What does a world full of intentional, grateful, and purpose-driven people look like?
What if the primary metric for governments or marketers was simplicity instead of economic growth?
Are we doomed to have overwhelming, over-committed, and superficial lives … or can we rediscover our birthright to have a meaningful, contribution-rich existence?
I think about these questions because I spent most of my life as a sleep-walking “consumer” – chasing money or prestige, addicted to video games and sugary crap, and looking to take before I gave.
But I fell asleep one night knowing things had to change. I needed a better, more generous life for myself and my family.
I'm grateful to have that life now and I want it to spread to you.
That's why I'm here to help you simplify to a slower rhythm, find contentment on the inside instead of from ‘stuff,' and get great at life's less glamorous side.
Your methods might vary; mine include minimalism, meditation, and spreadsheets … but it's all good in my ‘hood.
I'm here to shift us from feeling isolated, detached, or helpless into a true sense of belonging within amazing communities. We all need human connection – the real “I can trust and depend on you when I'm at rock-bottom” kind – and I've learned the hard way how to earn it.
I'm here to help you be simultaneously brave and vulnerable. Because sweet sassy molassy – the world has too much useless posturing, destructive competition, and a ravenous hunger to dominate others.
Working on these things takes time. Yes, there will be baby steps. But if having two babies in my home and being a big baby myself has taught me anything, it's not just possible; it's probable with the right resources and the right people in your corner.
I'm confident from experience, but I'm not special or better than anyone else. I'm just a regular dude with multiple passions and the drive to bring people together.
Here's some more about why I do what I do, what makes me tick, and how I walk the walk.
What I Believe In
I believe in the abundant use of asides, ellipses, hyphens, and bullet points, but that's not super relevant (wait … maybe it is – yeah, it definitely is).
Most importantly, here's what I believe about simple-living, community-building, meaning, and connecting:
- I believe that social good and personal change can happen at the low cost of Absolutely Free. I love pay-what-you-can and patron-supported models, but I'm running a website here – not a business.
- I believe in generosity without expecting reciprocity, curating your experiences, and the conscious pursuit of all things slow.
- I believe that true freedom can be found in needing little and wanting less, in growth from intentional discomfort, and that it's OK for people to live their lives by their own rules.
- I believe that simple-living is for anyone and unique to everyone. It can be comprehensive or concise, vibrant blue and orange or soothing sage and grey, silly or serious.
- I believe in consuming less and creating more.
- I believe that worth isn’t measured by a bank account and that we should be motivated by outcome, not income.
- I believe sustainability and simplicity will replace hyper-consumerism and mindlessness in this lifetime. And I believe in the people who are actively working to make that happen.
I believe these things through mistakes and triumphs, tears and laughter, and without claiming to know the “right way” (if such a thing even exists).
I'm Flawed, and That's OK
I've been a lot of things in my thirty-six years and you can click here to get the full story.
For example, I'm proud to be a connector, hubby, papa, minimalist, Primal/Paleo dude, atheist, multipotentialite, community-builder, SimpleREVer, spreadsheet fanatic, and extrovert.
(If you're like most of my family and friends who aren't these things, we can totally still be pals.)
I'm jazzed that thousands of people joyfully subscribe to my newsletter, 100,000s have eagerly listened to my podcast, and that the SimpleREV movement is booming.
But it ain't all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.
- I'm not proud of my current sugar binging issues.
- I left my corporate job partially to work less, but I work just as much – if not more sometimes – than I ever have.
- I accidentally slip back into “Click here, I'm awesome!” mode when I'm writing because I often want to hide my worst behind my best.
- I fear that you'll think less of me when you learn how rich I am or that my wife, Melinda, pays most of the bills for our family of four while I live my “hugs and thank yous are enough for me” lifestyle.
I guess all these things make me both more and less qualified to explore the simple-living and community-building domains.
But I don't want to withhold anything from you. So I hope you'll show compassion – I'll do the same for you – as I work to make our world a more vulnerable, authentic, and generous place.
What I Do and What I'm Involved In
As a fella with a diversity of passions, interests, and skills, the topics and mediums that float my boat change faster than your average Joe(l).
For instance, I've hosted the popular Smart and Simple Matters podcast for four years and I've seen it grow from ten loyal lurkers to thousands of active listeners making their own dent in the universe.
I also wrote a book called Experience Curating: How to Gain Focus, Increase Influence, and Simplify Your Life that's been downloaded thousands of times and has plenty-o-five-star reviews. Writing it was painful, but it's helped me speak and teach about intentionally and meaningfully curating your existence.
I've whipped up quiet movements like the Continuous Creation Challenge to help you consume less and create more. However, I'm most revved up about SimpleREV – a global movement I founded that's all about simplicity your way, at your speed, and with your people.
I get to co-organize and co-host SimpleREV events like our big, annual one in Minneapolis. But I'm most passionate about helping bring people together around simple-living in their area with our free SimpleREV Local gatherings.
In-between all this grooviness, I do occasional freelance project management and I'm part of the Operations team at the multipotentialite hub, Puttylike.
What’s my next big thing? You'll be the first to know when you join thousands of inspiring, intentional people that get my newsletter and get half of my book, Experience Curating, right away.
What You Can Do Next
Um … you kinda know a lot about me now.
If you want to learn more about my family life with Melinda and my two boys, Grant and Clark, or how my grandma busted me for lighting tissues on fire in my parents' bath tub when I was nine (safety first when you're a pyro), I suggest that you:
- Download a Smart and Simple Matters episode to get some rare insight and unique quirkiness.
- Explore the Start Here page if you want a guided tour of the website.
- Come say hi on Twitter or circle up on Google+.
- Become an insider when you subscribe to my newsletter and prove that there are still emails worth looking forward to.
One Last Thing …
Thanks for scrolling to the bottom!
Your time and attention are precious. So I'm here for you, if you're here for me. As a friend. As a peer. As we guide each other through the struggles and celebrations of life.
Your partner in simplifying, community, and big smiles,
Photo Credit: Barbara Wells
Looking for Something Specific?
Hi! I'm Joel Zaslofsky.
I help create community, podcast about groovy things, and get you excited about spreadsheets. Learn more about me and how to live intentionally, build authentic relationships, and have tons of gratitude. No prior experience is required.
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