If you don’t know this about me by now, there are three things I’m super passionate about in life beyond my family: entrepreneurship, gardening and travel. And guess what? I got to talk about two of them with May Tsupros! She shares how she started her school garden nonprofit.
She’s one of the co-founders of Gardeeneers.org. It’s a non-profit based in Chicago that manages a school garden program for over 1,000 students in 20 low-income schools soon to be 25 schools to improve educational outcomes and childhood nutrition. Amazing mission, right?
Some lessons that jump out from our conversation include:
- How May found a co-founder and why she believes finding a partner is crucial when you are building an organization.
- Why corporate sponsors ended up being their most important source of funding.
- The 3 key similarities between managing gardens and managing business: seasons, tending and cultivation.
And if you didn’t listen to the previous show with Todd Henry in episode 093, he also used a gardening analogy to describe the process of designing your life and work.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Building community.
- Research and planning.
How May Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 4:30 – 5:00am
- Core work activities + habits: 1) Get emails done first thing in the morning. 2) Two-hour weekly meeting with “hive” managers. 3) Two-hour weekly meeting with garden educators.
- Regains focus by: Going onsite to see one of the garden programs in action.
- Favorite productivity tool: Her Moleskine journal.
“I wanted to stop living someone else’s dream and wanted to start living my dream.”
“I didn’t want to settle because I had this vision for myself to have my personal and professional lives to be part of one continuum.”
“Where’s there’s passion, there’s persistence.”
In order to develop more control of your own energy, May recommends:
1) Don’t do anything that doesn’t make you happy. Rethink what’s good for society and what’s good for you, specifically.
2) Align passions: Strive to merge personal and professional life.