32 | The Worm Whisperer: A Tale of Overcoming Fear and Fostering Sustainability | Cathy Nesbitt


We delve into the incredible journey of Cathy Nesbitt who once shunned worms but returned to champion them as allies in the fight against food waste. Join us as we uncover her inspiring story of transformation from fear to fervor, from hesitation to heroism. Through her entrepreneurial spirit and dedication, she has not only built a successful business but also sparked a movement towards sustainability.

Cathy Nesbitt – https://www.cathyscomposters.com/

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Alternate Titles For The Algorithm:

From Worm Aversion to World-Changer: The Composting Crusade
Turning Trash into Treasure: The Journey of a Food Waste Warrior
Compost Queen: How One Woman Transformed Her Fear into a Sustainable Business
Breaking Ground: The Story of a Woman Who Dug Deep to Revolutionize Food Waste
Dirt to Dinner: The Inspiring Story of Composting Entrepreneurship
Reaping What She Sowed: A Woman’s Mission to Conquer Food Waste
Soil Sisters: Empowering Women to Lead the Fight Against Food Waste
Composting Comeback: How One Woman’s Journey Changed the Game
Turning the Earth: A Podcast about the Woman Who Made Composting Cool
Waste Not, Want Not: The Rise of a Food Waste Reduction Champion
The Compost Chronicles: A Story of Transformation and Impact
From Garbage to Garden: How Composting Can Change the World
Turning Scraps into Soil: The Remarkable Story of a Composting Pioneer
Compost Revolution: How One Woman’s Vision Is Reshaping Sustainability
The Green Crusade: Fighting Food Waste with Composting Innovation
Growing Greener: Inspiring Tales of Sustainable Solutions
The Compost Catalyst: How One Woman Sparked a Movement
Breaking the Mold: A Podcast Celebrating Women in Environmental Entrepreneurship
Sustainability Stories: Unearthing the Impact of Composting

Show Notes

Hey y’all this is your host, Elyse Robinson with the nobody wants to work through podcast season 2. I hope the stories inspire you to switch careers. I have done all kinds of interesting things in my life and I’m a.
Currently for if.
You all live once, sit back and.
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Hey y’all, my name is Elyse Robinson with the nobody wants to work though podcast. Today we have Kathy Nesbitt and she’s going to introduce herself and tell us where she began and where she’s at now.
Yeah. At least thank you for having me. I’m excited. Yeah. So my working title is Kathy Crawley, laughing. Bean queen.
I’ll break it down. It’s simple solutions for today’s challenges. Worms for amending the soil, sprouts for eating, grow your own and laughter for overall health and Wellness. It’s the 22nd anniversary of my worm composting business.
Wow, I’m located just north of Toronto in Canada, and in 2002 the landfill for the Greater Toronto area closed and we started to export our garbage to the United States 1000 trucks a week.
Like, Can you imagine like how? Oh, I do, I I do education, though, and talk about worms in schools and put worms in schools. And it’s just like, wow, like, who are we as Canadians to ship our garbage out of the country?
You know, like it’s just seems not and I don’t mean the people. I’m not shaming the people. It’s so we were talking about government. But it’s the like, whoever the decision makers who decides that how things are going to work. And I had a solution. So rather than keep us down I’m going to bring us up you Hallelujah.
So it’s in the Greater Toronto Area, 6 million people, half live in condos or townhouses without space for outdoor composting.
So this is.
A way to manage our organic matter, our food waste, our pay. Some of our paper waste. And then we get nutrient rich soil so we can grow more nutrient rich food. In North America, we’ve just stored the soil. So this is really big. Our mission that I have with with that part.
That’s why I want to interview because I was like she deals with worms and I told my sister all the time I.
Want to get a chicken?
What the hell are you gonna do with a chicken like make eggs?
Yeah. Delicious omelette.
But I was thinking about also doing like like mushrooms. I I don’t think you do worms with mushrooms but.
But but yeah, I I’ve I’ve grown basil and radishes and arugula before, and the difference between what you buy in the store and what you grow yourself.
Is, is, is is amazing.
Can’t compare. Yeah, it it can’t compare. I had another question for you, Toronto.
It’s probably it’s a. It’s in the major city in Canada, right? So it’s like a concrete jungle kind of comparable to maybe, probably New York.
Yes, miniature in New York, yes.
Uh-huh. Uh huh. Gotcha. I’m have to make my way up there. Especially since I’m on the the border now of of Canada. So.
That’s on my on my list.
Yes. Yeah. Welcome. Yes. Come anytime. Well, not.
Yeah. Well, yeah. I mean, we’ve had a mild winter here in Ohio, though. It was like almost 60° and on Christmas, which is they tell me it’s abnormal. So I don’t know but, but yes, I will definitely come in the spring or the summer time. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh, you know that it that’s a great question. I think that when I grew up, I grew I’m I’m 61 now when I grew up, the message that I received as a young girl was there was kind of five things you could do. You could be a teacher, secretary, nurse, stewardess.
Waitress, did I say waitress? Anyway, it seemed limited, so I didn’t. To be honest, I never really thought about what I what I wanted to be because it seemed like it was already.
Decided for me.
So I told secretarial and and I was really good secretary.
As a people pleaser, it was a great a great thing for me and and you know, not to diminish it. Working in the office was a great a great gig because it was we talked about this, you know, you have regular hours, you have regular pay, you have weekends off, you kind of work 9:00 to 5:00 or at least at that time it was kind of that. I think it’s more flexible.
Well now.
And it’s beautiful, you know, you except you. You know you have your holidays when they tell you they dictate a lot of stuff. But if you have a life outside of an office job, it’s it’s a beautiful thing because you have that money piece looked after.
I mean, it gave me a lot of skills. It gave me a ton of skills that that are so valuable as an entrepreneur.
You know, people are like, oh, I want to have my own business. It’s like, have you ever had a job?
And and you know not to diminish it like I I I applaud people that want to be entrepreneurs. If you have a job and you see what the boss does, like the boss treats his employees like crap and so they perform like crap because they’re like, what do I care? And they they come in right at the last minute and they leave right at the right on time.
Because why would they give?
Because that guy’s gal, guy or gal, that person doesn’t. So then it’s like if I as an entrepreneur, I don’t want to do that. I want to respect my people so they respect me. It’s about respect it that’s life, you know. So you get a lot of skills of working places. Oh, definitely.
Yeah, you know, I’ve. I’ve moved around a lot and you know.
As someone had that reviews my resume, they probably consider me crazy and insane and I’ve had little slight comments before, but you know, it’s given me so many things to be able to talk about. You know, I can talk about all kinds of things. I have all this experience that I take with me, so I don’t.
See it as a negative and like you’re saying, as a entrepreneur, you hire your own people. Then you can set your own rules, and I don’t see it as a negative. It’s like, OK, you worked here and here and here. Oh, you got all kinds of experience that I can use, you know, instead of staying at one place for.
Ten years or whatever, you know? So I don’t. I don’t see it as a con, but.
Circling back around to what she said, being a woman in your generation, my my mother was a or she was a boomer. My father’s a boomer. And of course I’m a millennial. So you know different generations. And yeah, I mean, you grew up during the time where women still couldn’t do a lot of things.
You know it, it saddens me and it’s it’s interesting that you say that you never thought about what you wanted to do cuz I have opportunity to do.
Do it and that’s why I do all the things that I do, because I knew that my mother didn’t have the opportunities that I did. Just being being a woman, not even entering in race, you know? So I take every opportunity and do everything scared, anxious and Sir word here.
Because, you know, I know that people before me didn’t have those opportunities and I’m happy to see that you you are able to do what you want to do. Now whether it’s, you know, 10 years ago, 20 years ago and it’s and it’s it’s now you know so yeah.
UM, let’s see what else?
You know, I would say at least not for people not to discount their resume. Like all of these things, entrepreneurs love those things that, like you said, I got a job once because I put had on my resume that I played baseball and the company had a baseball team.
And they needed a first baseman, and I played first base.
Right. So they’re like, OK, it was between me and the other person. So the baseball tipped it over the edge. Like we all have, like, all these skills, we can all keyboard, and we can do all these things. What are the extra things that are going to, you know, when when, when you’re working in a space with other people? It’s it’s not just about the.
Job. It’s about the collective, like it’s about the.
The community that you’re building, you know, if there’s one person that you don’t get along with and that causes some trouble with with everybody, they, they, they’re counterproductive.
I think nowadays that that doesn’t matter. I it’s to the point where companies don’t want to train even a little bit and they want someone that can just slide into a position. So you know, if you don’t have up tenth years of experience doing this, this and this.
And you know it, it just really doesn’t matter anymore. And it’s and that’s another reason why I started the podcast. It’s it’s really scary out here. It’s really scary.
And that’s another reason why it’s out working for the government because they they’re one of the few employers that’s still training. So you know, if and especially if you wanna do like a career switch or, you know, do something adjacent to what you wanna do. So for example, you know I used.
To be an auditor.
Most people wouldn’t even give me a chance. As an accountant, you know, because I didn’t do it before, even though I studied the same thing.
Yeah, right. So you know it’s it’s a rock and a hard place. And you know, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur ever since I ever could read and write. So yeah. No. And I, of course, I’ve tried all different types of things. I’m I’m curious to know how many times.
How many businesses have you started to be?
Oh my gosh, I I had a handwriting analysis business. I had a little magnet before they had magnets and.
An option.
Words my brother-in-law worked at a company that had the peel off, and then the the magnet. So you stick your business card and then you have a something to hand out that had. So it was called. The right impression was my business like with the magnets RI GHT and we had right impression handwriting analysis WRITE.
Your handwriting? That was my husband and I we went. We traveled in Africa and Asia for 20 for 13 months and we started a business of voyage exports. Voyages. Yeah. So lots. Yeah. Lots of little things, you know.
This is what stuck stuck and you know what’s really interesting? Elyse is I don’t even have repeat customers. Not many repeat customers with the worms because they breed more than rabbits.
So if if if there if it’s working out if if people are managing managing the worm bin properly, they breed a lot and then they you know I meet people they’re like oh, I gave some to my kids school and I to my neighbor I’m like yeah stop giving your worms away it’s bad for my business.
But I’ve left.
And flowed like I do. A lot. I’ve realized that people didn’t understand what this is that I’m doing. Like what? Why would I have worms in the house? What’s the point?
Paint. You know, I can just throw the stuff in the garbage and and it gets taken care of. That’s true. But not in the proper way, right? It’s then it’s mixed with anyway, so it’s just manage better management of of what? The resources we have and turning it like North America, we’ve destroyed the soil. So the worms are creating this black gold that we can apply.
Back on the land so we can grow more nutrient rich food with less chemicals.
So, you know, we’re kind of saving all around. We’re not hauling the stuff away. The waste management, we’re using it on site. Yeah, it’s it’s really beautiful. It’s.
Ah, it’s like the Infinity sign. You know, we eat the food, we give the scraps to the worms, they can their poop is the soil. And then we grow more food. And you know, when you grow your own food, it tastes better. You don’t want to waste it because you you tended to it, you watered it. You weed it around it, you know, so it tastes delicious. It’s super fresh.
Yeah, it’s and. And you can’t be on your technology when you’re in the soil, like when you’re gardening. Your technology has to be put away so you’re more present because you’re.
Connected to the earth.
You know, I know you’re in the tech world, but I, you know, we really need to have boundaries. I think technology came on so fast. It’s such a even though it’s, you know, whatever, I know it’s here decades now, but really in the span of of humanity, technology is kind of a small window and I don’t. It’s the Wild West.
And we’re on it all the time. And now we have wearables and we have all these things, so they’re just with us all the time. So we’re always on. So when we’re gardening, at least we’re connected to the land and we’re we can slow down and just think for a bit.
No, I have to agree with that because I I won’t even lie. When I was growing my my basil and my arugula. And what else is arugula?
Yeah, it was. It was fun. I’m, you know, I’m digging in there and stuff. And and once you see it sprouting, you can actually use it. I mean, it’s amazing. It’s amazing. And Basil never die. It’s it’s just I left it there for a whole, like, month, month and 1/2 and.
You can’t cut it.
Didn’t water and it was. I came back home and.
It was still.
You got a great song, basil. Is it? Like it never dies?
Right. And it’s such a beautiful thing in the herbs.
Like the the lettuces and all the vegetables are are food that like they’re medicine as well or like they’re vitamins and stuff. But they’re herbs are really that’s the medicine because it’s really concentrated. So the herbs have even more power like for our health than.
Regular vegetables.
Yeah. And then we smell it because even the stuff in the store like it doesn’t really have a smell like it should.
How old is it right with you?
Ridiculous. But you touched on another thing about destroying the the soil and the environment and you know as a kid.
They were always talking about destroying the forests and things like that, and I just never understood if you were going to cut down something, why didn’t you replant it? You know, like.
There’s this movie called Ferngully I’m I’m showing my age, but ferngully and it’s a cartoon.
And it they’re basically in their cutting down the forest and the machine is is like the the criminal of the story. And you can see all the animals running and all this other kind of stuff. And there’s a a fairy and she’s all like, why don’t we replant the trees?
You know, like it it did make sense to me, so.
I mean, I guess now we kind of have like campaigns and stuff to replant, but it just never made sense to me to cut something down.
And not replant it.
Right. I it’s it’s. Yeah, it seems obvious.
That you can’t just keep taking, but that seems to be like we’re so smart. It’s this piece that gets in in the way.
It’s this frontal lobe that we think we’re superior to the planet.
You know, we just think we’re above everything and we can just do what we want cause we’re so smart and we are smart.
I don’t, I don’t know. Let’s see. What was the catalyst that got you into into the worms? Cause I mean, nobody wakes up one day and say, hey, you know.
When do worms?
Yeah, definitely not. No, no. So oh, yeah, thank you. So I worked as a secretary for 20 years, all the while getting my psych.
The last 10 years I worked as a temporary secretary for a temporary agency.
And you have to be pretty independent to to do that. It’s kind of like that today with the gig economy, I guess, but where you’re just doing like a couple of days here and there or holidays or Matt leave or whatever. And I loved it. So I was getting my psych degree. It was like I I was getting paid to go to university.
Because when you work well, at least at that time when when you worked as a temporary worker, the impression was that you must not be very smart because you can’t hold a full time job.
Right, so I didn’t get any hard jobs. It would just, you know, I was off in reception or whatever, just doing not and not menial jobs. Those are important jobs as well. You need the gate. The gatekeeper is pretty important job actually. So I was able to. I would answer the phone if people came in I would greet them. But I was doing my homework. I was reading, I was writing my essays.
So I was getting paid to. It was awesome. It took me 15 years to get my psych degree because I didn’t care about going to school. I didn’t care about the paper. I just loved learning and meeting the people. You. When you go at night, you meet different people because you’re there. You’re motivated to be there. OK, so I I graduated in 2000 and I sound so young.
Anyway, having graduated in 2000.
And I got a job at a group home working with challenged adults, and I thought I had come home ohh. First of all, I moved out of Toronto in 93 and bought a house and a teacher. Friend asked me to look after her work.
That was my first introduction to the worms, so that was the first seed 93.
And I didn’t want to have worms in my house, but I think that we should try things for ourselves, like don’t allow someone to go ohh you won’t like that. Ohh good. Thanks for saving me the time, right? Yeah. So I took on the challenge as an avid gardener and Composter had worms in my house. I didn’t want to have worms in my house when I fed them. I’d open the lid, throw the food in.
So it was a bit of a disaster in that I had a I was a.
Fruit fly, farmer.
And the fruit fruit flies. They don’t cause any trouble for for people, they just bug us, right? They don’t carry disease and they’re decomposers. They just worked nicely with the worms. So I kept the worms alive. But when it was time to separate, I put on big gloves. I wanted the black gold for my garden.
OK, so I so then I said I’m never going to do worm composting again.
Fast forward to 2000, I get my this job at the group home. They had a 10 homes and a farm and they didn’t compost and I was like, wow, why don’t they compost? And I talked to, they had a vocational programme where their clients would go to the farm, they would work and they would do like, different jobs. They even have a, like, a greenhouse.
But they didn’t.
Compost. So when I questioned them about composting, they said we don’t need fertilizer because we have cows so they had manure.
And I thought, wow, this that’s when I realized people don’t connect what they’re doing. They’re creating all this food waste and then paying all this money over here to get rid of it. Like, that money could be better spent on programming or something else, a party.
You know? Then just bye bye in the truck.
So I proposed A composting program and the greenhouse manager said what about worm composting?
Have you ever done anything where you’re like ohh, so excited about it and then it?
Doesn’t work. When I was introduced to worm composting and I was like, Oh no, never again. Now, seven years later, it’s being introduced again. Hey, what about worm composting? I’m like, ah, that feeling in the pit of the stomach. No, I don’t want to do that again.
But it was an institution. They weren’t getting worms anytime soon. So I came home from work that day. I started to do some research and discovered the magic of the red wigglers. I’d already had my introduction, like my ucross my my experience with the worms, and now I’m looking them up.
And I discovered, like the red wigglers, they eat half their weight per day in food scraps. They’re the original alchemists. They turned garbage into gold for like their plant food. Wow, we don’t need to truck it around. So I I had this huge epiphany. I went from uh. Worms are gross. Yuck. Not again to.
Oh my gosh. And we need this.
And yeah, and well, so that was kind of how that happened. And then and then I got into that work.
And well, kind of speeding up that part of the story. I came home from work. There was an article in the paper. It said, are you a woman? Do you have a business idea? And I was like, yes, yes. I turned to my husband. I said I’m quitting my job. I’m taking this course. I’m going to start a word business.
Areas, because that’s that’s really how it happens. If there’s like signs and symbols.
We got to pay attention.
At the right time, then you have to circle back around.
And it just it just grabs you and catches you.
That’s it. Yeah, but we gotta be aware, like, right 93. I I would never would have said, you know, I’m doing I’m gonna be have a worm business. What? No way. So we’re you know I’m divinely guided everybody. Well we all are but we don’t all pay attention.
And I I I believe that I’m I like I I get all these messages looking back.
Back without like I don’t. I didn’t know about being an entrepreneur. I just had a great idea.
And so I sent forth. I sent forth. You know, I I yeah. That’s it.
So what did your family and friends say? Did they think you were insane? They’d be playing around with Worms.
Yeah, yeah, like, just get a job and and be safe. And you know, just tow the line. Come on, don’t be ridiculous.
No, I’m.
They thought they had diseases.
Ohh man so.
You know? Yeah, you know, it’s like I’m an overnight success here. It is 22 years, 22 years, a lot of businesses don’t make it more than.
A year?
You know, if you make it five years, you made it. And here I am, 22 years. I’m here, you know. Was it easy? No way. Not at all. Like 2002.
So my partner was gainfully employed. I I kind of had a safety net in that he was he was working.
And won’t this be fun? I’ll have this little worm business. That’ll be fun. And then 2002, there was a garbage strike in Toronto, in Toronto. So we’re already shipping our garbage out of the country now. There’s a garbage strike. We’re not shipping anything anywhere, and it’s just piling up in the summer. Of course, when it’s hot.
And I watching the news, people were lining up for hours to drop off their garbage.
And I went, I wrote. I went on a road trip, but not not before sending out press releases to the Toronto outlets. And I got my first article in the Toronto Star in uh, July 18th, 2002, and I called up my husband. And I’m like, yeah, I got an article in the Toronto Star, right. Largest paper for Canada.
And with all those condos, that’s my people. Those are the ones I need to reach. And he said that’s nice or something. I’m on my way home. I just got downsized.
Like he lost his job the same day that I had my article in the star. Now I joke and I’m like, couldn’t have just got downsized tomorrow so I could celebrate.
My article in the.
Star then I’m like, like, holy crap, we don’t. We don’t have any income now and we sell worms by the pound and nobody wants what we have. Oh oh.
Yikes. The universe is a funny place. If it happened six months earlier that he got downsized. I don’t think I would have had the courage.
Fascinating, right? Ohh yeah. No, you don’t have to tell me because I know how the universe works. I’m playing it all the time. Let’s see.
You you talked about a lot already. I can’t even ask you these chatty Cathy. No, no, no, it’s good. It’s good. That means that, you know, you already you’re already tapped in and tuned in.
There was a question I wanted to ask you.
About because I I’ve read about composting and from what I read you can’t do meat. So or can you do meat? Because I I read that you’re not supposed to compost meat.
Yeah. So if you’re composting outside.
Meat is you. You want to leave the meat out meat and anything processed, anything with spices or any.
Thing, because I owe the meat, particularly will attract rodents and wildlife, will be attracted to your composter. They’re not attracted to the fruit and veg, they’re carnivores for the most part, so that’s why I mean, you can put meat in a worm bin. You can even compost meat. I mean, it’s not that.
Everything is going to happen. It’s just that you might get critter.
The meat will compost. The meat will break down eventually, right? It’s it’s organic matter too. But you don’t want the rodents and and same in a worm bin indoor. You wouldn’t want to put meat even though I just said you could. The worms would eat meat. It’s not that they’re they are not vegetarian, but the meat has a tendency to lot faster than the worms can keep up. So you may get a rotting.
Smelling, you don’t want that. It’s in the house, yeah.
OK, that’s good to know then because, yeah, everything already like you can’t do me and I’m.
Like, well, I don’t have time to be separating meat from everything you know. And I guess that’s that’s my next question. How do you convince people to compost? Cause you know, people like me, I’m like.
I don’t have time be sitting if they’re separating the meat from the noodles from.
The the fruits and vegetables that I eat and yeah, now how do you convince people?
Yeah, it’s it’s it really comes down to education. When people understand why we’re doing this, the benefit of doing this, it’s an easier buy and and at the beginning, I did try to convince people I was like, no, no, you need this.
I I think it’s it’s more educating about now like just kind of wooing them in because if you know.
I have a psych degree, so I’m really fascinated by people and I love.
Asking these quite like I’m curious about why people do what they do, and I I learned early on that in my business that people were.
Traumatized as children by worms like after after a rainy day, you know, in the schoolyard, A sibling, maybe a fishing incident. So if you were traumatized as a child, that’s down there. That’s in your belly. That’s in your DNA now. So as an adult, you might not be looking as worms as the solution you might.
Like, let’s worm invite the worms in the house. So. So there’s breaking through that barrier. And I was doing like a lot of.
Sitting and people would come up or what you’ve got here and I’d say worms and then they’d say, ohh, Jimmy, get back. It’s dirty because they had. Now they’re putting their fear on their children and you know I. So I was like, Oh my gosh. If people are afraid of worms, there’s it’s kind of another barrier because they’re not even hearing my message.
They’re just like shutting off. Oh, let’s get to the next booth. Let’s get away from here.
Without hearing like I don’t, I don’t care if you buy or you don’t buy. If you have worms or you don’t. But if you don’t know about it, you can’t do it.
Without awareness.
Action is impossible. Is my favorite expression one of my favorite expressions, and it had to do with my worms. I was like, oh, if I keep meeting people that don’t know about this, that means they’re not doing it bad for the planet. And and here’s why, you know, the the word I started my business as a waste management tool. We were exporting our garbage to the US and I wanted to stop.
That because that meant our tax dollars were going for transporting our garbage out of the country. There’s a better use for all that money and for the planet, like all that, the exhaust from the trucks, like the whole thing is ridiculous when when there’s a better way. So I I I really did set forth and thought.
Everybody needs this as I was trying to browbeat people into doing it convincing.
Them. I was pushing them away. They’re like, there’s no way in hell I’m doing this. But I had a lot of cheerleaders. Yay. Good for you. Do you have worms? No, I’m. I don’t want to get worms, but good for you.
And I realized I needed to get to the children because the adults were already set. They’ve already they’re already in their safety net. So I I took on school workshops and now over 75,000 students have seen my present.
I love that piece. I still, it’s still one of my favorite things going into the classroom, standing in front of a group of I I would say like grade two or Grade 3 is my favorite because they’re still open to possibilities and they’re still like, they’re they’re not too cool to get, get their hands dirty and get in there and be curious.
And I’ve met children. I’ve met children that I was in their grade three class or elementary class, and now they’ve graduated from college and they became environmental lawyers or environmental advocates because they had worms in their grade free class.
So it’s, you know, we are making, I know you know, but we’re making a difference every single day in people’s lives. We don’t know. We don’t always know the impact that we you know saying hello to somebody on the street noticing somebody. Hey can I give you a hand you know like just seeing somebody we we could be changing their life we don’t know.
And we never know. We sometimes never get that privilege. I have had the honor more than once knowing that I’ve made an impact, so I want to inspire people to to think about how they can serve more, how they can live a bigger life by helping other people. The more we serve, the more we deserve.
You know, and and and it’s it’s not living that safe, you know, following the path it’s it’s it’s forging your own path. Like who knew that I could have a worm business and sell spro it’s like I’m a true entrepreneur I’m I’m hustling everywhere I go I’m talking about what I’m doing.
Because of people without awareness and it’s not like I’m trying to push it on them, I just want them to know. And then if they’re looking for that or they know somebody that’s looking for that, then they know, oh, that, that that’s out there it exists.
No, I love that. I do. I do.
I never even.
Thought about the fear factor of it, but you brought it up, I guess because I used to go fishing as a kid and so I wasn’t really too scared of the worms I put on the hook in and straws for me and stuff. The big old Nightcrawler ones.
So that didn’t cross my mind of being scared of it. But you’re so right that some people are are terrified of worms. And and I get it because I was, I guess I’m scared. I was scared as a kid. Of the ones that just crinkled up into nothing on the sidewalk after rain. But you know, I.
Guess fishing kind of cured that.
As an adult now, I don’t know if I want to touch worms, but I, you know, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t back away.
From it but.
But yeah, I guess I guess getting the kids would be would be the King cause once you set in your ways of my age, you ain’t, you ain’t going back to that. So I I get it.
I guess my other question would be.
If you think that it should be something that should be like a enforced program to kind of force people, especially people that live in big cities, to to compost. I mean I I just moved and I I furnished up my upstairs apartment and now I’m furnishing my downstairs apartment.
And I had a room full of garbage and not to say that worms would help with that, but it was ridiculous how much garbage I had. And I’m, you know, it’s it’s just ridiculous. So I don’t even know what to say. It’s, it’s ridiculous. So.
So yeah, I mean there has to be something to to force this because I mean, I don’t know how true it is that there’s, you know, 8 billion people on the Earth now. But at a certain point some.
Something has to give you know.
Yes. Yeah, I I don’t know. I’m not sure about enforcement. I’m not sure about.
Like government being the one enforcing it because there’s holes in that, like I don’t know what kind of recycling program you have in Ohio.
But we’ve got recycling in each province, each municipality, each little town. They’re recycling program is different. And so if you move from one place to another, you might have been able to put Styrofoam in.
Box, but you moved to another town and they’re like, no, there’s no aftermarket. We can’t take Styrofoam. So we don’t take it just for optics like no point in taking it if it just goes.
In landfill anyway.
Right. So there’s so much confusion with those programs and and now when we in in Canada when when our landfill closed for Toronto area, we didn’t have a a green bin. So now we have we have the blue bin, we have a green bin, a green bin program is our organic waste.
So that program the the recycling program is really contaminated. It’s it’s awful. Most of that stuff ends up in landfill. It does. I’m really immersed in the industry, so I’m I’m glad you mentioned the the waste from your, you know your renovations and yeah, cleaning, tidying things up, getting stuff ready.
So with the food waste program, now that they take the organic matter, so there’s a separate bin for that. The problem with that is if people don’t care, how do we teach care?
If it’s and, I mean those, you can’t put your batteries in there. You can’t put your household waste in there. You can’t put your old paint in there or trip and time or bleach or whatever liquid that you have leftover that’s toxic. You can’t just put it in there, but if you don’t care, you might be like, I’m not going to the household hazardous waste deep. Oh, I gotta drive there.
And that’s a nuisance. I’m I I don’t care. So I’m going to throw my batteries in that green bin. Now we’ve got Mercury and cadmium in with our composting program.
Not cool, because we’re growing our food in that compost.
That means the.
Roots are in that compost and so that’s a problem when we expect.
It has to come from the individual. I think we do need regulations, otherwise people aren’t going to do anything. I get that we do need some structure. I’m just not sure it it needs to come from the grassroots up and then have the people say government. This is what we want and then the government can create programs based on what the people have asked for.
If that makes sense and and there are people with construction, there’s really incredible, wonderful things doing with recycling construction ways they take apart, like take all the steel, all the concrete, all the, you know, the particle board, whatever, all the wood and and it’s separated out. If it’s usable they.
They use it. It’s not. They grind it down and they make roads out of it, old tires and stuff. They’re doing the same, you know, making shoes and making.
You know, so we’re so we are I and we do need to get there because we are running out of resources. There is a lot of us now and and we are so smart. We can’t just keep on slashing and burning.
Because we’ve shown that, you know, the planets heating up, whatever people think of it, that the climate is changing, some of it is natural cycle of how things go. But come on now people, some of it, if we look at if we really pay attention to the sun.
Since the world is heating up faster than it has in in past and we need to do something.
The planet will survive the planet. I believe the planet will survive, but humanity may not in this.
In our current state.
No, I I totally agree with you on that. And I’m so glad we’re having this conversation because yeah, I look at.
Like Earth ships where the you know the houses are made out of bottles and.
And things like that and I, you know, I’m.
Like oh, it’s.
So cute, you know, but it’s it’s saving the environment at the same time, so it’s like, OK, what do we do when, you know, they’re taking, like you said, rubber and making all kinds of stuff out of it. So I don’t know. I think I think the word needs to get out and.
I I think I I don’t know what to say forest. But like you’re saying about the kids, it has to start at a younger age and you know, we get to a point where, you know, it’s just ingrained. And I also have to say I’ve lived in lots of places. So yes, like you’re saying every place has a different program. I’m born and raised in California. All I’ve ever known is.
Is a recycle bin and a green waste bin, you know.
Yeah. So that was ingrained in me from from basically birth. That’s what we did. And when I moved to somewhere else and they didn’t have that. And I’m like, oh, my God, they’re just throwing everything in the garbage. And you know what? In some places, if you live in an old city like, say, Boston, they don’t have garbage disposal. So it’s not even going.
You know, down everything’s going into the garbage can.
I know places in Texas that don’t have, you know, a recycle program and stuff, and I was and when I got to Ohio, I’m like, oh, they have.
A recycle program so.
You know, putting everything in the recycle bin. So yeah, I guess, I guess the the first thing is get everybody just in on one accord and can we?
Weariness. I again back to without awareness. Action is impossible if we don’t know. So California. I didn’t know you came from California. Of course. California is very progress.
In all of these environmental ways and and yeah, if only we could share our not like what are what’s working, what isn’t you know.
Like why? Why are all this? Each state, each province and each area is separate? If only we could share our best practices. What are you guys doing for water? What are you doing with your organic matter? You know, and I know there’s there’s conferences. I’m not. I’m not suggesting that they don’t talk at all. It just seems.
Like governments, often it feels like, you know, whoever’s in power wants their ideas to come to, to come, to pass, right? So they have a three or four year window, three or four year window versus looking at 7 generations back and forth like the indigenous do.
Yeah, it’s. It’s funny because like, the government will have like a, you know, 5-10 fifteen, 2030 year, 40 year plan.
And and then like you’re saying, somebody will get in there, whether it’s the governor or Mayor, City Council and another elected official of a of a government organization. And you know, they’ll, they’ll push their ideas. So it’s it’s just.
It’s about. It’s a whole mess. So but again, something something has to give because yeah, it just it it really. I don’t want to say open my eyes because my eyes have always been open to the mess that garbage is.
And destroying the environment is, but I’m just like I had a a huge room full of nothing but boxes and I’m just like.
This is a this is a mess.
And I literally had to have junk removal come and remove it because there’s no way I could have recycled all that. Just, you know, just in a little bin by myself. So yeah.
Well, those companies, I don’t, I’m not sure in the states, but we’ve got companies that come junk removal and then they will take care of the recycling things and they do.
Separate it out.
I don’t know what they do, but it cost me a pretty.
Penny, I do know that. Yeah.
Yeah, it’s not cheap.
Ohh, so there’s that. Let’s see what are some positives and negatives of your entrepreneurship journey?
Positives first, why not?
Oh, so many. Oh my gosh, so many one, I will say I chose media as my marketing strategy after having that article in the star I was like, oh, it’s, this is really great having somebody, somebody write about you for free versus paying for an advertiser.
Like first of all, it has much more St. cred when somebody else is saying it than you, as the business owner is saying, put this in and I’ll give you money for it. So in 20/20/12.
I was on Twitter and because that’s where the journalists used to hang out because that was real time news. I don’t know where the news is now.
And five minutes after sending out my oh, I sent out a A what did I do? It was an organization in Guatemala doing a worm composting. And I just sent out a link to their website and said what a cool organization. Red wiggler, red wiggler worms all the way or something. Some such and 5 minutes after sending my.
That tweet out, the executive director wrote me and said when can you come to Guatemala? We need to.
Like I was like what?
And so I I was like, Oh my gosh, that was so exciting. I was telling everyone, Oh my gosh. And Guatemala wants me to come. And then my next thought is, like, it’s a poor country. How can they? They can’t pay for me to come and I’m not independently wealthy. So how am I going to get there? And you gotta tell people what? What happens, the cool things in your life. Like, I was telling one friend.
And she said, I said I don’t know how I’m going to get there, but how?
Cool that Guatemala.
Wants me to come to to, to work with Worms and Guatemala. How fun.
And she said, I’m going to host a fundraiser. So in one night we raised $3000. We screened a movie. I have a documentary. We we screened dirt. The movie, which is all about the, you know, the little topsoil that we that our food grows in. It’s a very thin layer of.
Right at the top.
Yeah. And so people donated, we had five works of art, 5 paintings, local businesses donated. You know, whatever bids and bobs and, yeah, $3000. So I got to Guatemala and back. I got to leave some money there. I met six different women’s group women’s groups.
Around the country, that was like what a positive. I never would have had that opportunity if I wasn’t in my own business like setting my own hours. I mean another one was.
I just got an idea. We talked about being. I finally guided. I was walking in the forest. I got this idea. My husband and I were talking, and I had a thought and it just dropped in. And I say what comes in my head. He he knows that, though. And I I said.
I want to go to PEI, one of our provinces. I want to go to PEI and do a workshop.
And then I just got on the, you know, talking about what we were talking about two days later, I came home and he said guess who called? And I said, I don’t know. And he said PEI called and they want you to come and do a workshop. I was like.
No, like my exact words.
You know, so, so these cool experiences have happened. I’ve I’ve spoken at things because I say yes.
When people say, can you do this, I don’t think. Oh, can I do that? I just say yes. And then I figure it out.
And what are the?
Negatives negative, I guess. Would I I would, I wouldn’t call them negatives so much as maybe just learning curves or like things that I might do different if I was starting all over again and that is you know, I chose something that is really kind of word. The word worm is even.
Not so pleasant. People kind of freak out by the word, you know can of worms. It’s not usually a good expression like now you open a.
Can of worms.
Tape worm, you know? Or it’s a parasite. Like just worm is a negative connotation.
Yes, I think I I think.
That was one of the pieces that I didn’t consider was having to educate about or like get getting over that piece. It’s like again, it’s not really a negative, but just something that I didn’t consider when I jumped into this.
Yeah, that makes that makes perfect sense.
And I I learned Spanish in Guatemala, so I have I have. I was in Antigua to learn Spanish for a couple of months and I have a teacher and I keep telling myself I have to go back to go visit my teacher. But yeah. But Guatemala is beautiful.
So beautiful. Oh my gosh.
Beyond beautiful and I got a chance to go up the volcano and and and all that stuff and ohh the chocolates to die for. I don’t know if.
You got a copy?
I I don’t do coffee, but I I’ll I that chocolate man. I’ve never had chocolate that good. I brought back like like a big case full like this and ate on it for months.
Right off.
Yeah, goodnight.
I thought I was going to say.
You gave it away. Probably should have.
Sold it. But I mean it was.
I’m good. And then I learned that. I mean, when they make the hot chocolate, all they’re doing is dropping a piece of chocolate in there and pouring hot water on them. Like, that’s all you do. There’s no powder.
So so simple.
Ohh man, but yes, Guatemala has a special place in my heart and that’s.
Where I learned Spanish.
Let’s see what are some traits that would make someone successful in this career.
Ah, that’s that’s a great question. Not taking yourself serious too. Seriously. We get all in our head.
Yeah, some good traits are take action like knowledge is power, they say, but not without action. Action is required.
So you know, we get these thoughts like pour into our head and we get all fired up. Oh, that’s so great. I’m going to do that. If we don’t take action, either by writing it down or taking a step to make it come to life, it gets lost. Or that voice in our head will talk us out of it, or we might talk to someone and they’re.
They talk us out of it. Like remember last time because people don’t want, like, we don’t like change and our network doesn’t like us to change because if we change, they have to change. Like if we have a bad habit and they have a bad habit and we do this bad habit together and then we want to stop the bad.
Of it, they’re they’re going to do what they can to keep us in that bad habit so they can not have to change their bad habit.
You know and and not to get into any any specifics but you know what I mean just so yeah, take action. Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And that’s a fact that that’s really a fact. You talked about having to go to so many interviews.
If you could have worked your way in to find somebody that could have referred.
Do like that’s. That’s because then you you need to prove yourself. You need to know stuff. It’s not like you can BS your way all the way in. You got you gotta know stuff. But it. But it’s if you can get an introduction in.
To whatever it is you want to do or where you want to go, or who you want to meet. Then it it just makes it easier cause then then they kind of they give you a, you know, a warm bleed like they they might, you know, they might give you a recommendation. They might give you just introduce you by e-mail or you know by TikTok or however you do it today.
I’ve I’ve never even really been on.
To talk like that.
So that ain’t that ain’t me. That’s. I guess that’s the the next generation behind me below me. But but no, I did. I did have introductions and referrals. That’s the sick part. But I I think that are the reason was, you know, the the economy just started to decline.
Around that time, because around that same time.
Name and I used to have all types of recruiters in my inbox and that just that just fell off a damn Cliff. So I think hiring just, you know, they’re silently freezing and not really saying anything about it because yeah, I know plenty of people that work in the in the industry and, you know, got referrals.
Introductions and that that did nothing. So umm.
Is that since 2020?
Or maybe even the fire.
That was in that was the end part of 2022.
Yeah, I think COVID did a big number on on all industries. And yeah, I I I think everything.
Thing. Everything shifted in that time.
Yeah, I think you know the money was flowing. You know, all types of money was flowing and then it just did it. And then, yeah, it’s that’s just what it is, you know, interest rates started going up and, you know, and that that was pretty much less less. Let’s freeze it.
Let’s let’s cut it.
So since that happened, I was like, well, let me go back to the other part that I know and that’s that’s what I did. And that’s another reason why I started this podcast. Because you have to have skills on top of skills on top of skills. So you can pivot cuz when one thing is not doing good, then another will be doing good.
And you don’t.
Want to be stuck?
You know, just having this one skill and that’s that’s all you can do. So you’re you’re a perfect example of that. And I’m so happy that, you know, you love what you do. And you finally got to, you can finally say this is what I wanted to.
Be when I grow.
Up right.
No, I’m not even there yet, though. You know, I’ve really, I said my working title weren’t weren’t. What is it, Kathy? Carly, laughing being queen. So we talked about the crawly part worms.
Being queen, that’s the sprouting part and laughter. Laughter is what I’m really bringing now because since 2020, like we have this global mental health tsunami and it was here before 20/20, it was here, just in 2020. It was way more apparent because it was bigger.
Because, like, how do you torture people, you keep them isolated. And we were all, you know, anyone that lived on lives on their own.
Or, you know, in long term care, folks with dementia, like, how do they understand? Why is my family outside? Why can’t they come in? What’s happening like they? Why is everyone wearing masks, like really scary and and I think a lot of people are still in that trauma. I think a lot of people were really traumatized during.
Like the last three years, it mean.
Like it was divisive ideologies, people were, you know, on both sides.
And and cherry picking even facts like, oh, I believe that bunk into my belief basket. Oh, like, I mean, left and right. It doesn’t matter which side. It just seemed if things were believable. And, you know, with AI and.
So much like deception like, we don’t even know what’s real and what’s imagined anymore. So yeah, I think I think that since 2020 we’ve we’ve we’re in this global mental health tsunami. So now I’m I’m really focused on laughter Wellness because.
Laughter’s the fastest happiness hack. It’s not. So laughter. Yoga’s not doing yoga and laughing. It’s the it’s not jokes or comedy. It’s laughing as an exercise. The yoga part is the deep dive. Formatic breathing and the practice of the laughter. It is a pro.
Practice. And it’s not just laughing at a, you know, a sitcom or something for haha. And then you if you keep laughing, you miss the next joke. It’s laughing. Ha ha ha with, you know, with intention and and yeah, so that’s that’s where I’m really focused right now because I want people to care about the planet so I can sell them worms.
Or the so they get worms.
But when we’re in a mental crisis, we really can’t care about anything else. Except how do I get out of this feeling?
And and you know the stress part of the brain. I’ve learned so much over the last, I would say, four years. Ah, I took a deep dive. Like lots of time to learn. Right during the first two years at least. Yeah. On like, why do people say laughter is the best medicine? What does that mean?
And it’s a global expression.
And it’s not. Laughter is not. There’s no language laughter is the the language. Laughter is universal. Everybody laughs.
And yeah, so, so laughter is the best medicine. We just need to laugh. And then our problems are lessened.
Because when we’re laughing, we’re fully present. Our brain is fully oxygenated. We’re secreting the love drugs, dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins versus cortisol and adrenaline. When we’re stressed, like there’s so many, so many things, our frequency gets raised when we laugh. It’s like when we sing or when we dance.
Or when we do anything that that brings us joy.
We just feel good. We we just feel enlightened or when we’re having fun with friends, you know, we’re. Yeah, we’re engaged. We’re alive versus. You know, when we’re thinking about, Oh my God, I don’t have enough money. I don’t have a job. I can’t feed my kids.
You know, all all these like ohh there’s war like.
There’s so many things going on right now. How are we even still standing? There’s so much going on. That’s why laughter. We don’t need to know. We don’t need to talk about all the stuff, because that’s going on at nauseam. We see that we hear it on the news. We see it on social, it’s everywhere. We don’t need to.
Talk about that anymore. We need to laugh and release. It’s like the pressure cooker going off. This just releases the this the tension, the pressure.
No, definitely. I told my sister my next career is going to be psychiatry psychiatrist cause.
Yeah, I mean it did. It definitely did a number on people. I mean, shoot it did a number on me. I was. I was stuck in another country. I didn’t know if I ever see my family ever again. So I mean, that was amazing.
Yeah. No. So luckily, you know, I had my adoptive family that called my adoptive family my Mexican family. Yes. But, but yeah, I mean, it was. It was very, very scary. Luckily though, I my my sibling, my sister is in, is in healthcare.
So I I knew what was going on on the inside because she was.
She was on the front lines and she she traveled during that time. So when I eventually did get back in the states, I would travel with her sometimes and go to the the different places that she was in. So, you know, I had. I had a lot of insider knowledge. So that kind of calmed me down.
A lot, but for those that didn’t, I I.
I can’t even. I can’t even imagine.
But yeah, I mean.
It’s it. Yeah, it’s, you know, it’s definitely definitely needed.
I don’t know, at least here in Canada, to where.
Healthcare isn’t tied to to employment.
And you can be an entrepreneur and you know, get get the help that you need it. But.
But that’s a whole nother subject in itself and in America. But last question, what would you tell someone that wanted to?
To career switch.
I would say write down a list of things that you love to do. Another part of being successful, honest, being on.
A success track is to do stuff that you love to do. Of course, if you have a business.
You need to. You’re going to be doing several jobs, especially at the beginning and things that you don’t like. But if if the most of most of the things that you do during your day.
Are enjoyable or you like doing those tasks tasks? It’s you’re it’s going to be better, so write a list of things. What do I like to do? What are my skills? Because you know, I think we forget that the skills that we’ve always had the same type of job.
We might not realize that skills that we have that we use in that position are transferable. We can use those skills over here. For example, I was a secretary for for 20 years. I didn’t even know it. It seems sounds ridiculous. Saying it out loud.
But I didn’t know at the time that my skills as a secretary would be applicable in the marketing department or customer service, you know? Oh, there’s a job in customer service. So I don’t know anything about that. Are you kidding? It was the president. Secretary. I will I will. It was customer service at the top level, right. I mean, once they couldn’t get.
What they wanted from customer service, they came to the president. If I let them in.
You know, so I think that we need to look at what we’ve got and get confident, like build up your confidence, whatever you have to do.
Because it it you know, the the employers will hire people that are confident, even though they might be the pain in the *** employees because they’re going to stand up for themselves.
But if you’re sitting, you know when often if you go in person for interviews, their desk is higher than yours. So they’re kind of looking over you. So they already have the power dynamic where they’re superior to you, so you need to rather than be small in your chair and definitely don’t be looking on your cell phone just before because.
When you’re on your cell phone, you have the Physiology of depression.
So before you for to be success successful when you’re going to have any business meetings or you’re going to have an interview, do some power posing like stand with your hips, hands on your hips, look in the mirror. You know, do your hands over your head the victory pose and and look at yourself in the mirror and and think.
Got this? You’re you’re like, and. And it matters like it does work. It really does work, because we just need to override that part of our brain that wants to keep us safe, conserve energy, keep you safe. You don’t want to look ridiculous. That’s your ego.
So we need to override that by being confident, and if your brain is, you know, you have that monkey chatter going on, you can literally command your brain to, you know, thank you. Thank you for sharing. I know you have opinions. I’ve got this. I’m the adult thing in the room.
Just go and take a rest for a moment and let me just focus on this and you can really talk to your brain and ask it to take a breath. Like to go look up, focus on breathing for now.
OK, that’s that’s all the questions I.
Got for you.
I I really enjoyed this conversation because I never, I never in my life thought I ever talked to somebody that that love worms and sowed worms for.
I mean and and and. You know, we’re trying to sell people on the idea of composting. Now I’m have to look deeper into it and get me.
A bin and and microphone.
It’s really, you know, it’s really transformative because you see the worms like the idea maybe at the beginning, it’s like, oh, but then it’s like, wow, you see the worms. So they’re in food scraps and.
Vapor it’s aerobic, meaning with oxygen it doesn’t smell like running food, and then the worms convert that paper and that those banana peels and whatnot into soil, and you can.
You can’t watch it happen because they don’t like the light, but you know, overtime, three to five months, the worms convert all that material. Then you have this super rich like you can look at that and it looks like beautiful rich soil versus dirt.
You know, that’s kind of like they’re growing stuff in it that’s on the fields, but it’s like.
That’s where my food comes from.
When you look at that black hole, it’s like, wow, that looks it. Even just looking at it side by side, you can see that you would want your food to. It’s like, yeah, I won’t get into the whole thing. You said you had.
No more questions. No, no.
I’m now I’m curious. Like who was like, who thought of like, hey, let’s take some worm poop and you know and.
Put it on our plants and see if it grows. You know, like I’m I’m that type of person. Like, I gotta get deeper into it. Like, who thought that girl?
Oh, this is old. This this goes way, way back. This is way, way back.
I know, I know. Probably you know, since the beginning of of freaking time, but it’s like.
Who thought that? I mean, I’m gonna get this little worm poop and add it to my plants and then see. See what it does.
You know, like, no, you know what it was? It’s probably a a compost pile and then the worms came and then they found the worms. And they’re like, hey, look at the.
Worms in here, right?
Maybe we can harness that. I don’t. Maybe.
You know, I’m the one that looks at weird stuff like there’s there’s these things called rambutans in in Mexico. It’s it’s one of my favorite fruits. Ohh. I can eat a whole bunch of them and get sick.
And they’re like hot pink with spiky things on them, and it’s like, who was the first person to say, hey, I’m gonna go up on this tree and grab it and see, see if I can eat it. Cause, you know, you know, I’ll be like, I’m scared to eat it. I’m who wants to eat this.
Look at that thing. It looks like an alien. It looks poisonous, you know? So you know, it’s just it’s just stupid stuff like.
That that I think about.
I do too. I love that. I think that’s that’s the entrepreneur brain where you’re thinking about, well, how did that? How did that come about?
It it never ends, it never freaking ends and yeah.
That’s awesome. It’s awesome.
All right, Kathy, tell people where they can find you.
So my worm.
Website is Kathy’s composters.com Cathy with a C and my laughter page is kathysclub.com and I actually have a free laughter Club every Tuesday at 9:30 AM Eastern, 30 minutes of super fun self-care.
There I incorporate tapping brain gym chicone all kinds of energy modalities just to help people get out of stress and into joy. They come experience the magic of laugh, laughing for the health of it.
Yeah, yeah, that sounds that sounds really exciting. Alright, y’all. Thank you for listening or watching. My name is Elyse Robinson with the nobody wants to work through podcast and until next time.