In this week’s Aspiring Women Who Inspire feature, we’re honored to introduce Courtney Carver, founder of Be More with Less and challenge Project 333 who encourages people to live with less and let go of what’s weighing you down. Author, innovator, and entrepreneur, please welcome Courtney to BLND PR!
I’m Courtney Carver. I’m an author and simplicity advocate helping people to live with less stuff, stress and busyness so they can live with more of what matters to them.
How did you get into your industry? Was this always where you saw yourself?
In 2010 after a few years of simplifying my life, I started a blog. I worked in advertising sales and dreaded going to work. Even though I didn’t know the direction my business would take, I thought if I could just get started, I’d figure it out. I hoped to create interesting, helpful courses and write books someday. Sixteen months later, I quit my job to focus on growing my business. While I always saw myself doing creative work, I never saw myself leaving the marketing/advertising industry. Then again, I never saw myself living debt-free, clutter-free and loving my work either. I’ve had so many incredible “I can’t believe I get to do this” moments from sending my first blog post to connecting with someone who’s changed their life as a result of something I’ve written to standing in the Penguin Random House offices in New York after accepting my first book deal. It keeps getting better and better.
From your experience, what are the three key factors or strategies for starting and establishing a brand?
1. Start long before you’ve figured anything out. Don’t wait until you think you are an expert, or until you have enough money or until the stars align. Just start and learn along the way.
2. Be the real you everywhere. Pretending is exhausting. If you have to pretend to be someone you aren’t, you might be doing the wrong work.
3. Don’t measure your success on the end goal or get too tied to one outcome. If you can be more flexible, not only will you notice the small successes along the way, but you’ll be able to change more easily when things don’t go as planned (and they rarely do).
What’s an accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career so far?
I started a minimalist fashion challenge called Project 333 in 2010 because my closet was so out of control. What started as a personal experiment turned into a community of people from all over the world dressing with 33 items or less and discovering so much more about themselves and their relationships with stuff and shopping.
What’s a failure that turned into a blessing?
Running my life on auto-pilot was my biggest failure. It resulted in being overextended in every area of my life. I never felt like I had enough time, money, energy or attention. Reacting to life instead of intentionally living it resulted in total burnout and eventual illness and that’s where the blessings started. When I was diagnosed with MS, it was enough of a wake up call to make me want to change, to slow down and ask how I really wanted to live my life. I’m grateful for that every single day.
I’m highly routined in the morning, but my morning routine changes with the seasons of my life. Currently it looks like this:
- Wake up, brush teeth, take vitamins.
- Meditate for 20 minutes (TM)
- Spend time with my husband before he leaves for work
- Make celery juice and an apple, lemon, ginger shot.
- Chat with my daughter
- Move my body
Who’s an aspiring woman who inspires you?
There are so many women who inspire me but the one who lifts me up on a daily basis, encourages me to try new things in my business and to look at life differently is my daughter, Bailey Carver (@beautifuldetour) on Instagram. We have a podcast together called Soul & Wit and it’s not only really fun to work with her but inspiring too.
What’s one piece of career advice you’d give a young person looking to follow in your footsteps?
Write down a few reasons why you want to do what you want to do. When things get tough or you lose interest or motivation, read your list. It will bring you back.
When you’re not helping people simplify their lives, what can we find you doing
Reading, hiking or taking walks, writing, drinking tea (and the occasional Dalgona Coffee) and going to bed early.
Three words that describe you? Calm, grateful, observer.
Three products you can’t live without? Hand Sanitizer from Megababe, Resurfacing Mask from Tata Harper, and searching for a new all-natural deodorant.
Dream collaboration? It’s already happening with the Soul & Wit Podcast. 😉
Trendy or classic? Since I rarely shop, I lean more towards classic.
#1 place on your travel bucket list? While there are places I still want to see in my lifetime, I mostly just want to be able to visit my favorite places again and again.
Go to drink order? Sparkling Water.
Takashi – Salt Lake City
Red Ash – Austin
Mermaid Oyster House – NYC
Vegan Junk Food Bar – Amsterdam
L’Atlas – Paris
If I can only pick one, I can’t.
Where can people follow you? bemorewithless.com, @bemorewithless on Instagram and Soul & Wit Podcast.