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Erin Loechner: From HGTV to Living Tech-Free

APPLE PODCASTS | SPOTIFY Today’s guest is none other than Erin Loechner, author of one of my all-time favorite books, Chasing Slow. Erin has always been such a voice of truth and light, and I can’t wait for her to share that with you! In this episode, you’ll hear how Erin went from a blogger to creating […]

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APPLE PODCASTS | SPOTIFY

Today’s guest is none other than Erin Loechner, author of one of my all-time favorite books, Chasing Slow. Erin has always been such a voice of truth and light, and I can’t wait for her to share that with you!

In this episode, you’ll hear how Erin went from a blogger to creating content for HGTV, why she walked away from her TV career, and how she’s built a successful business without social media (or even a smartphone).

Erin is an author, NYT-bestselling editor, and founder of the global tech-free movement The Opt-Out Family. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post, as well as on the Today Show.

Press play for the full interview or keep reading below!

The Quest for the Perfect Job

After graduating college, Erin felt like she needed to choose a career and stick with it for 50 years. She tried a bunch of different jobs, trying to find the one, but nothing seemed to stick.

“I thought something was wrong with me,” Erin says. Until she happened across The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine and realized she didn’t need to choose one passion: she could have multiple.

All of the creative hobbies she’d taken up on the side weren’t a distraction from finding a job—they could be her job. That was when she took the first step that changed everything.

From Blogger to Business Owner

Like many of the entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed, Erin’s business started as a blog. It was the early days of digital content, and soon she was getting offers from editors to write stories for their online magazines.

Working editorially helped Erin hone her skills and think more about what her readers wanted. That led to her first product, a digital inspiration board she sold for $2.99. Over a thousand people bought it.

“That was when I realized business could be as simple as making something that people want.”

Creating Content for HGTV

A move from California to the Midwest gave Erin the courage to try something new. She pitched HGTV.com on the idea of renovating a house and documenting the journey online, which they accepted.

Soon Erin and her husband were swept up in a sea of content and camera crews. “It was a little jarring, I’ll be honest.” Being offered to take the pilot episode on air should have felt like a dream, but something about it didn’t sit right with Erin.

Their renovation project was no longer about building a family home—it was about producing content. Being in their house felt like living on a set and that wasn’t the life Erin wanted for her future children.

So she walked away.

Leaving TV to Pursue Writing

Turning down the HGTV show was one of the best decisions Erin ever made. The time and space allowed her to uncover new interests. She realized that of all her passions, she loved writing the most, and that discovery led her to write Chasing Slow.

“When you walk toward something you believe in deeply, there’s so much blessing in it.”

Launching a Home-Schooling Website

After the HGTV show, Erin took a gap year to work on writing projects (both her own and for other businesses she believed in, like her local church). She ghostwrote a friend’s book. And amid all these projects, she decided to homeschool her kids.

That led to the launch of Erin’s home-schooling community, Other Goose, where she shares lesson plans and tips with other parents.

Ditching Social Media

Erin left the TV world because it felt performative and the endless content creation wasn’t sustainable. Years later, she had to re-learn the same lesson with social media.

Like so many of us, Erin realized she was overreliant on technology—and she wanted a different future for her kids. “I didn’t want my kids to feel like they had to participate in internet culture to be a whole person.”

So she decided to model new behaviors, giving up her smartphone and social media and replacing technology with face-to-face family time. “It’s not enough to take away our phones, we have to replace them with something better. Our family motto is to be more engaging than the algorithm.”

When Erin’s publisher asked for a new book topic, the answer was obvious.

Opting Out of the Internet

I have to pause here to tell you that I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of Erin’s new book, The Opt-Out Family, and y’all…everyone needs to read this book. Especially parents, but even if you don’t have kids!

In her research, Erin learned some dark things about the internet and she doesn’t hold back from sharing them. This book is bold and unapologetic, but also so relatable.

Erin talks about how she went from treating her phone like her fourth child (constantly checking in to make sure it was okay) to a healthy sense of detachment. And she has so many tips on how you can do the same!

How to Rely Less on Technology

Erin’s first piece of advice is to stop placing disproportionate value on the internet. “You don’t need an online presence to find work.” (Something I’ve been talking about since 2017!).

Secondly, take the time to think about why you’re dialing back your technology use. What’s more important to you than being on social media? Set those terms for your personal life and your business as well.

Ask the people you know in real life for recipes or advice before asking the internet. Unsubscribe from all your newsletters and notifications and only add back the ones you truly missed.

The Advantages of Being Social Media-Free

I’ve shared before that quitting Instagram made my business more profitable, which is why I’m incorporating more of our social media-free marketing strategy into The Blueprint Model.

Giving up social media isn’t only good for your business, but for your mind too. “It’s like walking around with different color glasses on,” Erin says.

She never has to think about using her life to create content. She’s able to generate new ideas and listen more deeply now that all of the outside voices are gone. “That privilege is available to most of us, to turn those voices off and leave social media.”

Her advice to any entrepreneur planning a technology detox is to stop thinking about what you’re losing and think about what you’re gaining.

Remember There Are No Rules

Between walking away from HGTV and ditching social media, Erin has never been afraid to make bold decisions. She unapologetically does what’s best for her and her family.

Looking back on that younger version of herself who was searching for the perfect job, Erin would tell herself: “There are no rules and it’s okay to be different. Blessings happen when you listen to what I believe is God is leading you where to go.”

More from this Episode

To hear the full story and more about Erin, press play on the player above for the full interview or click here to download the transcript.

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Order Erin’s New Book!

Chasing Slow (On Shanna’s must Read book list!) by Erin Loechner

The Renaissance Soul

Other Goose

Free workshop for anyone considering homeschooling their kids ages 2-7!

Join the Global Movement for Parents Doing Tech Differently

 

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Photo of Erin Loechner

Erin Loechner

Erin Loechner is an author, NYT-bestselling editor and founder of the global tech-free movement the Opt-Out Family. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post, as well as on the Today Show. Erin, her husband, and their three kids spend their days chasing alpenglow, reading Kipling, and biking to town for more tortillas.

CONNECT WITH ERIN:

Blog | Portfolio

 

 

 

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May 16, 2024

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