Do Less, Better: 4 Ways to Do Less in Your Business + Your Life
“What if the whole world shifted from the undisciplined pursuit of more to the disciplined pursuit of less...only better?”
- George McKeown, Essentialism
As I redesigned my own website earlier this year, I kept feeling this slight pull to share more more more. And it was then that I finally realized why a lot of my clients want to share everything all at once on their websites. It was a bit of an epiphany.
It can be tempting to say and do ALL THE THINGS in our businesses. After all, we want to connect with our people more deeply and make sure they really understand who we are and what we do. But as a brand stylist and web designer, it’s often my advice to business owners and entrepreneurs to keep things simple, streamlined and do less, just better.
I’m usually the one saying, yes, let’s explain that to your audience, but let’s clean it up. Let’s simplify. Let’s make it really easy for your people to figure this out without overwhelming them with a slew of text, imagery, colours, and fonts.
"We need to be effective communicators, without being overwhelming." (click to Tweet that!)
I've been reading through Essentialism by Greg McKeown (if you haven’t read it - it’s a game changer...get it!) and I've realized that this idea of living my life intentionally and giving energy to only that which is essential is something that's been stirring within me for a long, long time.
This book has helped me articulate how to shape the life I want to live. What does that look like?
Doing less, better.
I've always been an advocate of balancing life with business and taking care of your own needs first.
During my first year as a full-time business owner, I said yes to everything. I listened to everyone. I took on all kinds of projects, clients, and opportunities. Yes, it did make help my bank account, but it also made me feel so burnt out.
I had spread myself too thin. I didn't have boundaries in place, so clients demanded things that I knew were not in line with my own values, and ultimately I started to feel resentful and tired.
I also started to notice that in doing ALL OF THE THINGS, I was essentially not doing anything at all (at least not with greatness in mind).
This year, after a lot of life changes, I've taken a big step back to look at the life and business that I want to create. In doing so, I've learned that I need to focus.
Focus on doing less, just better.
How you can do less, better:
1 - Stop paying attention to your "follower numbers"
For me, my focus is to continue providing value to those who choose to follow along. I will do my best to put out content that is valuable in some way or another, without contributing to the noise of the interwebs.
Ultimately, engagement is what matters to me, not how many people are following. If I have 1000 people following me on Instagram and I get even one genuine comment or conversation started, then I'm super happy.
A recent post I made and genuine, kind comments from my peeps:
2 - Say 'no' to projects and opportunities that aren't the right fit
I'm letting go of the money fear here and invite you to do the same. Let’s focus on quality over quantity. It's my plan to start really assessing what projects I want to take on and say ‘no’ to the projects that I know won't be the best fit for my skills and energy.
It's hard when we have fears about 'making enough' because saying no means turning down an invoice. But it also means you're creating the space to say yes to something better.
3 - Establish stronger boundaries personally + professionally
Boundaries are key and setting them at the beginning of any relationship is much easier than having to set them later on. I've started working hard on pulling back my people-pleaser mentality and establishing healthy boundaries right from the start.
Are you a people-pleaser? Afraid to disappoint someone or hurt someone’s feelings? When we say 'no' with grace and reason, it can actually be a perceived as a point of respect! It also protects our own energy and well-being in a way that makes us far more enjoyable to be around and much more effective at the tasks we should be doing instead.
How am I implementing these boundaries? Well, it might look like saying 'no' to those events I just don't want to go to. It also means that sometimes I don't answer that phone call that I know will drain my energy.
These are all small steps that you can take to protect your energy so that you can focus on saying 'yes' to the things that will propel you forward instead of dragging you backward.
4 - Streamline your business + your life and simplify things
It is tempting to try and tackle everything you think you should be doing within your business.
Webinars, sales funnels, six-figure launches, digital products, physical products, podcasting, email marketing, social media content, blogging…
I have anxiety even just writing all of that out.
In the beginning of my full-time entrepreneurial journey, I thought I needed to accomplish all of that to be successful and grow a sustainable business. I was wrong. So wrong.
After trying many different things, I realized how exhausting it is to try and keep up with everyone else’s idea of success. I needed to listen to my own needs and my audience, and figure out what works best in my business.
For me, that meant simplifying and streamlining. No more trying to integrate 100s of different platforms. No more 100s of different email lists. No more 100s of different subscriptions.
I took some time several months ago to streamline and de-clutter everything.
Here’s what that looked like:
Instead of a bunch of different opt-ins on each blog post, I created ONE opt-in which is my resource library.
Instead of a bunch of different email lists in ActiveCampaign, I created TWO main lists based on my audience.
Instead of trying to list 10+ different service options and a 10-page long price list, I honed in on THREE powerful and effective packages for my clients.
Instead of trying to be present on every single social media platform, I focused my efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and automated the rest. Also - I said a big NO to Snapchat and any other new platform that popped up along the way.
"The faster we can get a grip on saying 'no' to the things that don't really help us feel great, the faster we can say 'yes' to the things that matter most to us."
So, there you have just a few ways you can also start to do less, better. And I hope you do! Because you have something unique and amazing to offer this universe.
Keep that 'no' game strong (in the nicest way possible, of course) <3
*Note some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, which mean I might make a small commission off any purchases. However, please keep in mind I would never recommend something I don’t personally use and trust!
Want even more clarity in your business?
Check out The Brand Planner: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Brand Clarity & Business Direction
This hardcover (or digital) book is a guide to help you get focused. When we can get clear about what our business is all about and focus on the tasks at hand then we can start to reach our own version of success!