John Ivanko

Browntown, Wisconsin, United States

Farmer, Bed & Breakfast Owner, Organic Farmer

Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and Farm

My life began in 1992, the minute I left the cubicle of the large corporation and started the Serendipity Bed and Breakfast and Farm, an inn completely powered by wind and solar energy.

My wife, Lisa Kivirist, and I run a small, award-winning B&B that is one of the Top 10 eco-destinations in North America. We’ve authored numerous books, including ECOpreneuring, Rural Renaissance and Farmstead Chef, as well as speak nationally and write for numerous magazines (I'm also a photographer).

We believe once you find your purpose and passion in the world the rest will follow. It certainly has for us.

We would love to share what we know with you, including how we paid off our mortgage by 45 and get paid to travel and speak about renewable energy, farming and sustainable enterprise development. We can help you create a business around your passions and an enterprise that can make the world a better place.


A day in paradise is a day that starts with preparing a delicious feast for our B&B guests with recipes from our cookbook Farmstead Chef, using ingredients harvested just 100 feet from our back door. Every day brings new guests, a new harvest and a new taste or challenge. We're celebrating the "Rural Renaissance" we wrote about in our book.

Small is beautiful. We're a family corporation of two people, a husband and wife team. When we need something done, we do it ourselves or contract out with other microenterprises that care as much as we do about the Earth.

I love getting soil under my fingernails, watching the sun rise and set on the same day. The sun is the source of our organic fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as the energy source to completely power our farm. We have a wind turbine, couple solar electric and solar thermal systems and, even, a straw bale greenhouse where we start our transplants and cure our garlic.

I'm a lifestyle entrepreneur, more eager to grow my life's experiences than my bank account. Sure, we need revenues to make the business go, but our focus, as I write about in by award-winning book ECOpreneuring, is putting purpose and the planet before profits.

Who wants to be the richest person in the cemetery? Today, I eat like a millionaire, travel when and where I like, love where I live and, more so, love the diversity of things I do, whether its authoring books, speaking, photography, blogging, farming or running the Inn Serendipity.

In terms of making a living, it's not how much do (dough?) I need, but rather how to prosper with what I have already.