Planning, Building, and

Growing with Tiny Homes

Ep. 127 ft. Ethan Waldman

“Tiny houses inspire a kindness in people.”

Ethan Waldman

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Bio

Ethan Waldman is a tiny house author, speaker, and teacher. He built his own tiny house on wheels in 2012, and has been passionately helping future tiny house dwellers on their own journeys ever since. Ethan’s guide, Tiny House Decisions, has helped thousands of readers answer the big questions about tiny houses and plan each system in their future home. He’s also the creator and host of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, a show that brings you conversations with tiny house luminaries, builders, and DIYers.

Show Notes

A fun episode about an entrepreneur’s journey with TINY HOUSES! Everything you want to know about quitting the 9-5 and the niche community of tiny house builders. Even better, place yourself in the story and get inspired to begin your next project, no matter what it is!

If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!

And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at LesleyLogan.co/subscribe.

In this episode you will learn about:

  • The beginning of building a Tiny Home
  • The purpose for decluttering and creating space
  • How to make the switch from hobby to business
  • Applying what you already know to create the next thing or a new biz
  • The importance of bonds through shared aspirations
  • The market and audience of tiny homes
  • What is the ‘Tiny House Decisions’: The Framework for Tiny House Accelerator

References/Links:

Transcript

INTRODUCTION

Lesley Logan
Hey Be It babe, what’s up? Okay, so today’s guest is very specific topic. Okay. It’s a very specific topic, and I’ll let him introduce what his specific topic is. But the reason I wanted to have him on whether or not you see yourself in this specific topic, doesn’t matter. I want you to practice seeing your journey, seeing your dreams, seeing your visions, seeing your goal in someone else because that is how we learn. It is. So, sometimes we want like a roadmap, a blueprint of some kind, where we go, “Okay, step A, step B, step C.” But some of the best ideas I’ve had have been from other industries, from other people’s goals, other people’s questions, from other people’s ideas that had nothing to do with what I’m doing. Because often, we get a little stuck in where we are. And we’re like, “Well, that everyone doesn’t like this. That’s how I have to do it.” But some of the best inspirations you’re gonna get are from seeing yourself in other people’s situations. So I challenge you with this episode. If you are like, “Oh, Lesley, thanks so much. This isn’t for me.” Keep listening. Also, I freaking love his BE IT action item at the end. It is definitely towards what he is doing. But I think we all can do it. So like, it’ll be really easy for you to see yourself in that. But again, challenge yourself. And if you’re like, “Oh my God, yes, this is what I’ve been doing.” Because I’m thinking of three listeners right now I know who are doing this. Great. Enjoy. He’s a wealth of knowledge. And I’m so so excited. But I’m truly inspired by him. His perseverance, his authenticity and, and the journey that he’s on. I think we can all learn and glean something from this, I can’t hear wait to hear what you did with this interview, with this information. And so let us know at the @be_it_pod, tag us there, make sure to leave us a review. And if you really like our guest, he has a podcast too. So you can go ahead and listen to his and do a favor if you’d like his, leave a review. I know I say this a lot and then in every podcast, here’s the deal. Reviews matter. I get to read every single one of them and they’re so much fun. The team reads them all. And we share them around the whole office and it’s well the virtual office and it is a lot of fun. So thank you for listening. Thank you for being you. And here is our guest, Ethan Waldman.

Lesley Logan
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guest will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.

EPISODE

Lesley Logan
Hey, Be It listener, I have the one and only Ethan Waldman here. I’m super excited to have him because I saw I saw what he was doing. And I thought, that’s what a lot of people, think about doing, talk about doing and then maybe have a million reasons why they wouldn’t do it. So I wanted to bring him on to maybe inspire you. And if you don’t see yourself in his particular situation, you can use all these things for anything else you’re putting obstacles in the way. So Ethan, thanks for being here on the Be It pod. Can you tell everyone who you are and what you’re up to?

Ethan Waldman
Sure. Hey, everyone. Thanks for having me, Lesley. I’m Ethan Waldman. And the thing that I am passionate about is tiny houses.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. Okay. So because I’ve, before I got rid of a TV, many moons ago, they like had tiny houses on TV shows like people talk about tiny houses, like, did you grow up in a tiny house? Like, was it easy… I have so many questions. How did you get in the tiny house?

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, I did not grow up in a tiny house. And it was not easy. I think it’s kind of funny. Like, if I knew now how hard it was to build my own house, I probably never would have done it. So I’m almost glad that I didn’t know. About 10 years ago now or actually more than 10 years ago, I was a couple of years into a corporate career, kind of the thing that I studied in college. I was doing the like living in a cubicle from nine to five kind of thing. And I just, I wasn’t really happy. I just, I love the outdoors, I love, you know, skiing and being on the lake and just doing these things that require like the precise alignment of weather conditions. And it always really bothered me, when I had to be at my desk, doing work that really wasn’t that time sensitive, when what I really wanted to be doing was like skiing that morning. And so I started to really become interested in entrepreneurship, interested in having my own business. And I had already started kind of a side hustle a side business. But I was still renting, you know, an expensive house with a friend. I hadn’t really changed anything about my lifestyle and hadn’t really taken many steps. Really big steps towards like leaving my job and like really changing things up. And so around, you know, sometime in 2011, I found a blog called Rowdy Kittens, written by Tammy Strobel and her and her husband, I know she has she likes cats. She has a bunch of kittens. … her husband Logan had, they didn’t build it themselves. But they had hired a company headed by this person named Dee Williams to build them a tiny house. And so I kind of just went down the rabbit hole reading about Tammy and Logan’s Tiny House learning about Dee Williams who is kind of like the like the godmother of The Tiny House Movement. Learning about Tumbleweed Tiny homes, it’s kind of this guy Jay Shafer, just like all these kind of OG tiny house people and learning about like, hey, like, these houses are small, they are, you know, DIYable, anybody can learn to build their own house, like there are workshops you can take, you can buy the plans. And I, I just realized that, you know, building a tiny house and living in one would drastically lower my, my monthly expenses. Like if I could own my own home outright with what I had in savings, and I had enough in savings at the time to take it on. That I’d be able to leave my corporate job, and did not have to come up with a business idea that would pay me what I was making in the corporate career because that’s difficult to go from, you know, corporate career to …

Lesley Logan
Oh working for yourself and making (Ethan: working for yourself) the income (Ethan: Yeah) at the same time. Yeah. No, (Ethan: Yeah) there’s, there’s like, you can do a little as someone who’s done it, you can do a little bit of like, bridging (Ethan: Yeah) a little bit. And then you’re working seven days a week, most of the time all the time. (Ethan: Yeah) You’re not doing your snow stuff that you want to do. (Ethan: Yeah. Exactly.) And then you still have to eventually make the leap and there’s gonna be a gap.

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, yeah. So the tiny house like was my gap, was my gap thing.

Lesley Logan
I love it. So, (Ethan: Yeah) so you built it yourself, by yourself? Did you have help?

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, so I started off. So my budget was such that like, I had to do it all myself. And like, when I was three months into the project, and like recognized that I was basically nowhere, I realized that I needed help. Because like the house really, it’s it’s I had at that point I had made like pretty significant investment in a trailer that’s like several $1,000 and materials and I came to the realization that until it’s an actual house, you invest all this time and money and it’s not really worth anything, so you need to get it done. And so I actually put out an ad on Craigslist and found kind of a local jack of all trades type person who, who really worked with me the whole build, and, you know, I would hire him his name was Jason, like, one or two days a week, he would kind of get me started on the next step, whatever next thing it was kind of show me how to do it, and then kind of turned me loose.

Lesley Logan
That’s cool. I actually, thanks for sharing that part. Because I think no matter what a project is, like, do like we, I mean, the DIY is great, because you can have, you can stay in your budget, you can do things that (Ethan: Yeah) like, but then eventually, there’s going to be things you don’t know how to do. And it’s either going to cost you more time, which is more money eventually on like silly things, saying that you can’t move in because now you’re paying rent at the other place, or it’s gonna cost you money to sort in the timespan to hire someone. So that’s really cool that you’re able to find someone who can kind of like, do it with you.

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, it was really helpful. And I, you know, I credit Jason with with helping make it happen. I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t hire him. I mean, it still took 14 months.

Lesley Logan
Okay, that was my next (Ethan: Yeah) 14 months. That’s a that is a lot longer than you probably expected.

Ethan Waldman
Oh, yeah. Like my housemate at the time was a woodworker who had done construction. And when I was talking to him about it, he was like, “Oh, yeah, you could build that in like three months, and I’ll help.” And not only didn’t he help, it takes a lot longer than three months. You could do it in three months if you really, if you knew how to build already, and you work full time on it, like, (Lesley: Yeah, like that was your nine to five.) Yeah, I mean, I tell people in my training materials that it’s it’s like 1000 to 1400 hours of work to build a tiny house. So (Lesley: Yeah) you just have to divide, you have to divide that 1000 hours out over a period of time. (Lesley: Yeah.) Often when a couple builds a tiny house together on the weekends, it takes them about a year.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. Okay. So now we’re even living in your tiny house about 10 years now?

Ethan Waldman
Well, we’re 10 years down the road. I don’t live in my tiny house anymore, actually. Now it is the cool thing about tiny houses, I knew that I might never live in it forever. Or I knew I wasn’t gonna live in it forever. But I also knew that I like never wanted to get rid of it. Because it’s, it’s such an asset to me. You know, I built my whole business around educating people on how to plan and build tiny houses. But now also, I’ve I’ve found my way into this really sweet situation, I found a landlord who is open to letting us do Airbnb. So basically, I’ve turned the tiny house into, you know, another piece of my business in terms of income.

Lesley Logan
That’s so cool. So now people (Ethan: Yeah …) staying in your tiny house.

Ethan Waldman
Yeah. And it’s fun, too, because I get so many messages from guests who are like, “Thank you, this helped us figure out like what we wanted in terms of our tiny house.” And that’s, uh, you know, I tell people, like, if you’re thinking about living in a tiny house, and you’ve never been in one, first see if there’s a tiny house festival happening in your area, because that’s a great way to see a ton of tiny houses at once. But even better book, one on Airbnb for a night or a weekend and see what it feels like to live there.

Lesley Logan
Yeah, that’s, that’s actually a genius tip. I think everyone should try everything on for size, whether it’s a tiny house or a job or a school (Ethan: Yeah) or a relationship. You know, because some things like look really good on the outside and then like, then it’s reality. So (Ethan: Yeah) so let’s talk about like moving from the house, you were in into the tiny house. And we you alluded earlier, like it wasn’t easy. So like, what was the hard, what were the harder parts of like moving into the tiny house?

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, I mean, I would say that, that it was the building of the tiny house, that wasn’t easy. It took so long that like, I had a lot of time to prepare, (Lesley: Okay) in terms of like, getting rid of clutter and possessions that I that I knew I didn’t want. In fact, that was it was one of the very earliest things I could do. Even before I started building, when I was still in the planning phases and saving money. It’s like, you can start decluttering and kind of getting rid of the stuff that you don’t want right away. And that’s makes it easier to move into the tiny house.

Lesley Logan
I love that because it’s like, it’s like you got to live tiny before you were in your tiny house.

Ethan Waldman
Definitely. And I think that there is an element of like living in a tiny house that that does make it easier to declutter and downsize. Like when you have the space, you will spread out into it. And so if you try to cram your your, you know, one bedroom apartment life into a tiny house, all of a sudden there’s going to be stuff everywhere and it’s going to be obvious to you what needs to go but as much as you can do beforehand, the better and and also just for me, it just gave me something to stay motivated about. Like it gave me some tangible things that I could do while I was waiting to start that were actually going to contribute to, to the project.

Lesley Logan
Yeah, because you know, like, it doesn’t matter what the goal is, right? There’s always, it always takes a little longer than we want, or we think, we plan but being able to take little actions every day. So it feels like you’re getting closer to the goal is (Ethan: Yeah) rewarding. And, and so I think I love that you pointed that out, I will say it because we went from a 500 square foot apartment with … (Ethan: That’s almost, that’s a tiny house.) that’s a tiny house. So we have this amazing tiny house. We live (Ethan: Yeah) in this great neighborhood in LA and it’s a super super old studio apartment, which is not technically a studio because there wasn’t ins… there was a door on the inside. There was a kitchen, full kitchen and then like a dressing room. And then the bathroom was behind the kitchen and had a door too, so there was like, technically you could call it a one bedroom, but the bedroom was in the kitchen as well. So that’s why … (Ethan: Okay) but it also had a back patio and a backyard with a tree. No apartments in LA had this so we could like sort of have an office outside because it’s LA. But (Ethan: Yeah) we it was amazing when we moved out to a five bedroom house. Everything we owned, like I like, “Where are these boxes coming from? How did we like where were this packed away?” It was so crazy what we’re able to hide even in 500 square feet with (Ethan: Yeah) two dogs. (Ethan: Yeah) We had like three, two guitar, three guitars underneath the bed. Like I didn’t even know that we had a trombone under the bed as well. All of that under the bed. So it’s kind of shocking. And now that we live in this house, we have spread out. You are correct. You just take up the space you’re given.

Ethan Waldman
Yeah. I mean, just like an empty room, you’re like, “Okay, well, how about like a credenza or an end table or a dresser or something?” And then you’re like, “Oh well, I have all these extra drawers? I gotta put stuff in them.”

Lesley Logan
Yeah. So okay, so you you, you have the corporate job. You’ve gotten to the tiny house, when (Ethan: Yeah) did you make your entrepreneurship about tiny homes? Was that it from the beginning? Or like, what were you, were you dabbling into some other things? How did that transition happen?

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, great question. So, like, many I read The Four Hour Workweek, like back in 2003 or four and was like, you know, (Lesley: Yeah) I was always in the back of my head. Like, I want passive income. I want to like have a business online that makes money while I sleep, which like, isn’t real. You have to do work.

Lesley Logan
Well, there’s a lot of work in the front end, like a lot (Ethan: Yeah, it’s true.) more than four hours. (Ethan: Yeah) And then, and then if you like, figure out all the things someone is working more than four hours a week, it just (Ethan: It’s true.) might not be you.

Ethan Waldman
It’s true. No, and I will admit, like, I do wake up and people have bought my eBooks and courses. And so yes, I made money while I slept. (Lesley: Yeah) So that was always in the back of my my head. And I actually started kind of online business, I guess you would call it now like a creator business, it was called Cloud Coach. And the motto was “Live and work in harmony with technology.” I’ve always loved technology. I like teaching people and particularly helping, like small businesses kind of figure out their technology. And so I had this idea, I’ll, I’ll become a coach. I’ll help people learn to use the technology around them. (Lesley: Yeah) And it was, it was going okay, I like I ran the blog and website for a few years, I had a couple, I had a several kinds of productized services. I was doing some web design for people, I even created like a, it was like an online course on how to like, get to inbox zero. And …

Lesley Logan
Oh, I can’t wait for Brad to hear this because he is someone who has like always like 1000 emails …

Ethan Waldman
Just archive them all. Start to declare bankruptcy. (Lesley laughs) My advice, my advice now. But yeah, so it just like trucking along. But it wasn’t like really making very much money. I was finding that the people who could afford to pay me wanted me to do it for them. And the people who wanted to be coached and learn themselves, which is what I was mostly interested in doing couldn’t couldn’t pay. (Ethan: Right) So like, I definitely had like lots of free yoga classes and massages and like, music lessons and like, you know I was like doing a lot of like barter, but you know, that doesn’t pay the bills. (Lesley: No, you still gonna pay the bills.) Yeah. And so during the build, I was actually able to when I quit my corporate job, which was like somewhat specialized, I was able to negotiate essentially, like a consultancy. And so I like continued to do pieces of my job on a product or project by project basis. (Lesley: Oh great) And that yeah, that really helped to kind of pay the bills while you know, especially once I quit and also as I continued to build the tiny house and it went over budget … we can talk about. Yeah, as most things do. So it was around, it was around 2013 I knew that the tiny house had a very viable audience. I had started a Facebook page when I was building the house. And by the end of the build, it had something like four or 5000 likes. (Lesley: That’s insane.) And like, yeah, this was back in 2012 before the algorithm, when just like posting decent content, like, got you a lot of exposure. (Lesley: Yeah) You didn’t have to pay Facebook for that. (Lesley: Yeah) And so I was getting tons of questions like, you know, “Why did you choose that heater versus this heater? Like, what kind of insulation is that? Like, why did you use that?” And so I just decided to apply what I had already learned from doing Cloud Coach about email marketing, about, you know, building a WordPress website, how to put a product online, how to use PayPal, all these things. And, you know, I put up a landing page for, like, a concept of a book that was called and still is called Tiny House Decisions, and got to work writing it. And I launched that in 2014.

Lesley Logan
That’s so cool. (Ethan: Yeah) That’s so cool. So then started with the book, you had the page or you write the book and then like (Ethan: Yeah) and then people started buying the book, or people started asking you for coaching advice, or what was the, how did you end up getting like a business out of it?

Ethan Waldman
Well, basically, while I was writing the book, I was starting to do email marketing, starting to publish blog posts, and building up that interest list of people who were like, interested in potentially buying it. (Lesley: Yeah) And so then, I don’t think I really made any money in the tiny house world until I self published the guide in, I think it was September of 2014. (Lesley: cool) And like it was, it was the right time. This it was before there were now you can go on to YouTube. And there are hundreds of people who have documented their their full build from start to finish. I would argue that that my book still gives you something that they don’t, which is really helping you think through what goes into the house, like planning all the systems and putting it all together before you ever start to build, essentially.

Lesley Logan
Oh, you are 100… So this is, so this is my thing. I’m on YouTube. I love it. It’s great. We get paid on it. And you can go there and learn a bunch. But you aren’t learning how to put things together. You’re like watching it’s, it’s not voyeuristic per se because there can be a conversation, they’d be teaching something. But (Ethan: Yeah) you, there’s only so much that free can do, you can have (Ethan: Yeah) all the information but putting the puzzle pieces together are a little difficult. And we have the van right. So before we hit record, my husband talking Ethan about our van. And we had all these like ideas we bought, like we got these we got we did buy some floor plans that were based off of our van. But as we’re driving in it without having made any decisions, and we’re seeing how the dogs are acting, what they need, what we need, when we’re working in it. We’re like, “You know, we don’t actually want a kitchen on the inside, because I don’t want to smell the food while I’m driving around.” I’m not actually gonna live in my van, I’m just using it to like, road trip. So you I think you’re right, like you’re having that book or having any wherever your idea is like having something that helps you make the decisions that work for you is (Ethan: Yeah) going to be more valuable then you know, just getting the tips on where how to how to put it together.

Ethan Waldman
Totally, totally. And that’s that’s essentially what I set out to do in for tiny houses.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. So do you and do you have like, I feel like no matter what people’s industry is, there’s like this, like, boom, and then like, kind of like peters out in plateaus. Do you feel like the tiny house is still on a boom? Or do you feel like it’s on and like, people are still intrigued by it? Like, where do you feel it’s going for you?

Ethan Waldman
I mean, I think for the tiny house industry as a whole it is still kind of on the up. There’s there’s a lot of new interest in tiny houses. Laws around the country are changing to be more favorable for building and living in tiny houses. And there are many, many, many more companies that are building tiny houses professionally for people, because as more people are attracted to the movement. Not everyone can build their own tiny home, nor should they. (Lesley laughs) It’s a major, it’s a major undertaking of time and energy. And for many people, their time might be better spent continuing to do whatever it is that they do to earn money and pay someone else to do the dirty work, (Lesley: Yeah) like building the house.

Lesley Logan
Yeah, we were big fans of like, hire people whose strengths are your weaknesses. If you’re not a builder, hire a builder. (Ethang: Yeah, yeah.) Go to your thing well. Go what do that as well.

Ethan Waldman
I think for me and this I know yours, like, trends in online education in general, is that people are less interested in just like buying a PDF. They want community and they want really to be taught they want like a class. So my ebook still sells. And I think it’s like in terms of like the dollar to value ratio, it’s still like probably the best 40 bucks you can spend, just because it’s like 200 pages long. And if you follow it through, you’re gonna have a pretty solid plan for your tiny house at the end. But I’ve, several years ago, launched an online community called Tiny House Engage. And it’s about 100 to 150 people, depending on where we are in in membership. And, you know, that’s where I’m providing the like, support, and helping to create a community space for for people who are you know, I, anybody is welcome to join. But I think it’s best for people who are like, really sure they want to do it, and on. So like, you’re really sure that’s like the starting point. We have people who are currently in the middle of their DIY builds, we have people who are working with builders, and we have many people who are living in tiny houses too. So it’s a, it’s a nice online community.

Lesley Logan
That’s really cool. And I love how like you keep evolving what your role is in the tiny house industry and how you (Ethan: Yeah) you’re like seeing a problem. And you’re like solving that problem with your next, your next thing. What, when someone is considering, like, when you consider the tiny house? What were your biggest worries and what were like some of the surprises that you had, because like, I feel like people are like, okay, even if it’s not a tiny house, if they’re like, “I’m gonna leave my job, or I’m gonna move here,” like, people have worries and fears. And then there’s like, like surprises. So what what were yours in your move?

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, I mean, it’s a great question. And I’m trying to put myself back in my, like, late 20s brain of like, 2012, thinking about what I was going to do. I think that I was definitely worried, I was always worried about making enough money, I think my biggest fears were around leaving my job. In a way the tiny house felt like the solution to that problem, not not something that I was worried about. I think that I and then once I started building, I definitely had those fears, like, am I going to be able to finish this? Like is this am I actually going to be able to pull it off. And I think that what has continued to surprise me, to this day is just like that tiny houses inspire kind of a kindness in people. And they kind of bring your community out of the woodwork. And even now with how much more common tiny houses are. If you tell people that you’re building a tiny house, they just want to help. They’re like, “That’s so cool. I’ve always wanted to do that myself.” You know, “Oh, I have a box of hardwood flooring in my basement that like that’s leftover from the kitchen renovation? Do you want it? Or like, can I come by and help you one day.” It’s just like, it always surprises me how people are willing to kind of help when you share a vision like that, that is exciting. And kind of just something a little bit out of the ordinary. But that is an aspirational thing for a lot of people.

Lesley Logan
I love that. I actually that, that is actually a wonderful surprise to still like, I love to be surprised by people like our neighborhood (Ethan: Yeah) is not a neighborhood of tiny houses, obviously, we a five bedroom, but their old houses, there are particular style house in a particular neighborhood, everything was built in the late 40s, early 50s. And, and so people will will literally say like, “Oh, hey, we have these pains from the 1960s. If anyone’s house needs them, I don’t want to throw them away.” And I just I love that about people like who are prideful in those things. They want to make sure that those things continue on and go to a good spot. And they and they continue to have their their moments. So I think that’s cool that people do that for a tiny house owner. What do you think it is that draws people into wanting to live in a tiny house? Like what’s the, what’s the awe? Because, you know, like that, it’s very interesting how many people, “I wanna live in a tiny house.” Like you, you saw it as like a way of solving the fear of money thing. Is it, do you think it’s like they see it as solving a problem that they have or?

Ethan Waldman
I would say that that the majority of people that I interact with in my community, and just on my email list, the the financial piece is probably the biggest driver for them. Whether it’s not wanting to have a mortgage and not be in debt, or just wanting to be able to own a house outright or just own a house, period. You know, even with a loan that’s that’s more affordable. I think that’s the biggest driver. I’ve been surprised. You know, I always thought when I started the business, that my customers were going to be people like me like 20 something, millennials basically who were, you know, I graduated from college in 2007 right as the like crazy real estate …

Lesley Logan
Oh yeah. I graduated in 2005 and I worked in retail. So … (Lesley laughs)

Ethan Waldman
Yeah … The idea of, of mortgaging your future to buy a house seemed crazy to me. And so I was like, “This is gonna be all millennials,” who are like, burnt and like, just scared to buy, you know, to spend more money. What I’m seeing now is that there are millennials and younger people building tiny houses. But we’re not staying in our tiny houses, because like, we’re kind of at the beginning stages of our lives, like, we’re going to find partners and potentially have families, children, dogs, pets, all these things. It’s surprising to me how many boomers are retiring into tiny houses, that’s been like, the biggest area in terms of like, students in my courses, people who buy my stuff, people join my community, like, are are like older folks who are actually, like, if you think about it in a much better point in their lives to downsize because, (Lesley: Yeah) kids have grown up, they don’t need the space anymore. They’re on more of a fixed income, potentially, if they’ve retired. And so these are actually the people who are like, building tiny houses or buying tiny houses, and they’re like, “I’m gonna stay in here until I can’t live on my own anymore.”

Lesley Logan
I think that is, that makes so much sense. And it’s, I think it’s really cool, I think. Yes, I agree. The millennials probably saw the tiny home as an as an opportunity to have a home that was their own, and then they’re like, okay, but yeah, partners and kids in a tiny home gets a little hard. (Ethan: Yeah, yeah) No matter how organized you are, although people in New York apparently do it all the time with their apartments, so (Ethan: Yeah) I must be able to be done. But um, but my Dad is 70 and he’s not in a tiny home, but he has he has downsized. And he I can see how for his generation of people, how helpful it would be to have access to a tiny home because you can (Ethan: Yeah) still feel like you have a home. You have this space that’s your own. You know, and still have your independence. I think that’s really cool. I love that your your stuff is available to multiple generations of people.

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, yeah. And I’ve like, I’m pretty like tech savvy, but I’ve also like, in my business had to like, sometimes tone it down. Like I there’s no Discord community that you can join when you join my programs because like, we always don’t know how to use Discord like, you know, that kind of thing.

Lesley Logan
My listeners, I swear, half the listeners are like, “Discord?” (Lesley laughs)

Ethan Waldman
Yeah. Or Slack. Like I was like, “Oh, create a private Slack group.” Like …

Lesley Logan
Oh, well, same. I have my Agency group is on Slack. Because I didn’t want to put them on Facebook because I don’t want them doing, like going for business coaching. (Ethan: Yeah) And then also seeing like, what, their weird Uncle Rob also wrote on one of their posts. I wanted them to like have a space that like this is safe for you to go. And also no algorithm, right. And everyone is like we have to put them in like us. We put them in a little Slack mini where we train them on Slack and they actually learn how to use Slack.

Ethan Waldman
That’s awesome.

Lesley Logan
Before they come into the main group, otherwise, it’s like, waa. (Ethan: Yeah) Yeah, well, um, I think yeah, you’ll I mean, with depending with your millennial peeps, you can obviously tone it up and then with the other people just tone it down. But I also just think, even though the world has got, finally gotten online, as like the one as one of the few benefits of the last couple of years, people are still hesitant right and are unsure. And so having your stuff be accessible for that the boomer generation who’s like if they have an iPhone, but they’re not, they don’t consider themselves tech savvy. (Ethan: Yeah) Cool. So what is next for you? Like, what are you excited about now? What are you kind of toying with or kind of being it till you see it now?

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, so in November of 21, I piloted kind of a live cohort based course that’s based around Tiny House Decisions, like Tiny House Decisions is the framework for the course. But it’s seven weeks long with a lot of exercises and worksheets and things and then a weekly, two hour Q&A call, essentially. And so we’ve run that twice now. I have a co instructor for that. And I’d really like to figure out how to scale that up and get more people into it and potentially create like a self paced version of it.

Lesley Logan
Yeah, I I love hearing what people are working on next, because I think people need to hear like they’ve run it a couple times. And it’s not like (Ethan: Yeah) you’re like, “Oh, we know how to do it all.” Like, it’s always testing and tweaking and making (Ethan: Yeah) adjustments and figuring out like, how do we get and how does anything go from being for a small group which is very fun people loved being accessible to the many.

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, yeah, (Lesley: Yeah) exactly. And you know the the even just the name of it sometimes you can’t find the right name for for a course. And I think I like figured it out between this last one and before we do it the next time so I think I’m gonna rename it Tiny House Accelerator, because that’s kind of what it is.

Lesley Logan
Oh, it’s kind of like what was, like, incubate, what’s the accelerator situation in Silicon Valley? Do you know I’m talking about?

Ethan Waldman
Oh, yeah, like incubators for (Lesley: Y com?) companies .Y Combinator.

Lesley Logan
Y Combinator. There it is. Yeah. (Ethan: Yeah) So yeah, but I like the word accelerator. And it’s true. Like, when you’re naming anything, because I hate having to name things because things that are cute, like don’t work or clever doesn’t work. Like it has to be like, it has to be kind of like it has to be SEO friendly and make sense. And but the word accelerator is really great because people that’s what people want. They want it to be, like they want the information downloaded fast. (Ethan: Yeah, yeah) I like it. Test it out. You’ll have to keep us posted on how it goes.

Ethan Waldman
Yeah. Yeah, I will.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. All right, everyone. So we’re gonna take a quick moment and you’re gonna find out how you can take this Tiny House Accelerator course, to get the book. Find out more about Ethan, so one second.

Okay, Ethan, where can people find you, follow you, learn more information from you?

Ethan Waldman
Sure. Yeah. I’d say like, the best place is thetinyhouse.net. That’s my website. I would love for your listeners, since they’re already listening to a podcast and they, I presume, understand how to listen to a podcast. Check out my podcast. It’s called Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast. And it’s been going for over four years. There’s 250 episodes, deep interviews with just all kinds of people, van life, sailboat, school buses, tiny houses, professional builders, DIYers, it’s like all in there. So like the podcast back catalogue is is a goldmine of of tiny house inspiration and information.

Lesley Logan
Oh, my God. Brad’s gonna binge out on the next drive.

Ethan Waldman
Well, he told me that he already started. So (Lesley laughs)

Lesley Logan
Of course he did. (Ethan: Yeah) Of course he did. Sometimes he sees who’s coming on the show. And he gets he gets a little. He’s like (Ethan: Alright) on a rabbit trail. Yeah, awesome. Okay, well, are you on Instagram or anywhere else on any socials?

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, I’m on Instagram and Twitter. Just at @ethanwaldman, my name, Facebook, I’m at Building the Tiny House. I’ve like I’ve really, in the last several years, kind of identified that that like using social media doesn’t make me feel particularly great. And it also is is a bit of a content hamster wheel. And so I’ve I’ve really tried to kind of step away from the content hamster wheel. And, you know, if you follow me on social, you’ll, you’ll hear about the latest things, but like, the podcast and my email newsletter are like, where you’ll kind of be getting the most direct like, word (Lesley: Yes) from from Ethan.

Lesley Logan
I hear you on that. I think (Ethan: Yeah) even though I’m in the hamster wheel of content creation, for a lot of our other brands, (Ethan: Yeah) you get the most up to date and info sooner if you’re listening to the pod or the newsletter. (Ethan: For sure, for sure.) Because like, I there’s something about it that feels like I’m writing a letter or I’m on a phone call (Ethan: Yeah) versus like, I’m putting this thing together to hopefully get your attention and hopefully answer a question that you may not be asking yourself today but you might be asking me yesterday. Yeah, I hear you. Okay, before I let you go, Ethan, you’ve been a wealth of just inspiration. BE IT action items, so we’d like to leave our listeners with bold, executable, intrinsic or targeted steps they can take to being it till they see it, whether it’s in a tiny home or anything else.

Ethan Waldman
Yeah, I would say so I’ll answer that question based on that you’re interested in, in living in a tiny home. I challenge you to, to, you know, pick up a book or not about decluttering and downsizing and start start doing that. Because if you are feeling like a tiny home is far into your future in terms of saving up the money for it or just having the time to build it. Down, you know, lowering your footprint, just even in the house that you live in now is a great start to living tiny, and it’s an actionable step that you can take now.

Lesley Logan
Yeah. And I also think like, even if you don’t want to live tiny, we can all use a little decluttering and lowering of our footprint (Ethan: Oh yeah.) on this planet. Yeah. Well, that is, I love that. Thank you so much.

Ethan Waldman
You’re welcome.

Lesley Logan
All right. Well, everyone, how are you going to do this in your life? How are you going to use the tips, the things, the stories that Ethan has told you? Let us know by tagging the @be_it_pod on Instagram, you can tag @ethanwaldman. Obviously, if you’re on his newsletter, you can actually just reply to an email and tell him there. And let us know because you know, whether or not you want to live in a tiny home, I hope you can see like the journey that Ethan went on and how it’s taken him to where he wants to be. And then sometimes we want to know the entire design from start to finish. It doesn’t always work. It doesn’t work that way ever actually. So so I hope it was an inspiration for you and taking the steps that you want and being it till you see it.

Lesley Logan
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast! One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over at the @be_it_pod on Instagram! I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!

Lesley Logan
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of ‘As The Crows Fly Media’.

Brad Crowell
It’s written, produced, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell. Our Associate Producer is Amanda Frattarelli.

Lesley Logan
Kevin Perez at Disenyo handles all of our audio editing.

Brad Crowell
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.

Lesley Logan
Special thanks to our designer Jaira Mandal for creating all of our visuals (which you can’t see because this is a podcast) and our digital producer, Jay Pedroso for editing all video each week so you can.

Brad Crowell
And to Angelina Herico for transcribing each of our episodes so you can find them on our website. And, finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.

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