Simplicity is what gives you space and time to do the things you find important, things that matter to you both professionally and personally. Two ways to achieve simplicity:
- Start with chaos and take away the things you don’t need
- Start with minimal, stable frame and add the things you need as you need them
Last week my friends and I decided we should go hiking. I started preparing a list of things I’d need. I quickly ran out of space as I wanted to squeeze in more items.
Then I remembered – It’s hiking we’re talking about, not Bear Grylls’ Man vs. Wild adventure. All that weight would slow me down and since we were not taking on Mount Everest, I immediately shortened the list. If I ever decide to climb a more challenging mountain, I’ll bring a different set of things and tools.
Too often, we’re driven by our primordial brain. That part still lives among predators, it still tries to find shelter wherever you go, seeks to gather as much food as you can carry, to foresee all the possibilities… and sometimes it likes to play tricks on you.
Recently, several people involved with WordPress have asked me about various frameworks. Some offer drag and drop feature, some offer modules you insert and create your page templates. Many offer features and functionality you’ll never need, like color options for everything you can think of, shortcodes and fonts you may never use. All the functionality you can add later, should you need it.
A lot of time was spent creating these frameworks, a lot of effort was put into coding them. But, not a lot of thought.
Extending something elegant (WordPress) into something so bulky may give you a lot of power. You could spend hours tweaking details, deciding on which widgets to include, giving your every page its own font or accent color, but you’ll drag a lot of ballast whatever you do.
This power may break a lot things and costs time and effort to control. If you’re a middleman, who’s reselling other people’s WordPress themes and welcomes all this “power”, you know what I think of you.
If you’re an end-user, know that WordPress is created simple and easy to use. You should not need someone else’s help to run your own online business.
If you could…
- If you could be content with the minimalist, stable WordPress product and add things as you need them
- If you could spend less time doing the things you’ve already paid for (design and development)
- If you could just focus on what you are good at
Then you might get on the path of simplicity in running your online business.
Spend your time thinking about why you started your business and build everything around that thought. The beauty of simplicity is that you start with the essentials and allow one thing to lead to another.
You don’t need every unessential corner covered, you only need to cover one essential at the time.
Simplicity in running your business is not simple to achieve. It’s a different mindset which takes practice. Start by thinking about it several minutes a day. You’ll increase that yourself once you see you can come up with new and innovative ideas that have nothing to do with the design, branding, font sizes or search engine optimization, but a whole lot with efficiency, pragmatism and your business philosophy.
Simplicity will give you stability and scalability; it will save you time and money in the short and in the long run. Don’t model your start up or small business on top of chaotic systems, because you’ll end up searching for the purgatory.
The essence is you and your message. Start with that.