Today's Wednesday Winning is featuring green-living strategist, Stephanie Speights. By practicing conscious consumption after having her daughter, Stephanie realized green living was less of a chore and more of a locus of ethical development. Personal sacrifice shifted into a deep connection to the Earth. Stephanie has a Masters in Urban Sustainability, a Zero-Waste certification, as well as a LEED Accreditation. She has taught the Culture of Zero Waste as an adjunct professor at Santa Monica College and is currently consulting with families and private residences and businesses owners on their carbon footprint. Stephanie maintains a small urban farm in Santa Monica and is hoping to expand her business to reach more people that want to incorporate green practices and principles in easy, doable ways, into their daily lives.
What happened or inspired you to start your business?
I was working in the non-profit and corporate sector and realized I could venture out on my own. I learned so much working under others and it's time for me to share with the world all my knowledge and passion. There is such a deep desire to be mindful and conscious about our day-to-day lifestyles, but people generally do not know where to begin. I want to support people beginning.
How does spirituality impact your business?
Being stewards of the earth is a spiritual journey. It is our separation from spirit that causes a huge disconnect for most modern urban dwellers. Being connected to spirit raises our frequency and aligns us with the frequency of the earth and it takes practice and discipline to stay in tune.
Also, gardening and growing food is such a spiritual experience that it's no wonder people are drawn to it, even on a curiosity level.
How do you stay motivated through the ups and downs of owning your own business?
I learn more things that I can be excited about sharing. Keeping a connection with other women that are on the entrepreneur path is empowering as well. I allow myself to check out and unplug a lot and that makes coming back to it fresh and meaningful.
What would you tell the younger you just starting her business?
I would tell her there is no way she can do this alone. I would encourage her to form connections, make friends, develop alliances and seek out teachers. Also, I’d tell her that there would always be more to learn and share. Last, I would remind her to never compare herself to another, because there is only unique her in the world. I would also share with her that her thought process will forever be unique, her way of approaching an idea will be special, so to embrace her rarity because that is what will drive success.
How do you balance your clients, professional projects and personal commitments?
For me, learning to be present in the moment, and remember the preciousness of each moment, is how I balance the moving parts of my life. I’ve experienced some big changes in the past two months and those changes and challenges have taught me that life is a series of present moments. I have also learned that I can’t do everything, I can’t be everywhere, even if I’d like to be. Learning to say no and have boundaries around my time has been key.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome?
The biggest challenge in business has been self-doubt. I sometimes move into thinking I need more education, another certification or another degree. I've learned to just thank that voice for sharing, seek the support of friends and just acknowledge all my value and successes.
What project are you most excited about right now?
I'm excited about incorporating breath work into my consulting practice. Embracing a deeper view of who we are allows us to look more deeply for the hidden structures and causes behind what we observe and do. There are significant parallels between the earth and us and unless we learn to have compassion for ourselves, we will most likely never have it for the earth. Exploring ways that expand our capacity for earth keeping can be greatly improved by investing in our higher selves. Breathwork is a wonderful path toward this form of expansion.