Join the Community

Episode 054: Playing the Edge with Kareen Erbe

Sep 22, 2020

This week on the podcast we have a guest from one of our favorite places we’ve lived, Montana! Kareen Erbe is a permaculture teacher, designer, and consultant in the beautiful city of Bozeman, Montana where she specializes in helping people to grow more food in cold climates. She has been all over the world learning from the best in the business, having done her PDC with Grifen Hope and Geoff Lawton at the Taranaki Environment Centre in New Zealand, a course in India called Gandhi and Globalization with Navdanya in India and then continuing to a 10-week training/internship in permaculture with Geoff Lawton at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia as well as other cool projects. In the interview Kareen shares her amazing story, giving great insight into the struggle of developing as a person, a business owner, and a permaculturalist by utilizing the edge effect.

The Entrepreneur Grind

These days the term “entrepreneur” is widely-used and almost glamorized by society. And yet those actually in the trenches of entrepreneurship know that it’s not all easy roads with angel investors and 10X returns. The road of entrepreneurship is strewn with heartache, sleepless nights, desperate bootstrapping, failures, and criticism. It is a journey of personal growth like none other on the planet. In entrepreneurship you will find your weaknesses exposed, your character challenged, and your determination tested. And yet at the end of the day, you’re building something that never had existed until this moment, in this space, and has the potential for incredible impact and success. 

Entrepreneurs put their whole hearts into their ventures and seemingly fight against tidal waves to keep their dream alive. It’s amazing to feel so completely passionate and devoted to your business, the level that is involved in this journey may leave you exposed and exhausted. And yet many entrepreneurs wouldn’t change that for the world.

Imposter Syndrome

In the episode, Kareen brought up several examples of the struggles she faced early on in her entrepreneurial journey. One experience she shared was the hesitation she felt as she posted her first flyer for a series she hoped to put on. She encountered, like other new entrepreneurs putting themselves out there, feelings of fear, hesitation, and thoughts of “Who am I to do this?” Imposter syndrome is a serious wall people butt up against, whether it’s in the entrepreneurial sphere or otherwise. It’s a barrier that will keep us doing what we’ve always been doing because we don’t feel educated enough, experienced enough, influential enough, good enough, you name it… enough, to take that step forward and put ourselves out there. 


But as Kareen brought up later in her story, “At a certain point your need to do something overpowers your fear of doing it.” If that next step is something you’re truly passionate about, then that point will come and you will step forward. But how do we keep from this being a torturously slow process? How do we expedite this process so we can really step into our next level? Empowerment. We simply need to do some work empowering ourselves, raising ourselves to the next level, so that we can be in a space where we can tackle that next goal.

Playing the Edge

The edge effect is a brilliant principle of permaculture. Anyone who has really examined the edge spaces in their garden can attest to the lively ecosystem unique to that space. It is a space where things grow, and it is a space where we grow. Kareen and Josh spoke a lot about the edge effect in the podcast, and how we need to step to the edge of our comfort zone to stretch ourselves to our next level. This works the same in yoga, as Josh pointed out. When practicing yoga, you stretch until you feel sensation but not pain. If you don’t stretch enough, you don’t progress (i.e. you’re staying in the comfort zone). If you stretch too much you’ll injure yourself, and possibly have to take time off to rest the injury, and start again from farther behind (just like if you push yourself too far and totally wreck yourself in the process). Rather, if you stretch to feel the sensation, hold the pose, relax and breathe, you will find yourself able to stretch a little further, then further and so one. As in life, we must be stretching ourselves if we wish to grow and develop ourselves. Playing the edge, or pushing ourselves to continually move forward allows for greater opportunities, influence, money, relationships, and many other things to come into our lives. 


We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode, and that you find inspiration to find your edge and use it as a compass in your personal and entrepreneurial growth.

 One of the best ways we've found to overcome imposter syndrome and self-doubt in your regenerative enterprise is to be really anchored in the core of your business, and being able to effectively communicate that to your audience. If you feel like you could use some improvement in this, check out our StorySeed Marketing and Messaging Course.