Hey there Digital Glue Insiders!
I know I’ve been dropping loads of content the past few months on goals, hustling, organization, productivity, creativity, self-doubt, and burnout. But it’s with good reason. During the last business quarter of the year, it’s not uncommon for productivity to take a nosedive.
The holiday season crept in quickly and Christmas is now just a few short days away … You may even be dwelling on all the goals you set out for yourself this year that have yet to be accomplished and you’re starting to feel stressed, panicky, overwhelmed, maybe even a bit of languish, and you keep nosediving as you’re not quite sure where to place yourself and when in order to do #AllTheThings.
Today we’re here to help with all that through the power of simplicity as we want to you feel accomplished going into another new year …
Running a business comes with many stressors; from finding clients, to generating leads and making sales, or even managing a team (virtual or in-house). And it can sometimes feel like that list just goes on … and on … and on!
But there are always ways to make your business less stressful. And you’re in luck because today I have some pointers for you! Yes! You heard right … pointers on the science of simplicity!
In today’s world, we like to think of the science behind simplicity as minimalism. Which to most, is mainly thought of as people who live out of a backpack or cram their life into a tiny house. But that’s not the only simplistic minimalism lifestyle that’s all the rage … Minimalism can be easily applied to business as well. In all instances, it’s a mindset rather than an outrageously blind purge. It is all about creating freedom through simplicity -- by removing what doesn’t serve you well or at all -- in pursuit of enjoyment.
The reason you became an entrepreneur in the first place probably landed with the idea of having some of that glorious life of freedom. And if you do it right through productivity management, organization, automations, and simplicity, you will achieve greater freedom in your business. A true win-win!
Have you ever wondered why Steve Jobs always wore the same black turtleneck or why the founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, eats the same cheese and crackers every single morning? The reason these successful entrepreneurs simplify could be due to the same reason a cloud of smoke swirls and dissipates in the air or why the universe is expanding …
That being said, let’s start with productivity management and organization.
Imagine this …
You have a project that’s big or perhaps one you’ve been putting off for a while now -- just staring you in the face. You know it’s there; it’s been there for far too long. Sadly, you’re just not feeling the motivation. Languish has set in and procrastination has taken over. But why?
More than likely it’s because you are afraid of the amount of work you need to do to complete it. You know you will have questions … Probably hit a few speed bumps along the way … And the idea of tackling it has got you in a chokehold. And it doesn’t help that everything feels out of order and disorganized.
Then that guilty feeling sets in … Because you haven’t done it yet!
For any entrepreneur this is a common scenario. We have endless piles of things to do, client deadlines, virtual paperwork, meetings booked out the wazoo, and even though we forget about it sometimes … Our own business needs and personal lives.
So, what can we do to get ourselves organized enough to tackle our many responsibilities with efficiency -- AND create a whole lot of happy?
For us over here at Virtually Untangled we often go back to re-exploring our “WHY”.
… And author Simon Sinek sums it up beautifully, “Everyone has a WHY -- It is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us.”
And with the “why” refreshed in our minds, we then reignite the passion for what we do and why we’re doing it, which adds fuel to our fire.
If you truly think about it for a minute, when we know more about what fires us up, we can then set out to create that reality for ourselves. And we all know that when we work with purpose and positivity, only good things can come of it.
The vibe we create sends a ripple through the pond, into our client’s lives and into our loved ones’ lives too. Remember that fantastic Netflix phenomenon “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”?
This wonderful woman took her expertise in organization and helped people who were at a full stop in the productivity of their lives. Her catch phrase is “Does it spark joy”? Because joy creates drive and purpose, and out of that …. a whole lot of gettin’ things done!
And Marie is bang on!
Organizing (including project management) is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all stress-led and mixed up!
This all quite nicely aligns with automations too. Because the more organized you are putting these simplicities in place for yourself, the less you have to worry about doing. And the more time you will have to do other more important things.
Whether its pre-scheduling some social media posts or marketing emails in batches. Or perhaps making your email or booking calendar automatic. Or creating and using online forms in-house or with your clients and audience. Or perhaps as simple as setting recurring contracts and invoices. No matter your choice of business automations AI “robots” can make your life a heck of a lot easier. And save you a ton of time too!
Once again … a true win-win!
So, everything shared thus far, let’s get back to the topic beyond all those things and deep dive a bit more into the science behind simplicity …
To keep it simple because it truly is just that à simple. As an entrepreneur, we are lovely humans of the world with a different take on things. We interconnect and network to create new margins, ways of living or doing things, and trends. We create new demands and new sectors in the market. We happily start at one place and end up working our way to another. The path which we take, is unconventional to say the least, that at times we walk alone, and no one really understands us. But that unconventional path leads to monumental change. Which is why we tend to hold the greatest power and responsibility.
Think of things this way …
Rivers -- just like us -- contribute to large oceans, vast and mighty.
Simplicity is simply defined as: the quality or condition of being easy to understand or do; being natural or plain; having few parts; and not complex or fancy.
Quite honestly … Becoming an entrepreneur has truly been the single biggest “course” I have ever taken on self-discipline, self-improvement, and self-discovery.
Back in 2017 when I officially parted ways with my demanding and self-sacrificing 9-5 job to open VU full-time, from part-time … the uncertainty of forging my own path was filled with self-doubt and anxiety. But it also gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing people -- both online and off -- that have supported me through and through, held me up on days when I felt like quitting, gave me insight when I needed it the most, and most importantly à cheered me on.
There wasn’t any real single moment or revelation that defined me, my business, or my newfound path. But as I continued on my journey, the more I realized the value of simplicity. Yes, I sometimes still deal with self-doubt and a crushing level of anxiety that started off in a less-than-pleasant childhood which continued to manifest its horrible ugliness into adulthood. Couple that with running a virtual business and a side twist of a global pandemic and many other life related things, non-simplicity in business just seemed like a recipe for utter disaster.
So, from learning to do as I teach, here’s a simplistic list of VU’s simplicity tricks:
Well folks … that’s a wrap!
Now before we ourselves switch gears for the end of the year we wanted to share one more thing with you …
We truly feel that the most productive (and results-yielding) work we as a team have ever done came from being intentional about our time and efforts, alongside our vision to empower leaders -- just like yourself -- by deeply connecting with you with real facts and real truths, beyond the everyday “untangling” we do. Hence the simplicity in everything we do à and the way we do it.
So, if you take away anything from today’s episode, let it be this … Don’t lose sight of why you’re pouring your life forces into your business in the first place -- as long as you use the tools and insights we share with you, hold your vision close, work hard -- but mindfully of course, and keep things simple, you will always be in the plus. Meaning your journey will produce instead of distract.