Minimalist Business

Minimalism is a hot topic and trend these days. It’s as much a rejection of consumerism and bad business practices (environmental, labour and greed) as it is a by-product of income disparity. It grows out of mistrust of business motives and a desire to take back the control of our lives. When a famous book about eating right starts by saying “Eat food..” and then the author concedes that that may be harder than it should be because the food we are sold is not only or always food, we can be forgiven for wanting to take control from corporations and back into our own (or our neighbour’s)  hands.

Most businesses start as minimalist businesses by necessity: focused, spare and simple. Very quickly business owners are told all they must do to be in business (see Dangerous Lies we tell Small Business Owners). We stop focusing on providing the best product or service to our customer and work on building systems, writing a marketing plan and creating return policies.

Pretty soon we are so mired in the everyday details of managing our business that we begin to see those pesky customers as distractions. We work longer and harder for less and fewer results.

Lets get back to the basics. What is a Minimalist Business?

It’s a business where the focus is on providing awesome service to our customers. There are no distractions. You and the business are running under capacity, it is transparent and open, automated, conducive, with a clear, simple, value-laden business model.

Yes, but, I hear you say, My business isn’t that simple, my customers/my service/my community are… etc. While every business is unique they all share the fundamental basics of value exchange. You provide a service (maybe in the form of a product) and your customers pay for it.

Your business can be this simple. Stay tuned for a deeper discussion in Part II.


Reinvention in 50 Easy Steps

Reboot. Reinvent. Redo.

The times they are achanging and if we don’t change along with them, we will be left behind.

I would write you a long meaty post about how and why to reinvent yourself, but James Altucher already has.

This is the part that has me coming back to this over and over and it has given me the most hope.

F) Time it takes to reinvent yourself: five years.

Here’s a description of the five years:

  • Year One: you’re flailing and reading everything and just starting to DO.
  • Year Two: you know who you need to talk to and network with. You’re Doing every day. You finally know what the monopoly board looks like in your new endeavors.
  • Year Three: you’re good enough to start making money. It might not be a living yet.
  • Year Four: you’re making a good living
  • Year Five: you’re making wealth

Sometimes I get frustrated in years 1-4. I say, “why isn’t it happening yet?” and I punch the floor and hurt my hand and throw a coconut on the floor in a weird ritual. That’s okay. Just keep going. Or stop and pick a new field. It doesn’t matter. Eventually you’re dead and then it’s hard to reinvent yourself.

I’m in year 3. This tells me there is hope at the end of this long, convoluted, scary tunnel.

It’s right about here that the real doubts kick in. That feeling of being on the wrong path, of not being worthy because the results (the money) isn’t showing. This is where all those naysayers inside and outside of my head are persistently telling me I’ve had my chance, it’s time to give up and get back into the real world and get a job.

It’s hard not to believe them. It sucks not knowing for sure. This article has given me renewed determination to keep moving forward.

How about you? Where are you in your reinvention?


First Training Video – Your Most Important Environment!

In today’s lesson I share one trick you can use to change everything!

Sign up for the 85 days: Reboot to Your Effortless Business (click on the tab above) and you will get the next 3 training videos and then 80 more lessons starting Sept 25. The lessons, of course, will take a different form than this, but will take less than 15 minutes a day.


My first video. The hardest part is starting.

Sign up here to get the next video

A couple of things I learned while I made this series

Endless summer Summer is a great time for thinking and planning but not really for doing. I followed along, too, not just with Janet’s business, but with my own. I thought a lot about what we were doing in my other business, but I was distracted; it was a lot of material and it went by pretty quickly; people were on vacation.. Those are all the reasons I didn’t apply what we did right away.

It did work, because since then I closed one business and opened two more.

The information is not enough. We need support to help us get past some of those things that trip us up. We need accountability to help us keep moving forward.

I need response and feedback. This was a tough one for me. The hits on the website went down as the series progressed. That was disheartening. I kept going because I said I would and because I wanted to create the material, but it was hard to do while I was thinking that no one cared. I got over it.

Now I have the basics for a workbook for Your Effortless Business and the start of a novelette about Janet’s Business.

The scheduling feature in WordPress is very slick. I took the kids on a 2 week adventure in the middle of posting the series. One caveat: the time is EDT not your geographical time.

Plan your work and work your plan works. Knowing what I needed to write every day, kept me on task. I need to free-range write at times, too, but having a plan for a while and especially in the summer made for an easier summer.

I enjoy writing fiction way more than I thought I would. It’s like Steven Pressfield and Anne Lamott say, the story comes; place your hands over the keyboard and wait. Before you know it, the story comes. In this case, I did direct it somewhat because the story had to follow the 8 week course. Try it, you’ll see.

This was a wonderful experience for me. I am not a structured person, so it was a new experience as well and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

What task have you taken on lately that is out of your ordinary way of doing things? What projects have you started and finished that made you feel great about them?

The Fifth Element

There are 4 components that make Your Effortless Business as I have written here.

The 5th Element is YOU!

Without you, none of it happens.  You have to do it.  You have to lead and be creative, swallow your fear and fight entropy to craft Your Effortless Business.

This blog is where I talk about the 4 essential components.  My other blog, the Business Owners Success Club is where I talk about you.

I have written a post here about your role in crafting Your Effortless Business.