I'm excited to welcome a series of Guest Bloggers to CREATE:minimalism. Each person has a unique perspective on minimalism - each journey is a precious story. We become deeply rooted in the truth of the stories we tell.
Enjoy this 2nd in the series by Kat Luckock, from the UK. She is the go-to Impact Strategist & Business Coach for Social Entrepreneurs. Kat and I share a similar vision to help others make intentional (and profitable) choices in life and business that support environmental stewardship. https://shareimpact.org/
To be honest, 18 months ago, I believed minimalism meant stark white kitchens you’d only see in catalogues; a sort of Japanese zen-kind of existence. It was certainly not real life and something so far away from my reality that I just put it in the category of ‘things not for me’!
But how wrong I was.
It is interesting how being introduced to a concept from a completely different perspective can transform the way you think about it. I have a business coach to thank for this. She shared her story of how minimalism helped her easily make daily decisions: what clothes to wear in the morning or what breakfast to eat; how to save time clearing up; how to create a peaceful, spacious home for her and her family. They were very simple changes but transformative to me when I started to practice what she shared.
Her suggestion was that clutter not only creates blocks in energy, stress and disorganisation, but also wastes valuable time each day, forcing you to try and find things, make poor choices or get frustrated as you trip up over that pair of shoes again! For an entrepreneur like me, that’s time better spent elsewhere (such as on your business, with loved ones or just doing the things you love.) What was particularly attractive about this kind of minimalism was that it wasn’t about perfectly curated rooms, getting rid of everything I owned, or white-washing my walls.
Over the next few months I started to take small steps to de-clutter my home: nothing dramatic, just a few things to the charity shop, returning items we’d borrowed, finding places for things that got moved from one surface to another.
In time, I also became more conscious of how we decided what came in to our home – did we really need that new appliance for the kitchen? How many t-shirts were actually needed in our wardrobe? Where was all this junk mail coming from? How could I reduce the amount of plastic packaging, which seemed to come on everything we bought, particularly groceries?
In this whole process, it became startlingly obvious that minimalism aligned perfectly with my vision for global sustainability. I am passionate about supporting entrepreneurs who deliver social and environmental impact through business. My business is all about supporting these businesses in measuring and communicating their impact so they can engage more people in the change that is needed to ensure our planet is sustainable for future generations. I started to see that minimalism could also be helpful for businesses and entrepreneurs! Minimalism (as a concept which supports the idea of less stuff or stuff with a purpose) aligns well to my values about considering the ecological limits of our planet and the way we live our lives or run our businesses. To me, less stuff means less waste; and stuff with purpose means added value, evolving lifecycles and designing out waste.
Here’s just three ways I think minimalism could work for businesses (I’m sure there are many more):
- zero-waste operations;
- circular manufacturing models; and
- net positive environmental impacts (for example to water supplies, air quality, eco-systems and habitats)
Other great thinkers will share with you the difference minimalism can make to our peace of mind, clarity of thought and emotional well-being. These are all important, but I’m interested in understanding minimalism in terms of manufacturing, production, and how we can run our business operations in a more sustainable way.
Whether you’re a solo-preneur, working at home on your laptop or the COO of a multi-national corporation making billions a year in turnover, we can all play our part.
To me, this can be achieved by thinking about:
- How we source and procure things whilst considering human rights, ecological limits and the lifespan of items we purchase
- How we design and create things, so products and materials can be re-used or re-purposed
- How we find use for waste materials and redefine their value so they’re never dumped (or in fact, created) if they’re toxic to our environment
- Greening and de-cluttering our work space for clarity and creativity
- Organising environmentally conscious events that never involve plastic, pointless freebies, single-use items or excessive food
So, moving from minimalist rooms and interiors to radical shifts in business practices, minimalism now definitely fits in category of ‘things I want to learn more about and share with others!”
I hope these musings inspire you to think about how you could implement a more minimalist approach to your business practices, support our environment and reduce waste so we still have something beautiful left to pass on to the next generation of change-makers.
Kat Luckock is an Impact Strategist and Business Coach, Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Share Impact. She supports social entrepreneurs and ethical business owners to measure and communicate their social or environmental impact, so they can attract their unique tribe of customers and generate sustainable income. She is passionate about helping any business consider their environmental impact and reduce their consumption of our planet's natural resources. She is equally passionate about supply chains that sustain individuals and communities through fair working practices. Kat has a podcast showcasing female social entrepreneurs and their businesses from around the world (www.shareimpact.org/listen).