What does it take to truly believe in yourself and chase your dreams? Of course there are a myriad of factors that come into play but I believe one of the biggest factors is to surround yourself with like minded people who believe in you.
Megan Starbuck is one of those people for me. This past year she’s been there to bounce ideas off of, shared her own journey, and offered feedback when I needed it.
But who is Megan Starbuck? Megan is a dreamer from Lincolnton, Georgia who specializes in helping people improve their lives by simplifying and decluttering to make room for what’s most important. Her ultimate dream is to build her very own “tiny house”.
In today’s interview, we talk about her passion projects, the time she was invited to go on a reality show, her ingenious response to haters, and the all time greatest answer to “where would you take the Delorean?” So without further ado, here we go.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about encouraging others. Crappy stuff happens sometimes, but I like focusing on (and creating) good moments. I like to help others be healthier physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, and emotionally because each of those affects the others and has a big impact on our lives. I’m also passionate about not being wasteful with time, money, food, etc. Part of that is why I love the idea of tiny houses. The other part is that I appreciate art and beauty. Tiny houses are so creative and lovely.
What are you currently pursuing?
Writing. I was going to wait until I got a tiny house, but I realized others wanted to know about my journey, so I’m writing as I go. I’ve realized three things about writing: First, if I share it (unlike the 20 journals I’ve filled since 9th grade), I can get feedback. The feedback I’ve gotten already has helped me improve. Second, the feedback has also shown me that I can help lots of people through writing. It also tells me what resonates with more than just me. It connects me with an audience that wants to know what I have to say, which is giving me ideas for a book (and motivation because I know more than just my mom would read it). Third, if I type out my ideas on some of the same topics that used to just go in my personal journal, then it will be easier to edit into a book later and to organize and search for keywords.
What has been your proudest moment(s) since setting out on this adventure?
Getting an unsolicited email out of the blue from Tiny House Nation (a new TV show) asking if I was interested in being on the show. That helped me realize what amazing opportunities come when you step out to pursue a dream even though it isn’t the typical view of achievement.
So are you going to do it?
They wanted me to have $30,000 and I was like, “If I had $30,000 I would have my house already and I wouldn’t need to go on your show.”
$30,000 for what?
Because they would be building it according to whatever I ask them to do. … They sounded really cool and I would like to stay in touch. They said it’s because they’re a new show and they can’t do every house for free.
OK, that makes sense, I guess. Let’s switch gears. What have been some stumbling blocks along the path of your current adventure?
Money and time. I had $25k in student loans, so I started off behind. Just when I started to build my savings, I decided to quit my full-time job because it left me with little time to pursue my dreams. I am still working part-time at a paying job until I generate enough income to support myself through blogging and other endeavors.
Do you have any “haters” or negative voices in your life? How do you handle those situations?
I don’t have haters right now (that I know of), but I definitely have people question my plans because they care about me/are concerned about me. Sometimes I let comments that weren’t intended to be mean cause me to second guess myself. It can be discouraging, but I also use it to make myself more determined.
Yes, they pointed out a problem, but I will learn to solve it or have someone help me with it. If someone is negative, I don’t talk to them much about it anymore. Instead, I’m constantly adding people to my life who are encouraging.
Can you give an example of some of those comments and how you responded?
One guy asked why I didn’t just get a camper. And I didn’t really know why. Yeah, they’re not attractive but I didn’t have a real reason and then I read that most campers aren’t made for full time living. Another guy asked, “Why would you want to build your house yourself? You’ll probably just learn you would have rather paid someone.” and another guy said, “Maybe you shouldn’t do this because you don’t have any experience”
These are helpful questions that I need to consider. But I’m learning, and I have brothers, and I live in a small town where people are willing to help. I can do this.
What is the best choice you have made, in regards to your dream?
Participating in workshops. Whether it was an online community for working towards goals or attending hands-on tiny house workshops or an intense writing workshop. Connecting with both leaders and fellow-learners is what has kept me going and has shown me how to do all the behind-the-scenes tricks that it seems like everyone knows but me.
In honor of the year 2015, if you could hop into the Delorean and go back in time (or to the future), when/where would you go and what would you do?
This is such a cruel question. Too many possibilities! So I’m just going to say something I want to do now that would have been very different 1000 years ago. I would visit all 50 States before they were States…way before they were States. I like imagining how different it would have been to see the Grand Canyon when you weren’t expecting it and there were no rails.
That is my all time favorite answer to this question! What are the top three things on your bucket list?
Ice skate on a pond (living in the South, I’ve only been in an indoor skating rink).
See Bioluminescent Bay.
Go on a backpacking trip for at least 2 weeks.
How would you finish this sentence?
The best thing I have ever done for my dream is… write down all my excuses and instead of using them to avoid my dream, I chose to figure out how I can do it anyway.
If you’d like to find out more about Megan, go to mcstarbuck.com and sign up for her newsletter. She says, “You’ll be the first to know what’s happening and will get lots of free stuff.”