Why Your Business Should Be Like A Tiny House

Have you been following the tiny house trend?

The extreme version of a tiny house clocks in at less than 200 square feet, ranging up to about 750, depending on who’s doing the counting.

You know the movement has built some steam when it sparked another “HouseHunters” HGTV spin-off.

What’s so enticing about a tiny house anyway? I think our appetites get whetted with what I call house porn—those beautifully shot, luscious photos currently making the rounds on the blogosphere.

You know the ones. Small, neat spaces—without a speck out of place—looking out onto vineyards, meadows, forests. Like the Oregon couple who built one on their family’s orchard. Or the traveling nurse who moves every six months or so and wants her house on wheels.

There is something romantic and yet strangely entrepreneurial about a tiny house that lets you live smaller and larger at the same time.

So here’s an idea: why not run your business like a tiny house?

Which doesn’t mean that your revenue or impact should be tiny. Just the space it takes to run it.

The Tiny House Philosophy applied to your work might look something like this.

Everything I need is right here. Like in the tiny house, you’ve got a command center and everything you need is within arm’s reach—your laptop, tablet and phone. Your whole enchilada is entirely portable—stored, organized and synched across all your devices.

I bust clutter before it busts me. Think metaphorical clutter in addition to the usual variety. Wasting space on outmoded ideas, hand-wringing or energy-sucking vampires is no less a problem than piles of paper gathering dust.

I toss everything that isn’t absolutely essential. This means old tax returns (because hey, you’ve already digitized them), expansion plans you’ll never pull the trigger on and relationships that have outlived their purpose.

Beauty—my very own definition—is indispensable. Your version of essential includes just enough beauty (insert your definition here) to inspire you and keep you going when the skies cloud over.

My real focus stays on the world outside my door. Once you’ve got your tiny house dashboard humming along, you can keep your focus on the world outside your window. What’s happening with your tribe, who you need to know and what problems you want to tackle.

I’m not alone. You always have room for kindred spirits—when they don’t fit inside your tiny house, you take them outside and show them what it’s like to play big.

What do you think?

And what would you add to this list to make tiny house thinking work for your business?

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  • Hi Rochelle,
    I can’t add anything; so I am going to go watch Judge Judy. It has been a long day.

  • Hi Rochelle,
    While I love this as a metaphor for a brand – focused, attractive, yet functional – I love my space (maybe it’s because we live on the tiny Island of Britain) and love being able to spread out. Ditto our business: we joke about our ‘global HQ’ (a former Victorian storehouse just big enough for 2 people) yet we do have a business that’s spread across 4 continents. But a huge thank you for such a great blog!

    • Rochelle

      Thanks Helen–I hear you! I’m not sure I could live in a tiny space either–although I suppose it’s all relative. I’m extremely fond of those lovely British countryside cottages 🙂

  • Robynn

    I love your creativity, Rochelle! Today’s blog post made me think of another aspect of branding, when working with others. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a client, boss or colleague just isn’t ready to hear that something will not work for them when they have their heart (or ego) set on it. Or they’re stuck in a certain mindset and have difficulty seeing past it. But what we can do is invite them in to look around and “live” a bit in the cramped space…and they’ll soon come to that conclusion, themselves. (Or at least be ready for some fresh air!)

  • Hey Rochelle, I am new here, but I like your posts from the very start. Interesting idea to compare my business with this tiny house. However, it makes a sense. This tiny house reminds me of living at a sailboat – what I do with my family every summer. The limited space inside, but vast open water space outside = business opportunities waiting for us 🙂

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