I have been a fan and reader of Courtney Carver’s work for some time and today I am thrilled to share an interview that Courtney was kind enough to agree to (just before the Christmas break). As you’ll soon see, Courtney has an inspiring story to share that can certainly help you live a simpler and more purposeful life. Let’s dig in!
I live in Salt Lake City Utah and started bemorewithless in 2010 to share the changes I was making to simply my life in an effort to connect with like-minded people and inspire change. courtneycarver.com came a little bit later, but it’s where I share ideas to help people simplify business so they can be more creative and do work they love. I started blogging with a full time job and after 16 months of doing both, I left the corporate world to focus on writing and consulting with a focus on simplicity.
Simplicity, living simpler and living with less are themes through your writing (as indeed they are here at Frictionless Living). What led to you wanting to live a simpler life and share your story via the blogs and your books?
In 2006 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was my wake up call. I realized that my body was rejecting my lifestyle and that my work more only to spend more, have more and do more life wasn’t working at all. I don’t think that my lifestyle caused my MS but it certainly made it worse. Stress has such a powerful impact on our health. I knew that I had to reduce stress, so I started simplifying everything in my life from diet to debt, stuff and obligations.
What have been some of the main challenges you have faced since trying to live simpler?
When I simplified my diet and cut out all meat and most animal products, I missed some of my old favorites, but the changes soon became my new normal. When I decided to become debt free, I had to stop spending. At first I was nervous that it would feel like a sacrifice, but the benefits quickly demonstrated that wasn’t the case. From time to time I worried about what people might think about my big lifestyle changes, but then I realized that whatever they thought probably had more to do with them than with me and I let that go.
Is there anything that you miss from your previous (less simple) life?
Not one single thing.
And what have been some of the major benefits including any surprising benefits?
The best benefits have included, improved health, making decisions on something besides money now that we are debt-free, less stress worrying about “stuff”, better relationships because I have the time and space to give them the attention they deserve. One surprise benefit was in getting rid of so much stuff, we realized we had too much space and downsized from 2000 sq. ft to 750 sq. ft.
What are two or three things readers can do today to start living more simply and making more of less?
- Walk through the house with a box and fill it with everything you don’t love or use. If you want to fill the box fast, start in the closet. Tape the box and donate it. Repeat.
- Disconnect for 24 hours every week. Everyone deserves a digital sabbatical. It will not only reduce the massive flow of information but prove that life goes on when you unplug.
I know you have a new book out, Mini-Missions for Simplicity which is a great read. Tell us a little about it.
Mini-Missions are assignments or challenges that you can implement immediately, so you can enjoy some immediate gratification during this adventure and make your simple life more enjoyable and sustainable.
Mini-missions are often one step actions that you can do to improve your health, relationships, bank account or wardrobe. They’ve become so important in my life and such a favorite on Be More with Less, that I invited a few of my friends to create new mini-missions for the book.
For 2014 you have also created a comprehensive 12 month course that has some exciting content and contributions from other influencers in the simplicity field. Can you tell readers what they can expect from that?
Thanks for asking about a simple year. I am really excited about this program. I partnered with wonderful simplicity authors to create the annual program. Each month, a new author will deliver written lessons, a live webinar and a few surprises on a specific topic. January kicks off with Joshua Becker on Clutter. You can learn more about the authors and course content here: http://simpleyear.co. Registration closes on January 10th and the course kicks off on January 13th.
Great, thanks for your time Courtney and for sharing some of your thoughts.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my story.
For more on Courtney remember to check out:
http://simpleyear.co/ (registrations for A Simple Year run until 10th January)