I’ve been striving for a minimalistic lifestyle for a number of years now. I’m constantly trimming back on what I have and the things I regularly buy. I’ve learned to ingrain a mindset that questions the “need” for just about anything.
Does that mean my house is pure white with zero furniture? Absolutely not! It means that what I have serves an immediate purpose wether it’s a functional requirement for my day-to-day routine, something I truly find enjoyment from, or a couch… because I need somewhere to sit!
Oddly enough, according to the Clifton Strengthsfinder, I’m technically a “Maximizer.” I’m rarely happy just getting by and being involved with just about anything that would be described as “under the radar.”
So how does this all play out in real life? A Minimalist Maximizer? What does my day look like? I use a variety of methods to keep my business minimalistic while maximizing impact.
First of all, I keep overhead costs LOW. I realize that it’s easier for some of us than others, but I do my best to ensure that all of the money going “out” is necessary and helping to build up my business. I search for leaks in the system regularly and review our finances weekly.
Next, I do the same thing with my time. If something is requiring a great deal of time, I take a look at two things: Is it truly enhancing our business in some way (profit-wise or simply our work satisfaction)? And what’s the cost? If we break it down and realize that I’m doing something that could be outsourced at a much lower hourly rate, then we’ll move toward that decision – unless it’s just something I personally love doing – then I may keep it around for fun.
I use a variety of productivity “hacks” to maximize my time, such as Block Scheduling. I do a lot of writing… and then a lot of photography… and then a lot of billing… and then a lot of strategic planning. If I did all of those things in one day, I would waste a lot of time switching between tasks. Instead, I devote an entire day to one thing such as writing social media posts for the month (or 3), scheduling them and moving on. I’m probably completely brain dead on certain days (social media post days, for certain), but at least I no longer have to worry about it!
I don’t believe that “growth” necessarily means we have to get BIG. Our business has had increased revenues every year since we started in 2013. That’s all I care about when it comes to growth because that simply means we are continually serving more and bigger clients over time. Making huge leaps would require much more management changes and a type of structure that I’m not interested in at this time, but I am always interested in maximizing the opportunities we have to work with new and returning clients!
Mostly, I stick to what I’m good at and I have spent a great deal of time and energy and experience honing in on what that thing is. I have confidence that I can make my business work no matter the obstacles with my minimalistic and survivalist mindset, but that I can also create a thriving business because of my maximizer dreams.
This is also what I bring to the table when working with clients – I believe that we shouldn’t get TOO hung up on intricacies or become too emotionally attached to things that are not serving our businesses, but rather are a stumbling block on the way to success. Often, when someone comes to us with a request for some design piece, I find myself asking “why?” and “how will it be used?”
Our logos designs and our websites should be well utilized. A single logo on a sign is much less valuable than a logo that appears on a sign, a business card, a t-shirt, a facebook page, an advertisement, etc.
Make it work. Keep it simple.