Recently, I have started working on a new project – a membership site with all of the different lessons and courses. This way all of my tribe can have access to all of my stuff in one platform without any complications. Well, as always, I was planning out my project, in the most creative way possible. Is it a trait of creative people or perhaps all people that we like to complicate things beyond the necessary?
I am definitely guilty of this quality. Thus, instead of keeping my membership site as simple as possible, I made it so complicated, bloated, and complex, that I was mystified at how I was ever going to make this site happen.
The More Complicated, The Easier To Procrastinate
Why did I do that? Well, I was procrastinating in a way, wasn’t I? I mean, I didn’t know that directly but as I analyzed my actions after, I realized that I was sneakily procrastinating. If I made my site simple, then it would be ready faster, and it would be in front of my customers faster. This would mean feedback faster, negative and positive. And I wanted to keep this baby close to my heart and in my head for as long as possible – away from all of that.
The more I live in this world and in my head, the more impressed I am by all of the hundreds of weird ways my brain finds to procrastinate. It isn’t as simple as going on Facebook or any other social media site. That’s not how I do it anymore. Because that’s a visible kind of apparent procrastination. That can be killed easily.
The way I have been procrastinating is in these complex ways, where I have no clue I am ever procrastinating. I am adding all of these useless and random things into my business and also my life that is causing me to take forever with all of my projects.
Mission accomplished. I will never get my project out and I am safe and sound in my castle. No need to worry about horrible critics, naysayers, and trolls. Right?
The More Complex, The More Valuable?
I complicated things for the reason above, of course. But also, because as a human living in this overcomplicated and fast-paced world, we think that if we don’t overcomplicate and complexify (not a real word) our tasks, we won’t be appreciated enough. Complex things are appreciated and lauded as valuable. Simple things are not.
Or that’s what we imagine as entrepreneurs. Perhaps, you do the same in your head.
Maybe you are thinking, “I can’t just sell a simple 10 module course. It has to have all of these bells and whistles and a dogsled running behind it all dressed up in gold glitter.” I mean, c’mon. Of course, it comes from the Imposter syndrome that has been placed firmly in our head that is causing us to do all sorts of stupid shit. But also, it comes from the fact that we don’t believe in our products enough. We don’t believe in ourselves, and we don’t believe in our stuff.
This came up for me when I was recording the 108 (!) modules that this membership site will have to start!! I mean, 108 freaking modules, right? And even then, I am thinking to myself, “Hmm, is this enough? Will people pay for this stuff?” C’mon!!
Come Back To The Damn Basics – K.I.S.S.
So I was sitting there with my membership site and my version of the dog sled dressed in gold glitter was me dressed up in weird costumes running around play-acting and dramatizing all of my videos. I thought to myself, if I add enough hoopla to it, perhaps it will keep people’s attention and they will actually care?
God, what a waste of time. I wasted about 3 weeks on this nonsense, running around like a crazy person, looking for costumes in Chiang Mai (they are non-existent here), and trying to figure out what my acting genre was. It was all nonsense. Seriously just a humongous time-waster. Nothing but a pile of stinking procrastination.
Then, I pulled myself back and I realized what I was doing. Not only was my health deteriorating because I was so stressed, but I was also not going to do my members any favours by doing all of this.
I came back to the basics. I said to myself, “What is the simplest thing you can create right now? Without all of the jazz and glitter?”
I defined that simple site, and that is what I am building right now. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t snazzy as hell. But it’s going to be less nerve-wracking and less time-consuming.
The Most Precious Resource Is Given Away For Pennies
Those 3 weeks that I spent running around like my head was cut off – guess what, I’m never getting that time back. The problem with overcomplicating things isn’t only that you don’t need to do it, and it won’t be rewarded. But also, that it is a huge waste of time.
And time is oh-so-precious, especially to a time-strapped creative entrepreneur like us. Well, not only to us, but to this entire human race. We don’t have enough of it already. Then, why are we throwing it about on these complicated projects as if we are at a party splashing Dom Perignon champagne around like a gangsta.
The simpler you can keep something in any situation – be it, your life, business, your morning routine, your water consumption, your diet, your family situation, and whatever else, the more time you will have to devote to everything important.
I love my membership site and I want to spend as much time as possible creating content for it. I don’t care about doing a song and dance. But I have so much I want to talk about. I want to set it up, get it going, and I want members to start enjoying the knowledge bomb that it’s going to be right freaking away.
If I complicate it, I delay sharing this goodness with the world. I waste my time, of course. But I waste the entire universe’s time as well.
When You Are Coming Back To The Basics, Go As Simple As Possible
Keep it simple silly or the KISS principle – it is one of those basics. I think every entrepreneur, or I would go as far as saying every human being should get this shoved into their brain as a mandatory exercise with life. Whenever we are working on anything, it doesn’t have to be business-related, but anything really, we need to come back to the basics.
The question I have started asking myself that has helped me a lot is, “What is the simplest format I can create this in?” Or more simply, “How can I K.I.S.S. this project?”
Just the act of asking this question has changed my perspective on everything. My go-to strategy has always been, let’s go big and bold, baby. Umm, no more.
I don’t want to waste my time on going big and bold. For example, I have a YouTube channel under my name “Boom Shikha”, and I share random stuff on there, just some stuff that I enjoy talking about. Of course, my natural instinct is to make it all fancy and have all of these sound effects, and flying saucers, and of course, golden glitter. But, I am proud to say, I have kept it ultra-simple. Just videos. I chat for a few minutes on a subject I care about and I publish. Bada Bing, Bada Boom.
The Beginning Is Never The Ending For A Project
I think we forget that we can always add on to an item. But we can never simplify something after it’s been over-inflated. I could always, always, always make my membership site more complicated afterwards. I could add onto after. Like a house that has had a lot of additions over the years, converting a one-bedroom house into a massive castle, we can do the same thing to our projects.
We can stop wasting time, procrastinating, and worrying. We can build something small and simple at first, and put it out there. Thus, we start getting feedback right away, right? We use that feedback to add to the project. Little by little, the project gains speed, momentum, and grows from a little toy car, to a varooming Porsche Boxster.
This way you are doing it MVP style – minimum viable product. No time wasted. No energy wasted. And a lot of happy customers in the end, as you are giving them exactly what they wanted, not something that you wanted in your head. Or something that you thought your customers would want in your tiny head.
The beginning, thus, is never the end of a project. We start off somewhere, and everyone has started off somewhere. But that’s not at all where they need to end up.
Doesn’t Mean We Always Need To Add To A Project
Which means, I should definitely put a disclaimer here, saying that, we don’t always have to add onto a project. There are projects I have done in the past that never got added to. For example, this website you are on right now. I built this website in April 2016. I built it then using a Premium theme called Oleander, and I was really happy with the way it looked.
In fact, I was jumping around for joy because finally I had been able to build a website that was similar to what I had imagined in my head. So I built it. And then I left it. I haven’t changed it much ever since the beginning. I have written a post a week every since the beginning almost. But I have never really changed the basic essence of it.
And I really don’t plan on changing it much in the future. I like the way it looks. It gets a lot of organic traffic, and it’s easy to navigate. That’s all a website really needs to do, right? Why play around with something that is working really well?
That’s another lesson I want to portray to you. Things that are working well, don’t always need to be added to. Why do we have this tendency to poke around and screw around with things that are functioning perfectly fine? Are they going to work better after you potter around with them, or is it possible that your pottering around might screw something up and make the house of cards fall over on your head?
Let things be. Keep things simple if they are working fine that way. Not everything needs to be complicated.
Life And Business Are The Same – The Way You Do One Thing
I am noticing this more and more in myself and all the entrepreneurs I am surrounded by on a daily basis in Chiang Mai. The way you deal with your business is the way you deal with your life, and vice versa. That is why I know by observing how a person lives their life, how their business is going to be set up as well.
It’s a very simple thing to extrapolate.
Thus, I have had the opportunity and insight to go back to my life and the way it has been set up to see how I am overcomplicating things there as well.
For example, I live in a really nice apartment that serves all of my needs in a great neighbourhood, and at an awesome price. But, as I am in this mode of procrastinating, and overcomplicating things, I am always searching for a new apartment. I don’t want to move. In fact, I would happily stay here for another 2-3 years if the landlord would let me and if the country would let me.
The strategy for this – cut off all of this nonsense behaviour. In this example, I would make a strong decision – I am staying here until I have to move out of this country. No need to talk about apartments. Definitely no need to go looking for apartments. No need to ask people how much they are paying for rent. All of that frees up so much precious time and also precious brainpower.
Our BrainPower Is Limited – What Complications Are You Spending It On?
You know I am obsessed with watching my brain, and ensuring I spend all of my precious brainpower on the most important of tasks. Well, guess what happens when you are spending your time overcomplicating projects, and procrastinating? It is wasting your precious time, but also your precious brainpower.
We have a limited time on this planet, to be sure. But in that limited time, we have this brain that is limited to thinking one thought at a time. We cannot multi-task – that has been scientifically proven. If we spend our time thinking about all of those complicated things, what do you think we are spending our brainpower on?
Come back to the basics. Thus, you will be able to take back control over your brain. You will be able to use your precious brainpower for the things that truly matter. Perhaps, it would be some simple creative work. Or it could be creating the next awesome membership site.
Whatever it is, come back to the basics. Basics in life, basics in business, basics in thinking, basics in emotions.
Not only will your witness or indifferent observer thank you for it, but you yourself will feel that awesome whoosh of relief from taking down the complexity rating down a few notches (or a lot of notches in my case).
I end off by saying, my membership site will be the shit, but not because I made it too complicated. In fact, it will be just right.