To Rewild

I wonder if we really need to put everything in order.

As we surely know and understand in our bones, whatever order we choose to put things in, that order will eventually fail.

Running a business or a household seems like a never-ending hamster wheel of trying to put things in order. I never feel caught up, not in the slightest. Only when my mind is totally focused on a task that I love do I stop thinking about the disorder I need to put into order.

I don’t know if all this tension and worry I create inside mself about all the things that are out of order in my life is worth it. In fact, I know it isn’t worth it: I can feel stress actually make me ill some days.

At the end of the day, it seems like I am just trying to keep chaos at bay. But why not welcome chaos into your life and forget about ever “getting every thing in order”.

I do love cleaning, just not when there doesn’t seem to be an end to it all. And of course there is no real end to it all, really. I also like organizing and clarifying and rearranging. But there came a time in my life when all of a sudden there was so much life going on it was all I could do to just make sense of anything. And I am still in that time period. So here I am, unable to put everything in order.  I suppose all the parents out there have a similar story. Somehow, my wife and I gave birth to a big farm baby, and there are dirty diapers everywhere.

On Facebook it seems like everybody has everything in order. Maybe that is because Facebook is where you display everything you think you are, and nobody wants to think of themselves as disorderly, full of chaos, messy. But we all are, I think.

I love when somebody reveals the disorderliness in their life, because it makes me feel like I’m not the only one. We all do, I suppose, otherwise “Reality TV” wouldn’t be so popular. At least I’m not as nutso as that dude, we all think. But dammit, we really are, deep down.

So here we get to the crux of my rambling thoughts. We are always trying to control the wildness all around us, as well as the wildness inside us. We also try to control the wildness in others, and all of our animals and plants wild behaviors. We like to watch the news, in which they put all the chaos and madness of the world into a clean crisp snappy format, with nifty graphics, bold headlines and sub-headlines, and have nicely manicured actors who talk with unusual but calming inflections tell us of murder, disaster, weather, traffic, and sports.

But in the end the wild reclaims all.

The wild, nature itself, is where all the action is. We go into our gardens to try to “grow vegetables”, but in reality we are doing very little; the wild is doing 99% of the work. Or maybe even a bit more.

So I think we have to stop thinking that putting everything in order is going to solve any of our problems. Our collective efforts at keeping the wild at bay have created some nice things, such as civilization, agriculture, houses, and plumbing. All of those things depend on keeping the wild at bay.

To me, and perhaps to people like me who watch birds, move turtles off roads, step into puddles, and gaze up into the limbs of old trees, it seems like the balance is way off. It seems like all of our efforts to stem the flow of wilderness has only unleashed the wildest force of all, the actual climate changing. What can we do about it?

We can embrace the wildness.

Small business is beautiful! Part 1

Hey guess what? I think you should start your own small business! Probably today, because who knows what tomorrow will bring…

“Why me, why now”? Because there is no better time then right now, and there is no tighter security then being your own boss and being in charge of the work you do every day. There are many many opportunities out there just waiting to be explored and pursued, and it is your job to do so!

After developing a few small businesses that were profitable, I can safely say that if you are very attentive, highly motivated, and ready to work for yourself, you can do this thing.

Obviously, there is a lot of information out there, on the web, at government offices, from fellow business owners and family members – lots and lots of information to gather and sift through.  But the essentials are pretty basic. In this post, I will talk about how I focus my attention on a specific business endeavor.

I strongly believe you need to have a passion for what you are doing. I don’t think your small business has to be your ultimate dream in life, such as becoming a rock star or becoming a TV chef, but you may find yourself arriving closer to your real goals then you imagined as you work your way through all the obstacles of being your own boss and running your own business. Remember, goals mutate and evolve. At one point in my life I was definitely interested in becoming a rock star, but that schoolboy wish eventually evolved and or regressed back into what I actually loved, one of the essential cores of my joy in life, and that was being in nature. From that understanding I realized that I would ultimately only be fulfilled if I worked with nature on a daily basis.

Recognizing what you truly want to do every day will probably help you along your journey toward self-employment then almost any other insight. Now that I can spend my days truly immersed in the natural world, I am very much fulfilled in many ways every moment, but of course we humans never get to our personal Shangri La, and some of my goals have evolved. Now one of my big goals is to build my wife and I a modest house in which we can live our indoor life in peace and contentment as well as warmth in the winter and dryness in the summer, but this is not so much a business goal, other than the success of the business drives my ability to accomplish this.

In any case, another sign on your path toward self-employment will be the praise of other – what do your friends and family think you are really good at? Take this praise with a grain of salt, though, because you need to make sure that you are actually good at whatever it is before embarking on the small business path. Start super small, before you register your business and so forth, and begin your cottage industry while having other sources of income available. You have to start now with this to get a good sense of what is possible.

If you have a talent that really shines, and you like doing it on a daily basis, and you have proven that you can keep at it – then it may be time to start developing the start-up business fun stuff – name, logo, business cards, and so forth.  While you are working on this fun stuff, you should also begin the serious business planning which we will cover in the next post.

One thing to keep in mind – Dreams will guide you forward, but numbers will ground you in reality!