Listening to My Neighbors

Within the next couple of months, my ex-husband (Jeff) and I are going to launch a new business. When I came up with a fantastic idea for a new product, it didn’t take long for us to decide to team up. This makes our daughter very, very happy. And if we make money in the process, so much the better!

I first want to lay out my mission statement. Using my passion as fuel for unrelenting action, I am dedicated to helping the world become a healthier place. I have devoted myself to finding ways to bring healthy food, healthy soil, air, and water to as many communities as I can. Whatever that takes, I’m going to do it.

This business is the culmination of my life’s work thus far. The new product solves a problem that I would not have even known existed except for my interest in  gardening. For years, I’ve paid close attention to GMOs and Roundup. I’ve been involved with the seed-saving community, and I’ve been politically active in my own way.

And of course, my daughter is my prime motivation. Being a parent helps me understand just how much love you feel toward your kids. If you’re like me, you want a better future for your child(ren) and you’ll do everything possible to give them a good life.

All the while that I’m accomplishing my mission, the thing I value most is my relationships. I want my family, friends and everyone I meet to know that you matter to me. I couldn’t accomplish anything without your support and encouragement.

In the past, I tried to run a website ( by starting BIG right at the beginning. I built something and said “Hey, everybody! Look what I made!” and nobody seemed to care. I couldn’t get any buy-in. Maybe it was the wrong product, or maybe it was my approach. Something wasn’t working. I suffered many sleepless nights, wondering what I had done to warrant such failure. After winding down, I lived in a sad, embarrassing place that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

What I learned the hard way is that it’s better to start small, with baby steps, right from my hometown. Listen to people. Find out what they think first, see if there’s a sparkle in their eyes when I describe what I’m proposing to do or sell.

This time, I’m reaching out to my immediate circle of friends in my community. In face-to-face meetings, I’m getting feedback about my new product. Through this process, my neighbors and I are in co-creation mode.

And everyone has been so helpful! I’ve noticed that by listening carefully, all the advice I could ever need is right here. The funny thing is that it seems everyone wants us to succeed.

When my goals are in line with yours, it just makes sense that we will both make it happen.

So before I ruin the surprise, let me just say that I’ll send out a Kickoff blog on the date that we launch our Kickstarter campaign for our new business. And in the meantime, wish us luck because we’re in this together.

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