Recently, I have embraced and experienced two significant transitions. The first one was relocating from a 8,000+ square foot home in a suburb to a 1,275 square foot 2-bedroom flat in an urban arts & cultural district. The second transition included changing jobs, from being a global leader in a Fortune 50 company with revenues of $50+billion to now leading my own small company as well as accepting a role as V.P. of Marketing in a multi-million dollar hi-tech company.
What have I noticed? Lots! Large homes are comfortable, sprawling, and friendly for entertaining. Large multinational companies expose you to global trends, cultures, and realities every minute of a day. However, there are definitely some other differences in going from extra, extra large to medium & small.
Lean with Increased Efficiency. Little Waste or Excess.
In the 2-bedroom flat, we utilize every inch of space in the cabinets, under beds, on the walls, in the closets, and under the sinks. In my own company, my overhead is essential and lean: a new laptop, iPhone, and printer, as well as internet service and file folders. Notice I didn’t mention a desk, a land line, an office chair, or an office. In the fast growing hi-tech company, everyone is using free Internet communication tools. For example, they use Skype to instant message other employees, they listen to their favorite music via Pandora to help themselves stay focused in the narrow confines of their office space, leverage Yammer for internal employee networking and social updates, and Google+ Hangouts is utilized for video conferencing when multiple participants and locations are necessary. Very few employees have offices; most are working in pods, completely focused on working with each other to nail deadlines for the client’s success.
Priorities are a Priority. Less is More.
When we relocated to the smaller flat, we prioritized and shipped only what we really needed. That included just two beds; one set of silverware, plates, towels, and pans; one living area; and one dining area. What’s the benefit? Much less to clean and more time available in the evening to relax and on the weekend to enjoy family and friends. In my coaching & consulting business, invoices are issued as soon as services are provided. In my first couple weeks at the hi-tech company, the founders quickly decided to provide incentives to salesmen to close deals by year end, implemented an in-depth algorithm to ensure pricing was pristinely matched for new markets being targeted in 2012, and made expense cuts in just one meeting after reviewing financials for the month.
Try it, You Might Like It.
I had an incredible 25 years at a Fortune 50 company; however, I have never looked back since leaving in March 2011. The feeling of freedom to move more quickly on my client’s behalf, with agility and energy, is liberating. Results can happen quickly, and no matter whether they are good or bad results, you KNOW the result. In the small flat, we lock the door and walk to close-by restaurants and shopping, and utilize the incredible paved trail just steps away. The fast growing hi-tech company has energy and focus like I’ve never seen. Clients and results are everyone’s tireless passion. And it’s fun!
Repack Your Bag.
As 2012 approaches, I am reminded of Richard Leider’s book, “Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life.” Leider gives examples of how to annually review and purposefully repack what you are carrying and doing what you really want to be doing. It’s working for me. This feeling of energy I get from the two transitions (from XXL to medium and small) is exhilarating and renewing. How about you? What is too big in your life? How can you benefit from making it small? What waste can you eliminate? How can you become more agile? What will you purposefully keep & maintain from XXL? I want to encourage you to embrace transition and change. You might be surprised how quick you can move and expand beyond your own expectations.