Procrastination: Alison Vesterfelt (@AllyVest) on building bridges + taking leaps – BTTDL069


4GCrllRSAllison Vesterfelt quit her full time job to chase her dream of becoming a writer. Since that point she can’t help but write about what it looks like to live with less; to give up the things that aren’t important so she can chase the things that are. Allison’s book Packing Light is about just that. 

Inspired by the courage of a friend, and the story of The Rich Young Ruler from the Gospels, she decided to quit her full-time job, move out of her apartment, sell nearly everything she owned and spend the next six months driving across the country.

On the trip I started to discover what it looked like to live life with less baggage, both in actuality, and as a metaphor.

Covered in this episode:

Make sure to tweet at Allison and thank her for appearing on this episode!

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  • Jane Tuttle

    Interesting episode and I especially liked how in examining her to do list she found things she liked to do. She reframed those tasks as rewards to punctuate her work. Also loved how she drew out the analogy of not letting anyone else push you into leaping. Leaping must be your decision if you are to enter the water smoothly.

  • Harry Chamberlain

    A great interview! Definitely made me think about the balance between passion and responsible decision-making. I share your guest’s need to remember to change setting in order to remain focused. I started the Storyline book, but didn’t finish it. this episode inspired me to get back into it.

  • Ed Russell

    A great interview. Just started listening to your podcast and I am glad I did. 3rd one I have listened to and best so far. Best qoute is to “not ask people what they do, but to ask them what they are passionate about” I am going to start using that.

  • nmbrown

    Wow! Turn the things you like in your to do list into rewards. It sounds so simple, but without listening I’d have never thought of it! I think it’ll make a huge difference!

  • Shirley Marble

    I started using Storyline over a month ago and it has changed my work life. The fact that Allison went there in here interview was unexpected but it pulled me even deeper into the interview. That’s not what I got out of the interview though. Her story about introducing herself as a writer opened me up in a fresh way. I came straight to the office arriving at 6:15 a.m., sat down and wrote, “I’m a writer.” Thirty years ago I began a book that is still in manuscript form, never submitted for review to any publishing house, and only shared with a few close friends who believe I’m a writer. They asked me to write my story thinking it would be a good exercise for me. The DAY they asked me, I had worked on it and cried out to God to send me a sign that it was from Him. My friend asked me that evening if I would consider doing it, I motioned for her to hold that thought as I walked to my desk and handed her 187 pages and said, “I don’t know what to do from here.” That was 10 years ago and the form of it hasn’t changed much since then. I’m determined after hearing Allison this morning to make a leap. Now to determine exactly where to start, but I think she would say, “Anywhere!” Erik, your podcast blesses me.

  • Joshua Rivers

    I remember that episode with Donald Miller. I’ve been meaning to check out his productivity schedule. This is a good reminder. Thanks for such great content, Erik and Allison!

  • LeeAnn Taylor

    I took away so much from this interview, but I particularly loved the image of building a bridge or taking a leap. It helps me put things in perspective when I consider what steps to take moving forward with my writing and other priorities. The concept of identifying what I’m looking forward to during the day is something I’m going to put into practice right away. I’d love to win a copy of Allison’s book! I’ve had it on my “to read” list since seeing her & hearing about the book at Emily Freeman’s At the Barn event this past fall. Thanks Erik for having Allison on the podcast as a guest!

  • erik scheidegger

    I love my job yet I have been contemplating doing something different. This was a great reminder to slow down and build that bridge before I leap. Thanks for that.

  • zanne

    Wow! So much resonated with me on this episode. But one of the biggest takeaways was the power of choice and the way we think about our activities. We really do have a lot of control over what we do and our attitude in doing it. It’s encouraged me and reminded me to continue building bridges. This was a great interview! Thanks!

  • Anna

    I loved the part about building bridges and taking leaps. I used to feel kind of lame about building my business slowly, but now I see that I’m building a bridge!

  • Kate H

    I actually became quite emotional listening to this interview, still being in a bridge building season of my life. Man, it’s getting to be a long bridge! One thing that really struck me was what Allison said about how people could tell a lot about you by what you might pack in your suitcase. There is certainly a lot of stuff in my “suitcase” that I could stand to let go.

  • Kara Gott Warner

    What struck a chord in me most, is something that Allison said early on– “crossing the threshold.” For me, this was powerful because my own personal path has been a quest to merge my professional life with the personal because they are so connected. I’m lucky enough to have a job that pays the bills, but also fuels my passion, which is knitting and design and I’ve also taken that to another level where I’m connecting with others in this same space who are makers, creators and artists trying to find that voice, and that space of convergence.

    I also connected with the part of the interview where you both spoke about having that day job that pays the bills and then wanting to go after your passion and taking the leap there. I kind of had a little ah-ha moment because I found the “pinnacle” place in my career, and about two years ago, I said to myself: “Okay, this is it, now what?” It was in that moment that I realized that happiness and passion don’t need to be something I make a living at and the choice to follow my passion is right in front of me. I just need to keep doing it and showing others how to do the very same thing by setting a good example. Why wait for later, when the opportunities are here right now?

    Thank you Erik and Allison!

  • bradblackman

    I loved the whole idea of building a bridge so far until you can easily make a leap. I think I am slowly building a bridge to becoming a full-time fine artist and writer. Somehow. That’s my passion: making art that moves people and resonates with them on a deep level, whether it is with oil paint or words.

  • Tracey Kazimir-Cree

    My favorite bit, which actually made me stop dead in my tracks, was about doing a job to get your bills paid, and pursuing your passion on the side and how it impacts the other people around you. I mean, I already knew that it impacts my husband because I get really cranky because I’m frustrated. But I never thought about how my halfheartedness might affect my colleagues, clients, vendors, etc. I’ve got my goals, I know where I’m going, but I do need to remind myself of the big picture so that I can present a better attitude. Interesting side note: My passion is making things and I’m a mixed media artist. I listened to the podcast while tidying my studio…I work with found objects, so my studio is a collection of STUFF. I was laughing at how Alison would be horrified if she came into this room and saw how much stuff is in it. I am very far away from being a minimalist. :)

  • G__S

    When you realize that you have a choice in what you do, it gives you a tremendous sense of freedom. Something to never forget, and reframing your thoughts in this context changes everything (and changes your response to everything). This interview came along at the perfect time for me. Thanks.

  • Adam Silver

    So many takeaways….”live lighter, Build a bridge so when its time to take the leap it’s manageable and enjoy the ride down” :) Oh.. and the POWER OF CHOICE! .. that’s the KEY! Great stuff. Awesome episode Erik.

  • Mark Brett

    Love this podcaat, , the todo list becomes the wanttodolist, needtodolist, musdolist. Great ideas, i’ve ordered the book, thanks….

  • Pingback: Understanding our Choices | Grow From Minimum()

  • Samuel Hatton

    Working on a bridge now. It’s my 2nd entrepreneurial project. I’m finding that along the way there are mini-leaps (more like breakthroughs) where I see everything differently. Maybe because I’m building this over time, these “leaps” are more like tools that I’m using to build the bridge. For example, I was spending a lot of time editing my podcast. I reduced the time it took to edit by spending 5 minutes of meditation before recording. That to me was a mini-leap.