Becoming Minimalist exists for one purpose: to inspire and equip people to own less and live more.
That has been the driving force behind this blog for the last 13 years and will not change.
We are a culture fixated on the pursuit of physical possessions, even though there are more meaningful pursuits available to us. Being a voice in the world calling people to a different way of life is something I love doing.
This blog was launched 13 years ago as a hobby.
But eight years ago, Becoming Minimalist became my full-time job. I loved my previous role in the world (pastor), but I felt called to pursue this passion full-time. There was a need in the world and I seemed to be good at filling it. You can read more about my decision here.
A lot has changed in eight years and I’m not going anywhere. But I thought it would be helpful to update you, the Becoming Minimalist community, on my approach to business and how this website supports my family (and a team of others).
The Becoming Minimalist business model consists of two unique values:
1. Help people and the money will follow. All business should center on this approach. My first goal is not money, but helping people. When that is accomplished, the money tends to follow.
2. We don’t need or want a lot of money. Minimalism frees me to live on less and because of that, my approach to business can be different. Not needing to make a lot of money is a pretty underrated business strategy in my opinion. It allows me to do what I love, rather than what makes the most money.
Becoming Minimalist LLC was founded officially in 2014. For the first five years, I assumed the company would be no larger than one employee (me). But over the past couple years, we’ve added a fabulous team that has allowed us to reach even more people and create even more resources. I’ll introduce you to them and their roles below.
Here is what we have created and how we support the business:
1. The Becoming Minimalist Blog
Becoming Minimalist, the blog, contains my writing on the topics of minimalism, intentionality, and living a meaningful life. The website always has been, and will continue to be, free. There is a growing movement online to charge subscription access to blogger’s articles, I never intend to do so.
I have been posting articles twice/week for the last 13 years—so there is a lot to read in the Archives if you’re ever bored.
This site has always been about more than minimalism. Not every post is about decluttering and/or owning less, I think that is why most people keep returning year after year. Becoming Minimalist is now read by over 1.5 million people every month.
The blog produces no income and contains no advertisements, product placements, or sponsored posts.
2. The Becoming Minimalist YouTube Channel
Every Friday, I publish a short, inspirational video to YouTube. Gabriella Hileman is the full-time producer, director, and editor of the channel. She has worked alongside me since 2018.
Since our launch in late-2018, the channel has grown to 200,000 subscribers and over 1.7M views each month (more viewers than this blog actually). Many of the articles from this website have been recorded as videos and published there. I view it as a new format to reach more people with the life-giving benefits of owning less and intentional living.
The YT channel also produces no income and contains no advertisements, product placements, or sponsored posts.
3. No Sidebar
No Sidebar is another website we run that is dedicated to removing excess and purposeful living. I’m proud to have it under the Becoming Minimalist umbrella.
No Sidebar is a collaborative blog that features a variety of voices in the Modern Simplicity movement, each presenting their unique view on simplicity and how it shapes their life. Many writers just starting out have used the website to build their reputation and readership online—as have established bloggers as well.
No Sidebar is a beautiful website with powerful stories. It is a great place to read different viewpoints on minimalism and find new writers that you might resonate with. You’ll love it. No Sidebar is edited by Caitie Wiersma and publishes two articles each week. We are both proud of the many voices it has elevated.
Just like Becoming Minimalist, No Sidebar contains no advertisements, product placements, or sponsored posts.
There is a 30-day email course on the site that focuses on designing a simple life. The course helps cover some of the costs of running the site.
4. Becoming Minimalist Social Media
With the help of Caitie, Becoming Minimalist’s social media presence now reaches over 50M people every month with inspirational messages.
We oversee three Facebook pages: Becoming Minimalist, Simplify, and No Sidebar. The specific culture of each page is different, but they all serve the same purpose: encouraging others to live a meaningful life by removing distractions.
Although we receive offers every day (literally), Becoming Minimalist social media channels produces no income and does not accept any advertising dollars or sponsored posts.
Becoming Minimalist generates income from four sources. These profitable resources provide the financial foundation for everything else we do here at Becoming Minimalist.
1. Uncluttered, $89 USD
Uncluttered is a 12-week online course that offers guided instruction, community, encouragement, and inspiration to help you declutter your home.
It is specifically designed for anyone who “wants to declutter their home and wants extra help getting there.” If you’ve been able to minimize your possessions successfully through my blog, books, or YouTube channel, there’s no need for the course.
But I’ve learned over the years that some people want more, so I created Uncluttered to provide everything a book cannot: community, accountability, weekly challenges, live interactions, and opportunity to ask specific questions. Everyone who signs up for Uncluttered has lifetime access to the course and can take it as many times as they want or need (I want everyone to be successful).
I offer Uncluttered three times each year—the next one beginning in September. Each time I launch the course, I notify the Becoming Minimalist Community and promote it on Facebook with advertisements. Vincent Nguyen of Growth Ninja has been my Facebook ad expert for the last 5 years and does an amazing job of getting information about the course in front of people who wouldn’t otherwise know it exists. He’s been a good friend for eight years and still can’t beat me in ping-pong.
Lori Hernandez provides Customer Support for the course and has done so for the last three years.
The income from Uncluttered is one of the main reasons we are able to create everything else we create.
2. Simplify Magazine, $20 USD
In June 2017, along with my friend Brian Gardner, I launched Simplify Magazine, a quarterly, digital publication that pulls together expert contributors to address some of the most pressing needs of the modern family.
The format of Simplify Magazine allows us to address important topics outside the realm of minimalism specifically. Over the last five years, we have pulled together experts to offer long-form, deep-dive conversations into topics such as Health, Relationships, Money, Stress, Technology, Organizing, Self-Care, and others (here’s the full list).
Each issue pulls together 8-10 trained experts to offer their education and experience on these important topics. At almost 20,000 words per issue, each one reads as a mini book.
Elissa Joy Watts is the Managing Editor of Simplify Magazine and Eric Stanford is the Editor. Amy Porter provides Customer Support.
Simplify Magazine is reader supported and entirely ad-free. Each issue can be read online or downloaded to be read on mobile devices. The magazine is unique in that we offer lifetime subscriptions to the magazine (all past, present, and future issues) for a one-time purchase of $20 USD— there are no recurring subscriptions. With over 250,000 readers, it is a valuable resource for many.
The funds from that book advance founded The Hope Effect, a nonprofit organization changing how the world cares for orphans. The residual income from those books continues to support The Hope Effect and helps with the cost of running Becoming Minimalist.
My next book, Things That Matter, will be published in Spring 2022. The funds from that book advance have been used to further fund The Hope Effect and Becoming Minimalist.
And yes, this is the first time I’ve announced that I have a new book coming out! It’s an important book that extends the principles of minimalism beyond physical possessions. I can’t wait to tell you more about it.
I do a significant amount of speaking on the benefits of owning less and also simplicity, intentionality, faith, finance, and leadership. I have spoken at Google, Airbnb, as well as large National Conferences both in the US and around the world.
The speaking fees from those events provides further financial foundation for Becoming Minimalist, the team, and the resources we have created. Bring me to your next event—I’m looking forward to getting back out there after almost 18 months of not much travel.
There are other resources that we have created to inspire people to live their best life. They are not “profitable” in a traditional sense that they make money for the company. Instead, they actually cost money to develop and operate. But they are helpful to people.
I suppose most traditional companies would shut down nonprofitable resources, but I’m not a traditional person. I don’t do what I do for the sake of making money. My passion with Becoming Minimalist has been to help as many people as possible own less and live more—and these resources help accomplish that.
5. The Clutterfree App
After signing up, users enter their unique home and immediately receive a room-by-room, step-by-step, to-do list of decluttering activities following the Becoming Minimalist method (declutter room-by-room, easiest to hardest, starting with the most lived-in areas).
The app tracks your progress through your home and even allows users to store photos and keep records of items trashed/recycled/donated. Clutterfree also provides inspirational articles and bonus plans for specific trouble areas. It is a fun, powerful tool to tackle the decluttering projects in your home from the palm of your hand.
Clutterfree contains no advertisements or premium upgrades. Instead, its development, maintenance, and upgrades are offset by a user-subscription model ($3.99/month, $29.99/yearly). Over 20,000 people have downloaded the app in its first year alone.
6. Simple Money Magazine
Simple Money Magazine is the sister publication to Simplify Magazine. It is ad-free, reader-supported, with 6-8 expert contributions in each quarterly issue. Rather than focusing on an ever-changing menu of topics, Simple Money Magazine focuses each issue specifically on personal finance and finding greater intentionality with it.
I contribute each quarter to the magazine and work closely with the editor, Kim Becker, in the selection of the articles and authors featured.
7. The Hope Effect
The Hope Effect is a nonprofit organization founded and funded through the support of the Becoming Minimalist Community. The organization works in developing nations to change orphan care around the world by focusing on family solutions rather than institutional orphanages.
The reality is that less than 1% of orphaned children will be adopted, so how we care for the 99% matters. The Hope Effect works with state and local governments as well as local families to get orphaned children placed in a family environment where they can receive the attention and affection they need. Because every child deserves a family.
The Hope Effect is currently working in Sonora, Mexico; Morelia, Mexico; Chihuahua, Mexico; Santa Rosa, Honduras; and will be opening our first office in Asia later this year.
The Hope Effect is run by Executive Director, Joe Darago and his amazing team.
I am so thankful to each of you for being part of the Becoming Minimalist Community. Whether you recently found the site or have been reading it for the last 13 years, thank you for helping to spread the word about the benefits of owning less.
My life has improved dramatically by removing the pursuit and accumulation of physical possessions. You’ll love owning less. And if we can help you accomplish that in any way, please let us know. That’s our business.