Why Minimalism Isn’t Right

Do fewer, more impactful things.

I bet you’ve heard some version of this before, so let this just be a reminder.

The idea isn’t to get you to stop doing what you’re doing or to ask you to start some new way of doing things.

Consider this a reminder.

Here are some examples:

Warren Buffet knew he didn’t have the time or resources to invest in everything or even a lot of things. So he picked a few companies that were highly likely to succeed and tripled down on them.

Herb Kelleher knew that Southwest Airlines couldn’t compete with every airline in the industry. So he picked a few routes, a few customers, and delivered exceptional service. He won customers for life and has become one of the most profitable airlines in history.

Jim Collins did a study of some of the top companies in the world and wrote a book about what he found. He found that companies who had the “Hedgehog Concept,” the idea that they knew “one big thing,” were monumentally more successful than companies who knew about a lot of little things.

Those of you who have been following me know that I preach all the time about “minimalism” and the value of living and operating within one’s means.

Really, it’s not minimalism. Honestly, that word just sounds like I’m a smelly, raggedy hermit or something.

Consider it ESSENTIALISM.

By focusing on what matters, you can avoid what doesn’t.

That means letting go of bad things, small things, as well as good things and pretty good things.

As Derek Sivers coined: “Hell yes, or no!”

2 Minute Action:

What are the essential, non-negotiables in your life and work right now?

What are the things that, if you didn’t do them, nothing bad would happen?

What are the things that, if you didn’t do them, something bad would happen but nothing catastrophic would happen?

I’m not telling you what to do–I’m just asking questions that you can ask yourself to help guide your actions.

Comment, reply, and let me know what things you think you can stop doing and on what you think you might need to double down.

Hustle Is Important But Not That Important

Are you familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Quick summary:

Abraham Maslow was a Psychologist who was able to illustrate a simple order of human needs that could play a huge role in motivation, emotions, and decision making behavior.

Basically, you need your basics met first. Like food and shelter.

Then you need your social and emotional needs met, like family and friends.

Only after that can you go after other things like advancing your career or becoming your best self.

We fluctuate up and down these rings of the Pyramid of the Hierarchy of Needs throughout our lives so don’t be fooled into thinking once you’re up, you’re up for good.

Here’s how this relates to hustle, motivation, and your career:

It’s the same with your work ethic, your attitude and your intentions.

To be “successful” in your own eyes, you need to work hard. That has to be the first part of the equation.

But after that, you need to get adequate rest and recovery.

After that you can go after gains in performance and career.

After that, you can say “no” to opportunities and narrow your priorities.

Quick pause to focus on the punchline:

I’m sure this all makes sense but I want to be really clear about the process and the order in which all of this can happen.

There is a TON of advice out there saying things like “you should say ‘yes’ to every opportunity!”

There an equal amount of opinion saying you should “say ‘no’ to more opportunities!”

Not only do you need to figure out what works for you but you need to figure out what works for you right now. 

Remember that a lot of advice is “here are the 8 numbers I used to win the lottery” and won’t apply to you, your industry, your decade, your team, or your circumstance.

That doesn’t mean don’t try.

It means try more.

2 Minute Action

Where are you in the hierarchy of needs?

Do you have your basics met?

If not, it might be time to reset your goals to focus only on basic needs.

If so, it might be time to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself.

Identify this today.

Your next moves will be clear, guilt-free, and easier to execute after you do.

The Fastest Way To An Idea

The bar is low.

Most people are boring, uncreative, and have a hard time thinking of others’ needs.

But not you.

You work harder than that.

You can go out of your way to make someone feel welcome.

You can go out of your way to stand out.

You can go out of your way to make people remember who you are.

All you need is to start.

You don’t even need the idea.

How? Try this . . .

2 Minute Action

The fastest way to get an idea?

Google it.

I’m not kidding. Someone else has probably thought of this before and has written 10 articles on it.

The best part is that this generally helps spark other ideas.

And that’s the punch line.

The hard part of getting something started isn’t the idea . . . it’s usually getting past the thought that you can’t come up with an idea.

Once you can outsmart or outwork yourself, you’re really onto something.