5 Tips to Starting a Green Business

VocationVacations mentors, John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist, with their green (we’re talkin’ eco-friendly & sustainable here folks) getaway destination of Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast in bucolic Monroe, Wisconsin, have come out with the ultimate guide to launching your dream, green business or greening the one you already own.  ECOpreneuring: Putting Purpose and the Planet before Profits is a wonderfully dangerous read if you’re fed up with working at a job for someone else’s dream and financial benefit and want to start giving back to the planet while feeling good about how you make a living.  
Based on their book, John and Lisa have provided me with 5 great tips to share with you about how to start a green business:
(1)  Follow your Earth Mission.
Wealth without purpose is poverty. Who wants to be the richest person in the cemetery? Turn your passions and sense of purpose into an enterprise. Ecopreneurs craft an “Earth Mission” to use their business as a catalyst make the world a better place, often defining success qualitatively, not quantitatively.
(2)  Operate your green business with a triple bottom line: people, planet and (some) profits.
Rather than the purpose of business to simply generate profits, sustainable businesses thrive in a restoration ECOnomy based on restoring or enhancing the planet, providing fair and equitable relationships amongst all stakeholders, and generate profits to sustain the business and its mission (in various ways, to make the world a better place).
(3)  Thrive in abundance, not dwell on scarcity — or fear. 
Ecopreneurs create enterprises that prosper by focusing on the abundance in our world, like solar energy.  Many businesses are completely powered with renewable energy and seek to harvest and share the surplus, whether from their agricultural operation or when restoring ecological services once provided for free by nature.  Decisions are made because of opportunities, not out of fear.
(4)  Be place-based and local.
The ultimate competitive advantage is to feature what other globally-minded businesses cannot: the unique resources, attributes or qualities of your local community.  By staying local, enterprising ecopreneurs help revitalize their community and foster greater cohesion, economic cooperation, and stability not beholden to global financial fantasies or fossil fuel price gyrations based on fickle energy intelligence.
(5)  Understand the difference between “good debt” and “bad debt.”
While the American obsession with a growth economy fueled by debt continues to rage, many ecopreneurs have discovered the immense freedom, control and satisfaction that comes from minding your own business.  Creating a quality of life through a business that seeks to maximize happiness and meaningfulness for its owner often translates to creative and frugal approaches to operating a business that doesn’t demand piles of debt, the extension of credit, or federal bailouts to survive.


Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko offer a VocationVacation experience at Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast, completely powered by the wind and sun….and a lot of eco-passion; for details, see:


To order ECOpreneuring or to share your own ecopreneur story, visit www.ecopreneuring.biz.

Check out John and Lisa's new book!