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The Effectiveness of Simplicity

I love the quote from Warren Buffett when he said, “The business schools reward difficult, complex behaviour more than simple behaviour, but simple behaviour is more effective.”

Why do we tend to overcomplicate things in our lives?

I remember setting up my network marketing business in the late 90’s and at the time, I was affiliated with the Amway Corporation and a support system developed by an organization called Network 21. The best way of thinking about the synergy between these two entities was to consider baking a cake – Amway provided the ingredients and Network 21 provided the recipe.

Network 21 was the brainchild of a fantastic couple called Jim & Nancy Dornan who had built a successful multi-million dollar business and had understood the pitfalls and strategies required to succeed. They had put together a ‘paint by numbers’ system to support IBOs (Independent Business Owners) like myself and my wife as we ventured into our own business.

Yet, despite their obvious experience and authority in this domain, I took it upon myself to ‘improve’ their system and I created Network 22, Network 23 and Network 24. Unfortunately, none of my modifications were duplicable nor did they enhance my business growth.

Why do we feel that we have to tinker with things to change the simple – yet effective – into the complex and destructive? I guess the answer lies in Warren’s quote…our education systems reward the difficult and complex behaviours over the simple and effective!

Here are five things to consider when you are looking at changing an existing system:

  1. If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. As long as a system or process that you are using works, keep utilising it as long as it doesn’t cost you money or loses you customers.
  2. Just because it is simple, it doesn’t mean that you have to make it complex. Sometimes simple is better.
  3. Seek counsel from experienced individuals. Go to someone with a track record and ask them for their opinion.
  4. If you seek counsel, listen to it. Don’t ask someone for their opinion and then ignore it.
  5. Ask yourself, “What can I simplify in my life?” If your life is overly complicated right now, something has to give.

As you carry on with your day today, make sure that you use the ‘K.I.S.S.’ principle and Keep It Short and Simple!

Nsanz GSF