Wish I Would Have Known… (New Business Owner)

One of my favorite things to ask people, as I travel around the world, is “What would have done differently [with your farm, business, parenting, house, etc.] if you knew then what you know now?

I guess it’s the favorite query of your resident lover-of-learning, boiling down to, “What have you learned?

photo: jill111

Today at a friendly, boutique coffee shop in Philadelphia that opened one year ago:

1. More money. If the loan is too big, you can always just give back the part you don’t use. But he ended up having to pay with time he didn’t have to achieve lackluster versions of things, because he didn’t get enough money. They still don’t have a sign, which he reckons would easily earn them an extra $100 a day in exposure and have paid for itself in 50 days. (FWIW, this came up in the tiny house workshop I attended this past September. Number one mistake teacher said new homeowners make is not getting a bit enough loan).
2. Tell your story. People want to know about the humans and product chains behind the business. It’s part of the experience. Especially if costs are different to, say, Starbucks. It’s expensive because it’s better, but sometimes you have to tell people that.
3. Hire an architect/designer. His self-designed place looks great to me, but he pointed out lots of things he didn’t have the design experience to consider, like best layouts to maximize space while still feeling open and airy. He wishes he hadn’t believed he could do it just as well as someone whose specialty and life experience it was to do it.
Here’s to learning from others’ experiences (and hopefully showing our gratitude for their wisdom by not insisting on making them ourselves?)!

Happy Discovering! ♣

Paraplegics Can Cheat?!

How crazy is it that paraplegic athletes have found ways to hack biology to boost their performance?

The problem: They can’t sprint.


  • Their brains can’t tell their hearts what’s going on in the rest of the body, so the heart never gets told to pump faster. Their maximum heart rate is 130 bpm.   
  • Their brains can’t tell the leg muscles to fire, which – in able-bodies folks – helps get blood back to the heart quickly. 
  • Their brains can’t tell the smooth muscle around arteries to expand and contract, so blood pressure stays low and oxygen delivery suffers.


While the brain can’t tell these systems what to do, the body can.  The same automatic stress response that causes your heart to race against your will when meeting your partner’s parents, getting up on stage to give a speech, asking for a raise, etc.  can still be triggered in paraplegics.

Little things, like needing to pee, trigger this response.  But so do big things.  Apparently some parapelegic athletes will do things like breaking their big toe right before a race!  Ahhh!!

No surprise that this is really dangerous, because long-term high blood pressure can supposedly trigger stroke and death.  Now officials are having to take starting block blood pressure.  If wheelchair athletes are too high, they can’t start the race.

You can discover the details and more about hurdles to athleticism for paraplegics in this awesome Outside podcast:

Start at 14:44 to learn about this part of paraplegic biology. Or just listen to the whole incredible thing!

Happy Discovering! ♣

Smells Like Steve Bannon

I can’t believe one of the biggest science experiments in the world, in a city I’ve been visiting for the past 11 years… may have been ruined by Steve Bannon?!

Okay, okay.  I don’t know enough to point fingers.  And he can’t be the only one with blood on his hands.  But my jaw literally dropped when the podcast I was listening to mentioned his name for the first time.  And that’s saying something, because I was laying on the floor on a foam roller, so there really wasn’t anywhere for my jaw to go.

Pro tip: you can fix some of your awful computer/phone/driving/sitting posture with a foam roller

Who knew physical therapy could be a fantastic excuse to listen to a zillion podcasts or watch a ton of TED talks?  Maybe start with this one and find out about the implosion of the Biosphere, a la Steve Bannon & co.

Happy Discovering! ♣


This is sort of the automatic post that WordPress makes for you when you start a new website.  I edited it.

This is for the people who end up here via Google, because I’m not telling anyone about this site until I get the i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

Since I know from experience that the most important thing to do when you dream of making content for the world is to start doing it immediately, I did!  (After thinking about it for years.)  I couldn’t let things like picking a theme and creating a favicon and entering meta-data get in the way of actually writing about what was on my mind.

So I’m sorrynotsorry that I’ve never even seen what you’re seeing right now.  Sorry if the colors are ugly or the font sucks or whatever.  I’ll work on that part someday!   Promise.  🙂

Happy Discovering! ♣