06 January 2013
Simplify. We’ve had a sign that says this in our kitchen for several years, but starting KickoffLabs really drove the value of simplification home for me.
With limited resources (and your time on this planet is a limited resource) the best answer isn’t to improve, fix, or add things until you’re happy. The best answer is often to cut stuff, remove clutter, and focus on a few awesome things. To that end I offer you some simplification goals for 2013.
Managing virtual things is as bad or worse than managing all your real possessions. For me this means:
When you get a house you realize that you begin filling it with stuff. When you have two kids it gets worse. I’m tired of owning, maintaining, storing, and managing all the stuff in our lives.
Gretchen and I briefly started looking into downsizing our lives into a condo. I dream we still might… but I’ll settle for ending 2013 by getting rid of more stuff than we acquire. I ended 2012 by selling off a bunch of things, but there is a LOT more to go through. You’re on the chopping block if you are:
You can save time and money by owning less stuff. Then you can pour your extra dollars and attention into things you appreciate. After family and friends consider only purchasing things you really need, love, or will save you time. Use the money you saved not buying crap to buy higher quality items.
Consider it the “Applefication” of our lives. Stuff that breaks down and requires maintenance or extra effort to use just isn’t worth it. Stuff that just works saves you time. For example:
We’ve had to tell Grandparents and friends they they are buying too much stuff for our kids. We’d like the kids to appreciate what they have and spend more time playing and learning with us.
Side projects are great if you are getting something out of them. But, I’ve been bad at knowing when to cut them off properly.
Most of my income comes from KickoffLabs. The business also offers plenty of opportunities for side projects and experiments to keep me busy in the next year.
When you run a business like KickoffLabs it’s hard not to take everything personally. What’s worse is that if you are doing things right there are a certain number of people who just won’t like you and your business. They’ll feel it should all be free or that it’s “fucking terrible that you don’t offer Y as well”. I’ve had to learn to stop writing back to these people other than “Thanks for your suggestion.”
I also used to watch competitors too closely. I’ve now un-followed them on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. I’m running the best race I can. Customers will tell me the important differences. If the competition does something that’s newsworthy I’ll hear about it anyway. Watching their every tweet wasn’t getting me anywhere and it wasn’t informing our plans.
That was a long post on simplification. I should probably have cut some stuff.