Do a search for top pain points behind our burning out inside business & beyond, as Solopreneurs, micro business owners and humans and you’ll find lists that include:
time management & cash flow
dealing with customers
doing more with fewer resources, time, money
finding first users
knowing our why
not understanding what customers want
managing technology demands
trying to do more
scalability with balancing the speed-quality-cost triangle
However, in the midst of that overwhelm is the most curious finding.
Schwartz will tell you that despite having 500 channels available we watch the same, relatively small number, of channels over and over (though, different for each person).
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify. Everything pulls you to be more complex”.
~ Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia
The degree to which we are ‘coherent’ about these ‘timeless’ things – the things that will stand the test of time – will reflect where we place our time-money-energy.
We are more alike, than different
What Schwartz’s findings revealed to me was that we and our customers are opposite sides of the exact same coin.
His insights also illuminate one of seven Universal Principles that I use all the time to simplify everything inside the business (and beyond it).
The Principle of Polarity states that everything is the same; and there is no separation.
Polarity: Everything that appears separate, is the same thing varying by a matter of degrees. Examples are hot and cold, hard and soft, big and small, business owners and our ‘ideal’ customers.
There is no separation, and when we experience the overwhelm it be recalibrated by simplifying everything from our priorities to our process, our products and – and this is BIG ONE…our ‘promotional’ initiatives.
If there is no separation, we can aim for efficiency – but in my experience that leads down a slippery slope of simply being able to DO more…it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re ‘creating’ any more.
HERE’S THE KICKER!
Our customers are overwhelmed by there number of choices they have in the marketplace.
Same continuum (overwhelm) varying degrees (responsibilities and choices).
In a relatively short span of time, we moved from a place where businesses had captive audiences and consumers had only a few alternatives, to this place of a clutter and noise and almost unlimited choice
HERE’S ANOTHER KICKER!
Our collective overwhelm – as business owners and as customers – is VERY often caused by the ‘culture of free’…everything business owners feel they have to do to get customers to give them a try is the opposite side of the coin to how ‘armoured up’ customers feel stepping into those ‘free’ experiences.
It is not anyone’s ‘fault’, there is no one to ‘blame’…it’s not about the right or the wrong way; it’s about simplifying the conversation:
Are the free things creating more?
Are the free things creating more – mutually – for businesses and for customers?
Are the people creating & experiencing the free things, experiencing more – health, wealth, meaning, love?
I know when I stepped back to see how badly I was burning out…and the multiple times since, doing the things that Solopreneurs do and coming back to the edge of burning out again and again…
I had to honestly answer to all three of these questions — in a Me, My Self and I kind of conversation – No.
A return to simple
Increasingly we (consumers) are wanting to buy from smaller, more ‘human’ providers. Chris Malone in his book, The Human Brand, calls this shift the “Relationship Renaissance”.
We are gravitating to a way of doing& being in business that resembles the pre-Industrial era.
Where we are tuning into our natural disposition to want to “buy the person behind the product/service, along with the product/service”.
In truth, we’ve always “wanted to” even as the marketplace moved to the arms length relationship.
And we are actively opening ourselves up to more than the conventional conversation around “Business” and looking to science and spiritual traditions to find tools to help us do more than just survive; but to thrive.
For Solopreneurs staying aligned starts with reconciling the myth that “more” has to equal ‘doing more and enduring more’.
From another ‘ancient’ source – Spend Shift (2009) there were THREE keys I found that complemented everything else that forms my ever-evolving process, principles and practices with Solos and Micro Business owners:
As we get pulled by everything we hear, see and encounter ‘out there’ it takes structure of principles and routine to create a life-giving rhythm between the business and the beyond – our Life 360. Calming the chaos, and climbing out of what feels like a bag of cats – for me and my people has been found by either, simplifying, diversifying or magnifying something for us and for our customers.
If you are feeling the overwhelm chances are you are hearing what we all hear; one of the single greatest myths “Business” has ever told and the wisdom of economic Ronald J. Baker helps us magnify to simplify…
“In the Business of the Future, effectiveness takes precedence over efficiency” Pricing on Purpose.