Monday, December 8, 2008

Marketplace Mavens: featuring Sharon Astyk

note: Marketplace Mavens are featured every Monday--they are entrepreneurial women who inspire me with their trade or, in this case, their ideas.

I've chosen to feature Sharon Astyk for this week's Marketplace Maven for two reasons: 1) she's smart and talented and a great example of an "intellectual entrepreneur," and 2) I want to preview a very important theme that I'll be posting on after the New Year--emergency preparation.  So I thought I would introduce Sharon now, because I'm sure that I'll be making tons of references to her early next year.

Sharon Astyk is a professional and published writer and blogger, and I discovered her earlier this year when I was researching Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's) in my area.  One of the local blogs on local food listed Sharon's site, Casaubon's Book, on their link list, and I thought I would check it out.  I've been reading almost daily every since.

Now, I know that peak oil, climate, and food security are not everyone's go-to topics for leisurely reading (they are her favorites, and incidentally some of mine), but I have found Sharon's writings to be chock full of wise and practical tips that we can all take to safeguard our families from troubles, improve the environment, and help those in need.

Like many mavens I've featured, Sharon Astyk is motivated by her passion
--in this case being mindful of our resources.  As a farmer-turned-writer, she weaves philosophy and lifestyle together as she lives and writes.  Here is what I like about her entrepreneurial example:

1.  She has an important message that has become her livelihood.  How many of us are passionate about a particular social, religious, or environmental message, and would like to devote ourselves to spreading that message?  Well, Sharon is an example of doing just that, and she has some compelling things to say!

2.  She uses her business to challenge and equip others.  Rather than be preachy and unrelatable, Sharon gets to the point and then shows us how to follow.  She shares regularly with her readers about her personal attempts to live out her convictions, and then invites everyone to join her and send feedback.

3.  She listens to other opinions.  Because Sharon's line of work deals mainly with ideas (ideas later turned into action), dogmatism can be a trap.  Fortunately she avoids it by addressing arguments that disagree with hers, and even invites them.  Being open to other opinions and ideas is very important for any Maven, and she demonstrates the skill well.

As I mentioned, I'll be making a lot more references to Sharon's ideas and suggestions early next year, starting with how to stock up on food for "just in case" situations.  But if you want to get a head start, please visit her blog (note: give yourself some time to read--she's a talker!), or grab a copy of her latest book, Depletion and Abundance (there are two more on the way!).

Personally I am thankful for the "intellectual entrepreneurialism" that Sharon brings, and enjoy her challenging ideas.

Have you missed previous Mavens?  Read more inspiring stories of female entrepreneurialism in action below:
Do you know anyone who inspires you with their entrepreneurial talents?  Please tell me about them by Emailing Me here!

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