Even though I didn’t fully realize it, minimalism and building a business that is part of my heart and soul has appealed to me for a long time.
Until I read Smalltopia by Tammy Strobel, I never had a word for my little business. When I dreamt about what I wanted to do when I grew up, Photographer was always on the top of the list, and then Artist, Writer, Wanderer. I wanted to create a business that gives back. I wanted a business that I could run, not a business that would run me.
How to Build a Smalltopia
- Become debt free and stay that way, even while starting your business.
- Jot down all the things you enjoy doing, regardless of your history or education.
- Figure out what you need to make every day. (Need, not want…that comes later)
- Allow double or triple the time you anticipate to start earning. An emergency fund or 2nd job will help ease the anticipation of when.
- Create multiple revenue streams. This advice is ancient, but more relevant now than ever before.
- Prepare to work more before you work less.
- Connect and talk about your ideas. A dream becomes reality when you take the time to build it the right way.
- Don’t be afraid to charge for what you do. Give, give, give and when appropriate, charge. Your work is valuable.
- Read Tammy’s book and other books about small business. I know you’ve heard it before, but knowledge is power.
- Act. If you don’t do this, your dream will be just a dream.
Tammy’s little book about a tiny business was one of the most important books I read last year. The reason it was so important is because I read it, and then I put it into action. You might notice that I don’t blog for dollars. There are no ads on this site and I don’t accept any pay for play. Any links to other blogs or sites are because I recommend them. I write about what I care about, what moves me and what I think will move you.
I followed the steps above and here is what I built:
My Smalltopia (tiny business with multiple revenue streams built to serve and give back)
- Amazon Affiliate Sales. Occasionally I’ll review a book with an affiliate link and I created my own Amazon Bookstore, to let you know what I recommend.
- Affiliate Sales from e-books and digital products. Sometimes links to these products will appear in a post with a review or interview, but mostly they live on my I Love page. I think this is a softer, more genuine way to make recommendations. I will never link to a product that I haven’t used and enjoyed or trick you into clicking something spammy.
- Sales of my e-book. After 10 months of blogging, I launched Simple Ways to be More with Less. I love having a product that readers can enjoy and other bloggers can use as an affiliate tool.
- Consulting/Mentoring. Based on the volume of e-mail that I receive from readers, I know there is a need for more customized advice, delivered simply. While I can solve problems in a blog post, I can be much more helpful in a 1:1 setting.
Each element is accessible on it’s own or through courtneycarver.com, my virtual headquarters. I know headquarters is a fancy word for a tiny business, but that is the beauty of running your own Smalltopia. You can use silly words, have fun, and be yourself.
- Smalltopia by Tammy Strobel
- Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
- What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question
I’ve said before that you don’t have to quit your job to be more with less, and I stand by that. That said, if you have an opportunity to do something you love everyday and make money for it, do that. Start dreaming. Start acting. What does your Smalltopia look like? Can I help you build it?