We are just about three weeks into 2021, and my main goal for the first quarter of the year is toast. On the heels of a couple of less-than-positive experiences last year, I wanted to simplify everything in my business. I started with the why and how progressing to the who and the what. Everything was on the table. I got out the metaphorical red pen and started cutting away anything that didn’t fit into the vision of simplicity. But a funny thing happened on the way to simplicity; I realized that wasn’t my problem. It was something else entirely.

10 ways I misunderstood simplicity:

  1. In an effort to simplify, I cut away the things I was afraid of, projects I failed at yet still wanted to do, and larger projects that take time to develop.
  2. I looked for simplification in explaining what I do instead of simplifying how people can experience what I do.
  3. I ignored simplifying my process, which is where the problems actually were.
  4. I focused on hypothetical situations and what-if scenarios, instead of reality.
  5. I was acting like a specialist instead of the generalist I am.
  6. My core values didn’t guide the simplification process, they were added after the fact.
  7. I stopped looking for common denominators between the different things I do.
  8. What is the real work I do? Sure, it’s the way that I classify the different components of my work: creative, coaching, teaching, and building community. But at the core of every single action is relationship, which takes time and intention.
  9. In simplifying the wrong things, I was looking for short-term answers vs. long-term solutions because I was fueling the search for simplification with desperation.
  10. In misunderstanding simplicity, I was being clever, not clear.

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