Minimalism is a lifestyle choice focused around the pursuit of simplicity and freedom from possessions.
When most people think of minimalism they think of people owning very little... bare rooms and empty houses (if they even own or live in a house!). We associate minimalism with little ambition, which is quite the opposite of what we strive for as business owners.
If these minimalists don't want or own anything, how can they have any goals? How can they have any motivation to build and grow a business?
Well here's the thing, minimalism isn't about owning nothing, it's about only owning possessions that you truly value. No junk, no clutter, only items that mean the most to you. Minimalists intentionally simplify their lives, removing possessions that distract them and leaving only the essentials that they value most.
When you stop and look around, how much of what surrounds you is truly important to you? How much of it was purchased because you got a good 'deal' or purchased when you were feeling down to give your self esteem a short-lived boost? Are these items truly important to you? Would your life be any worse if you no longer owned them? Now imagine if you were surrounded only by the items that you truly valued. Items that you carefully picked out with love and attention. How would that make you feel?
This is minimalism and it can be great for your business!
Here are five reasons why a minimalist lifestyle is good for your business (number 5 is particularly important for business owners):
1. Be more creative
Having less clutter around you means less distractions, more room to move around and the ability to let go of things and ideas you've been holding on to. By letting go of the past you are able to open up to the future, be open to new business ideas, think clearly and have room, both physically and mentally, to be more creative.
2. More time and energy
All of these possessions take up time and energy. Just think about how long it takes you to get ready in the morning. The time and energy you put into finding something to wear. Imagine if you had fewer clothes to choose from. Wouldn't this decision process be a hell of a lot easier and quicker! Now what about when you are trying to find something, all the clutter you have to sort through, or even just maintaining the items you already own. Mowing the lawn, washing your clothes, watering the plants, cleaning the house and your car. Imagine how much more time and energy you would have to focus on your business if you had less possessions to maintain. Plus if you only owned possessions that you truly value, maintaining them would be all that more enjoyable and less of a chore.
3. Less possessions means more money
This is a given but the less money you spend on possessions means more money that can be invested back into your business. You can now make your money work for you, spending it on things that will generate more financial rewards or hiring an assistant to help free up more of your time. You will have less liabilities and items that weigh you down, and more projects bringing you financial rewards or time to focus on the things you love the most.
4. Allows you to take more risks
When you have a pile of bills and/or a mortgage to pay, you have less room to experiment with new ideas. You can't afford to take any risks because you have bills to pay. When your cost of living is cheaper and you have less possessions to lose, what does it matter if you try something that fails? The best business ideas don't come from doing what has always been done, they come from taking risks and trying something new.
5. Helps you create better products and service experiences
Did you know that Steve Jobs was a minimalist? He simplified products, focusing on the important features and presented them in a beautiful way. You only need to take a look at the iPhone or iPod to see how few buttons there were. From Apple stores, to the packaging and the product itself, he created a whole experience around the brand. People didn't just like Apple products, they fell in love with them! He turned electronics from luxury items into essential luxury items that people couldn't live without. Think back to the first time you purchased an iPhone. The emotions you felt when you first opened that white box and held your slick new phone in your hand. You felt proud and maybe even a little bit of love for your new phone. A feeling that you hadn't had for an electronic before!
Now imagine if you created products and service experiences like this for your own business. If instead of over-complicating things, you focused on the features or services that your customers loved the most and made these not just good, but exceptional! You wouldn't just have customers, you would have lifetime loyal customers that would become your biggest ambassadors.
The great thing about minimalism is that there is no right or wrong way to create a minimalist lifestyle. It's about choosing a lifestyle that is right for you, but doing this with more awareness and consideration. What most people will find is that once they begin a journey towards minimalism and start experiencing the benefits, they will want to take the lifestyle further.
If you have any minimalism tips or advice, we'd love to hear from you. Comment below and let us know what works and doesn't work for you.