Let me tell you a story from one of my favorite business movies, 300:
Leonidas, the great Spartan warrior, took off his helmet and shield, dropped his spear, and knelt before the Persian god-king Xerxes... but only for a moment.
In this scene, the Persians have cut off the Spartans and this is the last stand. Surrender or die. I remember these words echoed through the silent audience, gripped with the tension of the moment:
His helmet was stifling. It narrowed his vision and he must see far.
His shield was heavy. It threw him off balance and his target is far away.
And so Leonidas took off his helmet, dropped his spear, and knelt. Before hurdling a spear straight at Xerxes.
One could argue that Leonidas missed. He doesn’t kill him, but it is enough to show that the god-king bleeds, and it marks the beginning of the end of his Persian Empire.
And so it is in your business. Your shield is heavy. Your helmet is stifling. And every marketer out there is trying to sell you a shinier shield, a taller hat, or a more majestic cape. These items make you look stronger, but they stifle you. They weigh you down. And they wear you out.
Let's take a look at an example:
Many entrepreneurs struggle to get their content game organized, wasting time and getting frustrated when their content doesn't make any sales.
They sit down every Sunday and wonder what to write about, spending the first hour looking at a blank screen and the next 3 writing and editing and slowly inching their way to "good enough" for the week.
This is where the marketing gurus swoop in on their horse to rescue you from the perils of content creation with software and proven swipe files. And as a result, your business becomes a chore.
Content creation is like when your mom used to ask you to vacuum the stairs or take the trash out when you could be playing videogames instead. But for some entrepreneurs, the content creation is more like playing videogames. Here's the truth:
You don't need more software or swipe files. You need to see your target and stay balanced — just like Leonidas. This will help you avoid the trap of looking at "what's working now" on other peoples profiles and instead focus on what you want to say and what your plan is.
Too many business owners are easily disrupted by what others are doing instead of sticking to their plan. You have a plan, right?
What I mean by that is knowing what you're selling, when, and why. And how that links up with the content you're producing today, this week, this month.
If you don't have a plan, you'll never be able to simplify your business. You'll constantly be chasing new tactics, software, and whatever seems to be working... when really what works is being consistent.
Like Lau Tzu says in the Tau Te Ching, "To attain knowledge add things every day. To attain wisdom remove things every day."
Make a plan, figure out the minimum complexity you need to get there, and stay consistent with it.
You’ll find that when you do, your vision is far, your balance is good, and your aim is true.