So in my last post, I talked about becoming a Minimalist Mama and the method that I used to get rid of all my crap. That was fun, wasn’t it? But honestly, minimalism is about so much more than just owning less stuff; It is a mindset that permeates all aspects of your life. It is the pursuit of FREEDOM from excess baggage, literally and figuratively. So many women find themselves stretched so thin they’re on the verge of disappearing entirely- between the rigors of work and family life, women today need minimalism more than ever!
Here are three lessons the minimalist lifestyle has taught me:
Apply simplicity. Don’t do stuff you don’t have to do. I know how “Duh” this sounds, but as business owners and designers, Jenna and I learned that this it’s not as obvious as one might think. It is really easy to get pulled in fifty directions, but that leads to chaos and confusion. Especially as a mom, there are SO many things that we are ‘supposed’ to do, that create a culture of busyness and disconnectedness in our lives. Holiday cookie baking! Perfect Halloween costumes! Special birthday parties! Cute stuff like happy face sandwiches for school lunches! We have been sold a huge lie that children need constant activities and entertainment to have a special childhood, when in fact the opposite is true. So go ahead and skip that event you were dreading and let your kid play in the dirt all weekend instead. Sit around, recharge your batteries, enjoy your family. Aaaah, minimalism.
Apply intention and focus to the things that do matter. When Jenna and I started Mina Baie, we had a pretty clear vision, in an overarching ‘this is who we are’ kind of way. But as we got going, it was shockingly easy to get hung up on things that didn’t really contribute to the vision. We began the process of designing our bag, and I cannot even begin to tell you how many suggestions we entertained. People were all like, “Put 36 pockets on the front!” “It needs backpack straps!” “It’s going to have a zip-off changing pad, right?!” We tried to listen to all of the input, and the bag really started to go a direction we didn’t want it to. At one point, I looked at a sketch and wondered who the hell had designed this bag, because it sure wasn’t what I had envisioned. So we stripped it all away. We refocused on what we really wanted to accomplish with the bag, and put all of our energy into those few things. And when people asked if the bag came with this or that or included this bell and that whistle, we remained confident with our design, because we know that the bag does what it does perfectly, and doesn’t do what it doesn’t do at all. As the great Ron Swanson says, “Never half-ass two things. Whole ass one thing.” With each new product that we design, we create focus points to really hone in on what we want the product to do well. That has helped us maintain both cohesiveness and versatility in all of our products, without sacrificing our vision.
Get to know yourself and what really works for you. Ditch everything that doesn’t. Even if your methods are unorthodox or straight-up weird, just embrace who you are as a businessperson (or a parent, or just person!), and create systems that cater to you! As a mom, this looks like me making the same thing for breakfast every single morning. I save time and mental energy, and that is what works me. In the work arena, Jenna and I quickly realized that we were utterly incapable of working at the house. Children and the hubbub of children and children stuff just rendered us completely useless. So instead of straining to create systems that would allow us to limp along, we just said, “screw it.” And in doing that, we discovered what Does work for us- and you know what that is? Working in bars. Pretty awesome, right? Minimalism.
How have you applied minimalism to your lifestyle? What have you gained from doing less? We’d love to hear from you below!
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