When I started reading Tammy Strobel’s amazing new e-book, Smalltopia, I was reading it as a reviewer, but before I got to page 10, I was an engaged reader learning how to achieve my dream of creating a small business. Tammy has such a unique way of presenting information. She makes it simple and digestible. Not only does she share her own success secrets, but case studies from successful entrepreneurs like Leo Babauta, Everett Bogue, Jules Clancy and more.
There are action steps along the way, so this becomes a mini-workbook. One of my favorite parts of the book, is an exercise by Andrea Lee, called The Money Game to assess your finances, by breaking down each income stream. It really helps to identify what you need to do to achieve your financial goals. The most important parts of your Smalltopia may be heart, soul and passion, but if you aren’t generating revenue, you might not be doing what you love for long.
I was really interested in learning more about what makes Tammy so successful. She took the time to answer a few questions.
Yoga has been life changing for me in terms of health and wellness, so I was excited to see that you mention yoga in Smalltopia. When did you start practicing yoga? How has yoga change the way you do business?
A friend introduced me to yoga last year. At first I was hesitant to spend the extra money on attending classes. But I’m so happy I did! The practice has changed my life for the better. Overall, I’m healthier, less stressed, and happier. And all of those positive changes have helped me improve my writing. Being less stressed and healthier gives me a lot more creative energy, which is good for me and my clients.
It is clear that extreme focus has helped you to complete this ebook and to help your clients. How long are your digital sabbaticals and how have they evolved?
I take a digital sabbatical every weekend. During my sabbatical I don’t surf the internet or check my email. Basically, I try to stay away from my computer and spend time outside or with friends and family. The sabbaticals were hard at first because I was addicted to surfing the web! ):
Now I look forward to my weekend sabbatical. It’s nice to disconnect from the crowd and take some time out to reflect on life. It’s also made me realize that I don’t have to be plugged in constantly to be productive or creative.
Will you expand on the idea that we are all artists? Even CEOs? Even homemakers?
Seth Godin’s definition of art made me think differently about how I engage in work and the meaning of art. Seth’s definition contains three elements:
- “Art is made by a human being.
- Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
- Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording… but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.”
Essentially, art happens when you do your best possible work. It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, homemaker, or photographer. We all have unique skills sets that can be harnessed to create beautiful art.
Last but not least, what are the steps you would recommend to someone take that wanted to create a Smalltopia but wasn’t sure what they wanted to do?
If you want to start your own Smalltopia but aren’t sure what direction to go in, it’s essential to be clear about your future goals. Without a clear set of goals or defined area of interest it will be very hard to make a living. I highly recommend taking time to connect with mentors, write out a life list, and read as much as possible. Remember, even if you only take one small step per day, you’ll make progress in the long run.
Tammy, Thanks so much for spending time with the readers of Be More With Less.
I highly recommend Smalltopia if you are considering a small business, or if you are running one today. Also, check out Tammy’s e-book, Simply Car Free for great recommendations on how to drive less or give up your car altogether! For more great insight from Tammy, visit her blog Rowdy Kittens!