Building a Minimalist Business


Today marks one month since my last day at Shopify.

How did that happen?!

Now here I am, celebrating my first month of entrepreneurship. Soaking up the excitement and storing it in a safe place for when I make my next pivot, because regardless of how many times we start a new journey, we always need a reminder that it will all be worth it.

I made a comment recently to a friend that the scary part is behind me and now I’m cruising.

They seemed confused. “I never thought of entrepreneurship as cruising”.

Perhaps cruising was too glib of a description, but I stand by it.

When did we make entrepreneurship so scary? When did we stop appreciating how fun and simple it can be? Should we blame online marketers for their endless fear tactics? *shakes fist at cloud*

In my view, the resistance of starting something new is bigger than the bumps we will face while riding out the momentum.

We can choose to make any situation as complicated and overwhelming as we want.

We can also choose to make it as simple and beautiful as we want.

In the words of our dear friend Leonardo Da Vinci, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Anyone can add more to their business. But the more you add, the more confusion you have about what you should be doing, and you end up doing nothing. Then you wonder, “Why am I not successful? If all of this isn’t enough to achieve success, then I should add even more.”

So we add more, do less, and eventually this shit has to break, right?!

It’s a place we’ve all found ourselves before:

Feeling frustrated with being “stuck”… knowing you’re capable of achieving all your wildest dreams, but your mind is doing a great job at keeping you from making the next move.

Overwhelmed with entrepreneurship… knowing there’s unlimited abundance in the online world, but you’re paralyzed by the mere thought of it.

Not sure where to start… knowing you want to make a pivot in your career, but feeling unsure of where to even begin.

Count me out, my friends. If that is what’s required, I’m moving to the mountains, building myself a shack, and living off the fruits of the forest.

Or maybe, there’s a different way we can do entrepreneurship? I’m not the only one who smells it in the air… the undoing of structured business plans… the release of cookie cutter strategies… the end of blindly following outdated advice.

I’m inspired by this new way of working:

Where we become our own gurus and let our confidence shine through.

Where we squash our overwhelm and start getting shit done (with ease).

Where we gain clarity in our creative ideas and our most authentic self.

Where we stop getting distracted with tactics that don’t actually matter to us.

Where we find our voice and use it, allowing us to pivot anytime we feel so inclined.

Will you join me in this way of work?

If you look at my website, you’ll see that simplicity is one of my core values as a project manager. Funny enough, simplicity is also one of the core principles of writing. Perhaps this is why writing and project management go hand-in-hand for me?! What a fascinating discovery.

Using grandiosely pompous words in writing (see what I did there?) is the equivalent of using unnecessarily overcomplicated tactics in business.

Your business doesn’t need you to add more faff to it.

It needs you to trust your original vision.

If we are the caretakers of our dreams, then it’s our job to protect and nurture them until they are mature enough to thrive on their own. That means being compassionate with our ideas in the early stages when they are still imperfect and a far cry from the level of perfection we’ve created with our imagination.

I can see my future business so clearly and beautifully in my mind, and although I still feel like I’m stumbling in bringing it to reality, I am embracing this moment. In large part thanks to a beautiful quote by Ira Glass that came to me at the right time and allowed me to trust my vision:

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.”

Save this quote for when you also need a reminder that it’s not more tactics that will grow your business. It’s more trust in your vision that will help it, soon enough, find its footing in the real world.

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