Small is Beautiful

Like any other human being, I constantly compare myself to others. Recently, I’ve been comparing my small speech pathology business to other speech pathology businesses. Thanks to the internet, I am able to look at their beautiful website pictures, numerous staff, their blogs and posts on social media with envy. Afterwards, I look at my tiny little business, and all of a sudden I hate how small it is. How insignificant.

Today, when I arrived home I sat down on my couch and read Chapter 5 of Yuval Harari’s “Sapiens” to my little sister over the phone. This chapter discussed the dawn of the Agricultural Revolution; how, by turning our efforts to tilling the soil and cultivating food we managed to grow our population with increasing success. While this is often seen as a positive shift towards progress, Harari encouraged the reader to think about things differently. Tilling the land took time – more time than hunting and gathering – and the grain cultivated had offered far less nutrition than what was found in nature when hunting and gathering, not only that, but the life of an average farmer was far less stimulating than that of a hunter-gatherer. The bottom line was that although there were more people in the world because farming was able to feed them, people had far less quality of life. It was a really depressing chapter, though it made me reflect on my own life.

My speech pathology practice is small (like a hunter-gatherer tribe) – so if I choose to measure the success of my business by how many people I can hire, how many people come to my practice or my gross revenue then I will lose to most people that I compare myself to and I will always feel disappointed.

Harari’s book reminded me that success isn’t always calculated by numbers, but by quality of life which can often be neglected in businesses focused on increasing revenue (like the farmers who were focused on increasing food production).

I love my little practice; we work hard during the school term and chill out during the school holidays. We go home at reasonable hours, take lunch breaks and make time for professional development and team bonding. We have fewer clients so the few people who see us are given the utmost care and attention and as a result we have a very good retention rate. Fewer people means fewer expenses meaning less stress with money.

Small is beautiful.

By divesting myself of the need to build outwards, I open myself to learn how to build inwards not only on how to be a better clinician and a good boss, but to excel in other parts of my life too.

5 easy changes I’m making to be greener

This week I watched an eye opening documentary on ABC iView called ‘War on Waste’. It’s an Australian documentary about rubbish and how our wasteful lifestyles are ruining the environment.

I was both horrified and enlightened by the things I learned and I am determined to make changes to ensure I am a better world citizen!

To make sure I set myself up for success, I’m going to start with some easy ones.

1. Recycling my soft plastic

There’s an Australian company called Redcycle that turns plastic packaging into a variety of useful products.¬†You can put all your soft plastics into the bins at Coles and Woolies where you can recycle all your soft plastic waste. The Redcycle site shows you where you can go to recycle your plastic and what kids of plastics to recycle. I went to Coles in Westpoint, Blacktown. The bin was right at the front of the store.

Here are the kinds of soft plastic waste I chucked into the Redcycle bin.



2. Stop using takeaway coffee cups

Discovered this week that takeaway coffee cups are NOT RECYCLABLE. Watch episode 3 of ‘War on Waste’ to find out why.

I was thinking of buying a ‘keep cup’ from Onya …. but I only buy take away Chai Lattes when I’m at work so I figure I’d save money if I just take the mug I already own to the coffee shop across the street instead of getting a new cup. They charge me less for bringing my own cup too… so double yay!

3. Finding out how to get rid of my waste responsibly.

I spend ages on the internet looking at useless stuff that helps no one. So I may as well look up some information on how to dispose of my waste responsibly.

Here are a some things I discovered:

Don’t throw nail polish, batteries & other toxic chemicals in the bin.
There are special ways to dispose of these things. Blacktown Council holds an event called ‘Chemical Clean Out’. Next one is on Sunday 15th October. Check out the website for more details.

I can donate my bras
The ‘Uplift Project’ donates bra’s to women who would otherwise not have access to quality bra’s. The project has shipped bra’s to many countries including the Philippines.

I can donate unused beauty products & jewellery
‘The Beauty Bank’ takes unused beauty products, and a variety of other little luxuries like scented candles and costume jewellery, packages them and gives them to homeless women. Their founder, Jen Armstrong has a compelling story of how her own experience with homelessness inspired this project.

I can donate unused feminine hygiene products
You know, like tampons, pads and panty liners. Donate these to your local Women’s shelter.

4. Taking better care of my stuff

I know this one isn’t a super obvious ‘greenie’ thing – so I drew a diagram:



5. Telling people about waste management!

Also not a super obvious one so here’s a very short comic strip depicting what happens when you share knowledge… it’s like mitosis!



I figure if it was our ignorance that contributed to the mess – it will take knowledge to get us out. And so I leave you with this message…





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