I absolutely adore Whitney Leigh Morris and the giant heart she shares. I’ve followed along with her life at The Tiny Canal Cottage since before I can remember. Isn’t it crazy to watch someone get married, start a family and grow a business all from a small screen? I always feel like I know Whitney in real life because she’s such an open, honest person. Her quest for sustainable living and making the world a better place only makes her more beguiling. I’m so excited she agreed to share her voice and write this journal entry for us. I hope this post inspires you to connect with Whitney and find your own inspiration for an intentional, beautiful life. xx Sam
My family and I live in a tiny house. I run a small business, which is almost entirely centered around simplified small space living. Through social media posts, blog entries, editorial contributions, client consultations, a recently published book and newly produced short videos, I share tips and ideas geared toward helping individuals, couples and families live comfortably, contentedly and more sustainably in compact quarters.
To my peers and by the industry, I’m considered an “influencer,” which basically means that I’m a glorified niche advertiser. But I don’t want everything I publish to be shoppable. I don’t want to earn income from encouraging people to buy more, when I know that most of us can (and should, for both personal and environmental reasons) live with less.
What I want is for my readers to be confident and fulfilled in their small homes or apartments. And I want to be one of their primary go-to resources for reliable, zero or low-cost takeaways that can help them spend less time organizing and searching for their stuff, and more time with the ones they love.
I don’t want to earn income from encouraging people to buy more, when I know that most of us can (and should, for both personal and environmental reasons) live with less.
Here’s the rub: Like everyone, I need to earn a living. But most of my work—like this journal entry, for example—reaps no financial compensation, despite the fact that it all requires a phenomenal amount of time.
My seven-day work weeks are a thick mix of consultations, writing, art direction, styling, production, graphic design, on-camera appearances, photography, editing and publishing to authentically grown audiences. So how do I go about promoting sustainable living and walk my own walk while simultaneously advertising for products so I can earn enough money to support my single-income family in an expensive city while also keeping my (very) small business afloat in a pricey state?
For now, I cash the unsteady paychecks supplied by brands so I can take care of my family’s needs while continuing to work my hardest at what I love. My hope is that I emerge from the marketing rat race with professional integrity, financial stability and my sense of purpose in tact.
Fortunately that sense of purpose continues to grow within me. As a woman in business, as a mother and as an inhabitant of this planet, I want my work to shine a positive, accessible and meaningful light throughout diverse communities.
My hope is that I emerge from the marketing rat race with professional integrity, financial stability and my sense of purpose in tact.
The relevancy of my business is more timely than ever. As the world becomes more and more populated, and as swaths of land become uninhabitable due to devastating climate change, it’s reasonable to predict that small space living will only become more pertinent to increasingly larger groups of people. Plus, small space living can significantly reduce the environmental footprint of a home, which might help us alleviate our impact on this strained and precious Earth. (Plus, a pared down home can also lead to increased wellness and mental health, but that’s a deep topic to discuss at length some other time…)
My drive is fierce because my purpose is strong. Restore our planet. Support my family. Help folks become more comfortable within their homes. Exist ethically. I hope to be able to become financially independent from big brands so that I may truly demonstrate to audiences that they can enjoy beautiful, meaningful and bountiful lives with less.
Connect with Whitney:
Instagram: @WhitneyLeighMorris || Blog: TinyCanalCottage.com || Book: “Small Space Style: Because You Don’t Need to Live Large to Live Beautifully”
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