21 Day Practice of Capitalism – Day 1 – Starting a B and B

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP

I recently completed my 21 day Practice of Peace – and it was an incredible experience.   I contemplated ways everyday I could be a more peaceful person in my world.   I wanted to do something similar for another aspect of life I hold near and dear – being a capitalist.   In my worldview, Capitalism has done more to maintain world peace than any other movement as if you kill people you have just lost a potential customer. Waging peace is in fact the most profitable course of action.

Waging peace starts by getting along with your neighbors.   I was in Kona last week helping my brother and father figure out how to generate income on their 62 acre land parcel on South Point.   We were also on a peace building mission to get to know their neighbors and build alliances.  One of his neighbors keeps an ancient strain of honey bees and wanted to make sure we were not going to be using pesticides on the property.   Easy enough NOT to do something.   Plus we want to organically raise some of our Belgian Blue cattle on the land so we are aligned.   The bee keeping neighbor told us she was purchasing hay for $35 dollars a bale because of the drought.  My family’s property has 62 acres of beautiful grass ready to be mowed, baled, and sold.   We are now working on finding a way to hay his fields and tie into a hay distribution network.   They can possibly generate anywhere from $350,000 to $1,000,000 per year just from selling their legal grass.

As part of my waging peace with the neighbor campaign on my family’s Hawaii Farm, I stayed at this awesome bed and breakfast while in Kona – The Dragon Fly Ranch B&B.   I’m not one to usually stay at B&B’s as it has felt like I was invading someone’s personal space.   (I stayed at another one for a couple days closer to my brother’s property where this was in fact the case).   At the Dragon Fly, I met some incredible people who were doing a work for trade arrangement.   The artist in residence Maya – runs Gallery of Maya also doubles as the chef for people who want to sample their garden’s bounty.  Another woman Ai was there to practice sustainable agriculture bringing back what she learns to her NYC consulting business of helping schools develop organic sustainable gardens for school lunches.   And there was Laura who came to Hawaii to learn Permaculture – the place she initially landed at had a recent accident over Halloween with their Aquaponic set up where someone unplugged the filtering system to plug in lighting for the party and several days later realized when all the fish had died something was amiss.   She found her way to the Dragon Fly Ranch after a shaman told her – go find the Dragon Fly Ranch.

The New Inspired Eagle Eco B and B

The New Inspired Eagle Eco B and B

All three encouraged me to use my empty ocean front home in Haines Alaska as an Eco B and B using similar principles employed by the Dragon Fly Ranch.  This property has been on the market for two years – even lowering the price by $300k did not garner any lookers. We had listed the house on VRBO – but had no luck with that either.  It appears there is something other in store for me and this property.

The longer I stayed with the Dragon Fly folks, the more sense it made.   The owner of the Dragon Fly Ranch got into the mix asking me to create a course with her on how to Start and Run a Successful B&B using some of my accelerated learning principles – ahhhh Capitalism at it’s finest moment.

As I was preparing to leave, the soon to be leaving Manager – Casey, approached me about creating my new B&B’s website.   Come to find out, he has some skills in that area and his time is coming to a close in his work for trade arrangement at the Dragon Fly.   After a short discussion, it became more and more apparent I could really use his skills in setting up the entire web system for reservations, management and marketing of the B&B.   Plus he had some a wonderful presence at the Dragon Fly – it occurred to me he might just be the perfect first manager at the Inspired Eagle Eco B&B.   He has quite the interesting past too.  He was one of the people vilified for the housing bubble collapse as he jumped into the GRQ schemes of house flipping – he had the misfortune to get into it just at the wrong time and put his all into it (click here to see his story). He did spin it into a profitable blog and became known as the world’s most hated blogger for having to drop 8 properties almost as quickly as he had acquired them.  Perfect – he has some “experience” under his belt and he’s earned his entrepreneurial credentials as he has weathered conventional society’s definition of failure.   Plus he knows how to create publicity – appearing on Rich Dad’s show, Dr. Phil, making the front page of USA Today and a host of other publications.

Travel is said to change you.   I say, some trips far more than others.  I now have a vision, mission and values for the Inspired Eagle Eco B&B from my trip to the Dragon Fly and the initial team to help make it a reality – if we can pass the legal and licensing hurdles to make it viable.

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