I love the documentary called Minimalism. It’s a fascinating doc, one that you watch beginning to end without interruption. I found I was very attracted to their message of trimming back to the essentials and living life with a purpose greater than just working to pay the bills. Their entire philosophy/mission was very appealing to me!
It reminds me of my last time in Hawaii. On that trip, I was traveling "light," from my packing to my attitude. Life felt (for lack of a better word) easy. I was still just as dedicated to work and exercise, but things seemed to flow with grace rather than requiring effort to push through.
After reflecting on that time a few months later, I realized that I had only surrounded myself with the basics when I was away. I had my essentials – my best friend, my most favorite clothes, my luxurious face cream, simple organic food, and my laptop. That was it. The places that we stayed in were also minimal in nature. We chose Airbnb over hotels as we island hopped. We only had exactly what we needed – nothing more.
Despite this, not only did I meet every deadline and pay every bill, I discovered such clarity and levity along the way. It got me thinking about what other times "less is more" could be applied. And here's what I came up with:
Shopping with the mindset of looking for healthy food that I am excited to put into my body really helps cut down on what I put into my shopping basket. That results in me purchasing higher-quality items that I actually need, rather than less "run of the mill" goods. For example, try having a sprinkle of fresh cashew cheese rather than gobs of cheddar! Or a rich, organic coffee – isn't one cup of it more satisfying than a pot of the store brand? Well, it certainly is for me! And my digestive system thanks me too. I am lighter and more alert with less food.
When we have less external "stuff" surrounding us, our minds have a better chance of focusing. Having a place for everything and everything in its place is more than an adage, it's a powerful strategy. Do you know how much of our time people waste looking for things to buy? An incredible amount, which is usually accompanied by stress and frustration. But why bother? Having one high-quality item in its class is all you need. This can be applied to everything from a reading chair to a chef's knife!
Do you really need the TV on for background noise all the time? Or have YouTube on your iPod running continuously? It's amazing how much I can get done when I go on a "Pandora fast." As much as I fight myself initially (as I am an avid music lover), I'm always pleased with the sense of calm and well-being that can come from silence. The amount of space it opens up is quite impressive!
As doers, we are programmed to be people pleasers. For me, saying "No" doesn't come easily. But once you allow yourself the opportunity to question what truly resonates with you and your vision BEFORE committing, a whole new world opens up. Of course, it may take a little adjusting for the people who are used to your accommodations, but having a little less of you may make them value you more.
People's time is valuable. It can be a smart move to trim your business content down, whether it be videos, blogs, sales pages, courses, etc. By no means am I talking about diluting or delivering less to your customers. It is an art to saying less and being equally, if not more impactful.
Have you ever thought to yourself, "I should listen more?" I know I have! I have a tendency to get super excited about a project and bulldoze my "mental spreadsheet" to the audience. However, there are hidden gems you may discover when you listen to your clients more. They want to share with you what they value most, their pain points, and how you can help them. We spend all this time and money doing market research, and yet, if we only talked less, we might learn that what we need is being spoken directly to us.
Less growth may sound strange as a business strategy, but here is an example.
When I was co-operating a gourmet food manufacturing business, I felt like I had "more" when I was smaller. When my partner and I rented our 800-square-foot facility, produced 12 SKUs, and had 7 employees, I was personally grossing the same per year as when we purchased an 8,000-square-foot facility, produced 130 SKUs, and had 27 employees! Amazing, but true. Not only did I have less stress, fewer responsibilities, and little debt when we were smaller, I had more free time, more travel, and more joy working with my team.
The thing about minimalism is that everything is relative. When thinking about less, I am not saying that I am planning on downsizing to a tiny house anytime soon (although they are so darn cute!). However, I've discovered that by reducing key elements in our life, we can surprisingly discover abundance in more ways than one.
Here's to trimming back on all things that weigh us down internally and externally!
Until next time… breathe joy,
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