By Trevor Sides
Spring. It’s the time of the year when we look forward to new beginnings and the re-awakening of the earth from its winter slumber.
Except in Colorado. Our snowiest month of the year is March. April is notorious for 60-degree days followed by a foot of snow. Mother’s Day can easily turn into a snow day.
But don’t worry about that right now! Even if the snowpack is at epic levels, it’s still spring – the season of cleaning, tidying up, and…
Wait. Is that…? Yes…yes, it is:
Marie Kondo sparked an organization revolution through her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which came out in 2014, and her new Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. She’s a leading voice in the minimalist movement, and she is on a mission to “spark joy” through the Japanese art of tidying up.
Maybe you’re unfamiliar with Kondo’s ideas – or the minimalism trend in general. But there is wisdom here that translates well to the growth of your business. So let’s do some business spring cleaning, Kondo-style.
Does This Contact Spark Joy?
Like Punxsutawney Phil, you’ve recently emerged from tradeshow season. (If there was ever a metaphor for winter…) Your liver needs some time off. You’re sad that a plate of chocolate chip cookies isn’t awaiting you every time you come home (never change, DoubleTree by Hilton).
And you’ve got more business cards – er, um, leads – than you know what to do with. How do you make the most of this unruly, unqualified stack of potential leads?
Here’s what Marie Kondo would tell you to do. She’d tell you to pick up each card and ask, “Does this contact spark joy?” If it does, then you have a qualified lead on your hands. Go through the whole stack, go with your gut, and let the joy wash over you.
Move from Clutter to Clarity
Kondo interacts with people whose lives are weighed down by clutter. All that stuff is getting in the way of living with clarity.
And your customers are drawn to clarity. To clear, compelling messaging.
Take a look at your website (or your sales decks, brochures – you get the idea). When that new site first went live, it was sparkly, clean, and unburdened by too much copy. Now? Well, entropy is real.
Going through your existing marketing collateral with an eye for clarity is a life-giving thing – for your business and your customers. What copy is getting in the way? Could you say more by saying less? What design elements are distracting? Be honest with yourself and get out the trash bags.
Put Your House in Order
In Kondo’s work, she encourages her clients to “put your house in order.”
This is a statement on the nature of productivity. Kondo’s method is about putting things where they belong and surrounding yourself with the things and people you love.
In his book, Do More Better, pastor and blogger Tim Challies defines productivity as “[the process of] effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others…” Tidying up is about freeing yourself to focus on what only you can do. It’s about caring for people. It’s about reinvigorating your life and business with focus and purpose, the two cornerstones of true productivity.
This has wide-ranging and exciting implications for your business. But getting your house in order – pursuing real productivity – usually involves asking hard questions.
So, consider the culture of your company. Consider your relationships with your employees. What processes, goals, or objectives need to be put in order? What bottlenecks are keeping your people from making the best use of their gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm? Are your customers experiencing what you want them to experience when they interact with your products, services, and people?
Spring into Joy
Connect with the contacts who spark joy for you and your business. Move from clutter to clarity. Take steps to getting your house in order.
This is what spring offers us. Newness is possible, and Marie Kondo helps us take practical steps to discovering that newness. It might be uncomfortable at first, because most things on the other side of our comfort zone usually are.
But there’s life on the other side of that.