How to Mix Ingredients to Make the Minimalism Documentary with Joshua Fields Millburn – SASM 101

Joshua Fields Millburn and Joel Zaslofsky Combined Picture

If you could change the lives of millions, would you leave your family and friends for a year?

What if you had to got to give thousands of strangers a hug, whispers of encouragement, and shouts of hope to do it?

I have two friends who said “Let's do it!” to that idea and created something magical in the process. Their names? Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus – but they're better known as The Minimalists.

These guys did 100+ events in five countries back in 2014 to spread the word about minimalism through their book, Everything That Remains. But that wasn't all.

They also recorded most of the footage for a documentary they're intimately involved in, Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, while cruising the roads and skies.

It's been a multi-year build up for the world-wide film release and Joshua was gracious enough to bring us along on the journey. And my … what a journey!

There are hundreds of fingerprints on Minimalism and it's fascinating to learn how the team behind the film is ensuring there will be millions of eyeballs on it, too. Joshua explained the ingredients that went into making the movie and pretty much gives you the factory tour while doing it.

Our chat rests somewhere between an insider's view and an open secret that's reshaping cultures around the world. I doubt you'll want to rest after hearing this engaging conversation, so spring into action with us and press play on this episode!

You're about to Learn ...

  • How you can have more meaning and less stuff with the slightest of pivots.
  • Why a ninety-something great-great grandma took five family generations to a book tour stop.
  • How to align your short-term actions with your long-term values.
  • Why Joshua and Ryan regularly ask people to stop experiencing what they create.
  • How The Minimalists thought $50k a year would fix their problems, then $100k, then …
  • The separate audiences Minimalism is made for and how they may feel after watching.
  • Why the film team busted their butts to make an almost perfect pre-release version even better.
  • Why Joshua teaches his writing students that they aren't interesting.

Resources and Items Mentioned in This Episode

Timestamps and Topics

  • [06:12] Joshua's seeds of awesomeness
  • [11:57] The fascinating backstory behind the Minimalism documentary
  • [21:58] How the team squeezed more juice from an almost perfect film festival version
  • [26:27] The unconventional film release and distribution method
  • [28:33] What Joshua hopes people will feel and do after watching Minimalism
  • [32:13] The role of 100+ global Minimalist meetup groups in The Mins future plans
  • [37:09] What's surprising Joshua about the message to live meaningfully with less
  • [40:36] Why The Minimalists encourage people to stop experiencing what they create
  • [44:59] How Joshua has surrounded himself with the most amazing people

Extra Gratitude and Special Mentions

Oh, you know new patrons on Patreon are getting some love here. So thanks Julie and Anthony for supporting the show!

Audrey also deserves some love for her recent iTunes review that goes a little somethin' like this:

“Joel's podcast is an essential component of the simple-living community. His diverse guests – paired with his talent for promoting genuine, authentic conversation – makes it a must-have. Even if you're just discovering Smart and Simple Matters now, I promise it will be an absolute treat to go back through past episodes.”

Audrey, you're so sweet! I receive that and share the credit with the rest of our tree-mend-us community.

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