The True North Collective Podcast


January 18, 2021

Get ready for THE TRUE NORTH COLLECTIVE PODCAST: SEASON 4! With co-hosts Rachel Bellotti (she/her) and Jenell Riesner (she/her), this is a gathering of un-sugar-coated conversations celebrating the untold stories of everyday people fearlessly finding and living their true north. 

In our own search to discover and live from our TRUE NORTH, we continue to meet many interesting, courageous people from all walks of life, doing all sorts of amazing things to live life in their own unique way. Stories from all over the world. Stories with heart. Stories with grit. Stories with plot twists. Stories going untold - until now. This season, we continue to celebrate these untold stories of everyday people who are fearlessly living their true north and inspiring each of us to do the same.

Today, we’re talking to Ethan Waldman, tiny house author, speaker, and teacher, who built his own tiny house on wheels in 2012 and has been passionately helping future tiny home dwellers on their own tiny home journeys every since. He has a guide called Tiny House Decisions, is the creator and host of the Tiny House Lifestyle podcast - conversations with tiny house luminaries, builders, and DIYers, and currently lives part-time in his tiny home with his wife in Vermont. We talk about being in the suck parts of your dream life, Type 1 vs Type 2 fun, making time to see what’s around you, creating a free form lifestyle, learning as you go, not knowing what to do with your life, dealing with shame, linear + templated living, and the realities of being an entrepreneur and generalist. This is a curious conversation that takes you on a journey through the mindset of tiny house living and will leave you questioning what things are truly needed to make you feel at home?


*note: this episode includes explicit language appropriate for those ages 16+





  1. Sometimes when you are in the middle of a hard “thing” - a project, a trip, a goal, a conversation, an experience - it can feel grueling and hard and like, “why did I decide to do this?!” It can be easy to get lost in the short-term pain/uncertainty/discomfort and lose sight of the long-term gains/outcomes/consequences. And when we are able to look back on a thing and see it for all that it is, in context to the whole of our lives, the pain might actually end up seeming small compared to the gains. Where in your life are you in “it” and it’s hard to see the long-term impact that this current discomfort might actually serve + inspire? Can you allow yourself to reconnect to the possibility of the longer term gains, while still acknowledging the parts you’re in that might still suck in the present moment? You’ve got this. It’ll be worth it.
  2. Learn as you go. Chunk that thing down that you really want into smaller steps and learn as you go. What are you waiting on because you don’t know how to do it all yet? What if you just got started and trusted that you would figure it out along the way? You will never know everything or be able to be fully ready for all that will come up, so just begin and meet each moment, each step of the process where you are and where it’s at, and figure it out one thing at a time. Until soon enough you have written a book, built a house, started a podcast, created a profitable business, had the conversation, made the dream a reality.
  3. What’s your mindset right now? What’s your mindset when you do anything? What’s your mindset most of the time as you’re living? What’s your mindset when you’re going after a dream or NOT going after a dream? Pay attention to what your mindsets are and how they are supporting or not supporting you. Sometimes we think that the way to get what we want is only through how the outside world shows up for us. But in reality, we have a lot of power in experiencing what we want through the mindset that we have. For example, you can have a tiny house mindset without actually living in a tiny house. It’s more of a state of mind vs just a set of external things that look a certain way. It’s both! And sometimes we don’t have control over the external world, but we do have control over our mindset, so why not check-in + start there?



  • [1:10] Biking from Seattle to Vancouver
  • [3:20] Couch surfing
  • [6:00] Type 1 vs Type 2 fun 
  • [9:00] Making time to see what’s around
  • [10:40] AD:  In 2021, we’re so excited to be offering live zoom workshops, every month, to support you in the journey of reconnecting to your TRUE NORTH. Join us on Jan 28th, as we kick-off the series with an INTENTION SETTING WORKSHOP - inviting you to reflect, unpack, + get clear on who you want to be + how you want to show up this year. AND, if you want to play with us all year, we are offering a deal to get all 11 workshops for only $99! Learn more + sign up here.
  • [12:30] Welcome, Ethan!
  • [14:00] Creating a free form lifestyle
  • [17:00] Leaving a corporate job
  • [24:00] Being scared of not knowing what to do
  • [25:30] Dealing with shame
  • [30:00] hustle lifestyle
  • [38:00] Feeling unemployable
  • [39:00] The difficulties of being a jack of all trades
  • [41:45] Imposter Syndrome 
  • [45:25] AD: Right now, Soul Care Collective, a Black woman-run virtual wellness center, is taking donations for their Affordable Wellness Initiative, where you can sponsor healing sessions for Black, Indigenous, NB, and Femme people who aren’t able to afford mental health + wellness services right now. Follow @soulcarecollective, spread the word about this initiative, and/or donate if inspired here.
  • [48:00] Linear + templated living
  • [50:00] Tiny house state of mind
  • [53:00] Our relationship to stuff
  • [56:00] What do you REALLY need?
  • [1:00:00] Home
  • [1:07:00] Resources for Tiny Home living
  • [1:08:10] How do you live your TRUE NORTH in 1 word?
  • [1:08:30] Connect with Ethan via, listen to his Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, or follow him on IG @ethanwaldman

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