It takes nerve, verve and big dreams to make a difference in the world and without it I don’t think I could have kept on going and kept on pursuing my dreams.
I’m going to riff here. A lot of people probably think I’m crazy. I have a big vision and want to make a huge difference in the world, so it comes with the territory and as I continue to pursue my big goals I realize that it takes a certain amount of passionate fervor and willingness to go past where you would have stopped before to make your vision into reality. Turning my big vision into reality though has not been easy. One of the biggest challenges that I have faced in making my big vision into reality is dealing with self-doubt, overcoming past failures and seeing myself as the leader that I have seen glimpses of since I was 10 years old.
My big vision became clear to me in 2014, after the first season at Pure Love Organic Farms and formed from a wild idea. In early 2013, my best friend and I were coming home from a night in Manhattan and we were talking about a friend that we had both known for over 15 years and we were very worried about his health and in particular his chance to have a heart attack in the next few years as he worked crazy hours, ate poorly, became quite overweight, drank like crazy and embodied the work hard party harder lifestyle that comes with attending and graduating from an Ivy League School. My friend and I had just become vegan and we were starting to make a difference in the health of the people around us – I as a health coach that was trained by a Medical Doctor and he as an influential person who people frequently came to for advice about all areas of life including health.
Even though we were making a big difference in the health of the people around us, we realized though that we had not made the slightest impact with our friend and couldn’t even begin conversation with him about his health. We were able to identify our challenge – he and his group of friends make big money and care about what thy have (a $5,000 a month apartment in NYC, a fancy BMW, a Director position at a Wealth Management Company, etc.) and we realized that while my best friend and I were both successful, we also did not have anything to show this group that we had put all of our hard work and effort into. So I started to think about what we could do that made a difference in the world and showed this group that we do something amazing and have something that we were extremely proud of.
2 minutes later, I turn to my friend and say, “I have a crazy idea and hear me out. Let’s start a farm!” and off we went. Two NYC kids who had never planted a seed before nor taken care of a plant were going to start a farm. Yeah, right?
Actually yeah that is right! 3 months after this conversation I found a piece of well-worn land in the neighborhood that I lived in and just started digging with my bare hands. Within minutes of digging, I ran into garbage and I kept on coming back and kept on bringing my friend who I was going to start the farm with. We dug with our hands and started to realize that the soil was in terrible shape and was a yellowish color and we kept on coming back. We started to run into asphalt and concrete that were buried int he soil and we talked with other friends about our desire to build a farm and two of our childhood friends joined the team.
We ended up removing 600+ pound of asphalt, concrete, bricks, car parts, oil cans, carpets and more from the soil and through the recommendation of another friend we built a compost pile and generated compost that we laid back over the soil. Within six months of working not he farm in our spare-time, we restored the health of the soil to normal looking soil and we decided to plant a few seeds to see if anything grew.
Things grew, it was miraculous!!! We had pepper plants, calendula flowers, nasturtiums, lemon balm, cilantro and a few other vegetables growing. It was mind-boggling that a bunch of city-kids could do this and we went into 2014 with a plan to make this into a farm.
During the winter of 2013 I read an letter to the editor in Organic Gardening magazine from a young woman who had just graduated some sort of agricultural training program and in the letter she talked about how she and her cohort of classmates wanted to start their own farms, but had to get other jobs so that they could hope to eventually save enough money to buy land. This shocked me, I had no idea that land was so expensive and saw a massive, massive problem that needed to be solved – land availability for young farmers. I quickly came to realize through some research that the average age of a farmer in the U.S. is about 60 years old and as they age out there won’t be young farmers who can afford to buy their land which means that food production in the U.S. would be ruled by the companies that could buy land (Monsanto, Dole, BASF, etc.) and these companies truly could care less about the health of the people that they are growing food for.
I knew I had to do something about this and my original mission got started – To create 1,000,000 acres or new, organic, sustainable produce farmland that young farmers could rent from my future company at prices that were more affordable than buying land. I was inspired and wanted to make this happen. So I started looking at states in the country were land was affordable and ended up taking a positively fateful trip to Boise, ID in August 2015. I fell in love with Boise and made my mind up that this is where I wanted to start my business. Fast-forward to January 2018 and my fiancee and I (we hadn’t even met when I visited Boise for the first-time) moved to Boise .
Along the way my vision has changed, I am still committed to farmers and in a different way as I realized that reversing climate change is where my true passion lies and I am also using my skills in restoring the health of the soil and creating farms to create community gardens, build gardens for homeowners and teach homeowners how to grow their own food. I am also using my skill in being able to restore the health of the soil and train the soil to pull carbon from the air and store it to build healthy soils – all of which will make a difference in reversing climate change and creating new farmers.
So yes my vision has changed and I am still in the game and starting a business has been scary. I wavered back and forth because I was not sure if I could do it and in November 2018, I finally decided to start Pure Love Sustainability Inc.
Starting my business has been very challenging, I have dealt with so much fear, doubt and negative thoughts about being able to do this (start a business). I honestly thought that people who immediately flock to my big vision and money would come flowing in like water. Well that didn’t happen. Instead I have had to work very hard to find people who care about mi vision and want what I am offering. I have had to use a lot of mental power to become flexible and find out what others want, I have had to put myself out there like I never have before and I have made some mistakes that have kicked me in the butt.
I have had great weeks where I believed that I could make this happen and terrible weeks where I was ready to quit and barley took any action. What I have learned is having the right support system is key. I hired a coach who has helped me to work through so many of my fears and get into action. I have hired a marketing expert to help me tailor my messaging and be able to communicate the services that I offer with people in a clear, effective way and I am starting to see some results four months later. In all truth of the matter it would have been easier to quit, but I also would have been giving up on what matters most to me and that is not worth it.
I don’t think that I would have stuck with my business if I didn’t have the passion, verve, courage and nerve to stick with it and having a vision that I want to accomplish so badly and having something that I want to contribute to the world so badly has made me unwilling to quit. I still don’t have it all figured out and am not yet making thousands of dollars a month and I know that I am on the right track.
If you have a big vision, go for it and start pursuing it. The world needs you and there are fantastic people out there who can help you stay on course and let go of your disempowering conversations that are stopping you. Big dreams, big goals and a big vision make a huge difference.
Where would the world be if Thomas Edison never had the vision of creating a lightbulb, where would the world be if Alexander Graham Bell didn’t invent the telephone, where would the world be if Elon Musk gave up on Tesla because it was too hard. Have your big vision and keep on referencing it when times get tough. All big visions are crazy anyway and it’s ok to be crazy and have a big vision.