My Favorite Way to Simplify A Business
Have you ever felt like your world was collapsing around you?
Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, you can’t make any progress?
Have you ever felt like your brain was just on the verge of melting and dripping out of your right ear?
If you’ve ever experienced any of these feelings, then you may be experiencing Business Owner Overload Syndrome.
When someone is afflicted with Business Owner Overload Syndrome, they are on the threshold of burnout.
Burnout is a pernicious situation that will sabotage your business and propel you back into the Dark Ages of your business.
Sales will decline, more mistakes occur, and your profits begin to dwindle away.
If this condition lasts for too long, the business will be in danger of going into cardiac arrest.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of the cure.
You will be better off avoiding Business Owner Overload Syndrome than suffering through this devastating malady.
What is the cause of Business Owner Overload Syndrome?
People catch Business Owner Overload Syndrome when they wear too many hats.
Many business owners are known for wearing many different hats.
What happens is the business owner gets caught up in constantly changing his headgear and jumping from one activity to another.
Every time someone switches activities, they need to ramp up some momentum to perform those tasks.
There is a different set of thinking, energy, and acting with each type of activity.
Each day we only have a set amount of energy available to us.
Once we use up that energy, it’s gone.
And when it’s gone, it’s gone.
One can continue to persist in activities without energy, but the results tend to deteriorate rapidly.
Many times, mistakes are made when energy is depleted.
When those mistakes occur, the time to correct the mistakes becomes costly.
If you don’t have time to do things right the first time, when will you have time to correct the mistakes from not doing it right the first time.
Mistakes lead to a vicious downward spiral.
Another pernicious byproduct of Business Owner Overload Syndrome is the business becomes more complicated.
When we experience hiccups in our business, we tend to develop preventative measures to avoid the disruptions in the future.
With time these preventative measures build-up and complicate business operations.
A huge layer of bureaucracy builds up in our business.
And who wants that?
Just the thought of bureaucracy makes my stomach turn.
So, what’s the answer to avoiding Business Owner Overload Syndrome and all the ill effects that accompany it?
The answer is to simplify.
I’ll repeat that simplify.
One more time simplify.
And now for dramatic effect – SIMPLIFY!
Albert Einstein, one of history’s greatest scientists, said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
He developed the most famous equation in the world.
E = mc²
How many components are there in his famous equation?
Each of the components of Einstein’s equation is a placeholder for what they represent.
Here are what each of the components of Einstein’s equation stands for:
- E = Energy
- m= Mass
- c = speed of light
If we were to replace each component of Einstein’s formula with what they represent, we would get the following formula.
Energy = mass x speed of light x speed of light.
If Einstein had shared his groundbreaking formula with us as Energy = mass x speed of light x speed of light, do you think we would know his formula now more than sixty years after his death?
Einstein also said the following, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
So let’s take a cue from one of humanity’s most intelligent individuals.
Let’s make simplicity a primary goal of everything we do.
Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Does that sound familiar?
Here is how I have applied the principle of simplicity in my businesses.
In my work with other business owners, I share these same methods with them.
In everything I do, I use what I call the hand principle.
Here’s how the hand principle works.
- Extend your right arm straight out in front of you so that it is parallel with the ground.
- Next, lift your hand so it is perpendicular to the floor with the back of your hand facing you.
- Now count each of your fingers.
- Next, count each of your thumbs.
How many fingers did you count?
If you’re like most people, you counted five fingers.
How many thumbs did you count?
If you’re like most people, you counted one thumb.
Here’s how the hand principle works.
Whatever you’re working on should be summarized into less than five things.
You have five fingers, so everything you’re doing can be remembered by looking at each of the fingers on one hand.
Here’s where the thumb plays an important role in the hand principle.
The thumb enables us to do many of the things that are important in life.
We, as humans, have an opposable thumb.
Our opposable thumb gives us the power to grasp and handle objects.
So let’s give our thumb the respect that it so richly deserves.
In the hand principle, the thumb represents the most important thing.
The most important thing becomes our primary focus.
Our primary focus is the most important thing for us to concentrate on.
Great power comes with a solitary focus.
A solitary focus will propel one into stratospheric success.
Think about many of history’s greatest contributors.
What was Harriet Tubman famous for? The Underground Railroad.
What was Albert Einstein famous for? Theoretical Physics.
What was George Carlin famous for? Comedy.
What was Cary Grant famous for? Acting.
What was Louis Armstrong famous for? Playing a Trumpet.
What was Ted Williams famous for? Hitting a Baseball.
Having a sole focus concentrates energy and amplifies results.
Now it’s your turn to apply the hand principle into your business.
Look at your most pressing project and apply the hand principle to it.
Break that project into at most five components.
Once you have the five components, apply the thumb principle to it.
Determine which of the five components is the most important.
This is your thumb – This is your one thing to apply your focus to.