Back in 2006 I joined a Simplicity Group. They were lovely people on a mission to focus on what matters most in life, and let the rest go. I loved—and still love—this idea. And in some ways, I’ve been able to embrace this approach, like not overcommitting at my daughters’ schools and being thoughtful about my time overall. 

But honestly, I haven’t found a real groove around simplifying my life. No matter how much I want what I can see it would bring, I’ve struggled to have the kind of personal insight that inspires real change around the “stuff” in our home, for example. 

When I read Courtney Carver’s book, Project 333, I could feel the glimmers of simplicity growing. Her own story of going from a busy corporate professional and mom who loved fancy vacations as a treat for doing work she didn’t really like to a woman on a mission to focus on what matters most for her health and family, is so relatable. 

Maybe we don’t have to wait for a diagnosis to make some of these meaningful changes?

We talk about simplifying at home AND in business. We dive into the tendency to take on ALL the projects, without really deciding whether it’s what we want for our lives and work. 

In this episode of the Brilliance At Work Podcast, we dig into all of this as I interview Courtney Carver, author of the new book Project 333, The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More

In this interview, Courtney will be sharing how it’s possible to simplify your business so you are working less to enjoy life in a fuller way and still have a successful, lovely business.

Tune in today to hear Courtney Carver share her personal story of transformation, which leads us into a great conversation about incorporating more simplicity into our lives and work. I love it that you're going to get to hear her wisdom inside this conversation so be sure to give this episode a listen.

About Courtney Carver:

Courtney Carver writes about dressing and living with less on bemorewithless.com and @bemorewithless on Instagram. To learn more about her new book, Project 333, The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More visit https://bemorewithless.com/project-333/.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode: 

  • Hear Courtney Carver’s personal story of transformation from burnout and uninspired to simplified and happy in life and work
  • What a simple work day for Courtney actually looks like (both during and before the pandemic)
  • What it takes to shift something in your work so you can simplify
  • The question to ask yourself when you think creating something better for yourself feels impossible
  • How to decide if something is really essential to your work or life
  • Why you don’t need to do all the things in order to run a successful business…and how to create spaciousness and simplicity instead
  • How to create an openness to seeing things in a new light in order to create a simple life and business

Listen to the Full Courtney Carver Episode

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Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Brilliance at Work Podcast where we shine a light on where great work, charisma and growing a thriving business you love really comes from, I'm Michelle Barry Franco. I've been a speaking and Thought Leadership coach for more than a decade from TEDx stages to world famous conferences and I've helped some of the most beloved business leaders grow their businesses and serve in the biggest way possible through their business and through their Thought Leadership. I love that. I get to share the best of what I've learned with you here on the brilliance at work podcast. Hello, hello, hello. My beautiful, brilliant friends. Today is a treat day because I get to share with you a conversation I got to have with one of my dear friends. We get to meet with some regularity and talk about business and life and Courtney Carver who runs be more with less.

The name of Courtney Carver's business is the author of Project 333 — The Minimalist Fashion Challenge that proves less really is so much more and has put out cool courses like Soulful Simplicity. She's put out a beautiful, simple business course a number of years ago. She has taken a stand for living a simple spacious life, really centered around your values. It has been such an inspiration for me and really has helped me keep myself in a place of greater spaciousness in my business and in my life. I love it that you're going to get to hear her wisdom inside this conversation I get to share with you. I'll tell you a little bit more about Courtney before we dive into this conversation, but before I do that, if you haven't hopped on over to your favorite listening app and given us a rating and review, I would so, so appreciate that and thank you so much.

If you have already done that, I love seeing what you have to say. I love your notes, your emails, your direct messages, all the ways that you share with me that you are enjoying the podcast. Thank you. Thank you so much. If you have a few minutes and are able to go over and do a rating and review, that just helps the podcast rise up when people search for podcasts around messaging and speaking and business, that kind of thing. So thank you. Courtney Carver writes about dressing and living with less on, bemorewithless.com and you'll find her at bemorewithless on Instagram. I love following her on Instagram. Super inspiring. She's always just reminding us about the beautiful, simple things in life in, it reminds me, I'm just tossing this into her bio here, so every year she does, I can't remember what it's called, Home for the Holidays or a Holiday Email series.

It's inexpensive. I think it's even donation-based and every day in your email you get ideas for, I think it's 14 gifts or 25 gifts for the holidays and they're all things that you don't buy. It's music that she shares with you, a little playlist or a recipe for something delicious that makes your house smell good and she just did a recent similar thing because we're in the middle of this pandemic right now and it's called I Believe 14 Days of Calm and Comfort. This is what I'm saying. This is the kind of feeling you get around Courtney Carver and she's really just devoted her time and energy to bringing spaciousness and simplicity to others so you can learn more about her new book Project 33, which has just recently out such a great really engaging book. It's called Project 33 The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really is So Much More and you can get that at bmorewithless.com/project-333, love that book and highly recommended, but let's just dive in and we talk about so many things in this conversation that I'm excited to share with you.

Everything from more about her book, Project 333, to how to just focus in on what we care about and a good deal about working less, really working less to enjoy life in a fuller way and still have a successful, lovely business. Here's my conversation with Courtney Carver.

Courtney, I am just so, so happy to have you here for this conversation. We tried to get this scheduled a few months ago and then a bunch of things happen mostly on my end, but it's perfect because I feel like it all worked out the way it was supposed to because your message, your book, your whole way of doing life and work is exactly, I think what we need to hear and consider right now more than ever. Welcome. Thank you. I think it always works out the way it's supposed to. It just takes us a hot minute to remember that. Yeah, that was a pretty hot minute there too. I got to say for me, I was like, please come on. Oh no, I'm doing a whole hiatus. Anyway, here we are, which is perfect. When I was thinking about our conversation and what I wanted to ask you, I came up with about six different ways that I want to start, but obviously that's not simple and spacious.

I'm going to do my best to stay focused on a couple of things and what's interesting, I want to talk about your book Project 333 which I love and just revisit it again right before in preparation for this conversation and found some cool stuff to chat about. Also, I want to talk about your book and then also talk about how the same concepts apply to work. How we're working in entrepreneurship and I know you have some really good stuff about that too. That's my overall agenda. I love it, but if you could start just telling us your story. I love that you have such a great story of transformation. How did you even get into this world of simplicity?

Courtney Carver:

Well, let me start by saying that my life wasn't as simple as it is now in the beginning and I had no interest in simplifying my life even when I started simplifying my life. I didn't know that's what I was doing. I was a slow learner in the beginning, and I don't mind admitting that, but in 2006 I was working full time in advertising sales for regional magazines and I was raising my lovely daughter who is now raised and doing the American dream thing, I had a house that was way too big and way too much money for me. I had been in debt since the minute I was in college when I turned 18 and could get my hands on a credit card. I have bought all the things. I treated myself too extravagant vacations because I thought I deserved it because I had to do work that I didn't really enjoy.

Consequently, I was often pretty burned out, exhausted, uninspired. It just felt like, oh, this is adulting. This is normal, because all my friends were doing that and all the people that I worked with seemed pretty unhappy with their work. Right? I was like, oh this, you're not supposed to enjoy your work. Maybe this is how it is and that was up until 2006 when everything kind of came to a screeching halt because while I was training for a cycling event here in Utah to raise money for MS research, multiple sclerosis research, I was diagnosed with MS myself.

Michelle:

Oh my gosh, I didn't know that part of your story that you were actually trained. Oh my gosh.

Courtney Carver:

My boss where I worked, he has MS and I was riding for him. He was in a wheelchair and I was doing this because he couldn't and I wanted to make a difference somehow. Thinking about it now, I'm like, how did you ever think you had time to train for a cycling event? There I was just squeezing it in because whatever I could squeeze it and I would, and then it just turned into months of vertigo and fatigue and numbness in my hands in my face, weird tingling things like all stuff I had had before. It all happened together. It took a few months to diagnose. I did miss that MS ride because I couldn't walk a straight line, let alone ride a straight line and then I was diagnosed and that's what set everything in motion in terms of really changing everything about my life and my work.

Michelle:

Wow, that's so fascinating. You get diagnosed after sounds like months of trying to figure out what's wrong. Right. It wasn't like MS was high up on the list because you were more present with it in the training and stuff. You just went through the normal. 

Courtney Carver:

Yeah, it never crossed my mind. I was like, oh, I have an ear infection. Oh, I'm stressed out. Oh, I didn't sleep enough. Or I pinched a nerve. I had every excuse and diagnosis before we got to MS.

Michelle:

Yeah, and usually you're working at this company and then what happened next? You get the diagnosis and what'd you do?

Courtney Carver:

Well, I was diagnosed over the phone while I was at work and they called or I called them because I hadn't gotten my test results back from the last test that I had done that proved conclusive for MS. They said, oh no, you don't have MS, let's just wait and see. I was like, oh, they're like, yeah, we should have gotten your tests like a week ago?  I said, well, no, I only took the test a few days ago. They said, let me call you back. She called back and she's like, nope, you do have MS.

Michelle:

Oh geez.

Courtney Carver:

All I did was crumble. I didn't want to cry at work and so I got in my car and drove home and cried all the way home and just imagined how bad my life would be and was scared and uncertain and didn't know what to think because my only face of MS was my boss who was in a wheelchair for a really long time. Most of the reading I was doing, this was 14 years ago, there wasn't nearly the research or the encouragement with lifestyle and diet and exercise and sleep and all of these things that make us feel good impacting MS.  I was just like, this is it. This is not going to be good. Yeah, but luckily within a couple of weeks I was able to start to see the light and I think it really helped for me like telling my daughter what was going on and not wanting to freak her out.

As I was comforting her, it was comforting me. Then I just started researching how to live well with MS and that's really how the whole simplicity thing came into my life. At first it was just stress reduction. Like all I wanted to do was reduce stress. Yeah and when I noticed after a few months that all of my stress reduction was rooted in simplicity, that's when I got really interested in just simplifying, removing what wasn't essential or important to me, whether that be clutter or appointments or people or whatever. I could really design a life that supported my health and the wellness of my family and myself.

Michelle:

Yeah. So what did you do first? Were you like, okay, I got to get out of this job, or did you turn toward your house and you know, or was it your, was it your wardrobe first?

Courtney Carver:

No, no way. I needed my job. I wanted the health insurance. I was like, oh boy, I'm going to really need them now. Yeah, but actually the first thing I did was looked at my diet and the food that I was eating. This wasn't like a doctor recommended diet change for me. In fact, the neurologist I had at the time told me, it doesn't matter what you eat or how you move, it's really just a matter of how quickly you decline. That was her measuring system of the success of her practice and that's why we don't work together anymore.  I did a lot of research about reducing stress and in the body. For me, that meant inflammation in the body and I just put the pieces together and thought I'm going to eliminate animal products and I didn't do it all at once.

I think the biggest difference in all of these changes that I made is that I changed the way I change. Before I would just do things 21 days or less, 48 hours, whatever, like fast curious, I want to get it done, I want to see the results. That never worked except for the five minutes after, the thing was back to square one. With this, I decided everything was going to be really slow and with the diet, instead of just cutting all animal products, I stopped eating cows for a month and then I stopped eating pigs and then chickens and other birds. Then I started visiting animals at a local farm and really trying to make that compassionate connection so that if I felt like, oh, I really want a salami sandwich, I would think about the pig. That really worked for me and I did a lot of research about vegetarian diets. Then I cut out milk and all other animal products. Eventually I tried a raw vegan diet for about 30 days and I had crossed the line for me, it didn't work for me. It was too socially isolating. My family, very supportive was like when I would say like, oh look, I made these potato chips out of seaweed and be like, these don't taste like potato chips. It's been too long since you've had potato chips. They're missing the potato. Yeah, whatever. We would have dinner first. They'd say, this is so good, it would make it even better. The meat would make it really good. 

Yeah, and in the beginning it was a lot of trial and error and even up until today I continue to change my diet. Five years ago I brought seafood and a little bit of fish back into my diet and eliminated some other things, because our bodies are always changing and so the food we eat is going to change. It's going to change how we resonate with certain things. I used be able to eat, take out from my favorite Indian restaurant at seven o'clock at night and go to sleep and be fine and now I'll be waking up at 10 with just like crazy heartburn just like that. We have to think about what works best in our bodies without, in my opinion, getting super obsessed about, is this food good or bad or does this have high calories or is this high fat or like I don't want to think about my food like that anymore. I don't connect it to the scale, which I did for a long time. I know we're getting so far off topic.

Michelle:

No, that's so interesting and what's really striking me about it is that in order to do what you're talking about, which is really this listening in and I just see how it crosses over and everything. Yes, in food, but probably in you know, your clothing and in your work and all of it. I can just see you have to slow down enough to listen in to your body and then make those decisions from that place.

Courtney Carver:

You're so right. Somebody recently was talking to me about all the different simplicity challenges I've done and as we were going through them, I said,  now that I think about it, they weren't really, they were practices in simplicity, but it was really me learning how to trust myself and listening was a huge part of that. It wasn't that I didn't want to listen before. I was just so freaking busy that I couldn't slow down enough to hear my own thoughts.

Michelle:

Yeah, It's like outside in versus inside out. If what you can do in a moment because you're still too sped up is do you know an external, let's try this, let's try this. Well then there you are. At least it's coming present in your psyche, but I just am like getting the sense as I listened to you and as I think about the things that in Project 333 when you talk about fast fashion, which I know I'm jumping into a whole other thing, but you know, and you talk about where was it made, how was it made, what is it made of? It really reminds me of what you were just saying about going to the farms and seeing the animals. It was like these were ways for you to make this really personal for you.

Courtney Carver:

Yeah, and to be thoughtful and intentional and get off the autopilot that I was so good at. Just respond, respond, react, react. You're in no way connected with yourself when that's happening. It really is a different way of processing information and making decisions.

Michelle:

Yeah and doing,  I'm even just trying to get my head around this because I hadn't thought about it this way, but I feel like this is really valuable for me as I'm listening to it. Anyone else who's really focusing in on this part. When I read Project 333 the first time, and even as I reviewed it, I'm like, why haven't, I mean Courtney is my friend, I can see how peaceful she seems all the time and I'm like, why am I not doing it? I'm in this moment kind of seeing it because whenever we're seeing something as something we should do or I think that that external thing is going to make my life better without really seeing within us why it matters. This isn't sounding as profound when I'm articulating it as it's feeling.

I know where you're going with this. I think it does. Yeah, it's even these questions about like where was it made? How was it made? I get it that you can see those as external questions too. When I read that section inside of Project 333, I'm jumping into this part of the book, I thought of my daughter. So my oldest daughter, Serena doesn't, you know, is really committed to not buying fast fashion and she doesn't have a very big budget for money. She loves to shop. I mean, yeah. Big budget for clothing and she loves to shop. There's always, but something about these kinds of questions that you ask in Project 333 are what she processed internally, right, and said it's not okay with me. The answers to where was it made, how was it made, what is it made of? Those are not okay with me and who I am and what I value. Even though I really would like to have more clothes and don't have very much money, I'm not doing it.

Courtney Carver:

That's amazing.

Michelle:

Yeah. Yeah. So I'm just kind of realizing it's there something in here about, even as I think about part of what I'm thinking about right now is two things related to this beautiful kind of spaciousness that you for me really represent is with us being home in the lockdown right now, most of the world, some people are coming out of it. Mostly that's what we're experiencing. I feel like there's this mix of we're in with our stuff. We're kind of slowed. Many of us are slowed down. We may have a lot of work. I still have a lot of work to do, but we may have a lot of work, but we're kind of here seeing things maybe more clearly. I think there's a more drive, I hear this in people around me to like clean out stuff, clean out closets because we're seeing it.

At the same time there's a little bit of like creative, but I want to create this thing that I've always wanted to create and maybe now I could do this thing that I've always wanted to do. In a way, I feel like there's something in here that maybe you can speak to around this inside. There's something in you that just knows when to say no, that just knows now and maybe after many years when to say like, oh, that's not where I'm going to go. Even though I have all these opportunities to clean out my closets or start that creative project.

Courtney Carver:

Yes. Well what's so interesting I think about this time in our lives and collectively is that most of us are in a place where we have the space to ask the questions and we are asking them but we're not all answering them. I think about this time in our lives and collectively is that most of us are in a place where we have the space to ask the questions and we are asking them but we're not all answering them. For a lot of us, those questions are scary and whether it's something just about the clothes, like where was that made? Once I know that information, I know I'm going to have to make a change and that's going to be inconvenient. It might be hard. I don't know if I want to deal with that so I'm not going to answer the question. Same thing goes around food thing. Same thing goes around clutter around work and there are people working from home right now who were before working in a cubicle and they're thinking, I hope I never have to go back.

What is it going to take for me to stay in this place? Or what is it going to take for me to shift something in my work? We're afraid of going down that creating something better for ourselves, we shut it down and then watch a show or pick up a chore or busy ourselves with something else so we don't have to think about it. One thing that I think is really fun and helps, at least me, when I'm feeling like that is I rephrase the question and make it more of a daydreamy thing and say, wouldn't it be crazy if like, wouldn't it be crazy if I convinced my boss that I could work from home three days a week or wouldn't it be crazy if I started my own thing? Now that I see, you know what people are doing virtually because everybody's doing something virtually it seems, wouldn't it be crazy if there were only 10 things hanging in my closet or 33 or 45 so when you frame it like that, it becomes this challenge, this experiment where you can be curious and open without making a long term commitment.

Michelle:

Yeah, I love that. I love that perspective that you bring to it too. That there is sort of a levity. Even when I look at your process, like the ultimate clean out, the ultimate closet clean out like fill a water bottle, drink some of the water. We forget these are important steps like snacks. I’m like, I am going to have so many breaks and drinks of water in this process. It was really fun to see and I do, I think we get, we get so ahead of ourselves like you talk about that, that people get really concerned about if we really look at all of our stuff then there's going to be the realization that there's a bunch that's going to have to go to the landfill and how do we, I can't say, I remember I once hired a professional organizer to come to my house when we moved to across country to Virginia and her name is Brianna. She was amazing and I was like, oh, I can't put all this in a landfill. She's like, it's that or your home is a landfill. She's like, just don't do it again.

Courtney Carver:

Right,, here's the bummer. I'm going to bring everybody down for a minute, but if that is on your mind and it was on mine, it's all going to be in the landfill. Yeah, it's all going there. Unless we come up with more creative ideas to repurpose and recycle, but in the meantime, it's weighing you down and is there more good that you could do in the world by having a decluttered life? Yeah, could you be more powerful than being the, like you said, then keeping your own home as the landfill, like that's not serving anybody.

Michelle:

Yeah, and I think I was actually, when I read that in here, I'm like, oh wow, that's a really common thing, huh? You know? Like I remember it was a really big deal. It's part of why I didn't want to do it. It really was like one of my biggest barriers was having to see all the stuff that I had bought that I just didn't need at all and had been sitting in my garage, you know?

Courtney Carver:

Yeah. It's really interesting how we, not only how we hold on to things, but how we create these excuses. Some of them that are true, but why are we, it's so far ahead. Some people before starting project 333 we'll worry about the weather for laundry or that people will notice like let's wait until those things happen and then address them. Typically the people who are coming to me with all of those issues are people who haven't tried the challenge yet. Then the people who try it realize most of those things never come up and if they do, then they can solve the problem.

Michelle:

Yeah, it's true. Our brain just puts up all these like pre barriers. Yeah.  Can we talk about working less? This is one of, I think the gifts of getting to be in your world. We'll be on a call and one of us in our little calls we'll be like Marsha or I will be like, we're going to do this and we're going to do this, but then what about this? I'm not sure if I want to do this and then you'll say like, well, do you want to do it? Then I'll say, well, not really. You're like, well then don't do it. I just really want to, I feel like I want to give this gift to the greater world through this company.

Courtney Carver:

Well sometimes I have those conversations with myself, I'll say to myself, I really need to do this. Then I'll say, do you, yeah, do you really need to do that? Then I'll come down from wherever. I was thinking that I had to make everything, do everything and be everything, because even that's why I think we're conditioned to believe that and just we just take burn out as part of the package, but we don't have to do that. In fact, I think I get more done because I do less overall and I like having the flexibility of today for instance, was a pretty packed day in terms of projects for me. I know I can't sustain that for very long. Tomorrow I only have a couple of calls planned and no major creating. I can kind of look ahead and see what my, like what my baseline energy usually is and know that I'm not going be highly creative two days in a row. Some people might be, but I'm not, I would love to think I would be in sometimes I end that one creative day on such a high and I'm will think of all the things I'm going to make tomorrow and then I wake up the next day and I'm just like, how do I put on pants? I don't remember how to do things.

Michelle:

There is this some kind of feeling like we need to do all the things in order to make, for example, you run your own business and you have created a lovely business and yet there is the spaciousness and the simplicity. How, what is it you're thinking that allows you to do that? Where the rest of us are like, I got to do all this to make it work.

Courtney Carver:

Well, when I first started, I was working at my other job and I started my blog and decided that it would be a business. I didn't know what kind of business exactly or how it would work or when it would work and that's why I wanted to get started with it before I was, didn't have a steady income just to see what would work, but even though I was really excited to get going and I wanted to get out of that other job, I refused to go all in even though that was my nature. Just like with the diet changes or whatever else, I really held back and decided I was going to do one thing at a time and so it was, you know, number one, brainstorm out the blog content in the beginning. What does that look like? What am I going to write about?

I had the same fears that a lot of other people have, like I'm going to run out of ideas as soon as I start writing and then it was how do I start a blog? How do I get that going? What about social media? What social media things should I do? What one thing, because I could have gone to all the things which I have now, but they came slowly. For a year or more, I only had Twitter. Ironically, I don't go to Twitter anymore. Then after about a year or maybe even longer, I started a Facebook page. I don't think I started a Facebook page for being more with less for several years and then a couple of years later it was Instagram. It was after the other things would kind of feel like they were going along and I was used to them and I felt like I had a handle on it.

Then I could start the next thing and that's kind of how I roll today. Even though I have several offerings and several projects, they didn't all start at the same time. In fact, none of them started at the same time. They were all one at a time. Things that have grown over time and for the offerings I have now at least half of those, probably more, maybe even as many are gone because I'm also ruthlessly editing my work and what I'm offering. As I'm considering a new offering, I'm reviewing the old stuff and see what needs to go because it can't all last forever. This is all temporary stuff and even when we're building something new in the beginning we're thinking this is it. I've figured it out, I still get that feeling and then I know that in a few years I'm probably going to cut it loose because it served its purpose and now it's time to work on something else.

Michelle:

Yeah. I feel like there's just this kind of theme of letting go, like you're just willing to, you see the impermanence. So clearly you don't have any need for it to be and I don't know that the rest of us are, those of us who might not be in this spacious place and working as you know, working less or, at least more peacefully. I don't think we're consciously doing this, but it does seem like a little thing that I certainly am taking away from this is just like if you don't expect it to be the big thing, the end all again. I don't even know that we're doing it consciously, then it can kind of have its own life and we can let it go easier. That's everything from stuff like our favorite sweater to, you know, the cool project that took us some real time and energy and skill to create and put out into the world.

Courtney Carver:

Yeah, definitely and I think we do see it. I think we all see the impermanence. I mean especially right now where so much has changed so fast and not just the impermanence of human life but just of everything. Also we don't want to see that because it can feel scary and painful and uncertain. So I think though, once we accept it then it is still sad and painful sometimes, but then it's not shocking and devastating. I'm talking more about like the work stuff now and your stuff and your appointments. Your eye, you're like your goals. Sometimes we get a goal in mind or a vision of what we want to do for our work and because we finish everything we say dart, we see it through to the end. Even though it's a total train wreck, like we just have to get to the end and if you are willing to be more flexible and if you don't have such a tight grip on everything, then you notice more quickly when things are veering off the tracks and you can then decide, am I going to get this guy back on the tracks or am I going to go in a completely different direction?

Michelle:

Yeah, there's just this kind of openness to seeing things new. It's a presence to what's current like right now. I mean, again, I think it applies to so many of these and, but it does seem like there's, it applies to so many of these things that we've touched on, working less to our clothes and our stuff and you know, all this stuff that's going to go to the landfill that we can, if we can just be present to, okay, this is where we are right now, this is what we've created in our life and our work and then be kind of open to moving through that, I guess to what we're really wanting.

Courtney Carver:

Well, it's all we really have. Like all the rest is kind of an illusion. Yeah, this is what we have and so yeah, we can make changes to that and adjust it. Then in our next moment of, okay, I'm here now, things might look different, but the more open we are, the more we see the opportunities and the less pressure we feel around it. I think why, especially for those of us with our own businesses, why are we adding on a layer of pressure too? Meet certain deadlines and don't get me wrong, I need a deadline to finish a project, but I also recognize that that's a self-imposed deadline and when I make it something ridiculous for myself or the people I work with, I'm just stressing everybody out and I have to remind myself, Hey, the whole reason you work for yourself so that you aren't stressing yourself out. So stop doing that.

Michelle:

Yeah, it's just so true and it's such a, I guess it comes down to really making the decision doesn't feel like the right way to phrase it, but knowing that you are ready to not stress yourself out. Right. If that's, which is kind of like where you got to in your, as you told your story, right? You're like, all of a sudden your primary goal was, I am going to take good care of myself. I'm not going to be stressed. I'm not going to stress myself out. 

Courtney Carver:

That's right and I have to think about that all day long. It's not like we just decide and then we're good to go all day long. I'm basing my decisions on health and love and that's it. There's no other consideration for me. If I'm deciding between really pushing through to finish something or taking a break and working out, I'm going to take the break and work out.

Michelle:

Yeah, I love that health and love. Perfect. There's the what a beautiful marker. It reminds me and I was going to put it into my notes so I remembered to say it, but at the bottom of your email, what goes with your first book? What's the tagline? Is it with your first PR, your program? It's about love.

Courtney Carver:

Oh, simplicity is the way back to love.

Michelle:

Yes. Simplicity is the way back to love. Every time I see that in there, it makes me breathe out and just like, yes, remember. Simplicity can in so many areas I just keep thinking spaciousness. Simplicity sometimes scares me just because I feel like there's so much for me to do between here and there, but when I can see space around what I'm doing now, it kind of helps some of those things fall away from me and love is always worth it.

Courtney Carver:

Imagine if you could enjoy your favorite things all day long without having to sort through the stuff you don't really care about to get there and again that could be clutter, clothes, work. Okay. How more of the things you love around you and less of the stuff you, yep.

Michelle:

Awesome. Okay, now I'm going to go. Part of me wants to go like, it's so funny. Part of me wants to go like clean out my closet and part of me is like I'm going to lay on the couch because that feels like love. Hey. And it may very well be. Yeah, I love it. Thank you so much. I knew this conversation was going to be awesome because all the conversations I get to have with you are, but it feels like extra special gifts that I get to share this one with the brilliance network audience. So thank you so much, Courtney. 

Courtney Carver:

Thank you. I love talking to you, Michelle. 

Michelle:

Oh my gosh. Don't you just feel more grounded and more centered now, I swear I do. Every time I get to have a conversation with Courtney Carver, so a reminder to you, you can get a copy of her awesome book Project 333 at bemorewithless.com/project-333 and I really recommend the book.

It's accessible. It has beautiful things like turn on some music and drink your water all mixed in with some really cool, actionable things you can do to create that spaciousness around you, but I also want to remind you that that spaciousness, that calm, that peace, it also lives in you right now. Even before you go do anything about your external circumstances that calm place within you where you are most connected with your call, where your brilliance shines the brightest and emanates from, that's within you all the time and using these strategies and tools that Courtney shares and that we talked about and really having this way of thinking about spaciousness in your life. That can be a beautiful external reflection of what already lives in you right now. That calm that peaceful place of brilliance within you. That's that same place where your call lives, that call to serve with your message and your stories and your expertise because my friend you were made for this and I know that because you know that and it is an honor and a gift to me to get to share this with you and remind you of that every single week.

I already can't wait to do that again next week. Take good care. Thank you so much for being here with me on the Brilliance at Work Podcast. If you want to know how to tap your own most natural charisma as a business owner, leader, and speaker, you can download a free copy of my book. Beyond Applause, Make a Meaningful Difference Through Transformational Speaking. This includes a free short course that helps you get crystal clear on the message at the heart of your work. You can get a free copy of this book and that short course https://brillianceatwork.com/freebook. I hope you'll love it.

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