Results for: 100 thing


Listening Tour

For a while now it has been on my heart and mind to launch a simplicity listening tour. As I sit down to write my next book about simplicity, I am eager to get up and hear from others. What do people around my city, state, country, even around the world think about simplicity? What do you think about simplicity? Why are you attracted to simplicity? Where does simplicity fall short? What hope does simplicity evoke in you? Can simplicity help meet some of the challenges of our world?

So, would you be interested in participating? A listening tour can happen a number of ways. Here are some ways it could work. Feel free to suggest a different format.

Meet over coffee or a beer for a couple of hours and share your thoughts and experiences of simplicity. This would be a great format for small groups (2-5). We’d all benefit from a shared experience and new friendships. And these kinds of small setting sometimes percolate unforeseen outcomes.

Meet at a venue (church, office, school, library, shop) for a few hours to conduct a Simplify the Middle Workshop. This is a very interactive workshop I’ve developed that applies simplicity as a means to solve a specific challenge. This would be a great format for a bit larger group (5-20) interested in using simplicity to meet a need. The group would benefit with some actionable take aways. I’d benefit from listening while facilitating.

Meet at a venue for several hours and I will give a simplicity talk then group Q&A. This does not seem like “listening” at first glance. But what I have found is that sometimes people prefer to listen before they warm up to talk. I have a specific lecture I give at the end of every semester when I teach. It has never failed to elicit applause and lots of follow up discussion. (Trust me, neither are a given in a college classroom.) This would be a great format for a larger group (20+) where circling chairs would be difficult. Post talk, we could break into smaller groups. The benefit to the group would be a provocative talk leading to discussion. I’d benefit from listening in and from follow-up conversations.

The goal I have set is to schedule at least 10 of these listening gatherings between June and December. I have room for almost double that in my schedule, if this takes off.

Since my original simple-living project the 100 Thing Challenge gained public attention, the most satisfying experience I have had is listening to and learning from the wisdom of other people. It means so much to me to hear from others.

Let’s see where this goes. If you are interested, please reach out to me. We will discuss if one of the above formats is a fit or if you have another idea. We can discuss logistics, too. I would not want to charge for this but if it involved travel to get to your venue, we’d need to talk through those costs.

Bottom line: our overly-cluttered world hinders flourishing. I believe simplicity is one means to amplify human flourishing. It would be a privilege to hear from you.

Directly contact me:



A Note: Several months ago I wrote this post and since then have taken steps to re-engage the topics of personal simplicity and cultural sustainability. There is more to come. I have made a few small edits to this post and added a short reflection to the end.

What to say? For a couple of years now I have been hesitant to engage publicly on issues of excessive consumerism, sustainability, and personal simplicity. A number of excuses kept me from writing and speaking. One has been self-doubt. Is it really my place to have a public voice on these issues? Another has been worry of offending people who feel judged by voluntary minimalists, many of whom, like myself, live fabulously comfortable lives far removed from the harsh realities of “forced minimalism,” i.e. extreme poverty. Read More

Privileged to be a simplifier, entrepreneur, author, speaker, learner, instructor, colleague, and friend. I light up when, in one or more of those roles, I can inspire human flourishing.

My diverse career spans more than two decades. Currently, I am President and Founder of the niche creative firm, Middle Makers. Before launching Middle Makers in 2016, I worked for nearly a decade at Point Loma Nazarene University leading digital marketing and web. At PLNU I also taught classes in the department of history and the Fermanian School of Business. Years earlier I cut my entrepreneurial teeth co-founding the leading audiobook publisher in its market, ChristianAudio.

I am an author and regular contributor at The Rabbit Room and a few other places online. A while back, I published The 100 Thing Challenge (Harper, 2010), and I have spoken nationally and internationally about the importance of simplicity in our times. Time Magazine, Mother Jones Magazine, the London Times, the Guardian, and many other media have featured me. Though not proved, I believe I’m perhaps the only person to receive positive press from both BoingBoing and the 700 Club.

Speaking Highlights

  • “The Hospitable Critic.” Hutchmoot. Nashville: 2016.
  • “Desire and Simplicity.” Hutchmoot. Nashville: 2015.
  • “Simplicity Is Action.” TEDxClaremontColleges. Claremont: 2012.
  • “Rethinking Consumer Behavior.” SXSW Interactive. Austin: 2011.
  • “Simplicity and Faith.” North Central College. Naperville: 2011.
  • “The American Consumer Journey.” Carroll College. Helena: 2008.

I received an M.A. in Religion in American Life at Wheaton College, studying under Mark Noll. My B.A. in Bible and Theology was earned at Moody Bible Institute, where I learned to pronounce figures of speech, like aposiopesis, with a deep Mississippi drawl from Ron Sauer.

My wife of twenty-one years and our three tween-to-teenage daughters live with me in Southern California.

Every day is an adventure and presents opportunities to bless those around us.