Remember the saying…”Less is more”? I’ve always loved that concept, so I decided to read an interesting book, entitled “Simple” by Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn. Just as the title suggests, the book highlights an important message to be shared because it has the ability to create a beneficial paradigm shift to anyone that is open to it. The core theme of the book focuses on how our nation has become conditioned to value complexity over simplicity. In fact, this idea is so engrained in us that we’ve built our lives and our businesses on this very premise. But is this working for you? I know many of us who are overwhelmed by the numerous choices and options in our day-to-day lives. And what adds to this confusion are the many devices that bombard us with information keeping us connected 24/7.
Siegel and Etzkorn go on to discuss various industries and subject matter that would greatly improve if they were streamlined and to the point. They also elaborate on the amount of money and lives that would be saved in the process, especially in the medical field. We’re not talking about dumbing down here, but rather zeroing in on what’s most important. To accomplish this, the authors suggest using the following formula as an organizational model: Simplicity = Empathize (need of other) + Distill (boil down & customize) + Clarify (easy to use). The need here is to definitely simplify – on many levels!
Everything can benefit when you keep it simple! Think about the following areas that you can address:
Relationships (Business & Personal) – How well are you communicating in your relationships? Are you connecting with prospective clients and are you retaining the clients that you have? If you want to connect to people don’t zigzag…instead get there by the shortest distance.
It’s important to understand the circumstances and the needs of others. How well do you practice that? Speak the language of your customer instead of industry jargon to better communicate with them. How often do we over explain our position? Just make your point clearly and move on since there’s really no need to re-iterate more than once. When addressing clients, it’s more important to make those individuals your focus rather than speaking too much about yourself and your accomplishments. The key is talking with them, not at them. Think about your business offerings…do you offer too much? Having too many options can often confuse customers to the point that they move on and you lose the sale. Evaluate your need to over-provide! Proceed then to make the necessary changes to include what you consider to be the essentials of your company.
Most people would rather not deal with lots of paperwork, and yet in business we typically assume that we need to deliver a certain amount. Whether the reason stems from the desire to appear competent, fear of lawsuit, or the need to provide assessments and lengthy technical data, it creates less time for interaction with the very people it was designed for. And when technical material must be provided, make it more user friendly through easier language and a concise summary. Be honest…wouldn’t it be nice to read informational booklets that are less than an inch thick? Let’s face it…we require a certain amount of this paperwork, but just apply it in moderation so that we can focus on the most important part of our business – the customer.
Health & Fitness – When it comes to your diet, do you find yourself spending too much time calculating things out? As we focus more on health this seems to be the typical approach, which can become way too elaborate. Did you get enough protein? How many carbs and fats do you want in one day? Did you drink enough water? How many servings of fruits and vegetables did you have? Did you meet your daily calcium requirements? Ok, so if you’re starting to get a headache right about now it might be time to revise your system in order to make it easier to follow on a daily basis.
In terms of working out, do you feel that it’s challenging to get started? It doesn’t have to be that hard. When it comes to exercise, most people cite that they can’t motivate themselves or that they don’t know where to begin. We often have an all or nothing approach to fitness. Simplify by starting with small steps. Scale down an overly complicated routine that feels too work-oriented in favor of something that’s easy and fun. Just do something!
Ok, I think I’ve made my point!