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Follow Your Bliss…Right Off That Cliff

Written by Brook Eddy for Mantra Magazine, June/July 2014 Issue

I wish I could say I learned to take risks on a summer night with mushrooms as my guide, or traveling on the night train in India with a risk guru. But, really, it was business that forced me to drop the drug of risky behavior.

Business was my risk boot camp. Without a playbook in hand I ventured towards the edge of the high dive as the kids in my head yelled, “Jump. Jump. Jump.”

Launching a company wasn’t risky because I merely had $200 in savings and couldn’t secure a credit card, or because I didn’t have any beverage or manufacturing experience. For me, the nauseating risk was that I was the sole financial provider for my two children and there was nothing to fall back on.

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Mothers for President

Forget A-bombs. Moms have to be the most powerful force on Earth.

A few weeks ago I woke up at 6AM with this script rattling in my head. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't so I got up and wrote it down. The next day I sent it to Robyn McCord O'Brien but I didn't hear back all day. I figured she must really hate it since I usually hear back from her. Then late in the afternoon she wrote saying that she had been trying to write all day but the tears kept making it too difficult to type. Robyn is very emotional so I imagine she cries watching Spongebob, but it was really nice to hear. She was planning to launch a thing called Moms' Voices and asked if she could use it. Of course I said yes and we called David Littlejohn and the crew at Humanaut to make it happen, and we wanted to try to make it by Mother's Day. It would be a mad scramble. 

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Quitting Til the End

When my dad was in hospice he asked me out of the blue, "Do you know what today is?" Before I could come up with the calendar date he answered his own rhetorical question - "One month since I had my last cigarette."

My dad wasn't dying of lung cancer. He had melanoma. He'd started smoking as an adolescent and smoked into his early 40's. He and my mother quit for a decade. Their divorce sparked up the addiction all over again. And dad battled the coffin nails, as we called them, for the rest of his life. Even into his dying. Of cancer. But my dad was proud of this achievement. He highlighted it from his deathbed, literally. That spoke volumes to me. I was proud of him. 

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Five Steps to Finding American-Made Gifts

The gift-giving edge you may need this holiday.

The race to find holiday presents is underway, and there's both good news and bad news for the shoppers out there.

Let's start with the bad news: Gift giving is a competitive sport - a contact sport, if you watched any online videos of Black Friday bargain hunters. And while finding just the right thing is hard enough, there's also the pressure to outdo your 2012 performance. 'Tis the season, after all, for occasional bouts of panic.

But here's the good news: Getting to the top of the gift-giving podium is as easy as spelling U.S.A.

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Crowdfunding Our Soil 

On December 10, the Slow Money Gatheround live-event crowdfunding platform offers an affordable way for every person—not just accredited investors—to contribute to the funding of local food systems. Gatheround catalyzes the flow of capital into small businesses vital to healthy local economies and a more resilient food system.

Gatheround is a great first step for people interested in sustainable food and local investing. We hope the rotating themes and speakers will keep experienced investors and repeat users coming back for more.

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