This week I am really excited to conduct my first interview with someone who inspires me and many others; I am happy to share with you my conversation with the kind and interesting Tammy Strobel.
A brief background on Tammy and her blog Rowdy Kittens:
Tammy started her blog to promote the value that “stuff” doesn’t provide true happiness or fulfillment. She felt limited by her debt and the social expectations of house, car, etc. Slowly, Tammy and her hubby decided to cast off the excess in their lives. It led them to a life of minimalist living where they now live to achieve their dreams. Rowdy Kittens is a blog that discusses Tammy’s life changes and helps people develop strategies to minimize the things in their lives so they are available to pursue their life goals. Her ideas have resonated so strongly with people that Tammy has been featured in many news venues including msnbc.com and The Today Show.
Carrie: Thank you Tammy for taking the time to speak with me. I would like to start off with asking you about downsizing your life… How did you go about ridding your house of excess and eventually even disposing of your cars!?
It took a number of years to pare down our possessions and go car-free. For us it was a process of taking one small step everyday. For example, we started slowly donating our stuff to charities and friends and family in need. And then we slowly shed our cars.
When we moved to Sacramento, California we decided to go car-free. Selling both of our cars and downsizing to a smaller apartment gave us the extra cash to pay off $30,000 in debt! Doing both of those things were my ticket to freedom.
Carrie: What is a current goal you are working towards? What are you doing to achieve it?
Right now I’m working on finishing up a proposal for a print book. It’s a big project and a lot harder than I expected. I’m a huge believer in taking small steps everyday to finish big projects. For instance, in the morning I spend a few hours writing or reading material related to the book proposal. And slowly but surely I’m getting it done!
Carrie: What are some of the challenges you face striving for your goals? How do you overcome them?
Fear. The fear of failure. And the fear that my writing sucks. To work past my fears I keep writing and I practice yoga. By doing both of these things, I’m able to stay focused and centered.
Carrie: What is a strategy you use to maintain your focus and commitment to your goals?
I don’t multi-task and I’ve stopped checking my email 30 times a day. 🙂 I discovered that I get things done much more quickly if I focus on one task at a time. And while I love email, it’s also a huge time suck. Now I check my email once a day (twice at the most). Checking my email less and focusing on one thing at a time has helped me maintain focus.
Carrie: Do you have any advice for people reaching for their dreams?
Stop talking about your dreams and start taking action. First, write out a life list. Second, take one small action everyday to achieve your dreams. By writing down my dreams, I’ve taken a number of steps towards making them a reality. For instance, since I wrote my life list last year I left my day job, started my own business, moved to Portland, and wrote two popular ebooks.
Let’s use leaving my day job and starting my own small business as an example. Making such a big moved required getting out of debt and saving more. So I slowly began paying off my debt every month and saved a little bit of extra money too. Re-evaluating my finances was a key part of making that dream a reality.
Anything is possible, you just have to make it a priority.
Carrie: Is there an artist or creative thinker who inspires you?
Carrie: What is next for Tammy Strobel and Rowdy Kittens?
Over the next few months my creative energy will be focused on finishing up my book proposal and writing awesome content for RowdyKittens. And I’ll be spending time with friends and family members. 🙂
Once again, I would like to thank Tammy Strobel for giving her time to Artist Strong. May her interview be a potential resource to those of you reaching for your goals! Check out her blog Rowdy Kittens or her e-books: Simply Car-free and Smalltopia.
Be Creatively Courageous: Consider speaking with people in your life who are inspiring. Ask them about their strategies for success and see if any resonate with you. Take immediate steps to use at least one!