Articles Can a Business Create Positive Impact for People, Planet and Profit?
Can A Business Create a Positive Impact for People, Planet and Profit?
Why don’t we start at the beginning? Tell us about yourself, Cathy.
I grew up in Toronto, Canada in the 60s, at a time when women were given about five job options. You could be a secretary, waitress, nurse, stewardess or teacher. Of that limited selection, I chose to become a secretary, and I was an awesome secretary for 20 years. I didn’t know being an entrepreneur was also an option.
In 1993, I bought a house outside of Toronto and a teacher friend asked me to look after her worm bin for the summer. I couldn’t wait to start composting and gardening. I didn’t really want worms in my house, but I come from a place where I think we should try things for ourselves, rather than have somebody tell you that you probably won’t like something. So, I took on the challenge of worm composting. It was a bit of a disaster in that I had fruit flies and all that, but I did manage to keep the worms alive for the summer. After it was done, I declared: “I’m never doing this again.” Here I am now, a worm farmer. A worm advocate. How fun! So that summer really did inform my life.
In 2000, I graduated with my psychology degree and got a job at a group home working with challenged adults. They had 10 homes and a farm, and they didn’t compost. When I questioned them about composting, the greenhouse manager said: “why don’t we try worm composting?” Have you ever gotten that feeling that you’ve done something before, but it didn’t quite work out, then someone asks you about it and you feel resistant to try again? That’s how I felt. I was passionate about it, but I didn’t think I wanted to actually do that again. But it was a big institution, so I figured that they wouldn’t be getting worms anytime soon, and there would be no harm in doing some research. That’s when I discovered the magic of the worms and vermicomposting.
They really wormed their way into your life, he? How do you think worms can change the world?
One of my main goals is for businesses to manage their organic waste on-site, with worms or whatever method they choose. This will stop this organic matter being trucked around. I guess what it all boils down to is that I would love for businesses to embrace the triple bottom line People, Planet & Profit rather than just profit. It’s a different way of viewing the success of our businesses.
For me, success is making a positive impact every day. Inspiring people and helping them connect. Just have a beautiful, hopeful impact on the world. I once heard a speech where the speaker explained it’s all about beliefs. He believed that the more he laughed, the more money he would make. I loved that, and I took that one on. So now, while I teach laughter yoga, I am laughing all the way to the bank. Things like that have such a positive impact. You raise vibration, while also increasing your bottom line. That’s what I call beautiful success!
I hope that the impact my work will have on the world is that people will live a more joy-filled sustainable life. With every worm I sell, I help the planet. Every sprout they eat, people get healthier. Every giggle raises the vibration. All three of my offerings worms, sprouts and laughter have a beautiful impact on the world and make the world a better place.
You didn’t always think about becoming an entrepreneur. How do you feel about that part of your journey now?
I would love to see more people value entrepreneurial life. There’s a big divide between entrepreneur and employee mentality. I would love for more people to understand the joys of being an entrepreneur, as well as the trials and tribulations. They too bring joy because the effort you put into your business is for you and so beautiful.
We’ve all had those thoughts where we get all excited. When you get that inspired thought like that, make sure that you write it down because thoughts are like clouds, they come and go. Knowledge is power but without action, it will not lead you anywhere. Knowledge without action is simply information. So when we get those inspired thoughts, make sure that you write it down or put a reminder in place so that you can remember to come back and take the action. Otherwise, when you get that beautiful inspired thought that gets you all revved up, your engine keeps on revving if you don’t put the car into gear.
So which is the magic ingredient, inspiration or action?
Actually, it is to laugh every day and not take yourself too seriously! I would love to invite readers to my free Tuesday Laughter Club on Zoom, every Tuesday at 9:30 AM ET. Just register in advance, and you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Of course, you can also learn more about all of my work on my website or by connecting on Facebook.
Cathy Nesbitt – Founder Cathy’s Crawly Composters
A multi-award-winning environmental innovator who motivates people to live a more sustainable life by converting food scraps into paper into nature’s finest fertilizer.
2022 Women of Inspiration™ Advocate and Catalyst for Change Award