Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor.

When we think of people who write books about business and economics, we do not think of quotes such as the one above. As I work on my business plan, I have been researching sustainable business practices and businesses with those practices in place that represent my market.

In this research I rediscovered Paul Hawken, an entrepreneur, environmentalist, author, an all together amazing person. The above quote is one of my favorite Hawken quotes.

A big buzz word lately is “sustainablity.” I use it all the time, in fact it’s in my mission statement (well my mission statement in progress) When I am asked to come up with the point of my business, that word comes to mind first and foremost.

So what is it? According to Paul Hawken, “The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces or at least not to defy them.” That might seem like hippy mumbo jumbo at first glance or maybe you think our commerce can’t possibly ever be “sustainable.” How ridiculous to think we would live in harmony with our planet (which is our home by the way and the only one we have and it would be perfectly content to be rid of us)

Really think about the word, “Sustainability” Quite simply, the ability to sustain. Now does that seem like hippy mumbo jumbo?

So what would I like to sustain? Human intelligence and our access to our base of collected knowledge (I would like to trade and sell used books) I would also like to sustain our natural ecosystems and beautiful landscapes, really who doesn’t? So I purchase from local small scale farming operations. Large scale farming is not practical and not necessary and if we really must have it, we can invest in our infrastructure and build vertical farms. Another really awesome person wrote about that, Dickson Despommier in “Vertical Farming”

I would like to sustain community development and creativity. So I started “Ripples Book Club” and I work at the public library. I also want to sustain my bottom line, but as Mr. Hawken says, “The bottom line is where it belongs, at the bottom”

So what can I do sustain and also grow my business? Better World Books has a fantastic business model that has 6 rules:

  • Customer Focus
  • People Matter
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Foster Innovation
  • Passion for Literacy
  • People, Planet, Profit (in other words, the Triple Bottom Line)

And what’s really important? Does my business venture sustain my happiness. The answer is absolutely yes. I find a lot of joy thinking, planning, and scheming was to make my business grow and sustain itself. When I get super excited thinking about what I’m going to make for Etsy next, I know I’m doing the right thing.


P.S. Better World Books is absolutely fantastic. Please check them out. They are one of the outlets I sell through with Ellipsis and I am very proud to do so!