Sep 3, 2010

Smalltopia: A Review

I'm super excited to introduce you to Tammy Strobel today! The author of RowdyKittens, Tammy has been blogging her move towards minimalism for three years, and left her full-time job in February to pursue writing and web/blog design full time. While on her journey she has become a go-to reference for the car-free living community, thanks in part to her first e-book Simply Car Free.

Since its publication Tammy has been featured on the Today Show, on, and in the New York Times – among countless other spaces both online and off. Earlier this week Tammy shared her latest e-book with the world, Smalltopia.

Picking up on the work-for-yourself trend that so many minimalists are attracted to, Tammy shares not only her story, but also some wildly practical advice for those looking to make the leap. For me, the decision to purchase her book was easy. I’ve been quietly dreaming of writing full-time most of my life, but have always been a bit too scared to take the leap.

In the last few months I decided to throw caution to the wind – I started this blog, I began to offer up guest posts to some well-known bloggers – and take the leap towards my dream. Unsure of how to practically pursue my dream without quitting my job before I was ready, I hoped Tammy’s book would offer up some great advice and some practical steps I could take.

Smalltopia delivered on both requirements in spades. Beginning with her personal journey towards financial freedom, Tammy shares some harsh truths – without simplified finances and a more minimalist lifestyle, it can be near impossible in today’s world economy to transition out of a traditional work environment. The exciting part is that it’s not far out of reach once you’ve right-sized your life and figured out what your dreams truly are.

Tammy’s suggestion is to do work that matters and produce content that helps the world become a better place – both things I already knew I wanted to be doing. How to practically get there? That’s where the second section of Smalltopia steps in. By laying a foundation for all the tools and know-how you’ll need, Tammy sets her readers up for success.

I truly believe that as long as you apply the hard work needed {and make no mistake, realizing your dreams can be incredibly hard work at times!}, by simply following Tammy’s advice your dreams will become reality. She boils down seemingly thick topics like business needs, business plans, and marketing strategies into bite-sized pieces I was able to understand and apply almost immediately to my own dreams. I loved her section on cultivating ideas – all creatives feel at some point as though the well has gone dry, and her suggestions were spot-on for re-fueling your creative spirit!

Lest you think this guide has not been tried and tested, Tammy winds up Smalltopia by interviewing over a dozen folks who are already living their very own dreams and running their own small businesses. Each individual brings amazing and practical advice to the table, gleaned from their time living their dreams, and because these folks are all in different stages of realizing their own Smalltopia {from rocking their business for over a year to still in transition phase}, there’s relatable advice for everyone!

Who Should Buy This Guide?

If you’ve ever dreamed of working for yourself, or have a great idea you’d like to put into action, this guide is for you. While the focus sticks with online adventures, the advice is easily applicable to off-line endeavors as well. If you’d like to kick-start a part-time endeavor, get paid for your writing or photography, this guide can lay out the steps you’ll need to take to make your dream a reality.

If you’ve already begun the process of living your dream but need some “next step” advice, this guide may be just the thing you need! However. If you love your job and are happy where you’re at {and I know plenty of people who are}, this guide may not be for you. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to make the purchase leap, Tammy has graciously shared the first 20 pages or so on her blog

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