Is your biz giving you joy?
See, if you’ve been following along with the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix, you know that the country is going whole-hog, declutter crazy right now.
Literally. To the point that thrift stores are having a field day, as America’s hoarding masses unload bag after bag of joyless clutter.
And, hell, I did the same. Turns out I had bags of useless shit. Epic levels of it.
Whenever I think about how much I paid for each thing I tossed, it makes me wanna cry.
Anyway, if you don’t know, Kondo’s method is based on one key question:
Does it spark joy?
So, as you tidy up, maybe you’re trying to decide whether to keep that grimy old T-shirt. You ask yourself, is it giving you joy? Nope? Then it’s a goner. How about that dusty candle in the corner? No joy? Banish it.
It’s joy or nothing, baby.
Anyway, the other day, someone asked: What if you applied the same rule for your business and focused on what brought you joy?
My thought? The answer is easy. You’d go broke.
Do you chase joy or find joy?
Chasing joy is about doing the easy stuff. You use joy as a benchmark to evaluate every task in front of you, and you only pick the ones that give you an immediate reward and get you a hit of dopamine so you feel all good about life.
Finding joy, on the other hand, is about doing the hard stuff and seeing more into life. It’s about learning how things fit into your life, so you can eventually get where you really want to go.
And, the thing is, I’m lazy as hell, so it’s not like I actually want to do the hard stuff.
—Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own
But what I like less is sucking. And being stuck. And dumping destiny on the shiny-object-path-of-least-resistance train. I’ll happily take growth and getting better and getting results.
Because what it’s really about is the difference between fun and meaningful.
Fun is all well and good, but it doesn’t add up to a whole lot more. It comes. It goes. And that’s it. Then you’re off and running, looking for more. It won’t keep the pain at pay. Put the worries to rest. Or help you move past failure. In fact, if you want a sure shot way to spend your whole life stuck, only do what’s fun, and see what happens.
But when you learn to find joy, you’re seeing how everything fits into your bigger picture. Your actions have a purpose.
When you learn to do that, you get energized. All of the sudden, the dull stuff gets less dull, and the good stuff gets more good, and suddenly, things start to work. Better yet, it accelerates, because you create a circle where everything you do becomes more and more meaningful, making you more motivated.
And I figure Kondo would agree.
After all, she never said cleaning was supposed to be fun.
In her book she even talks about her own struggles.
But what’s really different about her approach is that by asking you to focus on what stuff brings joy, she forces you to develop a more meaningful relationship with your stuff. So cleaning might be hard work. But it’s worthwhile work.
And that’s really what you want to take into your business.
You need to dump the wheel-spinning and focus on the things that lead to a meaningful result.
Makes me think of a quote from A League of Their Own, when Tom Hanks is talking about baseball.
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”
And, no. I don’t think business needs to be harder than it is. It’s pretty damned hard as it stands.
But it’s worth doing right.
After all, at the end of the day, you get out what you put in.