I change lifestyle and I inspire others to grow
Minimalism isn’t just for people who want to live out of a backpack or cram their life into a tiny house. So what is a minimalist business, and why should we have one?
The ideas of being minimal can also easily apply to business – and I should know because I’ve been using them for nearly twenty years.
Minimalism is a mindset rather than a blind purge. If something is useful or pleasurable, you keep it. If it’s not, then you consider scrapping it.
Personally, I see running a minimalist business as more of a pursuit of enjoyment with revenue attached (because, hey, what’s not to love about hedonism and making money at the same time?!) If you only keep what is useful or what makes you happy in your business then what you’re left with you should leave you better off—in terms of revenue AND quality of life. Removing what doesn’t serve your business or make you happy just seems like a good idea (even if you think minimalism is bonkers). Through this removal, minimalism creates certain freedoms:
- Freedom from excess financial worry (you’re spending less, so you can make less and be more profitable).
- Freedom from the stress of “busy” (you’re only doing what is useful or makes you happy).
- Freedom from the fear of loss (you’re living below your means, so you can weather greater storms and hardships).
- Freedom from weighty responsibility (the bigger your business gets, the more work it requires, and it may not be work you enjoy).
Working for yourself is freedom—if you do it right—so achieving greater freedom in your business by implementing ideas borrowed from minimalism seems like a win-win. (Or maybe it’s just one win since the second win isn’t necessary and therefore purged. #minimalismjokes) Is more actually better?
One of the smartest things I’ve done in my business is the question if “more” is actually better. Which is the complete opposite approach taken by startups and corporations?
Such businesses tend to see growth as the chief indicator of success. More customers is a win! Higher revenue is a win! Greater exposure is a win! And sure, they can be, but not always. And definitely not always when blindly obtained.
Sometimes more customers mean much more customer support. Sometimes more revenue comes at the price of higher investments and expenses (netting less profit in spite of more revenue). Sometimes more exposure means more of the wrong people see you and more of the right people for your business are put off because they think your business is actually for someone else.
More ≠ Better (Hi math, I love you!)
Sometimes “ENOUGH” is better. For instance, if I make enough money to support my life and save a little, “more” likely only brings more stress, more work, more responsibility. Remember my note about freedom? Enough means I can optimize for freedom, not blind growth.
Are you willing to experiment?
Running a lean business that’s focused on creating value for yourself and your customers requires you to be relentless about the opportunities you say yes to – or you’ll be stretched too thin. You’ll end up like a circus act that sees how many plates you can spin at the same time, hoping they don’t all come crashing down.
You also have to be willing to experiment. A few years ago I decided to see if I could go 6 months without buying anything but food and gas (I did it too). Another time I tried living without furniture (this failed, mostly because my back hurt without a comfy couch). Experimenting to see what you actually value and testing your assumptions can lead to breakthroughs in life and in work. Maybe you can say no to every opportunity but the one you truly want to focus on. Maybe your business would do better with one product instead of 3. Maybe you can generate more profit by spending less on marketing, software, computers or fax machines (just kidding, who buys fax machines?)
You won’t find out unless you experiment. Sure, your experiments could go wrong and your business could be left with a bit of a sore back, but some might go right and you’ll be left with more money for less work.
Can you work with what you’ve got?
I love my journey – the way how this expands and the reasons why Educate in natural health care is because I love it & because people are looking forward to changing their life.
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