Avoiding Complexity As A Strategy

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

Sure, you can take on more. That’s the allure. With all the options in software, people, square footage and product lines, you can make yourself feel bigger.

However, everything you take on has to be managed. It introduces complexity. And complexity has a way of sucking life and focus from you.

You can do more and buy more, but is this necessarily a good, or even necessary, strategy to help you gain more peace of mind, much less profitability?

I like to think through things I let come into my life and business. Questions that I subconsciously ask are:

  • How much management does this take? Whether that is attention or full daily engagement, I need to assess this?
  • How much more profitable does this make me? I can easily justify a small increase. However, it may not be worth it. I want large payoffs in my life. This means large leverage. 5 to 1 works for me, roughly. 2 to 1 is not worth it.
  • How complex is it? My mind is my greatest tool. If I have to continually innovate and discover within a new process, system, tool or person, then it’s too much hassle. It’s not worth it. I would rather have free space to focus.
  • Does this contribute to the core? Anything new I let in needs to augment the core thing I am doing. Otherwise, it is diluting focus, attention and vigilance around what I am seeking to build.

This may mean saying, “No,” to new customers or firing current clients that create too much complexity. It may mean avoiding that shiny new software program or social media everyone is jumping on.

The reward is that what you have going now retains your high level of commitment and focus. Complexity has not created extra cycles.

Look around. What can you part with? What can you put increasing focus on? What would simplify your business and life?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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