We had the good fortune of connecting with Rose Lounsbury and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rose, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had taken a child-care leave from my teaching job and found myself craving a professional outlet. I’d written a hobby blog on minimalism and simplicity for a couple years and thought, “Hey, maybe I can turn this into a business!” I interviewed some friends who had their own businesses and just went from there. I didn’t have a business plan, but just felt things out as I went along. (This is still how I often run my business.)
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets me apart from others in the minimalism/simplicity space is my personal story. I’m a triplet mom and my desire to simplify my life came from a need to create space in a rather cramped and chaotic situation when my kids were younger. I was a full-time working mom with three toddlers, and my life often felt hectic. Downsizing my stuff created a sense of ease and calm in my days, and I felt called to share that with others.
I’m most proud of creating a totally online business, because I’ve never considered myself a very techie person. Whenever I figure out a tech issue, I want to brag about it!
I’m most excited about exploring aspects of simplicity that go beyond the “stuff,” like letting go of expectations, gender norms, and overcommitments. This is where I’m finding true freedom these days.
Getting to where I’m at in my business has not been easy, but I don’t think anyone’s life is easy! I’ve overcome the challenges by seeking out communities of supportive female entrepreneurs. Being a part of masterminds has been invaluable to me. It’s very easy to doubt yourself as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re a solopreneur or have a very small team, so being in community with other entrepreneurs helps me keep believing in myself.
I’ve learned many lessons along the way, but the biggest one is to trust myself. This is a lesson I keep learning and relearning, as every new level of business requires me to move further into trust. Being an entrepreneur is different from other jobs because you can’t “see” a clear career path like in many professions. You’re creating the path as you go, which is both exhilarating and frightening! It requires a lot of self-trust to keep creating that path.
I want the world to know that simplicity is not about perfection or how your home looks. To me, simplicity is about getting very clear about what you want and then having the guts to let go of everything else. It’s courageously removing everything that stands in the way of you and your best life. And it’s an ongoing process. We often start by removing the excess stuff, but then we move on to letting go of the expectations, the old stories, the patterns and habits that don’t serve us. While me might think of simplicity in terms of “before/after” photos, it’s actually a very introspective journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If someone was coming to visit me in Dayton, Ohio for a week, here’s a bit of what we’d do…
– Eat Graeter’s ice cream (this would happen several times!)
– Go for a hike at one of Dayton’s metroparks. My favorite is Sugar Creek Metropark because my kids like to catch crawdads in the creek.
– Walk along the Riverwalk downtown
– Eat at Thai 9 in the Oregon District
– Visit the Dayton Art Institute
– Visit the Paul Laurence Dunbar house
– Go to Carillon Park, where you can learn about the Wright Brothers and other famous Daytonians
– Go to the Air Force Museum at Wright Patt Air Force Base
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. Leo’s blog was one of the first minimalism blogs I read, which inspired me to simplify my life. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to coach with him and now I’m honored to call him a friend.
TL Brown Photography, Matt Shiffler Photography, Shalini Ryan Photography