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How to Do Less So You Can Be More

Back in 2014 I was nominated to The Wall Street Journal’s “Women of Note.”

With the recognition came the opportunity to be interviewed in their newsletter, and this was one of the questions they asked:

Name something you believe every woman should know how to do.

My answer?

“Live on a wardrobe of 33 items or less…

The average woman wears 20 percent of her closet, which means the vast majority of what we buy is never worn or is wasted. The best thing I ever did for my productivity and my sanity was aspire to become a minimalist. Joining Project 333 is a really great place to start.”

I later heard from the editor that my suggestion sparked a “Project 333” frenzy among women in the WSJ offices. Imagine that ; )

If you’re not familiar with Project 333 it was started by my friend Courtney Carver of the Be More With Less blog. It’s a minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 garments or less for 3 months.

Courtney’s work has been featured by media outlets around the world (The Today Show, O Magazine, BBC) and through her blog, courses and in-person tours, she teaches people how living with less can lead to richer and more fulfilling lives.

As entrepreneurs, we are often on a quest for more. As Courtney says, we give into pressure every day to work more, own more, and do more.

If you find yourself constantly stuck in a hamster wheel, striving for more but never feeling like you’re actually getting anywhere, Courtney’s latest work was written for you.

Her new book, Soulful Simplicity, shows us how to pursue practical minimalism so we can create more with less.

And for entrepreneurs like us, having more space to focus on what’s most important is everything.

This isn’t a book about decluttering your “stuff” (although you may be tempted to do that). It’s a book about going deeper.

It’s about establishing daily habits around what matters and shifting your focus away from what doesn’t.

And who doesn’t need more of that in their lives?

Here’s some of what the book will teach you:

  • How to figure out what you believe. This is something that’s easy to forget in our everyday lives but matters more than you think.
  • How to identify your “wake-up”calls. For Courtney, it was a diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which she talks more about in the book.
  • How to define your “why.” I’ve talked about the “why” behind your business before here. In Soulful Simplicity, Courtney takes you deeper into the “why” behind your life.
  • How to let the monkey off the chain. In other words, how to stop trying to control everything.
  • How to consider fewer ends. This means reframing your approach to making ends meet. The fewer the ends the better.

Soulful Simplicity is now available through your preferred book vendor here.

Give yourself permission to cozy up, clear out the mental clutter and re-focus on what will fulfill you in the year ahead.

I’ll be right there with you,

 

factory45 owner shannon

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Over two years ago, I got an email from an old “blogger friend.”

My {r}evolution apparel co-founder and I had written a guest post for his blog during our 2011 Kickstarter and doing so had catapulted our campaign from around $40K to over $64K.

His large and dedicated fanbase of readers had been the exact target market our clothing company was trying to attract. And thanks in large part to them, we became the highest-funded fashion project in Kickstarter history at that time.

The blog was called The Minimalists.

Several years later, it was a surprise to hear from him again and even more surprising to receive the following request:

Howdy! Long time no see. Do you have any interest in doing an interview for our minimalism documentary?

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On May 3, 2016 I attended the Boston screening of Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things in a jam-packed, sold-out theater.

Joshua and his co-creator Ryan now have a following of over four million readers and have been featured on ABC News, BBC, The Today Show, NPR and The New York Times, among other notable press.

The film, directed by Matt D’Avella, was named the number one independent documentary of 2016, won pre-screening awards at international film festivals, and has shown in 400+ worldwide screenings.

In the film, I was able to talk about the marketing messages that the fast fashion industry feeds us, why we look to fashion to make us happy, and how our clothing choices play into global consumption.

The documentary also asks, How might your life be better with less?

And it examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life — families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker.

You can get a taste of Minimalism by watching the trailer here:

As my mother-in-law said after she saw the film, “Minimalism isn’t for me, but I get it,” the point is not to transform into a minimalist overnight.

I do hope that the messages in the documentary provoke deeper thought about what we really need to make us happy, how our purchasing decisions impact the rest of the world and what it would feel like to find happiness from within.

To watch the film in full, the online screening is available here.

 

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