Updated: Mar 29
Minimalism isn’t about owning the least amount of things. It’s about keeping only what adds value and letting the rest go. This can sound really scary at first, but the journey is worth every small step it takes to get there. I discovered minimalism in 2018 out of curiosity. These two guys had a podcast where they talked about loving people, not things. Instantly I was hooked. The journey started with cleaning out a lot of my stuff… but it’s slowly morphed into so much more than that.
With Spring coming soon, if you’re looking for some inspiration or motivation to clean out. Check out Casting the Vision for a Room Redesign and The Transformation: Creating a Peaceful Bedroom You Never Want to Leave. I’ve heard it said that, letting go of physical clutter also declutters the mind and the soul. Mentally, I’d like to take that a step further. What would happen if we decluttered our endless to do lists and our bank statements?
After taking a few years to declutter my physical spaces, I took on the idea of decluttering the rest of my life. Jim Rohn famously said, that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This relates to the law of averages, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes. Where we are right now is a result of the choices we made up until this moment. We have so much more control over our destination than we think.
Taking on a minimalistic approach in life, teaches us how to prioritize what truly matters. Not only does it help in life, but it also helps in business.
How Can Minimalism Keep Expenses Low?
I learned in BMSU that a business is just like an airplane. The body of the airplane is the businesses overhead, and if it gets too heavy the engines are going to have to work extra hard to keep it flying. One engine is sales and the other is marketing. One wing is products and the other is services. The cockpit is your leadership. Thinking about business in simple terms, such as these allows us to pinpoint exactly where the problem areas are.
Instead of, “I need to do that because everyone else is doing it!” or “I need to buy that because everyone else buying it.” start with a few questions. I like to ask myself a series of questions before I make a purchase in my personal life and in my business.
1. Can I afford to part with this money?
2. Can I pay the actual costs?
3. Will it add value to my life? or What's the *ROI? (*Return on Investment)
4. What are the alternatives?
5. Can I get by without it for a while?
These questions have helped me keep my personal spending at a minimum as well as my business expenses. Not only that, but determining a personal monthly budget (or salary for the owners) allows the business to actually grow. Since my business is just me and I don't have employees, let’s say my maximum spending for the month is $5,000 but the business generates double that. Where does the extra go? Straight to an account called “Investment Holding”. This extra money is to be saved for investment opportunities to generate passive income. Instead of working really hard, spending it all, and continuing to work hard forever, the profit from the business has the potential to generate added income. For more on business finances check out: How to Protect Cashflow for Your Business - Preventing the Crash
Establishing boundaries in my personal life and my business has actually brought more freedom than restrictions. It allows me to prioritize building the lifestyle, instead of staying in a rat race forever. Minimalism has brought me clarity and a realization of what truly matters. It’s allowed me to build my work around my life, not my life around my work.
For more resources on minimalism, check out The Minimalists Podcast, the book Everything That Remains (The touching, surprising story of what happened when one young man let go of everything and began living more deliberately.) and Essentialism by Greg McKeown. Essentialism is more than a time-management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter.