If there is one thing we learn from nature, it is to let the pasture rest. In this episode, we explore the worlds of resilience, regeneration, and reinvention with Stephen Smith, the visionary founder of Onda Wellness. Buckle up as we explore Stephen’s inspiring story of transformation. Hosted by Adam Markel, this conversation centers on understanding the parallel between regenerative agriculture and personal wellness. Stephen talks about the power of regeneration, the humility that comes from living in harmony with nature, and the philosophy of Onda. He also discusses a crucial concept – “Operation Turtle.” He shares his moment of clarity that led him to pivot and regain control in both his business and personal life. The importance of finding that space between self and enterprise is a powerful lesson that transcends the business world and has the potential to revolutionize your own path. Tune in now and discover healing, sustainable change, and regenerative transformation.
- 05:32 – Renewal And Regeneration Is Everywhere
- 14:21 – Humility And Curiosity
- 21:11 – Living In Harmony With Nature
- 25:42 – The Philosophy Of Onda
- 34:27 – Operation Turtle
How do we leverage continuous uncertainty to thrive in this unprecedented new world?
The answer is to build the resilience we need to power us through the challenges we face so that we become “Change Proof.” Prepare to tackle the future with confidence by reading Adam’s latest book Change Proof: Leveraging the Power of Uncertainty to Build Long-Term Resilience.
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Let The Pasture Rest: On Regenerative Agriculture, Humility In Nature, And Operation Turtle With Stephen Smith
I am thrilled with the guest that I have for this episode. I was referred to him by somebody close to me and I use the products that his company creates. They’re very special. I don’t typically do that but this gentleman is quite inspiring. I’m going to share a little bit about him. His name is Stephen Smith. Growing up in North Carolina in an active family, Stephen spent most of his developmental days outside exploring his grandmother’s farm, the woods, the streams, and the lakes of this bio-diversified Southern landscape.
Stephens’s fascination with hemp goes back to when he wrote his high school research paper on many uses of hemp. Working in regenerative agriculture for many years has helped Stephen to build the foundation for Onda and the Onda ethos and led to the creation of the world’s first bio-dynamic and regenerative hemp oil. We covered a lot of things in our conversation. You’re going to enjoy learning and experiencing this amazing young entrepreneur and his thoughts on a lot of important things to you in your work, career, and personal lives so sit back, buckle up, and enjoy this conversation I have with Stephen Smith.
Stephen, you’ve done some amazing things in your personal life. I’m fascinated by your story. I know our audience is and will be as well. My first question to you is simply, what is not part of the introduction, your CV, your resume, the things that people say about you when you get introduced to speaking in this way, conferences, or other areas? What’s something that’s not part of your traditional introduction bio that you would love for people to know about you at the start of our conversation?
How transparent do you want me to be? I have a lot of these waves of doubt and fear that come up on this entrepreneurial journey. Those challenging days when they come up, those days where you feel alone, crazy, or any number of other negative emotions or descriptors, that’s not on my Instagram or CV but we’re coming into a time of radical transparency. Let’s get more real.
The reality is that’s what came up when you asked that question. I had no preparation for that. I’ve had anxiety and depression since I was a child. There are some hard dark days when you’re a solo entrepreneur and you’re trying to bring back something that hasn’t existed in the public space for over 100 years in the case of hemp medicine. I’m human and I have some dark days that challenge me but also are very relevant to our conversation around regeneration and resilience.
It’s helpful for me to hear anybody talk about their life in a way that is transparent because there’s so much fake and many facades out there. It’s tough to even discern what’s facade anymore from what is real, to use your word. I appreciate that. Anybody that’s taking this in is feeling the same way. They probably go, “Get even more granular for us. Get me the gory details here.”
I’ll say to you in response to that the mind is a b*tch. It was John Kehoe who said something like the mind is a trickster. I’m up in the ante on that one. Our minds can give us a hard time. Think on some level that your mind is unique in that respect. I’m going to call BS right out of the gate on that because it’s not true. I don’t care what a person looks like, how well-equipped they seem, how well-dressed and put together they are, or how much money they have. I don’t give a thing on any of that. I know through a lot of experience that their mind is their greatest challenge, just like that might be the case for any of you.
What we do with that is a big deal. I’m not a very religious person but I’m dialed to the spirit within me and how it’s connected to every other living thing. I try to lean into that as much from the beginning, from the very first waking thoughts of the day as I can. In that context, I think about something that I heard that’s part of the Bible. It’s a wonderful statement. “We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.” That statement has fascinated me because it’s the word renewing and what renewal means.
I want to throw that in your lap because you’ve devoted a good chunk of your adult life to renewal and regeneration starting with the soil. I’d love for you to give us a little backstory. You come from North Carolina and learned a bunch about the land and what it means to live more consciously on the land. I want to get your thoughts on renewal, renewing, and all that, if you would. What’s the origin story?
The first thing I think about is when I was exposed a couple of years ago to some regenerative agriculture, permaculture, and biodynamic practices. At the core essence of a lot of those agricultural methods or philosophies is building vitality from within. A farm is an ecosystem, much like the body and the planet is an ecosystem. When I was exposed to these farming practices, my mind, heart, and consciousness opened up to these concepts of this closed loop system, building vitality, and minimizing external or off-farm inputs in the case of farming.
These natural living systems are teachers. Whether you’re humbled by the waves when you’re surfing or you’re trying to grow food and you’re at the mercy of what nature brings you, a lot of contemporary cultures have gotten quite far away because we’re in the habit of trying to control and build our realities separate from nature in an effort to increase efficiency or convenience, for example. In these farms, there’s a certain level of biodiversity and dynamic. That resilience comes from it being dynamic and bio-diversified.
Every season, the leaves will shed. Maybe not in California but in other parts of the world, nature goes through these cycles and we do as humans. There hasn’t been a lot of space in our modern culture for renewal and regeneration, because generally in my experience, that comes when there’s rest involved and an ability to recover. In this contemporary grind culture, there’s not much space for that.
I find these parallels having started a couple of years ago in regenerative agriculture, seeing what we need to do to pay attention to the long-term health of these farms. There are so many parallels in how we can live our lives in the ways that landscapes can heal and evolve and farms can regenerate. That was a bit tangential and abstract but the point is if we can tune into these natural cycles, we’ll see that renewal and regeneration are everywhere around us if we can be humble enough to let ourselves fall into those natural cycles.
Let’s go back to that other digression in mind. What do you do to renew your mind? Transparently speaking, you had your dark days. You question probably the wisdom in continuing on the journey you’re on, your worthiness, and probably many of the things that we all question, like are you doing the right thing? When those moments happen, you feel that darkness, the walls are closing in, the isolation, smallness, weakness, or vulnerability, what do you do to renew your mind?
Years ago, I used to drink more coffee and double down. That led me to burnout. The boat started taking on water with my business. I experienced a bit of ego death. I realized that style of grinding, pushing, and fighting, and this masculine hustle got me there. Either I was going to go down a dark depression and/or the company was going to fail or I had to make some quick objective but heartfelt changes.
I consolidated my business and let go of some weird entitlement as though I was going to be successful. Not to say that I wasn’t working my absolute tail off but there was this ego that said, “You’re going to hit it. It’s going to cashflow and work.” It was coming from a bit of an entitlement place and that dissolved.
I started to pay attention to the land around me and the farms I’ve worked at to go back to that. If I’m having an off day, I’ll message my team every so often, and thank goodness it doesn’t happen too consistently or too frequently. I say, “Hit me if there’s an emergency but I’m taking an afternoon off.” Sometimes I watch Netflix and a documentary. I get my head off of it and say, “Tomorrow, I’ll feel better.” Sometimes I go run up a mountain.
Exercise is huge for me. I’m very tactile, physical, and athletic. If I start lifting rocks or running up a mountain, 99% of the time, I feel myself at the end. My real spirit is happy, loving, confident, and humble. It’s like the layering of this contemporary experience and the comparison of being alone up on this hill, running the company by myself, more or less. It’s those layers on top that make me feel bad, dark, depressed, or anxious but when I crack that veneer of this contemporary experience off and I get in touch with my soul through exercise, the community is huge.
That’s part of the reason why I’m excited to travel. I live in a beautiful place but I’m alone a lot. Community is important. Also, exercise. I meditate. Sometimes you have to shut the computer and say, “I’m going to take some hours off.” I used to shame myself and feel like that wasn’t acceptable. The harder I pushed, the more progress I would make but it’s not right.
If you look at how good land stewards manage land, sometimes a pasture oftentimes needs to rest. My business needed to slow down, slim out, and regroup. Thank God, I don’t have some VC or private equity that’s pressuring me to grow at some unrealistic, consistent pace. We trimmed down, consolidated, and focused. We’re coming back with more intention, rest, and juice than ever. In my opinion, it’s been 100% worth it and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.If you look at how good land stewards manage land, sometimes a pasture needs to rest. Click To Tweet
The idea of slowing down to speed up is anathema to so many of us because we’re brought up to think that you’re supposed to go. Even when you’re exhausted, that’s the time when you’re supposed to go. That’s what separates you from other people who might quit along the way. We’re going to come back to that. There are a couple of themes that are emerging here for me. First of all, the word humility. How important is humility to you? That’s been a big important word in my life for a long time.
It’s huge. I’m wrong a lot. It’s a balance between having that vision and passion, being confident, exercising humility, and being humble. It’s that perfect cocktail that we’re seeking for a real healthy endurance. You can endure but I don’t believe that that style of enduring is as healthy as what I feel like I’ve been exploring. I want to learn, be of service to people, and ask people questions. I don’t know everything.
I’d rather ask a question, wrap my head around something, and get an experience quicker than say, “I know it,” and then fumble around to it. Humility and a humble nature open doors, express vulnerability, and create trust in other people. They might look at your Instagram or your company and think you got it figured out. You’re sitting in a cabin on top of a hill hitting your head against the wall. It’s super important to remember that.
Also, curiosity. Do you find yourself being curious? I remember reading a story about a celebrity CEO who resigned. He was a very senior person who wasn’t doing it anymore for money or notoriety. Part of what he said was, “I found myself not listening. I have all these smart people around me, probably people smarter than me.”
We understand that what humility looks like is the opposite of wanting to be the smartest in the room. You want to be surrounded by people whom you can ask questions and you respect their answers and stuff. He said that when he stopped listening to these smart people, he knew it was time for him to hang it up, at least for the time being. That was important when I heard that.
There’s something else you said too, which is the idea that part of regeneration is getting back to yourself. We have everything that we need. We’re equipped with everything it takes to create, be, do, have, and all that. To the extent that we’re out of alignment with those things, we’re not accomplishing or fulfilling, or our lives don’t feel the way we want, a lot of that has to do with not being ourselves more of the time than not. Getting back to yourself is a major goal to me of what regeneration is about.
For us, resilience is not about grit. I don’t object to some of the philosophy around that. Books have been written, TED Talks have been given, and all that makes sense to some degree. It’s an old paradigm. The day that grit wins the day, that day is over. I’m a gritty, persevering, and tenacious person. I don’t quit easily but I understand that you cannot win the day through blind perseverance.
You cannot run a marathon that has no end and think that eventually, you’re going to succeed. Even what seems like success to a lot of people turns out to tragically be a failure when their lives are cut short, their relationships suck, or any of the other things that life ultimately is about turn out to be the things that they sacrificed in the blind pursuit of something else. I appreciate your thoughts on that.
We think about the soil and land ecosystems. I often go back to history and the lessons of history. The Dust Bowl was an interesting period of history. It’s the 1930s. For those that are up on their history, cool. If you’ve never heard about this, it’s pretty interesting. It’s the Great Depression in the US. Breadlines and more people were out of work than were in work. It was a devastating time. In the prairie states, mostly in Middle America, it wasn’t raining for eight years.
To that point, those prairie states were producing tremendous amounts of grain and other things that were saleable. They were doing quite well monocropping and tilling soil. A lot of people came from the East Coast out there for that opportunity. Ultimately, when it stopped raining, the soil and the plants, everything shriveled up, dried out, and blew away. They called it the Dust Bowl because there were these giant black clouds of dust that blew as far as New York laying waste. Family farmers lost their farms. Many foreclosed upon ended up moving to the Pacific Northwest. It’s like The Grapes of Wrath situation. The book by Steinbeck is what the movie was made.
It was a devastating time, yet out of that devastation, we learned something about the land. Part of what you’re doing in the world has to do with the lessons that were learned from that devastating time. Tell me how close to accurate what I’m laying out is. I’d love to know what the lessons that you’ve gleaned or have been taught from that period have been.
It makes me think of humans coming in and having this self-entitled perspective that we can control nature. Nature and resources are there for us instead of we are of nature. When I think about people creating wellness products, and they’re slicing, dicing, and isolating them, pulling out these pieces, and then reconstituting into this formula, that’s a parallel example. Monocropping and exhausting the soil with no rest is parallel to running yourself into the ground and trying to build a business without consciousness of how you’re nested in other holes, a community, a family, a market, or an ecosystem.
There are so many parallels historically to your point about how we interacted with nature. It comes back biting us in the ass or we are taught these hard lessons, not to say that everyone learns from them. It’s the choices. We build our artillery to combat nature through Monsanto, spraying herbicides, pesticides, more equipment, and monocropping or we take another route, which is to try to learn from these natural systems again, whether it’s Onda trying to harness the dynamic array of nutrients from this super plant like hemp and steward that to the people. That’s our choice and viewpoint.
Other competitors might extract different compounds but it’s a belief system, a philosophy, and a choice as humans, how we want to live in harmony with nature, part of nature, or constantly trying to extract, overpower, and outsmart nature. Most of us see where that’s headed or gotten us. During COVID, food supply shortages, a hot summer, and water are huge issues in the American West. It would be silly for folks not to at least open up a conversation to maybe we do need to think about some significant changes that will give the next generations a chance. Not to get too dark but there are a lot of lessons here that we can glean from and start to try to change the direction of this ocean liner. It won’t be easy but it’s worth trying.
The lesson for me is that was a dark time as well. We did apply lessons but maybe not every lesson that was to be applied. Maybe we’ve broken rules again and forgotten history. That’s pretty human as an experience. You used the word extract and that’s key too. The idea is that in business and what we see in organizations, I get to be both a teacher as well as a student. In my interactions in those scenarios in those situations, I see the extraction model is alive and well.
People who are themselves bought into that extract at all costs, profit at all costs, or infect others with that same philosophy. They believe that that’s a winning philosophy to extract everything that you can and they’ll extract everything they can from employees in every system and process to produce something more desirable. I want to talk about Onda, which is your business. It’s a good lead into that to ask what the philosophy of the business is. What is your business value? What is the philosophy of Onda?
The word extraction is relevant in our space because we don’t extract nutrients, we infuse them. As another parallel or model in how we make our product, we don’t extract from the plant but we marry. There are a lot of concepts that transcend what we’re doing. Onda is a regenerative wellness company. We focus on using regenerative and biodynamic hemp that comes from food farms so the hemp has grown in rotation with food, herbs, and vegetables. That soil is built through polycultures of animal impact, which is paramount in any regenerative ecosystem. We make products for the consumer that address anxiety, sleep, and immunity. The whole hemp products help to relax.
What we’re focusing on is the Onda oil super ingredient, which is relevant to this. It regenerates and restores. This is a great ingredient that goes into high-end skincare products like Flamingo Estate, Summer Solace, Garraud, and Public Goods. At the core of Onda is this regenerative super ingredient. This isn’t in a formal tagline but it takes the edge off and helps you be your best.
It is getting you back to the center which is what cannabinoids do in the endocannabinoid system. They help regulate you back to the center line. More functionally, our mission statement is to heal people, empower our farmers, and support the regeneration of the earth. We’re looking at the body, farm, and earth as ecosystems seeking balance and vitality. This is plant support that is meant to support each of those nested holes.
It’s meant to bring us back to homeostasis or equilibrium. Do those words make sense in that context?
In a nutshell. I can get a little bit too in the weeds, pun intended, but it’s about getting us back to the centerline.
Back to that true self that is more than capable, confident, able, and enough.
It’s home for our spirit and that’s us in a nutshell. It’s plant support to help us be ourselves.
Darkness for me is not sleeping. If I don’t sleep well at night and I get too little sleep for too long, whether it’s days or whatever it might be, I am a darker version of myself.
Sometimes I think I created this company for myself but as it turns out, there are enough other folks out there who are benefiting from what is ancient medicine. Humans have co-evolved with cannabis for thousands of years. If we think about this contextually, I love it because it gets me through challenging times. We’ve been growing and using hemp and cannabis for thousands of years. For 100 years, it was illegal and prohibited because it was such a threat to the fiber medicine and paper industries that they created propaganda and subsequent legislation to bury it.
It was a threat to the cotton industry among others.
For the Hirsch family, it was a threat to their paper and whole infrastructure. This extractive model was threatened by hemp back then. It’s the same thing with pharmaceuticals. It’s not an easy space to be in. We’re shadow-banned. We deal with payment processor issues and all sorts of big brother-dark stuff. My senior high school thesis paper in ‘99 was about hemp, funny enough. I believe that it’s our right as humans to be able to work with and have support from plants. Our job and this is coming from my time in natural wine, is to farm on the highest level and then don’t screw it up on the way to the bottle.
Minimal processing, embracing the whole orchestra of those plant nutrients, and then stewarding those to the people. That’s at the core of our philosophy. We don’t use extracts or isolates. We don’t slice and dice. We’re trying to get the highest quality hemp flour and then infuse it, press it, and then put it into the products.
I’m a believer only because I’m a client so to speak. I’ve used the sleep product and it has helped me enormously. I speak to so many people who are in the throes of this cycle and epidemic of exhaustion, anxiety, and even burnout, frankly. The essence of recovery for me is sleep but there’s also food and how we are setting ourselves up to be more resistant to disease, infections, and things of that sort. I’ve also used a product from Onda in that respect to give myself a bit of a boost on the immunity side.
I’ve also used something I have on my desk, which is the whole hemp product. I love that as well because it takes a little of the edge off. I can find myself not so much wound up but finding myself not breathing deeply enough. I don’t know that I’m creating enough space. Space is creative. We have to have space to solve challenging problems or think critically. People who are type A personalities are people who are in that get-it-done or are being valued and paid for their ability to get stuff done. In that environment, there’s not a lot of space.
That’s why certain things that we could solve and ways that we could creatively transcend challenges are slower to evolve. Innovation is slower to evolve because we’re perpetuating a paradigm that no longer is optimal. I don’t know that it was ever optimal but it was the one that I know my generation grew up in and a lot of people have grown up in. Be on the rat wheel or the hedonic treadmill. Run faster than the next guy and adapt along the way.
That leads to a lot of illness and mistakes. Among those mistakes, we all know what it looks like. It’s unhappiness at a core level. It’s divorce or relationships that are untenable and a whole host of other things that are the reflection of misery from the inside out. I’m not talking about money. Money things could be fine but there’s plenty of money sabotage in the mix of that as well. How do we handle that? How do we get back to ourselves?
That’s why I wanted to have you be on the show because you are in the throes of an entrepreneurial pursuit. You are a business owner and operator. You’re dealing with all the stuff. The ethos of the company is empowering to me. I wanted our audience to know from its founder. I’ve had many pivots along the way. Maybe as we wind things down here, I’d love to hear from you. What’s been the most significant, meaningful, fulfilling, or advantageous pivot in your business life but it could be personal as well? I’m going to leave it to you to decide.
I was sitting right here and I had my head between my hands. I felt like it was all over. What I mean by that is at that stage of my professional life, I had not figured out how to create that space between the business and my spirit and soul, however you want to talk about it. I was in that mindset that I was wearing it and it was me. I was carrying it. I was grinding. I was going to run harder, faster, and longer than anyone else. Some things happened that were outside and weren’t due to any mistakes we made as a small organization but I had some real issues with some of the employees. I had some family emergencies. It was a perfect storm and we started getting water in the boat.
I realized that was the beginning of a significant pivot that I ended up calling Operation Turtle. I was trying to be playful in those moments of brightness. What I learned was if my business dies, I don’t have to. It sounds silly but I didn’t think like that before that chunk of time. I was so wrapped up in it. I felt that if my business was failing, then my whole life was failing and it was over in some way. I leaned on some committed friends, family, and advisors. I got enough of that darkness and emotion out of the way to make some very clear calculations.If your business dies, you don't have to. Click To Tweet
My advisor called Herculean moves and that was to get rid of a winter rental somewhere. I felt spread in my personal life and my community so I consolidated here in my home in Oregon. I went and got some of my equipment from a partner facility. I brought it here and got my hands on making the oil. I consolidated, focused, and trimmed down my expenses. I got heavy back into meditation and exercise. That was when I had that ego death. I realized that just because it’s hard and it seems like it’s over, it doesn’t mean it is.
Whether it’s a relationship, marriage, or business, we know when it’s over. It’s like, “We’ve tried to work out this marriage or relationship. We are exhausted.” I tried to listen to my intuition, gut, and heart. I was like, “It’s not over.” What do I need to do to change myself to be the individual separate from Onda and be the leader in Onda to try to carry us back on track? These analogies help me get through life. My advisor, Dan, was saying, “Buckle down. It’s okay. You don’t have anyone pressuring you to hit certain numbers. Keep it alive. When the rain comes back to the desert, you’re going to bloom.” It’s happening.
That pivot was consolidation focus, space between myself, my soul, and the business. When it’s getting pummeled with traumas, crossroads, speed bumps, or any number of challenges, which we all face as an entrepreneur, I can look at it and think, “That’s nasty,” but I don’t feel it in my body the same way. I needed that separation so that I could be healthy and have the energy and clarity to not be reactionary, panic, or do anything like that. I could look at it like, “Here’s what we should do to address it,” as opposed to, “This is too much,” which is what it used to be like.
That pivot was humbling, clarifying, and empowering for us to regroup. Let the pasture rest and find out a real opportunity. It’s been several years. We’ve launched the world’s first biodynamic and the world’s first verified regenerative hemp oil. We’ve done D2C and retail. I do this bulk oil and then I have the privilege to say, “This is it.” Divine focus is our phrase.
I could feel that. I so appreciate you going there. Closing a loop on that piece you said about the pasture and the pasture needs to rest, if I was going to put a little phrase under my shirt that says resilience, that would be the one.
The same with you. I need my sleep. I burn a lot of fat. I have a busy brain. I’m sure we both do. I need to rest. It’s so apparent, yet we don’t let ourselves do it in other aspects of our life or business life culturally. It’s super important.
Stephen, I couldn’t have enjoyed this conversation anymore, honestly. My body as much as I’m feeling the ding from the kid cooties that came back from two-year-old school, I got so amped in this conversation. My mind feels renewed in this moment and my body, heart, and soul as well. I thank you for that. I imagine people share this conversation with others that they know may need this information and may feel that we’ve trekked into a spot where it is so real to use the word that you started our conversation with. I appreciate that.
I will say to our community once again that we so humbly appreciate and even continue to request your help in getting the message of this show out. People that you know that would benefit like colleagues, friends, or whoever it might be, please share it. When you rate it, go on whatever platforms whether it’s Spotify, iTunes, or wherever it is that you’re consuming this, and give it a five-star rating or whatever rating helps the algorithm. I don’t understand the algorithm. I don’t think any of us do but we know that when you do that, more people get access to it. We appreciate very much your help in doing it.
As always, if you’ve got comments or questions for Stephen or myself, all you need to do is go to AdamMarkel.com/Podcast. Leave that comment or question there. I promise you it will not be a chatbot. It will be one of us that responds to it. We appreciate you very much. I hope everybody, wherever you are at this moment, that you are taking the moment to regenerate, taking some time to let the pasture rest, as Stephen said, and enjoying this moment for all it is worth. Stephen, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for putting your energy into this and spreading this opportunity.
I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Stephen. I’m sure that you did as well. I have to tell you, I did something and found myself doing something that violated my thoughts, research, and teaching on the topic of resilience because I have been dealing with the common cold. They say there’s no cure for the common cold. I have tried everything. I continue to flush my system and drink plenty of water.
I’ve got vitamins, minerals, adaptogens, and everything known, I suppose, to me. Also, plenty of sleep and all that good stuff but the common cold is still knocking the crap out of me, yet I gritted my way through this conversation. I always enjoyed it so much that it wasn’t torturous at all by any means for me to do that but my voice was given out.
It was one of those things where I found myself doing exactly the opposite of what I typically teach, which is to not have just taken a break, rescheduled, or created more recovery for myself. Whatever it meant at the moment, it felt like, “I’ll get through it. I’ll grind my way or grip my way through it. I’m tough and I’m resilient so therefore I can violate the rules.”
We know that that’s BS. That’s nonsense. The rules apply to all of us. That’s why you know the principle in terms of the natural order of things. The rules of nature apply to all of us. It doesn’t matter how great a person you are. Gravity applies to you equally as to somebody who maybe is a bit different.
I violated the rules and I’m owning it. That’s why I wanted to take a couple of seconds here to say what we were able to cover even in the midst of that was pretty astounding. I love listening to Stephen talk about humility, his journey as an entrepreneur, the dark places where he’s found himself, feeling insecure, living with that uncertainty, as well as moving toward action, even amidst these great unknowns that we’re all living through.
What Stephen shared with us is truly inspiring in any role that we have in business whether we’re working in some new area, maybe we’ve reinvented our career path, we’re more of a senior-level leader, or we’re starting something on the side or have already begun that entrepreneurial journey. He shared with us some important lessons on both the regenerative side of farming and in particular his work as the CEO and Founder of Onda. Also, the work they’re doing for the world, the value of hemp oil, and what is different about the way they produce it, not extracting things but rather infusing things and blending things that create something exponentially better.
We use that as a parallel way to look at business, in general, and how in many models of business the extraction model is the model. It grabs, takes, and sucks as much out of the resources, human resources included, as it can in the interest of profit and putting profit in many ways before the things including people.
I love how we talked about giving the pastures rest and the pastures need to rest. I’m going to do that. I’m going to get back to myself and give myself rest. I want to close the loop on this and share a few thoughts about our conversation as well as the fact that I didn’t follow my advice. I wish you a wonderful rest of your day. If you’re feeling exhausted, you need a break. I’m going to do the same thing that I recommend that you do which is to take that break.
If there’s somebody that you think would benefit from this conversation that we’ve had, please share it with a friend. Provide your kind recommendation when it comes to the platform that you’re consuming this show on. Subscribing and also giving us a five-star rating is super helpful. If you want to check out and see exactly how resilient you are, you can go to ResilienceRank.com. In three minutes or less, you could find out what your resilience score is mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually speaking. It’s a snapshot. It’s a wonderful opportunity to check in with yourself. Ciao. Thank you so much for being a part of our community.
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About Stephen Smith
Growing up in North Carolina in an active family Stephen spent most of his developmental days outside exploring his grandmother’s farm, the woods, streams, and lakes of this bio-diversified Southern landscape. Stephen’s fascination with hemp goes back over 20 years when he wrote his high school research paper on the many uses of hemp. Over 12 years working in regenerative agriculture has helped build the foundation of the Onda ethos and lead to the creation of world’s first Biodynamic and regenerative hemp oil.