Nina Beth Cardin, founder of the Baltimore Orchard Project and spirited entrepreneur, shared her secrets to living a fulfilling life.
If you missed this amazing and motivating workshop be sure to listen to the unedited audio of the workshop available below.
Nina started off by describing how some individuals have “scribed identities” which are identities that are defined by gender, class, race, etc. In short, the believe that their destiny is already set. She explained how some people enjoy the simplicity of this type of life while others hate it because they want the freedom to define their own destiny. She inferred that these “other” people were a lot like the entrepreneurs sitting in the room. As entrepreneurs we like to go against the grain and define our own path in life. And I think it’s safe to say, for the most part, she’s right about that!
So how does one embrace this freedom? How does one make meaning out of life?
First, you need to ask yourself two questions. In the morning you ask yourself “what’s pulling me out of bed”? At night you ask yourself “How do I feel about today”? These two questions will help you find your passion, skills, and what the world around you needs.
The picture below is the intersection of those three concepts. In order to be truly happy, Nina says, you need to find something that intersects with all three areas (shown in green). Your passion is a common thread throughout your life while your skills are the characteristics that are unique to you. Finally, in order to make a difference you need to identify the need of the world you inhabit on a daily basis.
Nina found her perfect intersection through the Baltimore Orchard Project. The project involved solving some of Baltimore’s big issues through planting and maintaining orchards of fruit trees. She used the trees to fill the vacant lots, grow nutritious food, and treat storm water. Not only that, she used the care of the trees to help neighbors build relationships with each other.
How did she do this?
She first started with research. She did this through the internet and through people! Nina encouraged the audience to not be afraid to pick up the phone and call potential investors and mentors. You may think they won’t be receptive but you will be surprised who lends a hand.
She then saved up just enough money to launch her dream! Once it was launched she continued to fundraise in order to keep the project afloat. She also wanted to make sure that in the money making process, entrepreneurs do not compromise the core of who they are in order to survive. It is important to get money but it is dangerous to lose yourself in the process.
The UMBC Garden then came up to talk about their work with Nina and BOP. They were happy to announce that the UMBC Garden will soon be growing trees along with their other produce. They also encouraged the UMBC public to come to Garden Week March 23-27 to help support them. More information can be found on their Facebook page.
You can download the unedited audio of the workshop here