The Gutsy Step Away From A Shoe Collection To A Minimalist Life On A Boat

Posted on /by Natalie Sisson/ in Build Your Online Business / 10 comments
Sarah Woods is Building Her Online Business

As part of the Build Your Online Business contest., I challenged anyone who bought the BYOB Guide or audio book, to tell me what one thing they learned and implemented as a result.

This the second to last entry of real life stories of entrepreneurs building their own online business before the final round of judging for who wins cash and coaching. and it’s a goodie!

This entry is from Sarah Woods, My Tropical Living, Brisbane, Australia

I first discovered the joys of blogging about a year ago, and was surprised to find out that people can actually make money from doing it, and I thought if I can make a living doing something that is that much fun and be able to do it anywhere in the world then that’s something I need to learn more about.

When I think about how I came across Natalie and the BYOB guide, it proves one of the key lessons in her ebook regarding the ‘building trust’ aspect of growing a successful business online. People will not look to work with you straight away. As in any sort of long lasting relationship, it takes time to establish trust and build value.

Natalie was on my radar for quite a long time before I took any real action, there are swarms of people online offering this and that to grow your online business. But what Natalie had to offer stood out from the crowd consistently.

Because I’m a very busy mum with two young kids, it took me some time to realise that what Natalie was offering was the perfect fit for the vision I have for my business and lifestyle, all the boxes need to be ticked before I joined her tribe – value, integrity, reliable, rapport and offering just what I needed to take my business to where I dream it will be.

Now comes the interesting part…..what steps have I taken to implement my location independent lifestyle?

Weeeell it’s been a very interesting six months indeed! We’ve sold our house, sold ALL our furniture and “stuff”…..oh so much stuff, it made me sick to the stomach how much sh*t we have accumulated.

I’m amazed how cleansing the ‘letting go’ process has been. I have also managed to part with my amazing shoe collection which is a huge step for woman kind!

We are now living on a boat, and a small one at that. Just me, my husband and our two kids 6 and 3. No TV, no dishwasher, a tiny fridge, minuscule storage and no room for my amazing shoe collection……..

How do we manage I hear you ask?

Well at first I couldn’t see how it could possibly work, but we took the leap of faith and now I can’t think of a better place to be. Just by taking the steps no matter how small and drawn out they may seem, I know the dream of one day (soon), we will cruise the world on our boat with our two kids.

The change over to a different life, especially a life that is not socially acceptable or seen as alternative, is not an easy path to follow, but

“having the guts to challenge what is deemed to be normal is more rewarding than any material thing you can buy”. 

Sarah Woods is Building Her Online Business

That is most evident with our children as we don’t have many toys on the boat because we interact more, and when we go to an Island they are lost in their imagination with the new found objects on the beach.

Simplifying our lives has also enabled me to spend more time blogging and building my business.

When we had the house and all the trappings, more time was spent having to clean and maintain the house,

plus the temptation of plonking in front of the TV was hard to resist when the rest of the family were zombi-fied in front of it. Even when we go out on the bay for the weekend I can still manage to do a blog post or do some research, as long as I have my wifi it can work anywhere anytime.
After taking the first step and finding my life is finally starting to feel like it’s making some sense, I’m really excited to keep moving forward even if it takes longer than I’d like, as long as I keep taking the steps I know I’m moving in the right direction.

Happy adventures,

Sarah Woods is not only blogging about her tropical adventure but is also an interior design mentor and blogs about building and decorating on her lifestyle blog. Follow her on Twitter @squeezeddaily

Let me know what you think of Sarah’s story in the comments!

  • I think Sarah’s story deserves a standing ovation!!! She is very brave, it takes a lot of courage to let go of everything and follow your dream…BRAVO!!!!

    I recently did the same, sold everything (you are right Sarah, it is incredible just how much s*** you can accumulate over the years), quit me corporate job and am I follow my passion of writing. However, she did it with 2 kids on a boat…what an adventure! Will definitely look up her adventures on her blog!!!

  • Natalie

    I agree Antonia. It’s definitely one brave move to make that is allowing Sarah to live a full and very present life indeed. I look forward to following her journey too.

  • Wow! Sarah’s courage and determination are inspirational!

  • Hannah

    Hi – great that Sarah has found a new vocation away from the 9 to 5 and that it’s going very well for her and her family. It would be great to hear more specifics on that though. I don’t think that by selling your stuff and moving onto a boat contributes much to you making the money from your blog, otherwise we’d all be doing that 🙂

    • Natalie

      Valid point Hannah. Let’s get Sarah to comment on her monetization plan.

  • I’m so inspired by your story, Sarah – and I’d like more specifics too! Have you managed to turn your blog into a business yet? Are you a single mom, and if not how did you convince hubby to get on board?
    If you can do it with 2 kids, then I certainly have no excuse!

  • A great and inspiring story. Thanks for giving her this platform to share, and for her, for sharing it.

  • How can i not love this story? It’s very inspiring to find other people living their dreams.

  • Sarah, I am so glad it is working out for ya. I am not in the same place, but I can vouch for the fact that you will never, ever regret taking time to travel and strengthening relationships within your family by limiting material possessions, turning off the tube, and making every day count.

  • Hi guys, firstly thanks for all your comments! And want to let you know I’m still loving the boat life and still working away on my blogs plus jobs that come up. I’m lucky to have my husband on the same wavelength as me and we are working towards the same goal.

    This year is all about monetizing the blogs and the hours of hard work in 2010 is starting to pay off as ads will be appearing on the building/renovating site soon and I’m working on selling my art prints and some homewares on the tropical living site, so that’s exciting.

    In regards to the comment on selling all Mu stuff and living a simpler life contributing to making money from my blog? Well no you are right it didn’t but it has enabled me to cut living expenses to a bare minimum so we can “get by” on the small amount of money that is coming in.

    Making everything simple and minimal gives me more time to blog and (most importantly) do the research on how to improve my blogs and marketing etc. I realize it’s not going to make us rich but it will hopefully enable us to cruise around the world living a simple yet aventure packed life (plus I’ll have allot to blog about when we set off on our adventures).

    If you are interested in following my efforts to my dream, I will be putting up a dedicated page on my blog.


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