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Living My Dream Profile: Ed Brogdon

As the Founder/Owner of Back to Eden, LLC in Columbia, SC, Ed's business purpose is to inform, educate, inspire and empower people on how to live a healthier, more productive and wholesome lifestyle through the practice of Year-Round Gardening.

Over the past 19 years, he has nearly perfected the art of “year-round” gardening through the practice of “companion planting”, “intensive planting”, “succession planting”, and “timed-harvesting” techniques that significantly increase plant yield and an important process for addressing the serious concern of lack of access to fresh vegetables in under-served communities.

At the community level, he is actively involved with children, families and faith-based organizations to promote and develop helpful and healthy lifestyle habits through the practice of gardening. At the corporate level, a more tailored-approach provides an opportunity for respective organizations to explore and develop innovative seminars and workshops that could help move their Wellness Programs beyond a white-paper status by actively engaging employees in intellectual and practical activities which increase their interest, understanding and participation in vegetable gardening programs on their own for better health and economic benefits.

Q1. What was happening in your life when you decided to pursue your dream?
Ed: The job position and financial success that I had come to realize were no longer providing that feeling of personal satisfaction that it once did.
Q2: Why was this experience instrumental in your decision to pursue your dream(s)?
Ed: For some, it’s a very difficult decision to abandon “current” success for potential “future” success. For me, this continued feeling of dissatisfaction was the push that I needed to move me out of my comfort zone and into my purpose.

Q3: How have the pursuit and achievement of your dream effected your perception of yourself and what's possible in life?

Ed: More so than perhaps I am able to factually define. But from a spiritual perspective, I came to the conclusion that my passions for helping others learn the art of growing their own vegetables was a Godly gift that was directly aligned with my purpose in life. Then I knew that I was being lead by God for greater things to come.
Q4: In moments when you face setbacks and challenges, what are a few actions that you take to maintain the resolve to keep moving forward towards your goals?

Ed: My action is a dual-belief that begins and ends with me: (1) my failures are simply little stepping stones along a long road to Success-ville.

(2) Unless I am willing to do something beyond what I have already mastered, I will never grow!
Q5: As a result of your work, what positive change have you manifested in your life, your family, business and/or community?

Ed: I’ve found that in my personal life I am now more tangibly committed to be of service to others than I previously was. You see, it’s actually very easy to say, “Call me if you need my help”. But when that spur of the moment comes, can we show—through our passionate devotion—just how committed we really are!

The freedom that comes along with owning my own business has surly afforded my family more access to me than the previous 9 to 5. For instance, my wife no longer has to take time away from her employer to take the girls to dental appointments—that falls under the infamous “honey-do” list.

Being available to attend mid-mornings or afternoon community events has been such a mutually benefiting experience. People I would have unlikely met now have access to me; and even more important, the wisdom that I have gained from those encounters are indisputably priceless!

Q6: If you had the superpower to completely transform one aspect of your community, what would it be, and why?

Ed: I would reverse our nature for being too much the “consumer” of frivolous products that bring short-term satisfaction rather than a “producer” of products or services than could bring long-term [generational] wealth. Too often, especially in the more needy communities, you will find that outside entrepreneurs are the ones operating a thriving business at our expense.

To change that social-economic disrespect, we should strive harder and more consistently to be viewed as the “target” rather than the “prize”. In other words, be a producer of what your community needs, and then perpetually circulate the Benjamins within that community.
Q7: If you were just starting to pursue your dream(s) today, what personal leadership habits would you say is essential to producing the biggest return on the investment (ROI) of your time, energy and resources?
Ed: Learn and practice good “follow-ship”. Seek out successful Mentors who welcome obstacles as opportunities for adding to the bottom line. Be willing and committed to extra time & efforts necessary to duplicate their work ethics. 
Q8: What is something that very few people know about you?
Ed: I think very few people know that I still consider myself very much a “work-in-progress” entrepreneur even within my successful specialties as a Community Garden Designer; Year-Round Gardening Coach; and Healthy Lifestyle Advocate & Presenter.
Q9: How can those interested in learning more about your company and its services contact you?
Ed: Interested individuals can find out more about my company by viewing my LinkedIn profile, and by contacting me via email at or by phone at 803-465-0117.
The following pictures are a small representative of Ed's artful craft. He has recently started to offer a Year-Round gardening Master Class. The class size is limited to 15 people, so if you are interested in attending his next class contact him.

Ed's story demonstrate the importance of having a commitment to add value in the lives of others with the talents and interests that you have. 
He is a shining example of how one can take a talent and interest that many people would consider ordinary and make it extraordinary with the mindset of adding value to the lives of others.
His wealth of experience and heartfelt desire to help people live a healthier and more productive lifestyle by practicing Year-Round gardening increases the quality of lives of those living in the Columbia, SC and beyond AND his work in the community have broaden his influence to make a difference in his community.

If you're interested in being profile in the Grow Forward & Flourish online community, contact me at Your story will serve as inspiration for many of the community members who are on their grind to living their dreams.
How will you begin to use your talents and interest to make a difference in the lives of those in your community? Share your comments below.
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