One of the main reasons for moving to Greece to live for 6 months was to create (and then follow) some Laws Of Simplicity in my business. I didn’t even know there were such things as Laws Of Simplicity but now I do know about them, I like the idea a lot.
Having read “Focus: The Future Of Your Company Depends On It” way back in the ’90’s and then, more recently, “The One Thing” and “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less” and loved all them, I have to ask myself “why, if I agree with the principle, do I constantly find it so hard to actually implement simplicity in my business?”
Put simply *grin*, why do I find it so hard to stick to just ONE THING for any length of time?!!
Even if that one thing is really successful, six-figure kinda successful like The Money Gym back in it’s heyday and then ClicksAndLeads.com, it’s still just like when I had jobs, after 18 months I just get so restless and it’s very easy to get seduced by something new.
It’s not just me, many of the entrepreneurs I know (and mentor) twist themselves in knots with this, refusing steadfastly to limit themselves to just one business idea, much less focusing on just one marketing idea for just one of their business ideas.
I used to think it was an entrepreneurs way of hedging our bets. If you have 3-4 fledgling businesses on the go at any one time, if a couple don’t “work” then you still have a couple of cards up your sleeve.
However, a presentation that veteran uber-successful internet marketer Mike Filsaime did on stage at a World Internet Summit blew that little theory out of the water.
Mike systematically showed us this brilliant little simple diagram, which proved that by having more than one thing on the go at any one time, you were 100% DOOMED to fail with all three or four businesses.
Actually, in the early days of a business, I’m not too bad as focus goes, in fact, I often think I’ve got hyper-focus as I can concentrate on quite complex tasks for hours and hours a a time. Learning Infusionsoft is a case in point, I was just NOT going to give up on that.
This hyper-focus could be the flip side of some kind of A.D.D. but luckily that hadn’t been invented when I was at school, so I didn’t get labelled as such.
I’ve tried focusing all my creativity into marketing activities, based around just one business idea, and I really thought I’d cracked it with ClicksAndLeads.com and I was determined to finally fulfil my dream of building a million dollar business (or pounds, they are much the same with the exchange rate being what it is).
Then Steve died and everything went up in the air again.
Although I’d wanted to achieve the million dollar business just for fun, as an intellectual challenge, just to prove I could, now I felt very keenly how hollow that was as any kind of goal now.
All I want now is to fulfil my creativity while creating enough income to have a REALLY NICE LIFE. To enjoy each stress-free day, looking out at and interacting with beautiful scenery, days full of interesting pursuits, creating exciting experiences for me and, occasionally, Phoebe & Nelson, my “young adult” children too.
So here I am in Greece, forcing a less stressed, simpler way of life on myself, knowing that I want to change my business from a service based business model, with high ticket clients, to more of a products / courses / membership model. To be fair, I already have one of these membership sites but I’ve not been concentrating on it, being so busy creating strategy and delivering Facebook Ads traffic to too many clients.
I’m also supposed to be doing less, in a bit to stop being such a workaholic and creating a “life to love” so that when I come home, I don ‘t end up hunched over a computer all the time. I enjoy my work, but then what do you do when you want to turn that computer off?
(I talked more about the innate tension I’m feeling around the “doing less” ideal on the Swagger & Soul blog last week so you might like to check that post out if you are interested).
I still do get up each day and think “What ONE THING do I need to get done today to move things forward” and then generally speaking, I do that at least (and often more) the power of momentum being what it is.
The main challenge I was facing this week, having FINALLY worked out who my new target market is (or who my “brand heroes” are, which is a much nicer way of putting it) was how to get in front of them and more to the point, what do they need from me?
I’m doing all the right things, I’m running story-based Facebook Ads to my “brand heroes” with a relevant opt-in gift, putting a Ryan Levesque “deep dive survey” in between. It’s converting like crazy too and both new leads and survey answers are coming thick and fast.
Now my next challenge is to create a “minimum viable product” for my new brand heroes, while still delivering massive value to my new tribe.
What are the Laws of Simplicity?
When I went googling for concepts around simplicity in business, this book jumped out at me so the author has done a great SEO job. It’s called “The Laws Of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)” by John Maeda that I have ordered (but not yet read).
However, I was sold from the first line of the description which asserts “simplicity equals sanity”.
Maeda’s first law of simplicity is “Reduce” and that’s exactly what I have been doing this week.
I’ve reduced my number of business websites by two, having redirected both of my websites ClicksAndLeads.com and wheelhouse.marketing to explanatory pages on this, my main website again. I’ve not deleted them, in case I change my mind (hedging my bets again) but I’ve redirected all traffic.
I’ve decided Simplicity must be my mantra along with the phrase “just because I could, doesn’t mean I should!”. I need to bear that in mind as I work my way through the “My Spirit Business” course by Mike Hill and Kylie Slavic, as it’s very geared towards group coaching programmes, 1:2:1 coaching, retreats and Masterminds, but I don’t want to do any of that.
I got sucked down that road intellectually for a few days but recovered just in time, waking up this morning after an uncharacteristically long 12 hour sleep with the single word “books” in my head.
They say that your conscious gets to work solving your challenges while you are asleep and it certainly seems to work. I’d been wrangling with the question of what the front end product should be, in front of my mentoring membership site.
The answer, of course, is books!
I shall simply write / create books, sell them on Amazon’s CreateSpace myself, and encourage anyone who buys one of my books to join my free Facebook Group, then to join my paid mentoring membership site.
There are several successful examples of this alluringly simple online business model and I know I’ve got ideas for at least 3-4 more books, possibly more!
My main challenge, going forwards, is to follow the Laws Of Simplicity and not to get sucked into all the other things I could do, rather than doing just what I want to do. I am determined, however, that my life will be kept simple so that I can enjoy every minute of it left. Thats success now, for me.