Meet the Minimalist: Kyle Henderson

I met Kyle Henderson, also known as Hondo, at my last office job. When I launched my business back in March, he immediately reached out. He was in a consulting role that allowed him to work from home more frequently and he wanted to get his home in order. While he didn’t have that much stuff, he wanted to find a better way to organize what he did have and make things more efficient.

He’s the kind of guy who has a lot going on from work, hobbies, socializing, and volunteering. He saw the value in outsourcing the organizing to me. Since that initial project, we’ve been working together on a monthly basis.

Over the last several months, he continued paring down physical clutter, started consolidating debt, and most recently took on a weight loss challenge. These are all lofty goals that can be tricky to navigate on their own, but of course, Kyle was tackling these all at once.

He’s a consultant by day, produces five podcasts in his free time, music fiend, wino, and now aspiring minimalist. Learn more about how he approached crushing some serious life goals, including (but not limited to) shedding 24 pounds in two months and saying goodbye to 10k in debt in three months.

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What’s up with all the goal-setting?

I have set goals like this the last couple years. I got way into it and have been building on it. I started this crazy “I’m going to tackle a bunch of stuff” back in 2014.

 

What does “social goals” entail?

Trying to meet up with friends from college every couple months or so, throwing events, planning trips with people. You actually have to plan out what you want to do otherwise you won’t end up seeing people. If I do something on my own, I can go months without having to talk to people.

I broke my goals up into these main categories:

  • Social
  • Diet/Exercise
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Cultural
  • Finance
  • Community


What are the types of things you are doing within each of these areas?

Diet/Exercise: I focused on cutting calories in the beginning to get started, then tried Slow Carb, then a ketogenic diet which is an extreme version of Slow Carb (and is really tough). The biggest changes I made in this area were eating breakfast every single day and using MyFitnessPal to track calories.

Intellectual: this is the content I ingest, from books I read to podcasts I listen to and being more aware of what and how much I’m consuming.

Emotional: relationship-based, faith-based. I started with attitude and trying to be more positive most of the time. When I use this approach, especially with all these activities related to my goals, it helps me avoid the cycles of negativity.

Cultural: travel, trying to learn about other people’s lives, learning about people outside of my own culture. I went to Greece and and hung out with people of all different nationalities. Bonding, sharing customs, history. Finding a way to connect with others.

Finance: trying to understand budget and what I was spending money on. Making better decisions, not necessarily Midwestern decisions. Midwestern Kyle is married with two kids, a house and a new car. That isn’t me. I have an apartment, no car payment, can go wherever, whenever I want.

As I’m cutting back, I’m also making more money than I was before. Meals out was what I spent the most money on - about $2,500 per month which is now down to $800 or so. I would go out for lunch and dinner almost every day. I also don’t have cable or Netflix so I’m saving some money there. I’ve been following the Dave Ramsey model of saving $1,000 emergency savings fund and paying off my debts in order from lowest to highest.

Community: volunteering at Woodland Park Zoo. They do an annual fundraiser and I got behind it. It’s a well-run project that raises millions of dollars. I haven’t connected with other organizations yet, have thought about tutoring, maybe something entrepreneurship-related.

 
 

 

That’s a lot going on. Why do you think you’ve been able to be so successful with each of these areas?

I don’t get frazzled by the logistics. I get into it and embrace it. I can’t handle talkers, only doers.

I’m the guy that goes extreme. I could work 100 hours a week and everything else in my life goes to shit. It’s finding balance which is why I have goals spread out over those different categories.

 

Why did you want to outsource organizing?

First and foremost, it was about my time. Getting stuff organized right away, then it was getting more time back in my schedule, then moving toward a more minimalistic lifestyle which was easier to manage moving forward.

Now that I have time back, I don’t want to go back to doing those other things. I want to spend my free time on podcasting, music, wine, sports.

 

Would you call yourself a minimalist?

I’m an aspiring minimalist. To me, full-fledged minimalism is down to the bare essentials. At the moment, I can’t completely pick up and go but I could leave in a half hour. I can’t get rid of my books, just can’t go completely digital just yet. I’m close, but I have my podcasting equipment, some records, and a few books. If I wanted to sell my stuff and go, it would only be 5-6 ads on Craig’s List.

 

What’s your advice to someone who has a goal but doesn't know where to begin?

Don’t say you’re going to start tomorrow. Start today. Figure out something you can accomplish. Break it down into smaller goals that’s more manageable. Losing 70 pounds is a great idea but losing one pound is not so hard.

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Want to know what he's up to next? You can follow Kyle on Twitter and check out his podcasting network, VennCast Studios.