There are two areas of life where we experience fulfillment and meaning.
One is in our work and careers. If you listen to the Meaning Movement, if you listen to the show, I know you have wrestled with some of those ideas.
But then there’s the rest of life outside of your work and your career.
Most of us realize that it’s a both/and situation: there’s meaning and purpose to be found in our day-to-day work life and there’s fulfillment to be found outside of that.
In my conversation with Paige NeJame, we get to dig into these ideas directly.
Paige is a volunteer with the Carbon Almanac network. I met her volunteering there as well.
She’s a writer. She is a long time entrepreneur, small business owner.
In this conversation, you’ll gain insights from her work journey, her involvement in the Carbon Almanac, and the meaning that she’s found along the way.
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Software Generated Transcription:
Dan: page. Welcome to The Meaning Movement Podcast. I’m so excited to have you here.
Paige: Thanks, Dan. I’m so excited to be here.
Dan: The question I’d like to begin with is how do you begin to talk about the work that you do?
Paige: Yeah, so there’s two types of work that I do. One is in my regular career, um, and one is, um, as one of the contributing authors to the Carbon Almanac. So we’ll start with my career cuz it kind of, it kind of meshes. Um, so back 25 years ago, I realized that I wanted to. I love to work. I love to work, I love to feel productive, but it was the job I had, um, in corporate America was not compatible to raising kids.
And I realized that I loved my kids a little bit more than I loved that feeling of productivity. So I needed to find something that would, um, allow me to, um, have a flexible enough schedule. I could work at 2:00 AM I could work during nap time, um, in order to build my business. And so that is, that is the, the career path I chose, um, lately, about a year ago.
Um, so ba so I’m in my fifties. And one of the things that you notice in your fifties is that your kids, I have three kids and my last one is 16, so I needed a whole lot less. So there’s this. There’s this window of time where the kids are driving themselves, the other kids are out of the house, and you get a little bit of time back.
Um, you don’t ever think that as a parent, you don’t ever think that that is going to happen, but it does happen. And so I said to my friend, Angelique, we were walking and I said, don’t you feel like. You could go back and do something, um, that you love to do in your twenties, that you might have made a career and you might have some regrets about not making a career.
Do you think that, that we could do that in the next 10 years before grandchildren sort of start coming? And she and I talked about that. Um, that is how, um, I joined the Carbon Almanac. Um, I had always wanted to write a book. I thought, ah, maybe I missed my calling. Um, I should have been an author. And when Seth goin put out the call for, um, people to help him write the Carbon Almanac last fall, um, I raised my hand because I thought, well, I recycle.
Which is a funny story, right? I thought that was all I, that that was, that was a great contributor to, um, you know, the, the solution, uh, turned out not to be. But, um, I also thought I can try this out under the, under, you know, with, with the best guide in the business.
Dan: Yes. I love it. I love it so much. I, I have three kids. Um, the oldest is about to turn seven, and so, um, I, I, I, I can’t, I can’t relate at all to like having time. I’m on the other side of that word, like I, I have no time, which is some of my. You know, I, we, we’ve met through the, the Carbon Almanac Network as I’ve been finding my, my place there and exploring it, and, which I’m just so, so thrilled to be contributing in, in some way.
And I also thought about joining back in the fall when, um, when Seth started organizing things. And I, I, I, I didn’t. Because I just felt a little, I was just a super, I just don’t have much free time, you know? And I, it’s, I have so much regret over it though, because I, and because I’m like, I wish that I had been there from, from day one.
Um, but still so happy that, you know, that there’s space, there’s, so there’s, I think what I’ve loved about it so far is how. Just collaborative. The whole thing is, and I, I think it’s in the spirit of, you know, the, the almanac as well as just, I think humanity and the earth. Like we have to, you know, solve, solve this together.
Um, so before we get into the, you know, the meta level of all these, these problems, first let’s just talk about what, how do you talk about the carbon? What, what is it?
Paige: Yeah. So, um, it, it is a collaboration. 300 of us got together last fall. Under the guidance of Seth Godin, who is a published author many times over bestselling author, and, um, he guided us in writing this book. Um, each of us took a section that we were interested in and. Literally, he’s just said start writing.
You know, start researching, start writing, and everything had to be footnoted. Everything had to be, um, very well researched. Um, however he said, just start writing. Nobody is qualified to write page 19. It may as well be you. That was sort of the mantra and yeah, so it, so you know, the first time you hand something in as a person that thought she wanted to be an author.
It is so scary because there were editors, there were fact checkers. Um, it is super nerve-wracking. Um, but as you get going, you get the, you get in the groove of it all. And so what happened was I, um, I was tasked to write a section called, um, why are the numbers so confusing? And it talked about how, like, you, you look at one article and it says, you know, 50% of.
Is contributing to climate change. And you look at another article and it says, you know, the numbers just don’t add up. And so I, um, I dug into that and that article made me realize what a rookie I was about the subject of climate change. And so I approached Seth and said, we need, I think, a section for people like me.
Who are rookies. Um, we need to define the terms. We can’t let people just jump into this because the, the book is about, um, helping people understand climate change so that they’re able to actually take action. I think everybody, um, you know, most people wanna take action. They may not understand it. And so I found myself in the position of that, that rookie, and I thought, I can talk to these people because I was one five minutes ago.
Dan: I love it. I love it. Well, I, I, I’m, I love that piece of. You just, you know, you’re saying like you, that you, you wanted to be an author or like, that there was kind of this latent maybe desire in you and I, I’m curious just to hear a little bit about, about that, about your relationship with, with writing as kind of the entry point into your, you know, your involvement here.
Paige: Yeah, so, um, so as a small business owner, you won’t even believe what I do and that I actually write in my business. Nobody can believe that the two are even related. But, um, I own a painting company in the Boston area, house painting company in the Boston area, and one of my favorite tasks is working on search engine optimization, which means I have to write article.
For my website so that I rank really high in Google. Um, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s just something that I love to do and if I never had to do anything else in my business, I would be so happy. Um, of course, it’s only probably a 10th of my job, so I feel like I’m a pretty good writer. Um, I have all the tools, um, I’ve learned about search engine optimization.
I’ve learned to write really clearly, and that’s what the rookies needed. They needed somebody to lay this out in a really clear bullet pointed. With, um, some really nice illustrations. Um, very, very early on we brought in an illustrator from, uh, England, who was somebody on the, um, on the project. Um, and, and Mishi and I worked together to, um, to write and illustrate the rookie section, which is the front section of the.
Dan: Yes. I love it. I love it. It’s, it’s just super fun just to see, you know, how. That skill. And I think you were talking about this, you know, before we, we really even, um, hit, hit the record button, but like how you collect these skills like along, along the way of your life and you don’t really know. And so, and this is something I’ve been experiencing personally in, in my own work, um, sometimes you don’t know that you have them or maybe you, you’ve just forgotten about them and then all of a sudden there’s like some need and it’s like, oh, I, I can, I can do that now.
But you. I don’t know. It’s like, it’s like you’ve grown, but you don’t realize you’ve grown.
Paige: Right, you’ve forgotten the skills, right? So it’s a, here’s a good example. So in my office, when somebody is sick, I might go in and fill in their job. Now I’ve done their job probably 10 years ago. I’ve done all the jobs and I’m always a little bit nervous that first day. Cause I’m thinking, do I have the, do I have the muscle memory and.
Inevitably within two hours, you’ve got the muscle memory again. You’re like, oh, yeah, I remember how to do this. So yeah, I think that, um, I, I think that that’s what happened with, um, carbon Almanac. I had, I had, my previous job was in advertising and so I’m, I was used to working with art directors and, um, copywriters, and so I, but I didn’t remember those.
I, I sort of always wondered if those skills got rusty and turns out they didn’t.
Dan: Yes. I love it like riding a bicycle. Maybe like you just, you pick it back up. You might be a little wobbly at first, but then you get it back.
Paige: Exactly, exactly. That was so exciting. And I also thought to myself, um, what an opportunity, um, to know, and this is sort of my message to all of your listeners, and that is, If you’re wondering, um, if you have regret in your career, if you are wondering if something, if you could do something, try it out.
This was like an internship. My kids would say, mom, you’re Seth Godin’s intern. And, and so I was like, I guess I am. Right. And I wanted to know. The ins and outs, like I stayed as long as I have because I wanted to see how a book launched. I wanna see the after effects of a book launch. Um, what’s, what’s so interesting is that writing the book was really the easy part.
Um, getting it noticed, getting it out there and getting it to spread. Getting the message to spread is a lot harder. Just like a small business, you don’t open your doors and everybody comes running. You sort of think that that’s gonna happen in your mind, right? Um, you open your doors and there’s, there’s crowds of people like, like the Apple store, like you, like you’re releasing a new
Paige: But, um, but it doesn’t happen that way. You really have to, this, this book is a small business and it needs a lot of nurturing. After we launched, we are tracking so many metrics because we need this book to keep, um, keep spread.
Dan: Yes. I love it. Well, and that, that’s really validating and, and helpful for me to hear because I, like I said, I feel like I have so much regret that I wasn’t, wasn’t involved from day one, but I, I’m happy to hear that I’m, that there’s still so much important work to be done. Um, and so, um, yeah. It’s,
Paige: And to be clear, I never would’ve joined if my children were in, were seven years old that I, there’s just no time for that if you wanna do a good job as a parent, right? Um, but you will notice this. I, I hope you notice this in as your kids. Start to leave the nest or need you less. There is some time that does free up and all of a sudden you’re sort of looking around and you could, you could use that time to scroll Facebook or you could use that time to, um, to do something meaningful.
Dan: Yes. I love it. I love it. Well, I, I’m super curious just about, I mean, I see I’m, I’m in the, the, the message board and, um, finding, finding my way to how, how I can best, you know, lend my, lend my, the, the, the little time and, um, and, and effort and my voice that I, that I, that I can. Um, but it’s an, it’s an amazing. A thing to witness so many people. I, I don’t, I don’t really know how to describe it because it’s almost, it’s, I wanna say like decentralized, that’s not right, quite the right word. But I, I just wanna hear maybe a little bit more just about like, just the, the, the messy and beautiful and complex process of like getting a bunch of.
To write something together and then also continue on to like, make podcasts and photo books and kids books and all the things that, that, um, you and the community have been been creating. I just want to hear more about, you know, your experience through, through that process.
Paige: Yeah, so let’s, let’s sort of lay it out for the listeners. Um, we are working on a, um, a messaging board, I call it, called discourse. And, um, discourse allows, it’s, it’s incredibly complicated when you first get on, and I think that it’s a little scary, right? I remember thinking, oh my goodness, I, I’m gonna need my, my kids to help me understand even how to get around here.
Um, it’s, it’s like slack on steroids.
Paige: So I think, you know, there are very few times in life where all the right people show up with all the right attitude, but that’s what happened last fall. Um, there was not a lot of, um, there was not a lot of, um, trouble. Like there was not a lot of politics. There was not a lot of drama.
There’s no drama. And it was, I, I, I hearken it back to. It’s like, it was like working with a great improv group. You would say, I think we should do X. And then somebody would say yes, and, and they would make that idea better. And, um, I’m not sure that that kind of magical will ever happen in my life again.
It really was like, um, it was just magical and we all felt it. We all felt it. Um, the, uh, it. The designer, there were designers. Um, they did a lot of heavy lifting because there were very few of them. There were more writers than there were designers. And so, um, in the end, they had to take all of these articles.
And, um, make them cohesive. Um, the people that did the infographics were geniuses. I mean, I’ve never worked with people that could take an idea and distill it down to just like the simplest graph, um, so that it’s so easy for just, you’d open the book. Just understand a little more about climate change. Um, and so it was, it, and, and it was a little messy, right?
So the messiness came at the end when we were trying to make this, this whole thing cohesive. Um, and there was a deadline. We promised it, I think it was end of February of 2020, uh, two. Um, it needed to go to random. Um, to be published. Um, and then there was a little messiness with supply chain issues. We had to choose a paper, like all of these things that you don’t think about, right?
So you think, oh, an author, you see them on podcast, you see them touring around on their book tour. But at some point they had to choose a paper, right? And they had to choose a paper that would be available even with supply chain. Right. Um, our publication date was originally, I think June 21st. We kept saying the summer solstice.
Well, then that got moved because supply chain issues, and it got moved to, uh, middle of July. So there were, it wasn’t perfect, but, um, I got to see all of the ins and outs of what goes into writing a book. Um, it was Fascinat.
Dan: Yes. I love it. And, and just also for, for listeners, just to even further describe the, the book itself is organized into basically like short articles, and that’s one of the things I, I love about it, is that it’s really easy to just open it. Find a topic that’s interesting or you could just read your way through.
I mean, it’s called an almanac cause it’s kind of inspired by like a, like a farmer’s almanac. Um, where there’s, yeah. Where there’s just articles on different, different aspects of, from your banking to transportation or, or whatever. Um, and so it’s just so, so accessible, um, and beautifully, beautifully illustrated and, and, um, designed.
So, um, just kind of continue to fill out the picture for. For, for listeners, I’m curious for you how participating in this project, um, changed. I, well, I, I, I, well, I think the question, the question I want to ask is, how, how has it affected your, your view of like, of humanity, of collaboration, of like seeing people come together like this?
Like I’m, I’m curious. Just, I, I don’t, I feel like you can’t go through an experience like that without feeling, without being changed by,
Paige: Right. Absolutely. So I kept saying out loud, um, to anybody that would listen that these were the, these would be people. Now granted, we were working with people in the Netherlands, um, in Italy. Um, people all around the world, first of all, they all spoke English like you can’t believe. Um, Barbara, who, um, who’s an Italian native speaker, was the person that, that, um, On the kids’ book.
Um, she was our proofreaders. Her English was so good that she could proofread better than us. So that was remarkable to me that that how well people spoke. Um, the, the English language, um, So, but how, how was I changed by it? Um, I realized, um, that it is so much easier to move forward without drama, um, if you almost ignore it.
So, um, the, if there, if there, the tiny bit of, um, politicking that happened, um, really went away very, very quickly. And here we had the um, Seth Godin, who is somebody that writes about management. He writes about marketing, managing. Right. So you could take what he was doing and use it. You could just turn around and use it in your own job that day.
Um, he, he manages really positively. Um, everything starts with thank you. Um, it was remarkable. And so I, I, I was changed because I was, I’m not as cranky anymore. I’m not as cranky at work. I’m much more positive and, um, grateful, um, for the work that people do.
Dan: I love it. I love it. That’s, that’s really, um, yeah, it’s really, really beautiful. Um, some of my. My draw, I guess, to what, what, what made me reconsider my decision not to be a part of the project was, well, one, the book is just beautiful and I was like, I, I just want to see, I want everyone to experience it.
Um, and, and then two, just feeling like, uh, like I wanna be able to look back. Be able to point at something. This is where, this is where the feelings come up for me and like to, to tell my kids that I, that I tried.
Paige: Right? Yes. You know, can you imagine what our kids are going to say about us 30 years from. If we don’t try. And so I agree with you. Um, it, what happened was with the kids’ book, um, and I’ll, it became very personal for me too, Dan. After the, the original book, the Carbon Almanac went to the publisher in, in February, I realized I had far more juice left in me.
Like I had not gotten my, I had not sewn my oats
Dan: have more to say. I
Paige: so, yeah, so I approached Seth and said, let’s, can we do a kids book? And he kind of shrugged his shoulders and was like, yeah, I guess so. Um, and it started out that the idea was a 15 page, um, book. That, um, you know, would, would sort of riff off of the rookies part, the rookies section.
Um, what I realized very, very early on, um, was that the, um, that kids really know more about this than adults about climate change than adults do. Um, they’re learning about it in school. I never learned about it in school. So I, I mean, I, I was under a lot of misconceptions. There was a lot of myths that needed to be, um, squelched for me to, to, to, to write this book.
And so what we did was, um, uh, The group of people, there were 80 of us that worked on the kids’ book. Um, and the writers really quickly determined that the, the theme of the book should be that the kids teach five adults what they know, they could teach their grandmother. Um, they could, they could teach their teachers, they could teach the principal, but the, the kids know this stuff and they’re worried.
Um, and, and let me tell you how I realized very early on that adults don’t. I was talking to my mother-in-law and my, my son who’s 15, who was 15 at the time, um, was at the kitchen table and he said something like Citu, which is, um, grandma for in Lebanese, um, Citu, um, you know, using your hair dryer. Even releases carbon.
And she was so confused by this. Now she’s an educated person and I’m sure she wants to do the right thing, but it was not clear to her because there was no flames coming out of her hair dryer, right? So it’s an invisible problem. And invisible problems tend to be ignored by adults because we’ve got so many other things that are just sort of urgent and in our face.
And so it was really clear to us that we needed to teach adults. We needed to sort of highlight the invisibility of the problem and then have the kids really take it on to teach the adults. We also knew very early on that, although, so it is published on Amazon, you can buy a copy of the book, but there’s no need to do that.
We wanted this to be free so that the message would spread far and wide. Um, a, a teacher might email it to another teacher, um, a parent. Email it to a superintendent who could use it to, to read, um, to do a whole school reading program, um, that costs nothing. Um, so it was really important for us to, to make it free.
And then what started happening was it, we published it in in April, and um, everybody started saying, can I translate it? And so now it’s in 13 different languages. American teachers are using it in their Spanish classes to teach Spanish to, you know, to American students. And then Spanish students are using it in, you know, in Spain.
Um, and there’s also a version, so my son has dyslexia and he was insistent that we do a version in a font that’s much easier for people with reading disabilities to read. So if you go on the translation page, you can, you can, even down reading specialists can use this in their classes. It’s very hard to find books in that font.
Um, we got dyslexia font, um, to donate the font. Um, again, I had no idea that you needed to pay for fonts, right? So there’s another learning, um, as an author and, um, and so that is even available. Um, and it has just spread and it’s been fantastic,
Dan: I love it. I love it. I mean, I’m instilled, like the very first sentence you said is that 80 of us wrote this kid’s book and I was just like, you think of a kid’s book being written by a writer and an illustrator, but like 80 people still like, just, just blows my mind. It
Paige: Yeah, there’s so much to do and, and yes, you have a writer and an illustrator, but somebody’s gotta edit it. Somebody’s gotta fact check it. Somebody’s gotta proofread it. Um, somebody’s gotta, uh, put the pages in the right order,
Dan: yes, yes. I love it.
Dan: One of the things that, you know, when I, I opened the, the kids’ book for the first time. I, I, I’m very sensitive to like, not, not burdening my children with, Too, like too heavy of stuff. And I, I was really just, really appreciate the way that it was, that, that the messaging is, is done in the book.
That it’s like, you know, if you, uh, if you, if you’re swimming in a, swimming in a pool and it’s, and it’s, it’s heated and the, you know, uh, you know, it, it’s, it’s okay if it’s not like, You’re, it’s not perfect. And I think that’s, that’s the message that, that I think comes across really, really well is like the, the earth, the hu humankind, all living things, uh, on earth don’t, don’t need you to be perfect.
They just need you to care and to take, to take action,
Paige: Yes. So that
Dan: I feel like that’s just in the ethos of the whole, of the whole project, which is, I, I think so often, at least in my own life, perfect. Has been, gets in the way of the good. Uh, and that’s
Paige: Oh my goodness. You’ll never start there. We would never have started this project if we were waiting for perfect and somebody, I was doing a talk last week and somebody raised their hand and said, you know, I’m thinking of getting an electric vehicle, but that’s not perfect because if I plug it in, you know, I might be using electricity that’s generated by coal.
And I said, yep. Right. If we, we can’t wait till it’s perfect. I mean, that’s, it’s better than gas, but it’s not perfect and I don’t want people to feel, um, bad. And I certainly didn’t, we didn’t want the kids to feel bad about, um, taking an airplane if that’s the only way you can get there. Now, we also talk about in the kids’ book, the fact that shorter distances you could, you might encourage your parents to take a train because it’s so much.
Um, carbon emitting than a plane. Um, and oftentimes it’s only a 15 minute difference when you start, when you talk about, you know, the weight at the airport, the security line, and all of that. So we talk about that, but we say ultimately if your parents are, you know, making you get on a plane, get on the plane with them.
We don’t have to be perfect here, but we do have to.
Dan: yes, yes. I think it’s just such. An overwhelmingly positive, um, message that I think is just really, is just so much helpful, so much more helpful than, than the common message of, you know, guilt or shame or, you know, uh, it’s too big of a problem, there’s nothing you can do. And instead it’s like, there’s so much you can do.
Just do something.
Paige: Right. Absolutely. I think people, um, so, you know, if you look around, a lot of people talk about individual actions that they can take. Um, they might, they might, um, get the electric vehicle, but if they’re, let’s, let’s say, You’re in the, you’re in your company, you are in charge of your fleet. Maybe you could get hybrids next time, or maybe you could get, um, maybe you could get electric vehicles if you’re not, if you’re not going more than 300 miles, you know, radius.
Um, so there are ways to take those individual actions that we’re, that we’re all trying to do, but feeling like, is this really going to be enough? And multiply.
Dan: Yes. I love it. That’s a really, a really great, yeah, really great way to think of it. How can you, how can you make your choices, uh, multiply your choices without, you know, without forcing them on other people, but to just make, make those small adjustments, those small changes that, um, can have bigger, bigger ramifications, which
Paige: Yeah, absolutely. In the kids book we talk about, I think there was one of, one of the ideas was, um, the kids could go to their school officer and say, Hey, can we hang up signs that say, no idling while you’re waiting for your, while you’re picking up your kid. Now, that’s a systemic change, right? If, if one person stops their car from idling, that’s, that’s good.
But imagine if we can get the whole line of. Parents to stop idling while they’re waiting. We could save a lot of carbon.
Dan: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. I love it. I
Paige: Yeah. So a lot of It’s not that hard,
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Which is so good. Like it’s, and it’s, it’s so helpful to be like, yeah, and that’s, that’s, that’s, you know, that’s enough. That’s good. Like, to be able to just bless those efforts instead of saying, well, you’re not solving the problem. So, you know, but like, if everyone takes those small efforts, it adds up and.
That’s the, the message, which is, which is beautiful. It’s hopeful and, and it feels good to be hopeful, I think, around these big things for the first time in, in a long time, at least for me.
Paige: Yeah. And, and the, the book, the, the subtitle of the Carbon Almanac is, it’s not too. . Right. Um, and so, and for the kids, we weren’t sure if we wanted to, our, our subtitle is, it’s Time to Start. Um, we didn’t wanna, we didn’t wanna put it to, it’s not too late. Sounded a little too, um, like, oh my God. But it might be getting close.
We wanted it to be a little more positive for the kids, but yeah, we, we have to start.
Paige: And a lot of it requires us to talk to other people. And in order to talk to other people, we have to know our facts. And once you pick up the carbon, you, it’s like reading the old Guinness Book of World Records, right?
It’s like you can, you can page through it. There’s a different fact on each page. Very, very easy to read. And then when somebody brings it up, you don’t have to avert your eyes. You can actually have a conversation and think about how you can solve.
Dan: Yes. That’s so good. And just to remove the shame, you know, the shame from it. I, I feel like its a, is a part of it. Like we don’t, no one knows all the answers. No one ha no one knows at all. There’s plenty of gaps. Um, but we all have them and we can move forward together. Um, Which is cool. I love just being able to pick it up.
We have a, we have a Airbnb on our property. We, we, we bought a copy just to have in the Airbnb for guests to
Dan: just to, you know, to peruse. And anytime, you know, anytime I talk about it with friends, I’m always as much as I can handing, handing out copies, getting copies into people’s hands. Cause, cause it is such a fun, fun tool to engage with.
Paige: Yeah, absolutely. And, and one thing to, to tell the listeners is that this was all non-profit. Um, I guess it all volunteer, right? So any profits we make, we, we have, um, bought books for school libraries. We bought books for, um, non-profits. Um, and we’ve given away probably more books than we’ve sold. Um, and that it was the whole point of it, anytime we did make money, we were putting it back into getting books in more.
Dan: I love it. So good. Well, just to zoom out again, I’m just curious just to hear, um, hear your thoughts on, um, on, on work and how you think about work in your own, in your own life and, um, like this has been a. Um, you know, a significant effort in the category of work, though it’s not your job, obviously. Um, so I’m not sure exactly what the question is here, but, um, but I, I think I just wanna just hear, hear Yeah.
How, how you think about work in your life and how this project has, has, uh, impacted your, how you think about, you know, your next phase of.
Paige: Right. So as a parent with a small business, um, for the past 25 years, I’ve always said that, um, you know, my work and my professional life, I would call it professional. Instead of professional, cuz it’s like personal and professional
Dan: I love it.
Paige: Um, I, I, it was a juggle. Um, it was not easy to raise my. With, with very, very few babysitters.
Um, there, there were a lot of times that it was, you know, at two in the morning I was doing whatever it took to keep the business going. Um, I always worked from home. Um, I did not go into the office. I do have a husband that works in the office, and so he could be a little bit more client facing. Than I was, but I really, really felt like whatever I could do to keep my, my toe in the pond, um, would be helpful for me because I love to feel productive.
Um, this project didn’t feel like work at all. I. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how I found the time cuz there were hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours that I, um, that I dedicated to writing the rookie section and then launching and helping write the, the kids book. Um, I’m not sure how I found the.
It didn’t feel like work at all, so I’m, I can’t even, I can’t even say it had it felt anything like I do in my regular career, but I suppose what, that’s what people, what people call,
Dan: yeah, yeah. I love it. As you think forward, you know, into the next years, um, Like, I don’t know what, what’s, what’s next for you? Is it, do you, do you, I mean, do you feel like you have more, more, uh, more in you as far as like, you know, the children’s book emerged out of, you know, out, out of, uh, you know, your, your, your mind.
Are there other things like you feel like are gonna gonna, like, do you have more to say here? Or is it more about the marketing, or is it more about another, another project? Like what do you think, what do you think is.
Paige: Yeah. So, um, two things. One, um, I I, I’ve been in business long enough in my regular small business, long enough to know that, um, what seems. Um, boring to us now that we’ve read it a thousand times. In fact, what’s so funny, here’s an interesting thing you would think an author the day you get your book in the mail, right?
The day it’s, we, we, we all got gals, which are, um, like a pre-book. Um, and it shows you what the book is going to look like. The day you get that in the mail would be, you know, you’d be so proud and you’d, but, but by that time I was tired of what was in that book.
Paige: um, so that’s why maybe I went on to write the kids’ book, but I’m also, I also know that the, the job at hand is not done.
Um, when you open your doors at your small business and like a book, when the book is launched, people don’t line up to, there’s just so, so many things, including podcasts, including tv, including thousands of streaming channels. That fight for people’s attention. It used to be, I think that you, you released a book and if you were semi-famous or famous or whatever, you, it, the book just sold, you know, no problem.
But there’s so much attention, um, that is being sort of fragmented that, um, it is really difficult to launch and market a book. And so just like a small business, I’m, I’m s I’m tired of talking about painting. , but I talk about it every day to my customers. I answer the same questions over and over again.
Um, it’s not boring to my customers. They’ve never heard, you know, they’ve never heard stuff that, that, you know, that I’ve, that I’ve been talking about for 10, 11 years. And so I don’t want to, um, I don’t want to. Miss the opportunity and to, to do something else at this point that would jeopardize the success of the message of climate change spreading.
Um, even though it would be, um, really fun to work on the next shiny object. Object, I know that that could always be down the road, but I do wanna see this part through.
Dan: I love it. I love it. Um, I mean, it, it makes, makes so much sense. We’re we’ve, we’ve only just begun and there’s still so much, so much more work to
Paige: Yeah, absolutely.
Dan: Yeah. Um, I’m curious as, as a, as a business owner, if there are, or maybe the question is, what changes or have you made. In your business as a result of, of the things you’ve learned about the, you know, you’ve already mentioned about even just seeing how Seth Godin, you know, led the project and how that affected how you show up, you know, in your
Paige: Oh my goodness.
Dan: But I’m curious just to hear some of the, some of, you know, other, other things that, that, other ways that this project has, has, you know, changed your business.
Paige: Yeah. So, um, immediately I realized that there were some low hanging fruit, right? So, um, our sales people have always been, for the past 10 years, they’ve always been in hybrids. That was a business decision, less, less a climate change decision, although it’s a great decision for the climate, right? So we’ve got these really, really fuel efficient cars that cost me a whole lot.
To run than a gasoline car and bonus. It’s great for the environment. So I always, I I start there. That, that, that, that was a place that we had done 10 years ago, but the low hanging fruit, okay, so in a painting business, you buy a lot of paint and, um, in our software that we use to estimate, we now, um, default to the same white paint.
For everybody. Now, if, if you wanted a different white paint, it would be no problem, but most people don’t care about the white paint that we paint on baseboards or Wayne’s coat or crown molding. They just want it to be sort of a bright white, semi gloss. Um, so we default to the same. Um, To the same color so that we can buy it in bigger, um, containers than the small, uh, gallon containers.
And that saves, you know, that save. Exactly. Yeah. So that was, that was something that we did almost immediately.
Dan: Yeah. That’s so great. I’m sure there’s, I’m sure the list, um, you know, I’m sure that there will continue to be things as
Paige: Oh yeah, no, absolutely. There, there was a few things that were, yeah. Low hanging.
Dan: I love it. I love it. That’s great. Well, I know that, um, my, you know, my involvement in the Carbon Almanac started with me, well, it started with me not, not not joining as I already mentioned, um, in the writing process, but then buying the book and then feeling like this is just, I just need to do more.
And then I, I think at some point, Seth Good. And put a kind of a call out to people who wanna, who wanna do more and be, be more involved. Um, which has just been, you know, it’s been, it is as, I think as I’ve said already, like just one, I think it’s one of the most meaningful things I’m, I’m doing right now.
Um, other than
Paige: would say the same.
Dan: Yeah. Raising, raising my kids. And then, and then, you know, I, I try to do everything, bring meaning to all. I mean, it’s the meaning movement, right? Like this, it’s a big thing for me to be, to be contributing to things that I believe in. But this is something I really, I really believe in.
Um, but for people that are listening, um, I’m sure people are asking, you know, so how, how can we help? What can we do? And um, so maybe, you know, whether that be low hanging fruit for the choices they’re making in their lives, or specifically around spreading the word. I’m curious what your thoughts are.
Paige: Yeah. Okay, so let’s talk. Talk about the low hanging fruit. Take that low hanging fruit, do what you love and that you are passionate about for the environment, and then try to tenex a little bit. So let’s give, let’s give an example. If you live in a condo and you’re passionate about, I don’t know, composting, , right?
Um, you can compost in your own kitchen, right? You have the little bucket and the, the outside your door. I guess you would have a little hill of worms. Um, but what if you could get the whole condo, complex comp, composting, that is the way to 10 exit. Um, systemic change is what we’re really after because individual change is, Gonna be a, a little bit too small.
Um, but it doesn’t have to be that you’re marching on Washington with a picket sign. You can literally just compost within your, um, condo community and affect maybe 300 other families. That’s a big change. The signs that I was talking about earlier where you say like, You’re gonna turn your car off and not idle it.
That’s fantastic. Um, get other people to do that. Put it in the school newsletter. Hey, when we’re picking people up, let’s not idle our car. Um, Seth talks about this one in his town. So this is, this is a, this is a phenomenal statistic. So apparently if, um, one hour of using a gas leaf blower, um, emits as much carbon as driving your car to California.
In that one hour. And so in his town, I think like 40 people got together and like banned gas leaf blowers. It wasn’t like they didn’t need thousands of people to do it. It was like 40 people. And people were like, yeah, we should probably ban those. And it was done. So again, you might not use a gas leafblower, but what if your whole town could just ban them?
Um, you see those bands with, um, plastic bags. It’s a good.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. I love it. And those are just really, really great examples of that, that multiplication effect.
Paige: Yeah, absolutely. And then, you know, talk about it, like learn a few facts. If you don’t wanna, you know, you could, you can, you can get the kids book for free. Um, it’s right on the Carbon Alx web website. It’s carbon almanac.org/kids. Um, download it. Read the kids’ book and start talking about it because even the kids’ book will allow you to talk intelligently about climate change.
Dan: I love it. So good. Well, I just wanna say, you know, um, to you maybe representative of the rest of the community, just thank you for doing this work and making this, it’s beautiful and it’s meaningful to me and, um, it’s helping. And so, um, yeah, it, I’m just really, really excited to, are excited to see the change continue to spread.
Paige: Right. Absolutely. And it didn’t feel like work. So that’s, that’s the good part.
Dan: I love it. I love it. Well, I know we’ve already mentioned it, but for folks that want to, you know, get more involved and, um, follow along, what, what specific steps would you like to invite people to?
Paige: Well, let’s see. Um, they can go to the carbon almanac.org. There’s tons of resources there. So, um, not only is the kids book there with the translations for free, but, um, a group of people did a companion photo book, um, that shows. Climate change, um, right before your eyes right around the world. Um, using photos.
Um, there’s an educator’s guide, um, on the website for teachers who want to incorporate the Carbon Almanac or Generation Carbon, which is the kids book into their lesson plans. And, um, for teachers that are using the platform, Seesaw, which is used in um, tons of classrooms, um, tons of elementary school classrooms, um, we have lesson plans on Seesaw that are already made that link back to, um, yeah, that link back to the, um, the, the kids’ book.
Dan: Love it. I love it. Well, we’ll make sure to link up to those, um, in the show notes and, um, so people can just click right on through. I know my son used Seesaw when he was, when he was remote. I assume they use it in, in the classroom in, um, in his school as well. Um, so I’ll, I’ll have to point his, his teachers in that direction, which
Paige: Yeah, it we’re, I think we’re called the carbon OAC on Seesaw. If you just search for that, you, there’s, there’s 12 lessons right now. Um, and we’re always adding more because teachers seem to really, um, take, take this to heart and really, um, be using our lessons. So it’s a great way for us to get the message to spread.
Dan: So great. Well, Paige, this has been so fun. Thank you so much for just sharing so much of your experience and, and the work you’re doing here. And, um, thanks for just joining me on the show.
Paige: Oh, it’s been my pleasure.