Do you really know what Minimalism is? Many people are talking about it, especially in a new year, but it seems just as many are confused about the true meaning of minimalism, especially when it comes to incorporating minimalism into your business.
It’s easy to see why. The fact is, minimalism means something different to everyone. Even the dictionary doesn’t offer a clear definition, at least not in the context we’re talking about – growing a successful business with minimalist practices.
Instead, the dictionary’s definition refers to a few other things:
a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme sparseness and simplicity (Source: Merriam Webster)
Pay close attention to these two key words – sparseness and simplicity. Those words lay a great foundation for a minimalist lifestyle and business. When you learn to run your business and live with sparseness, you’re letting go and giving up the excesses around you (things you can ‘spare’ and possessions you don’t need) and doing so will lead to a simpler life. We can even take this a step further: Letting go of things in excess also means letting go of ‘busy work’ and even carrying too much debt.
In other words, minimalism is getting rid of all the excess around us so that we can live a life of meaning and simplicity—a life that brings us joy and happiness. In a business setting, minimalism means streamlining your staff, inventory, and business practices so you’re not drowning under the weight of busy work. Instead, you can focus your time on making more sales and growing your business while you delegate certain tasks to your staff.
Think back to your childhood: Did you need a bunch of stuff to be happy or could you find happiness in a pile of library books, playing outside in a sandbox with just a pail, or adventuring on your bike until the sun went down? That’s what minimalism is going to help us find again—that happiness from within that we got as kids when we didn’t have all the excess we do now.
In today’s world of consumerism it’s not surprising that many of us have a lot of excess things in our homes and offices. We’re taught to want more, more, and more. Some people even define success by being able to afford a lot of possessions – a lot of EXPENSIVE possessions.
Sometimes we feel like we have to keep up with the Joneses. Whether “the Joneses” represent your neighbor or your biggest business competitor, buying tools, trainings, bright shiny objects, or other items that you don’t need or won’t use simply drains your wallet, adds to your stockpile of treasures, and depletes your mood when you discover months down the road that you haven’t used these items and have wasted hundreds or thousands of dollars in the process.
That’s not to say that material possessions are bad. They’re not. But when you start to feel overwhelmed and stressed and you have to give up things that are important to you just to keep up, then consumerism has become a problem. It’s time to make some changes.
Keep in mind that minimalism doesn’t have to be complicated. All it really boils down to is this: Reassessing your priorities so that you can get rid of all the excesses around you that don’t allow you the freedom to do things you find most valuable and that bring you the most happiness!