The mention of Black Friday and Cyber Monday either fills you with excitement or dread. For the first few years in my business BF deals were out of reach. I was a single mom and my income was primarily used to pay the bills. As my business grew, I was able to budget for the deals and I couldn’t wait to see what great tools I could grab at a deep discount. And I did grab some great LTD over the years. However, fast forward to this past weekend and I found myself swimming in emails once again. Yeah, a lot of those companies sent multiple emails every day. Many of the emails were for really cool tools, but I’m in a new place and I had to do some soul searching before spending. See, one of my strongest business principles is simplicity and about 90% of those emails felt out of alignment with all things simple. They felt like tools I didn’t really “need”. Over the years, I’ve developed a pretty solid system for how I build websites and work with clients.
One of my favorite quotes is by Hugh Macleod:
“There’s no correlation between creativity and equipment ownership. None. Zilch. Nada. Actually, as the artist gets more into his thing, and as he gets more successful, his number of tools tends to go down. He knows what works for him. Expending mental energy on stuff wastes time.” ~ Hugh Macleod
This year I did something different, and being a list nerd it was a blast. I sat down and listed all of the services, software, and tools that I could remember having purchased. I scoured my email for receipts and visited websites to check my accounts. I changed some of my smaller services from monthly to annual to try to get out from under some of the subscription madness. A moment of complete honesty here – while I’ve scored some amazing tools from incredible creators over the years, there are a few that I haven’t installed on mine or any of my client websites. I have training that I’ve paid for and haven’t finished. I have software that I haven’t set up. Now, I’m giving myself a lot of grace because the last six months of my personal life have turned my world upside down and I’m working through a lot of emotion while trying to maintain my business, but I had to know where I am and what I have before I started adding more pieces that would only add to my overwhelm.
If I keep saying yes to more and more tools that I don’t really need, I’m saying no to the things that I already have or really want to add in the future that requires a bigger budget or more of my time and energy.
The irony is, this is exactly what I want my clients to take away from our work together. Don’t let all of the noise — Black Friday or any other time of the year — get in the way of running your business with simplicity.