Together, We Change the World

 

How do you know what you have done that will change the world?. Photo: © FotolEdhar - Fotolia.comWhether or not we realize it, we each play an important part in the world. Photo: © FotolEdhar – Fotolia.com

This past February, Blue Planet Green Living published a post by Dipak Singh, a writer from India who advocates for safer conditions for the people of his country. His post, Notes from India: We Are Poisoning Our Planet, described the horrific effects of spraying the chemical Endosulfan on crops in India and other nations. He wrote, in part:

The grapes you and I eat could be from a vine that was sprayed 30 times in a single year with pesticides such as Endosulfan. That makes 300 sprayings in a decade. This chemical has nowhere to go, so it just gets washed into the groundwater.

Endosulfan has a half-life of up to 20 days in water and 60 to 800 days in soil. So, think of the accumulation of this pesticide in crop-growing villages. In the Indian state of Kerala, Endosulphan has been linked to the birth of malformed children. . . .

Three months after we posted his editorial, Dipak sent me a Facebook message with the following comment:

Hello, this is just to tell you that yesterday the Indian Supreme Court put an interim ban on Endosulfan, despite the lobbyist asking for an eleven year time frame. This is one of the sentences from the judgement:  “When a certain something affected right to life, then every other right, even the fundamental right to business, took a backseat.”

Dipak followed by thanking me for making a difference in the fight against Endosulfan. Me? All I had done was post his editorial. How could I accept any credit?

I wrote to this man I greatly respect, expressing my appreciation but declining any thanks. He was the one who had been fighting the environmental injustices in his country—he and thousands of nameless others. I had done nothing, really.

Dipak wrote back, “How do you know your website did not affect the judgement… [Here's] a little thank you from me and maybe a billion Indians. How do you know ?”

I pondered his statement for a while, then mentally set it aside, still convinced I had done nothing at all to deserve his kind remarks.

Later in the summer, a friend who is a professor at the University of Iowa startled me at a neighborhood street party. “You started something,” Barbara Eckstein said. “Because of what you wrote, a group of professors and scientists are now working with a small Iowa town to remediate their sewage treatment problems.” (That’s the gist of what she said though it was months ago, and my memory is not exact. So, please consider this entire reconstructed conversation to be correct in spirit, if not in absolute fact.)

I was startled—and none too certain anything I did could have resulted in a team of professors helping a small community.

“A man from the town contacted the University of Iowa,” Barbara explained. “Their  waste treatment plant is inadequate to handle their residents’ needs, and they’re faced with steep fines if they don’t fix it. Yet, just outside of town, a factory farm is permitted to spread untreated waste on top of fields, where it runs into the same river where the town’s waste runs. The situation is infuriating and frustrating the residents.”

“I can see why they’re upset,” I said. “But what does that have to do with me? I’ve never even heard of this town.”

“You wrote about Craig Just’s experiments at the Iowa City water treatment plant in your blog. The man read your post and contacted Craig. Several of us from the University drove to Northwest Iowa to see what we could do to help. Every one of the 61 residents attended that meeting. And now we’re helping them solve their sewage treatment problems. It started with your blog.”

What my friend didn’t say—and probably didn’t realize—is that it actually started with her. Barbara had organized the tour that Craig Just gave at the sewage treatment plant, the one I wrote about. And before Barbara, it started with Craig and his students, who are experimenting with alternative methods of treating sewage in ways that attracted Barbara’s attention. And before them were others, who had the foresight to relocate the Iowa City sewage treatment plant in an area where they have the space to innovate. And before them . . .

So, what I have learned from these two kind friends’ comments is this: None of us ever really knows what effects our actions have on others (positive or negative). Sometimes environmental and social  problems seem overwhelming, far too much for anyone to solve alone. But when we each do what we can—no matter how small—our efforts are added to those of others doing their part, too. And, together with people we will never meet, we can—and do—change the world.

Julia Wasson

Publisher

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

Related Posts

Notes from India: We Are Poisoning Our Planet,

Do You Know Where Your Flushes Go?

 

 

 

 

Working for Green – A “Video-Based Web Community” of Ecopreneurs

Susan Neisloss, founder of Working for Green, interviews Jean Pierre Wolff of Wolff Vineyards during a video shoot.

“A big part of what we’re doing — and what gives me great passion — are the personal success stories about individuals,” says Susan Neisloss. “I can’t tell you how important it is for me to be able to share these stories and to have people give us good ideas. That is the key to building this community.”

Neisloss is speaking about the community of people who visit Working for Green (WFG), the website she has published for about a year. A seasoned broadcaster and reporter, she interviews ecopreneurs who are making a living by starting and running environmentally friendly businesses. Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) spoke with Neisloss by phone from her California office. — Julia Wasson, Publisher


BPGL: What is Working For Green’s main mission and how can it help improve our economic woes?

NEISLOSS: We want to help inspire and motivate everyday Americans to share their innovations and tell us about their new green jobs.  There are so many new sustainable opportunities that can use the skills you already have. For example, a wind turbine technician might have come from an engineering or construction background. There’s so much gloom and doom out there, and we want to be a voice of hope and optimism that empowers individuals to make changes that will help their bottom line and enhance their well being.

BPGL: Where do you see the most growth in terms of sustainable industries?

NEISLOSS: Wind, solar, biodiesel and algae as power sources, but also those involving agriculture and a return to living off the land by growing your own food and providing food for your community. With an estimated 48 million Americans going to bed hungry every night, it’s critical that we find creative and sustainable ways to grow healthy food in abundance.

Susan Neisloss, founder of Working for Green. Photo: Courtesy Susan Neisloss

BPGL: What is your motivation for creating Working for Green?

NEISLOSS: I did this out of a personal passion to want to help people, given how difficult the economy has been. I started, back before the 2008 election, percolating about an idea. I wanted to focus on the environment tied into the economy as a way to make people feel more secure about their financial and related lifestyle issues.

Of course, the economy is going to get stronger and get weaker. That’s the cycle of life. But, increasingly, as I started to talk to people around the country, I realized that the one thing that’s clear is that most people do want to help one another and that we can do something without relying on government and corporate assistance to make some significant positive changes.

Working for Green was the genesis of that passion. It’s a video-based web community. And the emphasis is on that community, where people can share actionable innovations and career opportunities through original content. We feature personal success stories that highlight creative and measurable examples of sustainability.

I suppose the easiest way to describe it is, it’s designed to be a portal where users can exchange videos. I want videos from people so that they can post ideas and articles that support this basic idea.

BPGL: Would you say that Working for Green is a “green” site?

NEISLOSS: It’s not just green per se; it’s the bigger issue that covers women, children, education, animals, food, and the like — basically, every area of our lives. Working for Green is dedicated to empowering — very important — and motivating people to help one another, help themselves, and help their communities. I’m also very concerned about future generations, because I love kids.

So it’s this whole idea, which is reflected in the growing importance of social interest networks, of the power of the people to have an influence. We see that all the time. Now we have to find the content, the content doesn’t have to find us.

BPGL: What is the vision behind your interview series?

NEISLOSS: The centerpiece has been three-minute pieces that I go out and produce around the country. My original goal was to make it a little like — you may be old enough to remember Charles Kuralt and his series, On the Road. I always loved what he was able to do, and I don’t profess to be the poetic journalist that he was.

But, given my background as a TV reporter and producer, I wanted to do a road trip, which, for various logistical and financial reasons, hasn’t actually been a linear path. But I have done about 50 stories in the last eight months. Probably in 12 different cities, focusing on interesting individuals. I do personality profiles, then highlight something where somebody could serve as a mentor or as an example to somebody else in terms of making their life better.

I’m completely apolitical, nonpartisan; there’s no axe to grind. There’s so many sites out there — what is it, 2.7 million green sites alone? I’m not about telling you how to recycle your bottles or giving you the latest news on climate issues. But I am particularly concerned about the individual. And I think that’s what makes Working for Green distinctive, the high-quality and emotional nature of the stories.

And then, in addition, I’m providing a portal where people can exchange ideas as well.

Susan Neisloss on location with Bob Banner, publisher of Edible San Luis Obispo. Photo: Courtesy Working for Green

BPGL: How big is your readership?

NEISLOSS: It’s going to take some time, and I realize that. But we expect to have 45,000 page views this month, a 33% increase! We’ve been working very hard to interact on a personal level through Facebook and Twitter.

BPGL: What’s the revenue model for your site? Are you selling advertising?

NEISLOSS: We’re working on something that’s based on a hub-and-spoke model. Imagine the hub is Working for Green, ideally, as a social interest network forum, where people exchange ideas. The goal, as we’re just implementing this now, is to have spokes — Working for Jobs, Working for Women, Working for Food, Working for Children — and those spokes change. We’ll provide automated content and make it current content through RSS feeds.

In addition, we’ll provide regional, personal stories that I shoot. And people can exchange ideas and go to a niche that they’re interested in. That will appeal to advertisers as well, because if they’re selling Platex Bras, for example, they’d be particularly interested in aligning themselves with the women’s spoke. That’s the greatly oversimplified perspective on what we’re doing here. We’ll also be selling our videos to other outlets, such as cable networks, major newspaper websites, and so on.

BPGL: What do you enjoy most about what you’re doing?

NEISLOSS: For me, the biggest high, because I love visual storytelling, is doing the stories. But I have, quite honestly, had to cut back on going out and doing stories, because it is a big chunk of change. And I’m shooting on HD, establishing a stable of professional shooters around the country with whom I’ve worked and I have a relationship.

Right now, I’m really focused on getting the word out and taking all this good content, and trying to link with other sites. It would be wonderful if someone would decide, We’d love to use this content for something else and syndicate it. And then we’d be able to help people in a bigger way. I really want to be able to share this, because I think the focus of these pieces is designed to be emotionally compelling and entertaining to some degree.

The feedback has been very good from some senior media people I know through a course I’m taking – a special fellowship that I got accepted into at Columbia Journalism School. And I find that the feedback I’m getting has been very positive. But even senior media people and people in my class — everybody is looking for the brass ring, as you know. Everybody is looking desperately at researching a way to increase e-commerce through video.

My goal is that when I do a story, and believe me, I don’t want to ever compromise editorial in advertising — it has to meet certain criteria in any piece I do.

For example, we were in Chicago and did a piece on one of the Kimpton Hotels properties there. Kimpton is not as big as some of the other chains, but they’re doing amazing things, where the employees have a very big say in making their hotels and their service more eco-friendly.

It was quite remarkable, and I’m engaging with people there. In spite of the economy, they’re a hotel group that’s starting to grow as well. And it was very rewarding to see that even the housekeepers are changing the kinds of products they’re using that are healthier for them. So that’s very exciting when you see measurable examples like that.

BPGL: Does Kimpton underwrite the video about them?

NEISLOSS: No. I do think, given my production background, going out and doing a series of stories for a Kimpton or an Enterprise Rent-A-Car, or whomever is trying to get a visible presence in the green or relationship space, there is that possibility. But I don’t want to appear as if anybody’s shilling for a company. I think people understand now that everybody’s in need of advertisers for sure.

BPGL: You’ve got a great site. You’ve got interesting, compelling videos, and I’m sure you’ll be really successful.

NEISLOSS: Do you say that to all the girls? [She laughs.] I’m sure you feel the same thing when you work on your site. I’m sure you feel there are those days when you think, “Oh, this is great. What we’re doing is different from anybody else out there. And then there are those other moments when you think, “Uh. It’s like Sisyphus.”

BPGL: I totally agree.

NEISLOSS: In terms of the complementary nature of what we do, we’re both very positive. Your language reflects that in the kinds of stories you do.

My goal is not to be all things to all people, and to have a point of view. So, when I focus on these people or when I go to Arizona and see this poor Latino community that lost its only supermarket — it’s invigorating to see that now — I focus again on one person who has led the community to start growing their own vegetables and buy chickens to sell eggs. They’re really living off the land. And they’re trying to make a go of it, and be able to survive and thrive.

Also, there is someone who helps me write the content. So, no matter where you live, even if you’re not in Arizona, to relate to that story, you can get resources that we provide. Even if you’re in another part of the country, it might be helpful to you as well, if you want to kick-start something. I try very hard to make sure each story has applications to other parts of the country.

In the best of all worlds, I would be able to find a way to reduce the cost of production and be touring around in my hybrid vehicle right now, sponsored by Enterprise, and coming your way in the summertime to Iowa, shooting a number of stories. We had been going to two to three states at a time to save money. Obviously with airfare and driving costs, I’ve had to cut back on that temporarily, but I’m very optimistic that we’ll get to the Midwest for sure.

BPGL: Do you have something new coming up that you can tell us about?

NEISLOSS: I’m about to announce an advisory board that includes people from the world of entertainment, the hotel industry, anybody who’s interested, people who are leaders, movers and shakers on the educational side, and major sustainability institutions. I think the idea of this hub and spoke model is to really pinpoint these niche markets and to showcase them. The most important thing is, I’m looking for great ideas from people that we could come to their town and do a story about them.

I want to reach out and let people know that there is help, and there are actions they can take, and we offer a valuable resource in terms of ways to save money and make money and find sustainable work.

Follow Working for Green

Website: Working for Green

Facebook: Working for Green

Twitter: WorkingforGreen

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living

Volunteering Made Easy – Action Now + Network

If you’re like pretty much everyone else I know, you want to do “something” to help causes that are important to you. But your time is limited, and your demands are already huge. How do you find out what organizations support the issues that concern you and where you should expend your limited energy? Action Now + Network is a resource that will help you sort through the options available and choose one (or more) that is right for you.

Launched just two months ago, Action Now + Network is a new website that focuses on organizations that are doing real good for the world. Here’s how founder Sheila Wasserman described Action Now + Network to Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) in an interview from her California office. — Julia Wasson, Publisher


WASSERMAN: In this age of  Facebook, Twitter, and instant RSS feeds, it’s really impossible to claim ignorance of the world around us. We are all constantly bombarded at warp speed with information on the life-threatening issues we face every day — perilous geopolitical tensions, global warming, and the destruction of our environment, flagrant and egregious acts of cruelty inflicted by humans upon both humans and animals, not to mention hunger, poverty, homelessness, absent or woefully inadequate health care — it’s hard to know where to stop. For most of us, it is mind-numbing to think of what needs to be done to make even a small impact, let alone to solve the overwhelming problems of the world.

BPGL: How do you envision Action Now + Network as a tool in combating the overwhelming problems we’re faced with in the world today?

WASSERMAN: The technology of instant information also works in our favor: It gives us access to people and technology we never had before. It allows us to reach out and make a difference in ways we could never have imagined.

Whether we are talking about femicide in Congo, homeless children on the streets of Los Angeles, or the destruction of fragile ecosystems as a result of man-made or natural disasters, we now have recourse that is made possible in real time. We can see clearly that we are all citizens of a global community. We are all connected not only through our DNA, but as stewards of this planet that we all share. There are so many great organizations; there is really no excuse not to be involved in some constructive way.

Action Now + Network provides a single portal for people who care to find out about the issues and the opportunities available to make a real difference.

BPGL: What are some of the site’s features and capabilities?

WASSERMAN: Action Now + Network was designed as an information and education portal to do three things: to educate the public on the issues, to profile the great organizations out there that are working hard to resolve these issues, and to inspire and motivate the public to get involved in some way.

To this end, vetted organizations are invited to post a Profile in the Take Action Now Index that describes their programs, with links to their own site.  Each  organization in the Profile Index will also be featured on the home page of the site.

Individuals are invited to peruse the features on the site, learn about the issues and to connect with the organizations that offer collaborative solutions.

Features include spotlight articles on people and organizations that have made a difference. For example, we currently are featuring a story about two young men, Joey Katona and Omar Dreidi. Through their participation in Seeds of Peace camps, Joey, who is Jewish, and Omar, who is Palestinian, became friends. In the years since they met, Joey has raised more than $90,000 to provide Omar with a scholarship to study in the U.S. It’s an inspiring story of what one person can do when motivated by a spirit of fairness and generosity of spirit.

We also bring urgent issues to readers’ attention through our Urgent Issues section on the Home page. Currently, we are featuring peace-building in the Middle East and conflict minerals in the Congo. The issues we highlight change as others come to the forefront.

We also host a full Research Library where students and others can learn in depth about specific issues. This is a tremendous resource for anyone who is concerned about the issues on a local, national, or international level. And it’s growing all the time.

Finally, we have a Featured Organization on our Home page that offers an in depth look at one of the organizations in the Profile Index. This feature changes every couple of weeks. The focus at the moment is on the Los Angeles Youth Network, which provides “emergency, temporary, and permanent housing” for homeless kids living on the streets of Los Angeles. Amazingly, there are 10,000 homeless children under the age of 18, living on the streets of Los Angeles. You can watch a video that features recording artist Slash and his wife, Perla Hudson, who describe their involvement as Board Members for this organization. It’s a compelling video.

BPGL: On your site, you list reasons why people should become involved in a cause they believe in, to volunteer. Would you mind listing those for our readers?

WASSERMAN: Sure. They can read the full text on our Home page, but here’s the quick list:

  • Volunteering is good for your health (Really!).
  • Volunteering makes you feel good.
  • Volunteering is free!
  • Students can earn service learning credit or community service credit for middle school, high school, or college graduation, and it’s a great opportunity for them to make future business contacts and build their resumes.
  • It may sound hackneyed, but you really can and will make a difference if you make an effort.
  • It’s a great opportunity to discover a new passion or to reinforce an old one.
  • The world really does need your help.

BPGL: Is there a fee for using the network?

WASSERMAN: Action Now+Network is a free site for all users. It was founded on the principle that every one of us has the ability to make to make an impact, to make a real difference in the world. It is just a matter of getting inspired and taking action.

Learn More

Action Now + Network

Facebook: Action Now + Network

Twitter: ACTIONNOWNETWRK

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living

From Rich to Enriched – Responding to The Tap

Frank McKinney strides toward the camera on opening day for one of the CHPF villages. Photo: Courtesy Caring House Project Foundation

There’s no doubt that Frank McKinney stands out in a crowd. His long, flowing, blond hair sets him apart from most business types he deals with. His daredevil actions put others in awe of his tolerance for risk-taking — and his successes. And his creative ways of approaching both his business and his charity work draw others to his door. Frank McKinney also knows how to market himself, his business interests, his books, and the Caring House Project Foundation (CHPF).

But everything that McKinney does these days is centered around a concept he paraphrases from the Bible: “From those to whom much is given, much will be expected.” In Part 3 of our interview, I talk with McKinney about how he puts that into action through CHPF and the homes he builds in Haiti, and about the messages he shares in his book, The Tap. — Julia Wasson, Publisher


Children in one of the CHPF villages share their thanks with Frank McKinney. Photo: Courtesy Caring House Project Foundation

On his Caring House Project Foundation (CHPF) web page, author Frank McKinney writes, “In The Tap, I share the most important spiritual principle of my success in the business we are all in, the business of life. I explain how God has tapped me (and taps everyone) many times in life, answering prayers and presenting life-changing opportunities.

The Tap shows how to sensitize yourself to feel then act on your life’s great ‘Tap Moments,’ embracing the rewards and responsibilities of a blessed life.”

Caring House Project Foundation (CHPF), McKinney’s charitable creation, is the embodiment of his acting on the Tap Moments he writes about. CHPF builds homes for the poorest of the poor. And McKinney himself is responsible for raising most of the funds that sustain it.

Funding Opportunities

One of his fund-raising activities includes running the Badwater Ultramarathon. Badwater is a race that he describes in The Tap as traversing “135 miles nonstop through the Death Valley desert and over three mountain ranges, all on black-top pavement.” It’s beyond grueling, and of the 90 elite athletes invited to participate from 16 countries, only 65% typically complete the two-day (or longer) race. McKinney describes one purpose for his participation (and I’m paraphrasing here) as “suffering a little for those who suffer a lot.”

The CHPF website also offers potential donors several options for supporting parts of a village, including monthly payments. Providing half the cost of a community center, for example, requires a donation of $2,292 per month for 12 months.

A television crew films the rescue of another Haitian earthquake victim. Serious needs still exist in Haiti, long after the earthquake. Photo: Courtesy Caring House Project Foundation

Or, McKinney suggests, “Let’s say you want to build a house for $2,500. A lot of people can’t afford that. So you make 12 donations of $208 per month. That was at the request of a lot of donors who said to our executive director,  ‘We can’t afford a whole house. Can you cut it up into payments for us? We’ll be glad to make it a part of our monthly tithing.’”

Want to purchase an entire village? $125,000 will build 50 homes for 400 residents. Or, break it into payments of $10,417 per month for a year.

While that’s far out of reach for most of us, there are much smaller donation opportunities available. For only $11 per month for a year, you can save a single life by contributing toward a water management project. The full project (“Pumps | Wells | Storage tanks and sanitation units | thousands of lives touched”), for those with greater resources, can be funded for $36,750.

McKinney and Florida firefighters performed search and rescue in Haiti's devastating earthquake. The heavy concrete of multiple-story buildings trapped thousands of residents. Photo: Courtesy Caring House Project Foundation

CHPF is also raising funds for earthquake relief. As the foundation’s executive director, Kimberley Trombly-Burmeister said to me, “You can’t be sustainable if you aren’t alive. The need for food, water, and sanitation is continuing long after the earthquake.”

If you’d like to support CHPF’s earthquake relief efforts, you can do so with as little as a $10 donation per month or a one-time contribution of $250, $500, or $1,000.

You can also provide shelter for an orphan for $35 a month, or build an entire orphanage for $80,000. The choices are limited only by your budget and your imagination, as CHPF offers flexible payment plans and a wide range of funding opportunities.

Survival to Thrival

There’s another, far more unusual, fundraising project that is unique to Frank McKinney. As he says, “Let me put on my other hat for a minute, my for-profit hat, my real estate hat. We came up with a very novel way to raise money for our charity. That is, we don’t do black tie events. We don’t do golf outings. We don’t do cocktail parties.

Donors on one of McKinney's "Survival to Thrival" trips gather in front of a CHPF home. Photo: Courtesy Caring House Project Foundation

“I either sell a lot of books, and the proceeds from my book sales go to fund the charity, and it’s a wonderful source of income, or we provide experiences. We’ve had various events with names such as “Frank McKinney’s Palm Beach Experience: From Survival to Thrival.” There’s a photo at the bottom of the CHPF website that shows a group of people who were part of one of those experiences in Haiti.

“At the time, I was training to run the Badwater Ultramarathon. I wanted to show our donors and the media metaphorically that, in training for this very, very grueling race, I choose to suffer a little voluntarily for those who are suffering a lot. What I did was I ran across Haiti from a village we had just started. It was a village that had been washed out by 2008’s hurricane, and so there was the survival element. I ran to a finished village, which was 25 miles away that was representing thrival.

“And our donors got to come. First they started here in South Florida. Many of the people in that picture are business people and real estate people, and they aspire to do what I do for a living. They love coming to see the mansions. But to come to an event like that Frank McKinney Palm Beach Experience, they had to donate to build one house.

“So they’re immersed in what they think is the lifestyle of the rich and famous. They get to come to my own personal house and have dinner. They get to see the beautiful homes I’ve built over the years, even the newest house, the world’s largest and most expensive certified green home on speculation at $22.9 million. They get to see all that, and they’re so intoxicated with the sensory experience that they’re having.

“Then, within 12 hours, they’re on a plane and landing in the poorest suburb of the poorest city of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. And that is part of their experience. I wanted to move them from rich — what they think is rich — to enriched.

“There’s nothing like it out there. And I’ll tell you, to a person, when CHPF’s executive director, Kimberly, sends out a questionnaire asking, ‘How was your experience? What could we do better?’ et cetera, when 99 out of 100 come back, there’s no reference to the mansions that they saw. Everything is about what they saw in Haiti. So that picture on the website was that event, ‘From Survival to Thrival.’ All of those people in that picture were donors who helped build this village.”

A Life on Solid Footing

McKinney describes his own journey from “rich to enriched,” in his book, The Tap, the proceeds from which benefits his Caring House Project Foundation. It’s an inspiring read that encourages reflection on what is most important in life. Recognizing — and acting upon — what McKinney calls Tap Moments is a large part of the message of the book. But there are other messages as well.

As the author describes in detail the monumental effort it took to run his first three Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathons, he uses his failures and successes to remind readers that we all have the power to change the course we’re on. Here’s a paragraph I found particularly meaningful in the last chapter of the book:

Remember that any of life’s meaningful endeavors follows a course not unlike the physical trials I’ve described to you in this chapter. Think about your relationships, your professional pursuits, your beliefs or philosophy of living, your engagement now with The Tap — anything that you consider important. You probably started out with a kind of giddy infatuation, and in time, you started to encounter difficulties. If you had the discipline and endurance to stick with it, you learned the invaluable lessons of how to deal with those difficulties. You now realize that more of the challenges that you face are created in your mind than in reality, and that this is where you have the most power to change things. Your fears can grip you, or you can overcome them. You can let their hold on you grow tighter, or you can face them and break free. You can succumb to self-doubt and perish, or you can find a way out and flourish.

The Tap is a book worth reading. Photo: Courtesy Frank McKinney

Frank McKinney’s life looks glamorous — and parts of it surely are. He builds homes for some of the world’s wealthiest people. He has the experience most of us will never know of being surrounded by luxury and incredible beauty as he walks through the homes he’s built.

But his daily life belies the image. He lives in a relatively modest home that he shares with his wife, Nilsa. His 20-year marriage, he says, is sound, his relationship with his daughter, enviable. This man who holds up Evel Knievel, Willy Wonka and Robin Hood as heroes, takes risks, both in business and in life; yet his personal life appears to be on a solid footing. He seems to have figured out how to achieve and maintain a balanced life. And he shares that knowledge in The Tap.

The Tap teaches the reader to try to dovetail the professional and the spiritual highest calling,” McKinney says. “The Tap is my first spiritual, inspirational book. And I think because its message is so simple, it’s doing really well. As it does well, so does our charity benefit.”

The Tap, as well as McKinney’s four other bestselling books are available on his website, at local bookstores, or by ordering from Amazon. I found The Tap to be an interesting and enjoyable read filled with uncommon wisdom. Though I’ve not yet read McKinney’s other books, if they are anything like The Tap, they will be well worth reading. I encourage you to read The Tap, then share it with others; it’s a message worth passing on.

The Small Print

Blue Planet Green Living received a complimentary copy of the book discussed in this post. Other than the review copy, we received no compensation or incentive for reviewing the book. No one influences the content of any of our reviews other than the writer. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Blue Planet Green Living is an Amazon associate. If you choose to purchase this book or anything else by clicking on our Amazon link, we receive a very small percentage of your sale, which goes toward the operating expenses of this website.

For more information about our review policies, please visit the Policies link in our top navigation bar.

End of Part 3

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

Related Posts

Part 1: Frank McKinney – “Tapped” to Live a Dichotomous Life

Part 2: Self-Sufficiency – The Best “Return on Donation”

Part 3: From Rich to Enriched – Responding to The Tap (Top of Page)