This is a guest post from Tom Hunt.
The Traditional Route To Success and Happiness Involved Accumulating Stuff
Well I’m not sure there is a single reason responsible, but it could be because before Internet, our media choices (influences) were limited to a small number of large media conglomerates, incentivised by corporations to promote a materialistic lifestyle,
However, now that our media choices have expanded exponentially, we are no longer subject to this influences e.g. instead of reading this article now, you would be reading a newspaper or watching a television program produced and controlled by large media corporations.
There are a number of fantastic articles from minimalist icons that focus on the various benefits of owning less stuff. However, in the rest of this article we will focus specifically on how owning less stuff can make you more financially successful.
You will only become aware of the amount of time that you spend on your stuff once you begin to throw it away.
- Remember last week when you had to take that suit to the dry cleaning?
- Or when you had to go and get your shoes re-heeled?
- Or the 30-minute drive to the tech store to repair your old camera?
Yes, these tasks may fit into your admin assignment but when you throw away those items this time is reclaimed either for revenue generating activities or recovery time (which will make your revenue generating time more effective).
The Investor Mindset
Your assessment of all spending will become more analytical.
You find yourself attempting to calculate the ROI on your morning latte:
If Investment In Latte < Increase In Productivity Of My Morning Writing Then Yes
If Investment In Latte > Increase In Productivity Of My Morning Writing Then No
You will start to delay gratification because you know there will be a great payoff down the road.
That new television becomes less attractive as the capital and time you would spend watching it could be utilised more effectively elsewhere.
You will also become acutely aware that every second or dollar that you spend has an associated opportunity cost that will lead you to make more informed spending decisions.
Then over time, your better decisions will compound…
Imagine waking up to a room with cupboards stuffed with clothes, paperwork coming out of your desk drawers and the walls covered in posters of “inspiration“.
And then imagine waking up here:
In which do you think you would enjoy a more productive morning workout and focussed work session?
When you own less stuff your focus will concentrate.
Think of the difference between a 100 watt light bulb:
And a 100-watt laser:
The only difference is the amount of focus.
As well as reclaiming your time for more revenue generating activities (or recovery), you may also become location independent.
“Ok yes Tom, but how is travelling going to enable me to make more money?”
Well it may not directly (unless you are able to move to join a new lucrative business opportunity).
But what it will do is lead to more personal development, especially in the social realm.
Personal development that you would be missing out on if you were sat in your cluttered house thinking about and spending time with your stuff.
And I’m sure that if you ask any financially successful person, they will inform you that personal development is definitely the most reliable route to riches.
Less To Lose
Any entrepreneur starting a new venture will inevitably encounter risk:
Risk = Likelihood * Impact
Now, de-cluttering your life could potentially affect the first part of the equation Likelihood (as you become more skilled through points 1-4) but it will have a larger impact on Impact (not a typo).
Once you have sold your TV, expensive financed car and have sold your apartment you will find that your monthly payments AND monthly expenses will reduce significantly.
You will feel the lightness of a Buddhist monk when assessing new ventures as what will you have to lose apart from your time?
(Which is an investment in your future regardless)
OK, so there we have the “why”…
Why you should reduce your total possessions to increase the likelihood of your financial success.
And for the “how”, I will refer you to this post but will leave you with one tip from my experience:
It took almost 1 year for me to go from having wardrobes full of old clothes to a single carry-on backpack containing all my things.
Remember, that removing just one piece of clutter from your life is a victory and soon you will be weightless and free experience each of the benefits listed above.
But now… I need a favour.
You know that one friend that always complains they have too many things or not enough time?
Will you be their inspiration by using the social icons to the left to share this post?
Who knows where it could lead…
Tom is the Founder of Virtual Valley, a platform that connects Entrepreneurs and Rockstar Virtual Assistants with the mission of giving Entrepreneurs back 1 million hours of their time by 2018. Tom writes about how to grow your virtual business on the Virtual Valley Blog and gives free 1 on 1 marketing advice to EVERYONE that signs up here.