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!
Until the next odd permaculture thing happens in my community – ciao! x
The summer is fast approaching, and no doubt, at some point, you’ll be finding yourself kicking back with a cocktail and a good book soaking up the sun.
So why not make summer 2019 a productive year for reading and learning? Combining the concepts of ecopreneurialism and permaculture can really help to square you away as a viable regenerative startup founder – therefore, immersing yourself in lessons from the experts is an inevitable and invaluable part of the journey.
Over the last year(s), I’ve been fortunate enough to voraciously inhale a myriad of really helpful books – books that I feel will be extremely useful to assisting you on your journey, thanks to their unique angles on business, relationships, and systemic operations.
So if you’re a bookworm looking for something to get your teeth stuck into this summer, check out these gems.
Tim Ferriss is an academic and entrepreneur, and is a wizard when it comes to systems-thinking. I read this book a long while back and it’s one of my go-tos when I want to reconsider the systems I using for efficiency in my life and work.
This book breaks down the habits you form with your own operational patterns and seeks to reimagine and reconfigure those patterns to create new habits that are more productive and fulfilling.
I highly recommend this book if you feel like you’re working tirelessly without results. This book provides real actionable tips that will help you to recognise opportunity and reach goals without having to sacrifice work-life balance.
While we’re often urged to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, this book puts pay to that idea, imploring us to start again at the beginning with different systems of making things. Rather than working on the ‘cradle to grave’ model, this book is about regenerative design as a way to recreate the products and services we need in the world. In fact, this is a bible for regenerative entrepreneurs looking to really consider how they can make an impact with brand new economics.
Using the permaculture theme of looking to the patterns of nature, this book invites us to reconsider abundance and the natural cycles of this that occur – take the fact that a tomato plant will produce hundreds of seeds! In this sense, this book is a guide on how to design products in the same way.
If you need ideas on what you can create as a regenerative entrepreneur, and how to go about it without repeating the patterns of poor business practices and linear economics, this is the book for you. I like that it’s short, concise, to the point, and extremely practical.
When we’re starting regenerative enterprises, it is integral to consider the human element of our work. Ensuring that our team are working collaboratively, effectively, and happily is very important to the success of the overall vision.
This is one of my favourite books for getting this message across in a practical and visual way. Starhawk uses a hypothetical scenario of a Transition Town to explain the struggles you may come up against and how to deal with them. The manual also includes actual activities you can use to facilitate mediation, communication, deal-making, and conflict resolution. It addresses some of the key global issues we’re fighting against, as well as showing you how to manage effective collaborative organisations.
This is a key read for anyone who is trying to manage the human element of their operations – which is every regenerative ecopreneur!
Habit is one of the many things that unconsciously drives our lives. Whether it is compulsive phone checking or needing a coffee every half an hour, we’re not always conscious of how habitual routines are controlling our lives and therefore our efficiency in business, and our practical decision-making.
I love this book because it makes you really reflect on the habits you have formed, and gives hands-on tips on how to break those habits and redesign useful and purposeful habits that lead toward the outcomes you desire. This book has a bunch of cutting edge science, which is super interesting.
This is a great one if you feel stuck in a rut, as reconfiguring your own pattern will help you to see where you can redesign to push the pendulum again.
Seth Godin is one of the most influential entrepreneurs of today. He’s a straight talker, with advice that comes from his myriad experience out in the field. Both a teacher and an innovator, Seth Godin isn’t afraid to make the point that sometimes we fail because we’re just not being remarkable.
This book really helped me to understand the importance of standing out, and of providing something that’s niche enough while pushing boundaries. Seth uses his experience to outline what makes companies different and how you can employ these methods to your own work.
If you feel that your product or service is lacking in some way, or is struggling to stand out from the crowd, this is the book that helps you to work out not only how to market it better, but how to literally make it a better product or service.
One of the main problems I find with seeking to be an ecopreneur, is that there is little literature that addresses the techniques needed for this exact type of business structure. While we can learn lessons from traditional entrepreneurs, there are new ways in which ecopreneurs need to work to ensure we;re not using destructure methods of capitalism to further our ventures.
This book is a hands-on, practical guide to help you work out how to find green opportunities in business and work to design them appropriately and effectively. I like this handbook because it gives great tips on how to seek actual opportunities and recognise them and the power you have to fulfil them. Equally, Dr Glenn Croston helps you to create a viable business plan to carry your idea, while giving actionable techniques for measuring and surpassing competition, without negating the value of cooperation.
This is an exceptional tool for those looking to structurally outline their vision and create a plan to move forward.
While profit isn’t necessarily the most important element of regenerative business, right now the transitional period from society’s current economic system to the next requires us to understand the value of money. Often, the problem with green business founders, is that the financial elements evade us while we focus on the impact of our company’s ideas.
This book gets you up to speed with the financial side, as much as it may seem to be the antithesis of what we’re trying to achieve. Understanding the beast helps to work to fight it! This book will help you to build a healthier relationship with finances to make better decisions that enable your eco-business to remain viable.
This book is very important if you’re trying to work out how to fund your vision, and works equally well on principle when we apply the theory of diverse revenue types.
I actually drew your attention to Daniel Pink before in my newsletter. Daniel Pink talks about timing. While we often discuss the importance of the ‘how’, ‘what’, and especially ‘why’ when we consider regenerative endeavours, we rarely branch out to truly understanding the ‘when’. Though we know that implementation strategy is integral to permacultural design, we forget to apply it in business.
This book draws your attention to how important ‘when’ is. The psychology, biology and economics of timing are discussed in this book, providing surprising insights into why certain business decisions work or fail depending on the implementation schedule. I love how this book gives you useful tricks on how you should leverage timing in your interactions, deals, and decisions to lead toward higher levels of effectiveness.
This is a must-read for any eco-founder as it helps you to understand how to define an implementation strategy, not just across the long-term but also in daily activities.
When we look at building regenerative businesses, the permaculture ethics and principles are a great way to understand the entire cyclical process of generating and regenerating without waste. However, many permaculturists struggle with the viability of making a ‘profitable’ entity with their small-scale systems.
This book helps you to understand how you can use permacultural skills to live a viable life. While it focuses on being a market gardener, the techniques within the book serve as a useful guide for helping you to understand all the elements you need to consider when it comes to any green venture.
This certainly has a strong sway toward the agricultural side of ecopreneurship and is a great resource for anyone looking to become a market farmer, however it’s also a great resource for anyone looking for practical information on how to design systems that take into account all integral elements for viable profitable opportunities.
When we’re coming up with a vision for our future idea, the end goal can often seem very overwhelming, and we become frozen, unable to start because it all seems to much. The ‘lean’ concept is actually not too dissimilar to practices we employ in permacultural thinking – observing, testing, learning, and repeating.
This book gives real examples of companies that employ this method, and the hurdles they’ve faced, and how they’ve dealt with them using the practical techniques associated with lean thinking. From asking yourself the ‘5 whys’ to getting started with a lean business plan, this book provides excellent methods for testing your ideas and learning from them as you go.
If you’re having trouble getting started – this is the ideal book for you.
When it comes to running businesses, systems are vital for measuring success, efficient working, and benefiting from the power of interconnectedness. As permaculturists, systems are the basis of the toolkit that we use to minimise input and maximise output – a principle we should be using in our entrepreneurial ventures.
This book uses methodical thinking and conceptual tools to outline the way systems function, and how they should be designed to provide the most effective routes to working without waste. It helps you to conceptualise the issues with working on elements in isolation, and invites you to reconsider the way you are analysing your own operations. I love this book because it gives you a whole host of ‘aha!’ moments, while deconstructing complicated ideas into easy-to-digest mechanisms for working.
This is a must for anyone designing a venture as it enables you to create and use feedback systems that can help you measure your real impact, while averting crises, and advancing through using systems within systems.
This book is more of an overview of the emergence of the ecopreneur and the value that green-thinking entrepreneurs are bringing to the table in addressing issues of waste, productivity, environmental problems, and economic mishaps simultaneously.
This is a great read providing first-hand case studies of how green entrepreneurs are changing the dynamics of market forces. It gives your both insights into what works and what doesn’t work in changing perspectives and influencing behaviour through green ways of operating. This is an important book as it helps you to understand policy decisions and recent developments that are shaping innovation and business on a global level.
For those looking to work with governments, NGOs and large organizations, this book helps to give you the broader reaching perspective.
I once heard this great saying: If we’re on the edge of a cliff, it’s okay to turn around and take a few steps back.
This book was written a long while ago and considered economics as though we weren’t working on a system of neo-liberal classicism, as though we weren’t considering resources as infinite. If this system of economics had been employed when this book was written, perhaps we would have a very different world today.
As an ecopreneur, this is an important book that helps you to understand how to put peoplecare to the forefront of the systems your designing for your venture. This book looks at the damages of excessive consumption, both on the wider level and in more personal scenarios, and invites you to critically analyse the wasteful processes used in business practices today.
What I love about this book, is that it helps you to consider your own wasteful practices and perhaps unconscious forms of waste and overconsumption in your operations, and invited you to redesign them with peoplecare at the centre.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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 –
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lessons from Flourishing Business Canvas
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.
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.
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.
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:
When it comes to the best resources to get information across, I find there’s nothing more captivating than a good conversation. Podcasts present the perfect opportunity for experts, advisors, visionaries, and movers and shakers to divulge some of their best secrets on how we can all achieve.
As ecopreneurs, permaculturists, holistic managers, and regenerative startups, immersing ourselves in as much information as possible is invaluable. However, sometimes reading books and watching documentaries can take up a little too much time.
Podcasts are a great way to wander around topics, gain some great actionable insights, and still have two hands to get stuff one!
Here are some of the most valuable podcasts I’ve found really help me with improving my strategy, providing insider secrets to help boost your productivity when building a sustainable, viable business.
What It Is: Hosted by Rob Moore, triple best-selling property author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and investor, The Disruptive Entrepreneur offers a variety of content, including interviews with founders and entrepreneurs, as well as educational content from some of Rob’s own lectures and lessons.
Why You Should Listen To It: Rob provides actionable insights for businesses looking to grow, from marketing tips to leveraging social media to putting accountability measures in place. Have a pen and paper for each episode, because you’ll walk away each session with a myriad of steps you can take straight away. This is an especially good podcast if you’re looking to increase customer awareness and infiltrate your target audience.
What It Is: This interview-style podcast is hosted by Shelbi, a well-known sustainability vlogger. Each episode jumps into deep conversations with ecopreneurs, environmental experts, sustainability stakeholders, and regenerative start-up founders. It explores how and why these people are successful, providing tips on how to reach the same level with your own endeavours. Aimed at those who are passionate about regenerative action, this podcast is a winner for those looking to expand in green business.
Why You Should Listen To It: Shelbi has a great array of approachable guests on who provide touchable advice that you can follow from the get-go. Instead of talking about how money breeds money, this podcast gives you great insight into how to get going with what you have, how to deal with some of the conflicts that come between eco-friendliness and entrepreneurship, and provides a comforting backdrop that allows you to see how each entrepreneur pursued their goals. This is ideal if you’re a founder or visionary wondering how to get up and go.
What It Is: Hosted by Andrew Warner, who built a $30mil/year company in his 20s, this podcast is a place to learn from really successful, proven entrepreneurs from all sectors. While not focused directly on ecopreneurship, this podcast dives right into the creativities used and barriers faced from real-world founders. This podcast has a mix of interviews with high profile guests, as well as some lecture style podcasts rom experts, and some updates on what’s going on in the business world.
Why You Should Read It: Use cases provide excellent examples of what we need to do to get from where we are to where we want to be. Andrew’s easy-going interview style doesn’t stop him from asking the tough questions we all want to know the answers to. This podcast is a great resource for actionable steps to increasing revenue and decreasing working hours, while building sustainable structural systems within your own venture.
What It Is: Hosted by Scott Mann, permaculture practitioner and computer scientist, this podcast is dedicated to education in permaculture, sustainability, and holistic management. One of the longest running permaculture podcasts, Scott provides an environment for listeners to learn from those who are making it work first-hand – the practitioners, the experts, the enterprises, and the educators. Each conversation explores the interviewee’s experience and as well them divulging their personal secrets to success.
Why You Should Listen To It: Scott Mann brings on realistic guests who live their lives running permaculture and eco businesses. These guests give valuable insights into the realism of the struggles that occur and the shortcuts that can be used. The advice is extremely specific to running permaculture style businesses, as opposed to purely entrepreneurial podcasts, allowing you to understand what to expect and to plan for this. You’ll also get very specific tips to help you out.
What It Is: A permaculture-themed podcast aimed at farming, business, and life, this show is hosted by Diego Footer, who also organizes the Permaculture Voices Conference. In this podcast you’ll hear from experts who have chosen paths to follow in permaculture and farming. Diego asks hard questions and opens honest conversation to piece together what it takes to build business in these arenas, with practical advice that listeners can follow – whether than be crop selection,time management, goal setting, or soil regeneration techniques. The podcast has a great range of both tips and techniques, as well as heart-felt honesty and debate on global topics.
Why You Should Listen To It: This is one of the most practical podcasts providing useable techniques to help build business. Not only does it provide help on the actual skills needed and specifics on how to apply them, it also looks into business practices that need to be employed to plan and strategize the viability of your enterprise. This is a great podcast for those specifically looking to create business from farming and agroecology.
What Is It: While permaculture and regenerative entrepreneurs are not necessarily looking to make huge sums of money, the methods to meeting the final goal of success usually follow similar patterns of strategy. This podcast, hosted by Brandon Gaille, provides quick, snappy tips for helping you to redesign your patterns for better success. Many of the podcasts come as top 10 tips, and cover topics such as sleep, time management, funding, productivity hacks, and startup tips.
Why You Should Listen To It: The fast-paced nature of this podcast gives you great insights if you’re time poor – with many episodes being 10 minutes, you can fit one in over your morning coffee. You’ll find that they give a brief overview of important topics you might not be considering that affect your working practice – such as nonverbal communication, negotiation tactics, stress, and self discipline – but can serious help you make behavioural changes that alter your systematic strategies.
What Is It: Hosted by keynote speaker, author, and executive educator, Carol Sanford, this podcast seeks to bring you responsible entrepreneurs and capitalist investors who are helping to shape the sustainable business arena. In each episode, Carol guides conversation that breaks down how each of these people has made their own endeavour work, what they propose for the future, and how they feel others should approach the startup tasks ahead of them. Particularly focused on the growth of regenerative businesses, this podcast provides and open and honest look inside the lives of those who are working successfully in many arenas of regenerative entrepreneurship, without focusing solely on farming.
Why You Should Listen To It: While this podcast isn’t providing the most practically applicable tips,it does give you an overview of real-world hurdles and starting points. By understanding these use cases, you can see patterns across each entrepreneur which you can mimic, while also avoiding their pitfalls. It’s engaging and authentic and provides education as well as entertainment.
What Is It: Founder of Force for Good Fund, Ryan Honeyman, hosts this podcast that singles out the leaders in the sustainability and regeneration fields and asks tough questions about what they’re doing and what we should all be doing in our lives and in our businesses. Some episodes address practical topics like visioning, strategizing, and operations, while others delve into the social, environmental and economic issues faced within business and across the globe. A great mix of science and opinion, each guest is captivating and charismatic, while Ryan leads strong and worthwhile debate.
Why You Should Listen To It: This podcast has some very high-profile guests who help you to understand practical applications of regenerative techniques on a larger scale. With a wealth of experience at their fingertips, these experts bring issues to the table which you may not have considered in your own working practice, while relating them to wider global outlooks. Insightful debates, tough conversations, and well-rounded opinions provide the backbone of this podcast.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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 –
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
As I said in previous posts, I spent a little time on Ometepe in Nicaragua. This post is about my time spent with the local gardeners.
The hostel I was working at, Little Morgan’s Hostel is run by a guy called Morgan (the father of Little Morgan). Morgan is the kind of man that continuously makes you raise your eyebrows in heartfelt surprise at the many tricks of knowledge he has up his sleeve. On the face of it, his hostel appears as a drinking haunt for half-arsed backpackers trawling the same trail as all the other fish in the sea. But when you look slightly closer at the inner sense of community within his circles, you see a glorious mix of locals and internationals intermingling to get all the jobs done and Morgan flitting between them all with equal understanding, appreciation, and eagerness for each.
When I first suggested to him that I come down and build a garden for his restaurant, I was aware that his whole site was a menagerie of tropical trees and flowers planted himself. However, when I first visited a year ago, I wasn’t looking through permaculture lenses so in reality the true depth of the intricacies of his plantings had never occurred to me. No doubt it doesn’t occur at all to the backpackers who travel through there, distracted by the excitement of their short breaks from regular life, juiced up on alcohol and adrenaline from all the wonderful places they’ve swooped through. It’s not fair to say people don’t notice the beauty, but they don’t necessarily notice the multifunctionality of the beautiful site; me included.
However, this time around I was entering with a new perspective and a different purpose. This enabled me to pop on my observation googles to notice what was hiding among the jungle chaos of the place. I was headed to build a garden on a spot which had previously been used for growing, but had become overgrown. Before I even got to the garden, I noticed that the bar itself is surrounded by a plethora of fruit trees and various other edibles. Mangoes, pineapples, squashes, coconuts, bananas, and plantains are casually hanging around dripping with goodies, and that’s just from a quick glance. And you can’t miss the animals mingling in and churning that soil while grabbing belly rubs from the patrons.
The thing is that the intricate density of all the green that splurges across this climate and landscape is difficult to comprehend. You need to have a helping hand. Often in permaculture we can be a little…let’s say…know-it-all. The principles set out by Bill Mollison and David Holgrem have served as a fantastic manual for working; the issue is that often we butt heads with local people when we come in with our white people club of new age farmers and tell them how they should be doing it. I’m not doubting the validity and excellence of permaculture and regenerative agricultural methods, but nobody knows the land better than the people who have had their hands in it every day of their lives.
I’ll be honest, when Morgan introduced me to the garden guys, I was intimidated. These guys have done this every day in the blistering heat, wearing jeans and knocking back whisky while they get the job done. Not only that, they built the myriad of phenomenal structures from the very garden they grew.
Source:volanthevistI couldn’t see them really taking my ideas, physical self, or vision seriously. While we want to think that our brand of feminism is the way forward, there’s no escaping the fact that traditionally, women do not work in the fields here. I was prepared for them to reject my capabilities. I was wrong.
They welcomed me into their team with open arms and spent a great deal of their precious time working with me to teach me some of the intricacies of the land and some of their knacks. But it didn’t stop there.
To begin with, it was a very macho experience; them trying to take the hard labour out of my hands, somehow humouring me with my little gardening fancies. But before long and as my Spanish developed, it became an exchange of friends and it ignited an interest in all of us.
It first started with the oldest guy in the crew, Chefan. Chefan tried to put an insect repellant on the soil and I nearly exploded with desperation. I didn’t want to insult him but I wanted to grow organically and I wanted to test the methods I’d be taught. I politely and in the most restrained way I could, asked him not to. I will never forget the look he gave me. The pause of a man who had lived many lives while never having left that island. The pause of a man who’d seen a million faces shit all over his culture and suddenly see one who wanted more than cheap plastic and throwaway touism. He cracked this smile so wide that I could have fit a boat in his mouth. He gestured for me to come with him and pointed to a neem tree, handing me the longest machete I’d ever seen and signalling that he’d give me a boost. When an indigenous Ometepian pulls you into their fold and tells you to climb that tree, guess what you’re doing. Up the tree I went and retrieved some neem. He put the neem, some garlic, and some of the local brain-blowing chilies in a bucket and we left it over night. We sprayed this all over the ground and plants and I had no bugs (for a while, this is the tropics, not Never Never Land!). He later laughed about how his Grandfather taught him this but he’d never used it and was amazed it had worked.
It only escalated from there. Chefan came to one night with the head builder, Luiz, and they said to me: ‘I see the fire in your eyes’. And we talked. Over whisky and tears we spilled our hearts. Luiz explained to me about how Chefan and himself bring young boys to come and work at the hostel to teach them about empowerment. No doubt you have seen the raucous of politics happening in Nicaragua right now; this was at the backbone of everything they were teaching. They taught these young boys to plant the seeds, grow the trees, design the building, choose the right branch, and build from it. They taught them to utilise what nature gives them, not to control it or break it or bend it to one’s will, but to work with it and create from it. They taught them to be empowered by the land, not to try and take power over it. They taught them that they didn’t need an oppressive regime if they could take care of everything themselves and until they could, they had no business fighting that regime (that’s a story for another time).
From here on in, these two older men had the younger men work with me. They explained that of they taught me the hands on sneaky tricks, I would teach them the science. I taught them to rebuild the terraces along contour to preserve water.
They taught me to grow yard beans along the fences to keep weeds out, I taught them to stake yucca as the fence. They taught me to pierce pigs noses to stop them rooting, I taught them to use the pigs to root the pesky bindweed first. They cut down the overgrowth while I made them hot sauce from the local chilies. They taught me to plant my nursery in a bed of ashes, I taught them to create guilds to protect the tomatoes from fungus. They taught me the native plants and I taught them the names in English.
One day, when I was suffering from conjunctivitis and everyone was throwing back antibiotic drops, they made me an eye wash from witchhazel.
I taught them to look for the signs of pests and adjust the carbon to nitrogen. They taught me that the jungle will do what it will, and to eat what grew and enjoy it.
I spent many a night discussing philosophy and corporations with them. I will never forget the tears in Larry’s eyes when he was sure he was crazy, trying desperately to explain his own personal observations of how pesticides seem to affect the land and how nobody seemed to believe him. He’d never left the island, he doesn’t have the internet, he knows nothing about the worldwide anger raging about the use of these products; he just knew what he saw and drew his own conclusions. The wholehearted embrace that he gave me when I explained about Monsanto was like I’d put his mind at peace.
It wasn’t just knowledge they gave me. They gave me their hearts, their community. They had their wives teach me Spanish and how to cook. They shared stories and introduced me to their families.
Between us we grew a garden that managed to create some of the most delicious recipes I’d ever tasted, making that restaurant a bit more sustainable. Between us we managed to teach and learn and create. I thank them so deeply for those lessons and to me it’s proof that social diversity creates resilience, it creates strength. Because alone neither of us had the answers, but together, we killed it.
This past week I took the opportunity to go and visit a property on the island called Inanitah. Wow.
I knew about this property before I came here because I wanted to check out other permie projects on the island, both in order to garner ideas and seeds but also to create a sense of community for myself. With my permie journey in mind, I’ve also got my eyeball out for the next step on my learning path as a spot to learn a new skill; namely natural building.
Inanitah is stunning and an exceptional example of what can be achieved through employing self-sustainability practices. On a physical level, the examples of permaculture are second to none. Every building is made from cob, sourced locally on site, roofed with palms grown on site, and furnished with handmade timber furniture, also grown on site.
Natural Build Kitchen
Natural Build Cabin
When it comes to the agriculture, it is obvious that a large majority of the greenery is casually edible while also adding to the beauty of the place. The kitchen is teeming with food, all grown and produced on site. Bulging pumpkins and pungent herbs surround you, with leafy greens ready for the picking and juicy fruits and veggies stored and preserved everywhere you look. Within my first five minutes of being there, I was treated to dinner time with home-made coconut milk being whipped up in front of me.
I took a stroll around the property and was dumbfounded by its sheer locational beauty. Perched high up, there is a jaw-dropping view of the volcano ‘Concepcion’, which can be enjoyed from their biopool and accompanying solar hot tub.
One of the major things that struck me about the place was the feeling of tranquility. Every person that I met went out of their way to greet me with a hug and barrage of questions. Everybody immediately knew I was new to the scene, which demonstrated the close bond between volunteers and customers alike. One thing that really gave me tickles in my tummy was that several people greeted me with the phrase ‘Welcome Home’. That gave me that warm, fuzzy feeling that draws me to social permaculture; the magic in being able to create bonds between people by dealing with everyday life to address conflict and create harmony.
In previous interactions with permaculturists, I have been baffled by their inability or unwillingness to help me. They’re often arrogant or strangely competitive, which is against everything I thought we were meant to stand for. However, this place was not like that at all. When I arrived, I immediately met their new in-house permaculturists, Piers, who previously worked at Rancho Delicioso in Costa Rica. He took a good chunk out of his day to walk me around the garden, explaining to me what each plant was and its uses. Their garden is a combination of native and non-native plants, yet native plants dominate to increase sustainability and help prevent the barrage of bugs that demolish non-native plants. This was a great lesson for me as it gave me deep insight into the best plants I can use in the garden, especially in relation to leafy greens. I was very honoured that he’d take the time out to take me around. He also gave me seeds and cuttings for everything I would need, which has really beefed out my own garden, something he didn’t need to do but has really cut back on my costs and helped to accelerate my development.
Contoured terraces with native spinach
Herb Spiral – Basil, Dill, Wandering Jew
Further to this, I got a chance to see a group of them work together in their community. So people often ask that with a totally efficient garden and shelter, what do you do with your day all day? You go have fun! These guys took me to spend the afternoon looking for edible mushrooms and it was both educational and fun. There’s something so satisfying about running around on a wild goose chase, scouring for food for your dinner that nobody knows about, like a well-kept secret.
This is what permaculture is about to me. Looking at these people working together harmoniously, welcoming strangers into the fold, and willing to share their knowledge is a breath of fresh air to be a part of. Not only have I managed to further my garden, meeting these people has created a new community for me to be a part of and to seek knowledge and advice from. That’s why I’m drawn to social permaculture; if we want this to work, we need to make the people work and Inanitah has really nailed that down.
Not only that, having set out the permie learning journey for myself, being able to make new connections opens doors to further my remit of knowledge and being able to be a part of new exciting projects. One of the problems that keeps us static in our lives is our inability or lack of motivation to seek out the next step. With my steps categorically laid out, I know what I’m searching for and Inanitah may well be the next stage for me, and I would be honoured to work with those bunch of gooduns!