Living A Simple Life On The Road To Start A Business: An Interview With Vegard Wikeby
In a recent blog post, I talked about the philosophy of making “just enough” money to support our lifestyles amidst an ultra-consumerist culture worldwide. In my previous blog post, I also talked about how worrying too much about money can prevent us from fulfilling our very true passions and essences as human-beings.
I’ve written and published these posts because I was working with a new book that explores the interconnections between living a simple life and doing work that we love. More specifically, I tried to create a framework that beginning entrepreneurs can follow in building small businesses through the internet — businesses they can be proud of and that matter to other people.
The creation of this book was part of a bigger event, the Small Product Lab by Gumroad where creators of all kinds — writers, developers, designers, artists, and musicians — attempted to create a small product within just 10 days and ship it for the world to see.
Today, is launch day for all of us and I am happy to present to you the book “Just Enough: A Gentler Approach To Starting An Online Micro-Business.”
You can learn more about the book here.
To share with you some of the contents of the book, I’m posting here a chapter for free. It is the chapter where I interviewed a fellow Small Product Lab creator who was already living the very philosophies I wrote about in the book.
Learn how one up-and-coming entrepreneur managed to leave his high-paying job to go all out with his business venture for one year through simplifying his life and applying the principle of making “just enough.”
One Year Of Minimalism: Tackling Sustainability
Living “just enough” for a month is different from living like this for one year and dramatically different from living like this for life.
But is this model sustainable?
Even more important, can you do this?
Well, yes it is sustainable. And yes you can do this.
To show you it can be done, let me introduce you to a new friend of mine who reached out to me during the creation of this book.
While working on the idea, I announced I was publishing a book on minimalism and entrepreneurship and he sent me a personal message telling me he resonates on the topic. So, we talked and asked if I can hear more of his story and why he resonated with the topic of the book.
Little did I knew that he was living the very principles I was writing about.
To show you that living “just enough” and running your business through this philosophy is not only doable but also sustainable, let me introduce you to the story of my friend, Vegard Wikeby and his wife Hilda Moreno.
Interview with Vegard Wikeby
1. What do you do for a living and why do you do it?
I work with digital solutions for companies. For most people, this means making websites but I can do so much more and clients really appreciate finding me. The reason I do this kind of work is to give immense value to others. To do this, I work first with my personal development everyday through reading, praying, studying, listening and thinking in order for me to give the best to others around me.
2. What kind of businesses have you put up (or are currently building)?
My business is called WiMake Solutions. I make online solutions for companies around the world. This being websites, technical setups for customers and advices on how to get online. I also develop clients’ future products. I find this more sustainable than services.
My wife’s business is called MoWIK Design. She is developing ecological interior products that have the least possible impact on nature. She picks the best manufacturers according to her ecological standards. She is the creator of all MoWIK’s designs. She’s in the process of launching her first series of products to the world through her website.
Having said this, my business is my life. Meaning, I do what I was meant doing, to live. I find everyday a challenge and when I setup my WiMake Solutions last year (late 2014) it was an answer to me and that I am ready to give value back to the world in better ways than I’ve ever done before. I also believe that a lot of value will be given back to me as well. Money is part of it but I am truly not doing it for the money. If it was for the money I would be ten times richer now at my previous job where I worked for someone else one year ago.
3. While you built your businesses, did you thought it necessary to keep things simple in your life? If so, how?
When me and my wife decided to leave it all behind, it was both the happiest day of our lives and probably the scariest, but we were focused and still are one year later to go through all the hoops necessary.
We sold everything from our couch, tv, bed, kitchen table, our car and moved around 30 boxes with items that couldn’t be sold fast into storage. We then moved on to go to Spain to build our business and so we did for the next 4 months until the end of 2014. We then moved to Mexico (where my wife is from) and stayed there for 3 months. During those times, we still had no monetary income from our businesses. Those riches were still locked within us. We needed to learn something.
We moved then to London for 3 months and there everything started to unravel, we went to our second UPW with Tony Robbins as host which again rejuvenated our belief that we had made the right choice 9 months earlier and we went to a dozen different life seminars about money, jobs and startups to see the world in the busiest city on the planet.
Even though we have not yet reached a sustainable income, we know we’ve made it. Sometimes in life old bridges and roads have to be burned in order to avoid being tempted to look back at the opportunities we leave behind. We believe God did this with us, with all the troubles of the mind it has given us, I can sit here today and write this, that He has followed through all the way. Despite our doubts, we are still on the right path by not losing faith or being in despair.
So we’ve made an extraordinary journey over 1 year on savings and God’s grace, with some income from clients, but the clients have come when we needed them the most, not for money, but to keep walking towards our vision.
4. Have you ever applied the philosophy of making “just enough” money in your entrepreneurial journey? If so, why did you applied the philosophy? And how did you benefit from this minimalist approach to making money?
Just enough means to me, Just God. I believe I also speak for my wife as our journey has been incredible and should perhaps be a book and movie itself one day for others to inspire on.
Just enough is for me to remember I don’t need to worry and only trust God in everything I do. He has already laid out the plans for my visions before I thought of them, I’ve come to realize that my vision is not my doing, but God’s grace when I make space in my heart for Him.
This 1 year behind me has laid the foundation of remembrance of how things will never own me or my wife’s life again. Riches will come in many forms and they will be blessings for us and others around us. I will not live minimalistic just for the sake of minimalism, but I will endure any blessing entrusted to me to pass on to others in unlimited ways. Just Enough is Just God.
The One Year Challenge
If Vegard was able to live for one year while establishing his business even if it didn’t make enough money for him, what would stop you from doing the same?
Just one year. Just try the model for one year and if it doesn’t work for you, they there are always other ways to make a living.
But simplifying life, then starting a simple business that supports that simplified life definitely is a pursuit worth trying. There will be lots of lessons learned along the way.
But how will you start doing this?
Don’t worry. I got you covered.
A Roadmap To Living “Just Enough”
I prepared a roadmap that you can follow to create a step-by-step life design for you and your business. It is included with this book so please check it out.
While using the roadmap, take note of the following:
1. Set realistic monthly goals and expectations about your income and your business’ growth.
2. Try to focus at one area at a time before learning a new skill or strategy. For example, start with affiliate marketing and sell goods through affiliate links from Amazon or other sites and blogs you follow. After gaining confidence with this method or you feel like you’re good with it already, try doing guest posts to grow traffic and following. Start there. Start small.
3. Do it slowly and organically. Focus on building relationships rather than income. Focus on helping other people and you won’t run out with work.
Get your own copy of “Just Enough: A Gentler Approach to Starting an Online Micro-business” and learn how to use a simple life to your advantage here.