The clock strikes prime time Friday night as I send you this introductory greeting. Back in my corporate cubicle days over a decade ago, “happy hour” did not find me at the computer screen. Most likely, on Friday night back then you’d find me physically and mentally as far from my work scene as I could muster: camping over state lines, social at a party, buzzing at the local coffeehouse. While I had a enviable job and paycheck, “work” remained something I did to pay the bills and indemnify my escapist fun.
Back then, my connection to my work ended at the end of my 3.5 inch business card. No purpose, no passion, no desire to do anything other than fill a job description someone else gave me and pay my mounting credit card bills.
Flash forward to today, as I say hello from my 5.5 acre organic Wisconsin farmstead and bed & breakfast Inn Serendipity. Passion for the diversified entrepreneurial “hats” I now wear long ago replaced my former grindstone approach to a job. I truly love what I do, from writing to innkeeping to consulting on various green projects, and that passion keeps me fueled into the night, long after my am caffeine buzz wears thin.
For me, finding purpose in my work paralleled finding a sense of place. Living and working where I can see stars and silos, I found my creativity started to bloom. As I planted zucchini and found 100 post-consumer waste paper options, I realized we can create businesses that enhance — rather than exploit — the earth. As I left that staid job description that fit on a business card and entered the world of self-employment, I discovered I actually possessed an entrepreneurial soul — despite my former cookie-cutter corporate career path. And as I juggle a daily schedule of writing deadlines, B&B guests, farm duties, homeschooling our young son and an array of other fulfilling endeavors, I realized you can have it all and do good for the planet — if you call your own shots.
As my husband, John Ivanko, and I write about in our book Rural Renaissance and our forthcoming book ECOpreneuring: Putting Purpose and the Planet Before Profits, find the joy in the journey of continually learning, innovating, evolving and creating. Ideas bloom, doors open mentors appear if you follow your heart. I look forward to sharing my ecopreneuring experiences with you on this Ecopreneurist site. Where are you on your journey right now? Still needing to escape on a Friday night — or working with purpose?