When I first began downsizing and decluttering I came across a few blogs that seemed to all have one thing in common. Their authors were participating in a sort of mini-mission called Project 333. The founder of the project, Courtney Carver, came across as a very real, down-to-earth, approachable, minimalist of sorts. I reached out to her immediately and pledged myself to the 333 mission.
As time passed Courtney and I became Interweb friends and exchanged encouragements on each others blogs as well as through email. You can imagine then my excitement for her upon the release of her eBook Simple Ways to Be More with Less.
Courtney, a 41 year old, self-described aspiring minimalist, is both a wife and a mother and has written the book for anyone looking to make big (and small) changes to their life….on purpose, mind you! She is also a writer and photographer by trade.
In 2006 Courtney was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and while the disease does not define her, it has had a huge impact on her life including the creation of a website that helps fund MS research – One Million for Good.
Through the magic of the Interwebs I was able to “sit down” with Courtney for a few minutes and talk about her new book released earlier this month.
Tiny r(E)volution: You mention that you are an aspiring minimalist. How can you aspire to less?
Courtney: Well, typically people start off with less and aspire to more. They grow in their careers, make more & spend more. They buy a nicer car (or two) and bigger house and think about their next acquisition. I don’t think that it’s typically done in a greedy way, but it’s a normal course of life. When I realized that even though I was working harder and making more, most of my money was going towards debt. It seemed silly to continue in that very normal direction.
Tiny r(E)v: Isn’t that what minimalism is about – owning less, working less, consuming less, etc ?
C: Yes of course, but it’s also about clearing out the non-essential so you can focus on what is really important with greater clarity. With less consumption, you have the time, space and money to create and contribute.
Tiny r(E)v: You have a pretty hefty lineup of guest contributors including Leo Babauta, Everett Bogue, and Tammy Strobel. Do you see these people as inspiration or as the real Justice League of Minimalism, if you will?
C: They have all inspired me in someway. I do consider them leaders in the field of living with less, but mostly I consider them friends. I’ve spend some time with both Leo and Tammy and they are lovely, genuine people.
Tiny r(E)v: I find it interesting that you use social media to stay connected to your primary audience. How then do you fit digital correspondence and marketing into the minimalist parameters?
C: That is an awesome question and I think about it frequently. My goal is to connect in the most authentic way possible. I don’t make sure my tweets and blogs are SEO friendly, I don’t even really understand what that means. I follow only the amount of people on Twitter that I can effectively keep up with and I don’t usually stay on Twitter watching conversation. I’ll usually check in, ask or answer questions, share good information and then get back to what I was doing. I’ve connected with wonderful people through Twitter. People like you!
Tiny r(E)v: Page 44 of the book talks about having less clutter. Can one be a minimalist and still be surrounded by clutter? Are the two true opposites?
C: I’ve never really thought about that but I do think that clutter would be a contradiction to a minimalist lifestyle. Less doesn’t mean nothing, but an excess of clutter would be very distracting.
Tiny r(E)v: You are give an all-expense paid vacation to any destination. Where would it be?
C: There are so many places I would like to visit, but right now, I would love to visit Doha to spend time with my sister and her family, Sweden to see my Mother-in-Law and then end up in Sayulita, Mexico for a little stand up paddle surfing and cava on the beach with my husband.
Tiny r(E)v: Your favorite way to wish someone a happy birthday?
C: I always say “Happy New Year, I love you.”
Tiny r(E)v: Thank you Courtney. Best of luck on your new book and your future endeavors!
C: Thank you.
Available now in PDF format, Simple Ways to Be More with Less will…
- improve your health
- make you smile
- slow you down
- remind you about what is important
Included are recommendations to simplify your life and ideas to live each day more purposefully . Don’t miss important chapters from contributing authors:
- Leo Babauta | Simplicity blogger and author, Leo created Zen Habits, one of the top 25 blogs according to TIME magazine.
- Joshua Becker | The creator of Becoming Minimalist, Joshua blogs to inspire you to live with less.
- Everett Bogue | Cybernetic yogi blogging at evbogue.com.
- Dan Goodwin | Creativity coach, author and blogger from A Big Creative Yes.
- Jonathan Mead | Through his blog, Illuminated Mind, Mead helps people kill their day jobs and get paid to be who they are.
- Tammy Strobel | Founder and blogger behind Rowdy Kittens, Tammy challenges her readers to change the world through simple living.
Courtney’s book will challenge you, brighten your day, and if you let it, change your world.