It’s a concept I see popping up in relation to contemporary entrepreneurs regularly: minimalism. Quite often it is experienced as a counterweight to the stressful life that comes with running your own company. The minimalists define minimalism as “a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”
Minimalism comes in many forms. Take the concept of one bag living. Your ideal can be to literally live out of a single bag and travel the world. Alternatively you could just use the idea and give away all the clothes you didn’t wear last year. Applying minimalism to business could mean aiming for simplicity, the Google homepage being an iconic example. Or taking it to the next level, some people build businesses that are minimalistic: a zero-overhead, location-independent business that practically runs itself allowing a four hour work week.
Whatever the form, I find the idea of getting rid of excess extremely appealing, whether it is to increase your freedom, fulfillment or happiness. […]
OK stop, something funny happened while writing my blog and I want to share my thinking on this with you. After the previous paragraph I wrote several more. I wrote on our information overloaded society, on focus and doing things consciously, on things that distract and startup concepts that add focus through reducing choice. All related to minimalism in some way, but when rereading it I realized I tried to say waaaay too much in just one blog, that everybody would get lost in my enthusiasm. I could and probably should write an entire page on every topic I had now shortly touched upon. What to do?
After being puzzled for a while and convincing myself that killing your darlings is part of the process I decided I should just take some of the stuff out. Unfortunately that didn’t help much, as I ended up with not more than the three introductory paragraphs you already read. Clearly I had to think through and work out the different concepts a little more in order to write a clear piece. Why do things always tend to take three times as long as anticipated?! Well, because I promised myself to embrace the power of vulnerability and because I want to have some time to enjoy the beautiful weather today, I will not start over again now but just publish this minimalist essay on minimalism.
I hope that at least the accompanying remarks on my struggle sound soothing and familiar to you in some sense. I’ll surely come back at the topics mentioned today and keep my next blog a little more focused.. (-: Martijn