For our 20th episode on the Seeds of Tao Podcast, we have the fantastic Sarah Vito. She’s a master at permaculture and project management - a permie after our own hearts! We are project management junkies here at Seeds of Tao. In the episode, she shares all about her story of finding a win-win between her passion and income source. Lately, we’ve found this struggle to be pretty much across the board with permies. They’re full of passion, but don’t always know how to turn that passion into an income generator. That’s what we’re going to go into more detail here in the blog post.
WWOOFing. Ecovillages. Volunteering. Community action. Gardening.
These are fairly common terms and practices in the permaculture realm. They are also really good at NOT generating a reliable income for people. What’s a permie to do?
Some will have an aversion to anything related to currency, and totally throw themselves the other way, but oftentimes these directions are unsustainable and short-lived.
But at the end of the day, money is just a currency… a current. A tool. You can use it for good or bad, and it can be an awesome tool to create some serious change.
If you are frustrated with the lack of currency you’re receiving, and wishing to be able to be compensated for your work in the area of your passion, you need only to open your mind and your heart to money and opportunity and go get it.
There are so many permies that I’ve talked to that are unhappy with their jobs. J-O-B is a four-letter word for them. And because they are plugging forward in life disconnected with their passion, their purpose, and their WHY, they face constant resistance to push forward.
The more you can align your life with your WHY, the more fulfilled you will find yourself and the more passion you can infuse into what you’re already doing.
Yet there are always opportunities to further align yourself with your WHY and your income generator.
Obtaining a yield is not simply a principle to apply to the herb spiral in your backyard. It’s crucial to moving forward as a person, a permie, and a citizen of the earth.
How do we obtain a yield in our lives though?
Start with your mindset. Are your habits creating a yield for you in energy? In enthusiasm? In personal development?
The BEST way to understand where you’re at is by doing an audit of yourself as you go through the day. As you perform various activities, write down if they’re adding to you or draining you. Once you become aware of the physical and mental energy flow, you can start taking active steps towards creating better habits that create more of a yield for you.
One great tool for this on the mindset side is setting an intention in everything you do.
You roll out of bed, set an intention for the day. How do you want to feel, interact with the environment, and build up those around you?
Then set an intention for everything else you do during the day - how you talk on the phone to your mom, weed the sick neighbor’s garden, or go to work.
If you get consistent at setting intentions, it’s a game-changer in terms of living more fulfilled and creating an energy yield for yourself. You can generally be excited about every single day.
But if you truly feel inspired to change professions in order to better align yourself with your passion for permaculture, consider these options. This is nowhere near an all-inclusive list, but it's a place to start.
If you have experience designing and managing a permaculture landscape, consider a path as a Permaculture Consultant. You can help people turn their visions into a reality, and help them troubleshoot struggles they are having. If you only have specialized knowledge in one specific area, like beekeeping or orchards, having a focused consultant is a powerful thing for a client to have. You don’t have to know everything about everything here, but having your PDC and possibly an APDC (Advanced PDC) is hugely helpful and credibility-building.
Similar to a consultant, you help clients to create their ultimate permaculture landscape. However a Consultant typically stays with the client through the development and growth of the property, a designer is more utilized at the beginning of the process when clients want lots of input on how to transform what they have into something they want.
Again, your PDC and APDC are super helpful here, and courses in Illustrator or some similar software to generate digital designs is a great leg up, though not necessary for this profession.
If you’re definitely more of a specialist, not a generalist, when it comes to permaculture, becoming a Permaculture Contractor may be right up your alley. A Permaculture Contractor can act more as a General Contractor with other Subcontractors, or act as Subcontractor themselves.
If you’re amazing in one area like wetlands management, natural building, earthworks, or another really specialized area that the typical DIY owner is hesitant to explore on their own, you may be exactly what they need.
This is one of those professions that you can double dip in. You could very well be ANY other of these listed or other professions, and also take on the role as a Permaculture Educator, with online courses, teaching classes at your local gardening store, or in your local gardening groups.
This is super flexible but SO needed to get the good word of permaculture out there and implemented. Even if you don’t have advanced training here, you could teach basic Introduction to Permaculture trainings all day long, or specialize in your area of genius.
Lastly for this list, comes the Permaculture Influencer. This is definitely a profession that you can and should do in combination with other permaculture endeavors. An influencer here might look like a permaculture blogger, vlogger (video blogger), social media maven, author, speaker, or grassroots leader. The possibilities and combinations are endless, so always keep this one in mind.
So to wrap this up, we hope you walk away from this podcast episode and blog post with more insight into where you’re at, where you want to be, and what is standing in your way. If you are already integrating permaculture into your career, let us know what it looks like below or in our Slack community. And if you feel a bit lost when it comes to weighing things against your WHY, check out the FREE Dreamcatcher Mini-Course if you haven’t yet.
Keep Growing Permies!
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