There is a particularly unfortunate and unproductive trap that many entrepreneurs frequently find themselves falling into.
What is this trap? It’s the belief that in order to “make it” with their business ventures, they have to juggle as many different balls as humanly possible – and then a couple of hundred more, as well.
Almost by definition, many entrepreneurs are indeed required to juggle various responsibilities when starting up their companies. But, especially as those companies increase in prominence, their ability to be successful is almost directly proportional to their ability to focus their attention narrowly and to apply a high degree of precision to their work. In other words, success has a lot to do with finding simplicity, instead of increasing complexity.
It may be that you are unconvinced by this statement. Fair enough. Here are a few reasons why you might want to reconsider.
People latch onto core concepts and visuals, whereas mountains of data generally fail to hit home
As an entrepreneur – even as a sole trader – a core part of your job will be communicating effectively with other people, whether they be employees or prospective clients.
The thing is, it is increasingly difficult to communicate effectively with people when your default approach is to shower them with mountains of data, and highly complicated strategies.
All told, people latch onto core concepts and visuals. Too much information simply makes them switch off, or lose track, even if they are earnestly trying to follow along.
It’s for that reason, that investing in something like an amazing presentation software for professionals can have a disproportionately positive impact on your professional outcomes.
People respond best to plans they can easily remember and recall. They respond to attractive and elegant graphs. They do not respond so well to enormous tables of formulae.
Simple and precise plans are simply more robust
The more complex a system or plan is, the more “moving parts” there are that can be compromised if something goes wrong.
The more simple and precise your plans are, on the other hand, the more robust and resilient they are in the face of unexpected events, upsets, and complications.
Generally speaking, you want to have as few variables involved in your plan as possible, as that means you have fewer areas to watch and safeguard against uncertainty.
If your ideas or plans are too complex on the other hand, they are exponentially more prone to fall prey to chaos, and to unravel in the heat of the moment.
Simplicity and precision help you to remain on task, and prevent time being frittered away unproductively
There is a popular concept in business known as the 80/20 rule. This rule essentially states that 20% of your actions will lead to 80% of your favorable results and outcomes.
The more complex your plans are, the more widely you will have to disperse your attention, focus, and energy – not to mention more tangible things such as your financial resources.
Simplicity and precision help you to identify your core 20% of highly productive activities and capitalize on those. Overly complex plans often get you bogged down in the 80% of broadly unproductive activities, and cost you a lot, relative to the amount of benefits they provide.