Designing Your Regenerative Right Livelihood
“You may want to sit with the following question: How much am I identifying with a job title rather than what I intuitively know is my work to share with the world?”
In your Workbook, check out the growing list and feel free to add to it.
The point is, nobody can learn it all. And thinking we need to leads to what I call expertise overwhelm. And women especially often feel they have to be pretty darn good at something before they will call themselves a professional at it. Double overwhelm. That can lead to paralysis about how to move forward in our livelihood.
To remedy this, many folks invest lots of time and money learning, taking tons of courses …(beekeeping, keyline design, group facilitation, forest gardening, etc.), and they don’t add up to a livelihood that puts food on the table. Unless you are a farmer or homesteader who literally puts food on your table with your hard work and amazingly wide set of skills.
Otherwise, the current economy tends to reward specialization. This makes sense, in that you hire a plumber to unclog your drain, you don’t pay them for being great at pruning fruit trees, software engineering, etc. because those skills aren’t relevant to the job.
What’s a permaculturist to do?
The solution, as I see it, is to discern your sweet spot.
In the subsequent parts of this module, I’ll share more about how we can thoughtfully claim the tools of entrepreneurship in service to earth care, people care, and fair share.
Mistake #4: Putting the horse before the cart.
As a permaculture designer, would you design a site without ever having seen it, or speaking in-depth with the stakeholders? No!
However, we do this type of thing all the time in developing our permaculture offerings. We fall in love with an idea, and we think everyone will believe it is amazing, so we spend a whole bunch of time getting the curriculum or product just right, and then we take it to market. We didn’t do much market research. At best, we might have a vague idea of who our client is. So we put up flyers in the food co-op, post in likely Facebook groups, reach out to our like-minded communities.
And then we don’t get enough enrollment, or we get enough enrollment but pretty soon all the likely suspects have taken our training and demand dries up.
Creating a product for which there is no market is a major reason why businesses fail.
What’s the solution?
Familiarize yourself with the tools of entrepreneurship to design your right livelihood.
We need to create lots of new, regenerative solutions. We are already using the permaculture lens to reclaim agriculture, ways of relating with nature, ways of being in relationship with each other, and more. So if the skills of entrepreneurship will support that, and we can align entrepreneurship with our ethics, then let’s reclaim it. Check out the whole Regenepreneurs Manifesto here.
1. Women excel at leadership.
I covered this briefly in my Pattern Language for Women in Permaculture article, but I have compiled a whole treasure trove of studies that show that women excel at the skills needed for leadership in the 21st century. Look for more of that information in future articles.
2. Entrepreneurship is leadership, and a training ground.
To succeed as an entrepreneur, below is a short list of skills and behaviors needed. Note that they overlap with many of the skills needed to co-create our regenerative future, and skills that women excel at: