By Sara Harper, Founder of Grounded Growth, LLC

I’ve never been a patient person . . . and yet, patience is most certainly required when you are trying to build a new market . . . a new way of doing things.

People have so much fear of change.  They fear it for good reasons.  Disruption means risk . . . it means there is a chance that a decision you make could hurt your team, your company . . . and of course, your family.  We are hard-wired to minimize risk for good reasons.

I know this.  I’ve lived it.  And yet, I forget that it is fear holding people back, not the lack of a desire to do good.

We have to get to the point where we fear the status quo more than we fear change in order to summon up the courage to act.

That was true for me when I launched this company . . . and I know it is becoming more and more true for many of the farmers in the world . . . stuck in a system designed to minimize differences rather than reward excellence . . . and left alone to face the risk that farming this way poses to their most important asset, the land  itself and through it, their family’s livelihood and well-being.

“It’s always darkest before the dawn,” the saying goes.  Maybe it has to be that way.  Maybe the worst thing isn’t taking a chance that disrupts your business . . . maybe something worse is staying just comfortable enough to avoid the risk of doing something truly meaningful with your life’s work.  To turn around one day and realize you have spent your life just keeping up, rather than making a mark.

Probably the thing I’m most proud of about Grounded Growth is the culture we have built together.  We are sharing the good and the bad.  We are helping each other in ways that don’t lead to an immediate benefit for ourselves.  We are forging a new way to do business that looks suspiciously like the old ways of doing business . . . back when you knew the people that provided the inputs into your product and they knew that the work they did made a big impact on your success.

In the end, we are “regenerating” far more than the soil . . . we are renewing each other’s ability to trust again in the handshake deal and that “win-win” can be more than a marketing slogan.

The projects we are working on now within Grounded Growth are disruptive to more than just the current supply-chain model.  They disrupt the belief that it is good business to consider the people that provide the most important parts of a product, to be disposable and interchangeable.

We would never be on the verge of this disruption without having fully felt the emptiness of winning within a less meaningful system.  It is only when you see that your life’s work could really contribute to something good . . . something bigger than yourself  . . . that the risks posed by change become something you can live with.