At the end of this article, I’ll introduce you to a brand-new Becoming Minimalist Newsletter and give you an opportunity to win one of ten autographed editions of my new book being released in August. But before I can make that exciting announcement, I need to give you some background…
“I have heard it said that the first ingredient of success – the earliest spark in the dreaming youth – is this; dream a great dream.” – John A. Appleman
Becoming Minimalist: The Story
Four years ago, I stood outside my typical suburban garage and made a life-changing realization. To the left of me stood a dirty pile of material possessions. To the right of me, my son sat alone in the backyard asking me to play. At that very moment, my neighbor appeared outside her home. I began commenting to her on how much time and energy was being wasted taking care of my house and everything we had purchased over the years. Her response was simple and life-giving, “That’s why my daughter is a minimalist. She keeps telling me I don’t need to own all this stuff.”
The statement rang in my heart as a beautiful invitation. The realization that I could purposefully live with fewer possessions had never entered my mind. Maybe it’s because I was a product of my own selfish greed or maybe I had become a product of the consumeristic society in which I lived… but I had never considered the fact I could intentionally live with only the most essential possessions in my life. My wife and I went to work right away removing everything from our home that we did not know to be useful or beautiful. Eventually, we’d move into a smaller home.
As a result, we discovered a far better way to live. It is a life lived with more time and energy for the things we value most. Saturdays are no longer spent cleaning the garage or organizing closets. They are spent with the ones we dearly love. Our financial opportunities have also changed dramatically. We spend less time and money at the department store. We no longer live paycheck-to-paycheck. And we have far more disposable income available to give to causes we believe in. We have more freedom and less stress in our lives. Our kids are happy. We are happy. We have indeed discovered a better way to live life.
And this message needs to reach the masses.
Becoming Minimalist: The Website
Immediately, we started a website. For the first 18+ months, it stood as an on-line journal of the progress we were making, the lessons we were learning, and the benefits we were discovering. Surprisingly, the website was being read by more and more people each day. At the time, we did very little to market the blog or target readers. We just consistently wrote about the outward and inward journey towards minimalism in our lives. We never asked for readership, we just opened up our lives.
Two years later, in March 2010, we made an intentional change to this website. We began to realize we had learned some valuable lessons about possessions and the effect they have on our lives. As a result, we began to use this website not as a personal journal, but as an opportunity to invite others to pursue minimalism and find new life because of it. We joined social media networks. We connected with other bloggers. And we sought out opportunities to challenge our readers to live for something greater than the pursuit of material possessions.
Our efforts were well received. Becoming Minimalist grew from 500 subscribed readers to almost 15,000. Our monthly page views increased from 40,000/month to 500,000/month. Facebook fans increased. Twitter followers grew. Books were written. And the message was beginning to spread. Looking back, this intentional pivot forever changed the course of this website and our lives in the process.
But over the past few months, I have sensed a growing call inside my heart… a newfound passion growing inside my soul. I still recognize far too many lives around me being lived for temporal pursuits. Our culture demands conformity and our souls too willingly submit to the pursuit of possessions… seeking life, happiness, and meaning in all the wrong places.
But we have an opportunity to change that! We have discovered there is more joy in pursuing less than can be found in pursuing more. We have discovered an unexpected key to happiness. We have a message that needs to be spread. We have built a platform on which to proclaim this message. And we are ready to intentionally give more energy, time, commitment, and finances to spread this message to the masses… to those who so desperately need to hear it.
And I know in my heart that many of you are desiring to do the same.
Becoming Minimalist: The Newsletter
Starting today, I am announcing the creation of a Becoming Minimalist Newsletter to accomplish that very purpose. Specifically, the goal of this newsletter is to recruit, mobilize and equip a team of people committed to the intentional promotion of the minimalist lifestyle. And provide them with the resources to spread this message as far and wide as possible.
The newsletter will provide a far more personal opportunity for communication than this blog allows. Because of its nature (permission-based delivery to inboxes), we will have greater freedom to share intimate details of our pursuits, this website, and the intentional spread of the minimalist message. The newsletter will be delivered on a consistent basis and will contain links to popular, shareable posts from this website and others to be shared via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and heartfelt conversations over a cup of coffee. The newsletter will provide practical opportunities to support Becoming Minimalist and others in minimalist-specific ventures (book launches, speaking engagements, interviews, presentations, tours).
In short, the newsletter will serve as direct communication to those interested in promoting the minimalist message. And together, we can make a big difference!
I do encourage you to sign-up. At this point, it’s the most important first step. By subscribing, you’ll get exclusive content, specific opportunities to promote minimalism, and advance notice on new projects we’re working on. (FYI: This e-mail list will not receive blog post updates individually. But will instead receive regular round-up reports of popular posts from this site and others).
You can sign-up below to join more than 2,500 others on this exciting team receiving the brand new Becoming Minimalist Newsletter. I look forward to partnering with this exciting team committed to the intentional promotion of minimalism to a world that desperately needs to hear it:
Thank you so much for being a part of a more intentional Becoming Minimalist. And if you wouldn’t mind sharing this article on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, I’d really appreciate it.