourselves in debt by having to pay through the nose for education. What’s worse is that most degrees are a vague attempt at teaching us subjects that are pretty much irrelevant to today’s world. Now I’m not shitting on philosophers, but how much have you used that degree. As a graduate of criminology, I can tell you out right that I’m not Inspector Gadgeting much in my life.

Teachers: You can teach the hell out of your students or not at all and you’re getting the same wage. Nobody cares about whether a student is really learning real world stuff anymore, they care whether your data is up to date and whether your data is datery enough for them. I see this very dichotomy in my sister who talks wonders about what her children have learned each week, while sacrificing her own social life to stay up all night punching numbers into spreadsheets.
Businesses: Oh there’s a bunch of people applying, but none of them have real world skills or even the specifics to handle the job you’re looking for.

WHATEVER CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?

Here’s what we can do. We can pull our problems and assets together and stop acting like we’re all individuals wandering around the chicken coop looking for the handful of grain we hope our masters will give us.

Just as a sidenote, this is hard to explain. As with all full cycle solutions, it’s hard to work out where to jump on the circle.

So we’ll start by chasing the money.

So you’re a business and you want to employ a candidate that’s going to fulfil your role completely, be qualified to jump on the job imminently and be up to date with all the advances in the field. Problem is that many degrees are still working with texts from the 1980s and lecturers who are so up their own egos that they don’t want to talk about Anonymous because they’re busy telling you the worthiness of Freud’s handful of generalized experiments.
But you’re willing to pay for recruitment so you hand your money to an ‘expert’ recruiter hoping they’ll find you a gem in a desert of sand. Let’s bypass that pony show shall we?

So as a business you put your money into the pool. This gives you access to the best students, performing the highest in the general field you’re looking. Yes, you’re going to pay more depending on the market rate of the job you’re looking for but if you want the best, you gotta pay for the best. So you plunge a sum of money in and you get a portfolio of students who fit the bill. Thing is they’re not at the end of their learning. They could be at the beginning. What brings them to your attention is this score that they’ve earned. They earn that score not only through being a smart arse, but also being a hardcore participator in their own learning. You know that those students are going to bring that hardworking attitude to your doorstep. This allows you to communicate with them, encourage them to angle their learning in a certain way. In fact, you can offer them scholarships so that they start to tailor their learning to exactly what you need.

It’s an investment, right? By the end you get a student that is so adept in what you need, that you don’t need to waste thousands of dollars training them with half-arsed corporate training, because they’re ALREADY THERE.

So then we have the students. You’re working working working, unsure if it’s leading to anything. On top of that you’re spending spending spending with blind faith that it’s going to come out with something. If we were in a casino, we’d call that gambling, my friend. Laying down money in the blind hope of return. I mean tell me I’m wrong but if I were, we wouldn’t have the student debt crisis we have, right?

So imagine you knew that your hard work was being rewarded. You pay for a course but you can make ALL that money back if you work your darndest. Not only do you do well in your exams, but you participate to improve the community, because only with an improved community will you get improved services. So you review your teachers, you participate in debate, you answer other students’ question right and so on and so forth. You engage.

This builds the score that employers see while also getting you financial rewards from the system. But where do these rewards come from? Well when businesses put their money in, that money gets distributed out to those students who are killing it. Then you get noticed. Then you get more rewards and you get sponsorship, then before you know it, your education is not only free, but you’re getting real world enterprise mentorship that guides you into working out what you need to learn to get a real world job. Hint. It isn’t an age-old degree based on yesteryears’ philosophy.

So that leaves your teachers. The people who educate the next generation, stuck on wage fit for a weekend server at a local restaurant. This is disgusting and disrespectful to our whole culture and development as a human species. Bound by curriculums that are defined by data and endorsed by governments who have, of course, no other agenda but the kids’ best interests at heart, teachers are confined to providing one-size-fits all education that neither benefits each individuals’ creativity and flair, or the teacher’s own capacity to demonstrate innovation.

In this sense, with this new system, teachers are rewarded. The money paid into the pool by businesses rewards teachers who get students to the top spots. How do those students get there? By tailored education. Teachers producing the most dynamic and relevant courses with the greatest conversions of learning are being rewarded by the businesses. Not only that, they’re rewarded when kids sign on to their courses, not just when they do well. So if you’re providing courses that are poignant and intriguing, you’re getting what you deserve.

So to sum up, kids learn a relevant and useful education for free while becoming hard-working, self-driven individuals. Teachers are motivated to be the best educators they can be, receiving the accreditation they deserve for that. And businesses get the best and most relevant candidates for the job, that need little training and are self-driven, without paying more than they’d pay to a recruiter. Damn that makes sense, don’t it?

But why blockchain?

Here’s why. Humans are arseholes. All of our resumes show better humans than we are. All teachers give less than 100% because they don’t need to. All businesses promise things they can’t deliver. No we don’t, you plead in defiance. You do. Why? Because you can.

Blockchain is a trustless immutable ledger that can’t be ignored, can’t be changed, and can’t be denied. When you have that, you can really see who truly shines. Without doubt, without reservation. And that kind of guarantee, makes people work harder, better, smarter, and with more guile.
We create the currency so the money stays in the system. With that currency, we can then spend it inside the participating businesses so eventually they make their money back. It’s basically barter, except there’s an immutable trail of accountability.

You can choose to walk away from this kind of oncoming technology, hoping patterning plants will save you. Or you can realise it’s all important. Top to bottom, inside and out, fractals in hand, this is how our economics should work. As permaculturalists, it’s our responsibility to be at the pinnacle. We’ve been pushing local currencies and transition economics for years. Now you have it. You going to embrace it, are you just sit there gawping with your head in flowers?

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