Marie Kondo is clearly the craze right now in home tidying.
But what about business tidying?
I didn’t realize I was so aligned with Marie Kondo until I finally gave in and watched her show.
First of all, Kondo’s work is based on Shinto philosophy that values the spirit in everything, animate and inanimate. This drives an ethos of respect and value for objects that, in a world addicted to the consumption of more and more stuff (leading to more and more environmental destruction) actually has the power to make the world a better place, to heal ourselves of the obsession with new and more and better, and to honor the ecosystems of which we are a part and totally reliant upon.
So right there, I know we’re on the same page.
But how does this relate to your business?
Ultimately tidying up your business will make it work better. Just like tidying up your home will make your life work better.
Fewer moving parts, (more simplicity), means your business will take less time and be easier to manage, it’s that simple.
I’m a big fan of intentionally designing your business model to be simple and supportive of your life and vision.
A few of Marie Kondo’s tips will help you get there.
- Does it spark joy?
In business coaching terms, the question is “Are you aligned?” or “Do you feel passionate about it?”
You can ask this question about every aspect of your business:
- A course you run every year
- Networking meetings and events
- Classes you teach
- The business training program you signed up for
- Social media marketing
- Website updates and other back-end tech stuff
- Scheduling clients or doing your bookkeeping
- Your flagship offering
And if it sparks joy? It’s at least still on the table to be part of your business model. If it’s not, well, see #3.
Of course, to make a business work well (i.e., make money), there needs to be an overlap between what sparks joy and what will actually sell in the marketplace. Passion alone may not do the trick.
But at a base level, it’s got to spark joy, or you’re not going to want to do it for very long. Plus, passion, alignment, and joy are infectious. Clients are drawn to practitioners who are passionate about what they do.
- Everything has its place
In a Marie Kondo home, you always know where everything belongs. Everything has its spot.
In a simple, organized, efficient business, it’s the same way.
In other words, every aspect of your business has a purpose.
Too many business owners have 8 different marketing strategies, multiple introductory offerings, and too many events they’re marketing at once. And it’s not clear what the purpose is of each of those offerings, or which one leads to the next.
In an organized business where everything has its place, there are a few very strategically focused marketing strategies that clearly target your ideal client. That marketing strategy promotes a simple introductory offering that ultimately leads your client to a higher value offering.
Anything extra distracts people from that clear client pathway, creates extra work, dilutes our ability to be effective, confuses our clients (because we’re offering too much and too big a variety of things), and can even lead to burnout.
- Thank it, then ditch it
The first two tips might lead you to want to ditch a few things from your business. Awesome.
But first, in keeping with Shinto philosophy, you do want to acknowledge the role this aspect of your business played and thank it.
It can be really hard to let go of things, at home and in our businesses. If we can give something the respect of telling its story, honoring where it came from and why it’s here, how it’s helped us, and why we are moving forward without it, it may be just a little easier to let go of.
Here’s an example: You’ve run the same retreat for years, but it never earned much money, people don’t usually move on to working with you one-on-one from it, and now it just feels too exhausting to try and keep doing it.
It’s sad to let go of… it brings you joy to bring community together, you love the place where you hold the retreat, and you’ve learned a lot about yourself in the process. But it’s just not serving you anymore.
Thank it and let it go.
Another example are those website updates and back-end tech things that drive you crazy. Another way to let something go is to delegate it. It might still need to be part of your business, but perhaps YOU don’t need to be doing it.
Thank the incredible technology that supports your business, and pass on that headache to someone who actually likes dealing with it and who is good at it.
Coincidentally, that person has a place for your technology woes in their business!
How could you tidy up your business?
If you’re interested in a high-leverage community of women entrepreneurs using nature, community, strategy and systems to grow their businesses, check out the Redwood Circle.