Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus have been on a journey they call “Minimalism.”  It’s about designing a life which is not based on consumerism, but on what’s really necessary in life.

I had the chance this week to view the great documentary they’ve produced.  It’s quite thought-provoking.

It got me thinking about the fact that we’ve built up business approaches which are also based on using way more resources than necessary.  The question for me is: Is there such a thing as a minimalist business?

I believe there is.

Let’s recognize that our culture focuses on the size of a business.  Revenue, market share, and the number of employees.  And everything must grow, or you’re deemed unsuccessful.

Milk BarI was pondering this in connection with our neighborhood Milk Bar when we lived in Melbourne.  Americans would call it a small convenience store.

This shop had served the locals for generations.  The owners had put their kids through school and made a nice living.  They were able to close their doors at night, not attempting to compete with the supermarket a kilometre away.

In my mind, that’s a beautiful and elegant business model.  It’s not protected from competitors and the varying market, but it’s sustainable and valuable.

My coaching business is minimalist in its own way.  It’s basically a one person shop, and I rely on partners for key functions.  I don’t rent an office, and I don’t retain an accountant because it’s just not that complex.  I’m able to keep up a rate of growth which is quite appropriate for me and my family, and it gives me tremendous freedom.

And I actually have a lot of fun in my work.  I hang out with and serve a whole range of amazing people.

There’s those who would say that a coaching business is most successful when it’s measured in six, seven, or even eight digits of revenue.  That’s fine for others, but it’s not my goal.

So for your business … forget what society’s telling you about growth and prosperity.  What’s the appropriate and sustainable size which will best let you fulfill your mission?

What are the functions you can outsource to partners, and what could you get rid of entirely?

You may just enjoy what you do a whole lot more!

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