This week’s podcast episode is going to help you simply your life and business. The stress of chaotic schedules and spaces keeps us from living effectively. I know for me a few practical tips can make all the difference. Our guest this week has personally helped me simplify my own life through simple, easy-to-do daily changes. One small change got me thinking beyond my personal life to business.
I can’t wait to share a few tips to simplify your business today!
In addition to a laundry mountain, I have mail mountain. It piles up high for weeks or months until I finally address it and sort it into neat stacks.
What if we had permanent stacks?
What if there were permanent places where those things go?
What if we created, like my friend April Perry calls it, a Command Center?
You probably already know the main categories of paperwork you encounter throughout the month in your business.
Just start there.
Do a little bit of work on the front end, and create spaces to sort your paperwork as it comes in! Whether it’s your email inbox, your computer desktop, or a few literal spaces, this strategy is going to help reduce stress in the long run.
When my husband Matt and I were planning our wedding and had a larger invitation list than our budget would allow, our wedding planner provided us with a challenge: cut 10%. We eliminated 10% of our list by eliminating from each category.
The same challenge can be applied to your workspace. What if you cut a percentage of what was there? Let’s say 30%. Go into your work space and choose 30% of the items taking up space to sort, store, or throw away. Junk, clutter, and the seventeen pieces of artwork from your children are overwhelming your space. It’s time to approach your workspace with an elimination mindset.
Imagine creating a workspace you actually want to work in. You’ll enjoy your work more when you've created a space that you love.
Related: How to Have More Time
When it comes to your customers, less is more. In products, design, and content, it’s important to create clarity. If it’s complicated to you, it’s even more complicated to your customers.
You want to make sure you have a clear path for your customers. A million options with a million varieties is not clear for your customers. It’s overwhelming.
Research shows the more options you give people, the less likely they are to buy. People do better with limited options.
Get rid of anything in your product offerings that wastes space, doesn’t sell, you don’t enjoy making, or has a horrible profit margin. You’ll leave more space and fewer options for your customers to actually buy what they want.
Just like with your product offerings, your website needs to be simple and clear for your customers.
My friend Donald Miller says, “People don’t buy the best products and services; they buy those they understand the quickest.” People understand the fastest when you give them a few simple words. Everything needs to have a purpose and a point—every tab, landing page, and product description. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t need to be there.
When I’m writing a talk, I challenge myself to write the “one sentence.” What’s the one thing I want people to know? Then everything I say points back to that one thing.
Your website should be just like that! Your website is a source of communication with your customers. Make it as clear as possible.
What landing page, words, or images are not the most important things you want your customer to know?
What words are confusing? What words are a distraction?
Similar to your workspace, you can approach your schedule with an elimination mindset. Set a goal and take a percentage right off the top.
It’s time to find some margin, and the best way to do that is to be honest with yourself about what you have to do, and what you just think you have to do.
You don’t have to do a lot of what you think you do. That’s how we get burnt out: doing all the things halfway. You made that to-do list. You can cut some of it.
What if you created margin to do the things you wanted to do, and then did them really well?
Related: How to Create Your Perfect Schedule
You can make these changes. You can stop perpetually running ragged. I firmly believe that you can slow down and begin to do less and do those things better.
I’m speaking to myself on all of these things. In order to do the things that matter most to me, I have to create margin.
If you have followed me at all, you know I am always encouraging you to organize and simplify, and that’s why I am thrilled to have Emily Ley as our podcast guest.
Emily Ley is the Founder and Creative Director of Simplified®, a brand of planners and organizational tools for busy women. Emily has authored two books: Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy and the national best-seller, A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living.
Emily grew her business from the ground up while remaining a debt-free company (p.s., YOU GO GIRL!)
After finding success online, Emily Ley’s brand quickly grew to be carried in retail outlets all around the world. Emily’s success didn’t come without learning curves and tough decisions to maintain her company’s values. In fact, she recently had to make the decision to cut down on wholesale to be able to better connect with the customer.
I am thrilled that Emily Ley will be a speaker at our Business Boutique 3-Day Event in Nashville this November!
In this episode, Emily Ley and I talk about:
I’m going to give you some encouragement for something that I’m not always the best at.
Y’all know me. I am a mover and a shaker. Because I love what I do, there are times that I choose to work even when I don’t have to. If I’m not careful, I can become a workaholic. I can get so driven, focused, and goal-oriented that I forget why I do all this in the first place. I do this to spend time with my family, have fun, have a life, and rest.
We’re really good at setting goals in our business, aren’t we? But I think we neglect setting goals in one major area. Rest should be a goal too. Recuperation, recovery, and rejuvenation are also metrics we should also value.
How do I feel?
How are my husband and I?
When did I last spend time with my friends?
Have I had quality time with my kids today?
I don’t know where you are in this busy season. But I want to remind you that rest and recovery aren’t just things for the summer. It’s something for us to incorporate into every season of our lives.
Related: The Truth About Work-Life Balance
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters.” Psalm 23:2 (NIV)
I love this verse because of that word makes. God knows that sometimes I won’t lie down unless He makes me.
Don’t push the pedal to the metal so much that you lose track of the things that give you rest and rejuvenate you most.
Don’t forget that I love hearing from you! Give me a call on my new toll-free line at 844.944.1074. You might hear your question on a future episode!
1:30 How to Simplify Your Business
17:11 How to Simplify Your Business with Emily Ley
46:03 Encouragement to Rest
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New podcast episodes are available every other week.