Becoming the Minimalist Baker with Dana and John Shultz

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Today on The Ikonns, we have one of the most fun couples we know, Dana and John Shultz from the infamous blog - The Minimalist Baker. Dana and John have been running this hugely successful blog since 2012, putting out quick simple recipes 3 times a week, non stop for 7 years. 

Just like looking in the mirror of Alex and Mimi’s life, Dana and John have followed a very similar but also a very unique journey to get to where they are now. Which is running a hugely successful and highly creative platform that allows freedom and flexibility in their lives whilst helping others. 

They both come from very humble beginnings, a few miles apart from each other, in tiny villages of around 3000 inhabitants or less, in Texas U.S. Eventually meeting each other while studying in the only slightly bigger city of Wichita. Alex and Mimi dive into the Shultz’s romance story, one that nearly didn’t exist as John was, at first, stuck in the dreaded friend-zone.


As their studies drew close to an end and they realised they wanted more to life, ripping off the bandaid and piercing their comfort bubble they decided to get married and the very next day they moved to Portland.

When they arrived they stumbled upon Portland’s creative scene, finding a community that would show them just how different life could be. This is where the couple would catch the buzz of the exciting and rewarding world that is entrepreneurship and would pave the way for their new careers. 

“I used to think it would be cool to meet all these cool and interesting people, until I realised it’s much better to GO DO cool and interesting things, as you get good at what you’re interested in you start to become surrounded by cool and interesting people” - John [14:40]

Unfortunately their move was badly timed and coincided with the recession, making it very difficult for either of them to find work. This came as a blessing in disguise as it forced Dana to get creative, allowing her to find the world of blogging. She set up a lifestyle blog and John found yet another job that he hated. After not too long they returned back to Texas and John went back to studying Law even though he didn’t want to become a lawyer; as he says “Law school is the most expensive way to find out you don’t want to become a lawyer”.

“Starting a business together was one of our best decisions for our relationship, it forces you to have difficult conversations. This gave us a better way to communicate with each other outside of work hours and strengthened our relationship” - John [41.22]


So after years of not channeling what they really wanted and falling short of their pipe dreams, they decided to visualise what they wanted and picture themselves 20 years on. They made solid plans on how to achieve their goals and set about making them happen. This started with taking stock of what was working and what wasn’t. This would mean a rebrand for Dana’s blog, now focusing on quick simple recipes - 10 ingredients or less and all prepared in one bowl.

John set about using all his geekiness to develop the perfect site, with consistency and true effort, The Minimalist Baker would prove to be a recipe for success.


Here’s what we chatted about in this episode:

  • What’s it like to founder a company with your partner and work together as a couple every day

  • How to get out of the difficult friend zone, for John and Alex

  • Why women should take the lead sometimes

  • Ripping off the bandaid and bursting your comfort bubble

  • The correct way to make connections in a new city

  • How to earn money through creativity, even during a recession

  • Another dropout lawyer story

  • Use your skills to get hired and use the money to fund your own thing

  • Stop thinking about the money and think about the happiness

  • Turning a problem into a niche marketing strategy

  • How to budget a bootstrapped business

  • Cutting your expenses to lengthen the runway for success

  • How to be just as happy with nothing by doing exactly what you want to do

Hope you enjoyed this week’s episode with John and Dana, you can find out more about them here:

Minimalistbaker.com

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Produced by Jason Sanderson -Podcast Tech

Designed to inspire you to live your own dream life.