Is More Really the Answer? Sometimes Less is More, and sometimes Zero is Best

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less is more, sometimes zero is best with multiplication worksheet in background

Bigger is always, better... right?

If something is good, then more is better, right?

We have this cultural-- or maybe mankind-- based obsession with MORE. More clients, more sales, more product, more inventory, more profits, more employees.

But let's take a step back from that. What if the better option is actually less? What if it's zero?

Maybe instead of more clients, you need fewer clients, but better ones. However, you won't actually get the better ones until you start firing some of your current clients. Maybe the answer isn't more sales but fewer, more profitable sales. Maybe instead of more inventory, it's less, or just plain no inventory. We can integrate the concept, "quality over quantity."

We look at our organization and the usual question is, "What do I want more of?" and the thoughts come quickly flooding in: more sales, more products, more revenue, more employees.

Lets change the question.

What do you want less of?

What do you not want at all in your business? What things could you possibly remove from the equation that completely change the outcome of the business and your life?

Less is more, zero is sometimes bestFor one of my clients, for him to have the life he wanted he removed all employees and used a limited number of subcontractors. Yes, he passed up on some potential, but in the end, it was worth it. Another one removed 3/4 of his service offerings from his website and literature and ended up acquiring more interest and referrals.

Take a minute and think about what technology has done. It hasn't just made things work better and faster, it's allowed us to completely change the rules of how things get done. 

Consider the following:
- Uber, the worlds largest Taxi company, owns zero vehicles
- Facebook, the worlds favorite media company, created none of its own content
- Ebay and Alibaba, two of the worlds largest retailers, have none of their own inventory
- AirBNB, the worlds largest accommodation provider, doesn't own a single room

All of these companies became incredibly successful in part because they eliminated one key thing that everyone else in their industry assumed was a essential part of being a business in that industry.

Technology can be an amazing facilitator, allowing us to truly focus on what it is that we really want to do and be able to drop some of the other extraneous things that can clutter up the picture and our lives.

What do you need to reduce or eliminate from your business? Admittedly, this is a really hard question-- not only because it requires some really far out-of-the-box thinking, but also because you are so close to your own business that you can't sometimes can't see it being any other way. But still, I would really encourage you to attempt to step back from your business and question all the elements that you take for granted that need to be in place. Start with the things that irritate you (that will be fun), look at the things that put you in direct competition with others-- what is it that some other company could possibly do better than you? (Really hard to admit and even harder to give up), What things do you suck at? (Go on admit it, you do suck at some things), What have you never gotten any compliment from your clients about? 

These are just some questions to get you started, but have fun thinking about it and reinventing your business.

1 comment:

  1. These are powerful questions, Seth. I agree that success often requires focus, which often requires reducing or eliminating distractions.


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