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

Adam_Hocke_Yoga_permieemmy

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)

daniel_pink_permieemmy

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

paul_wheaton_permie_emmy

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:

 

Advertisements

When 2 Worlds Meet – The Ecotones of Bringing Together Local and Global Knowledge

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.

DSC04030.JPGHowever, 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.

DSC04642.JPGThe 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.

mirador.png
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.

DSC04608 (1).JPGThey 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.

DSC04615.JPGOne 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.

Show Your Support – Sign Up to my Patreon!

Also check out my Steemit!