ReWork: a Minimalist Philosophy for Success

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Now here’s a book that follows its own advice.  It’s called “REWORK”.  It spends 273 pages, 1/3 of which are fun pictures, dispelling all previous myths about what is needed to run a successful business.  Each chapter is a page and half, tops.  Fire workaholics.  Pick fights.  Don’t hold meetings.  Ignore the competitors.  Underdo the competition.  Planning is just guessing, so don’t waste your time with it.  If this book’s philosophy could be summed up in a phrase, it would be “less is more.”

The book is so succinct, as it is, that I won’t do much paraphrasing.  But it is rife with examples of why this philosophy works, including proof from the million dollar business run by the two authors.  The idea is to have a swift operation that is flexible, simple, unburdened by bureaucracy, and provides a basic product that is uniquely yours.  And it goes far beyond business, too; examples are derived from the habits of successful musicians, writers, polar explorers, and journalists.

Pick a fight.  Pick a product you think sucks and make a better one.  And then call out that competitor.  Tell them they suck.  You will win many enemies, but with enemies come loyal friends, and those are the best kind.

Build an audience.  Don’t spend a dime on advertising your product.  In this socially connected age, the utility of your product will spread by word of mouth.

You don’t need more employees, you probably need less.  Having fewer workers breeds productivity among those you have.  Having more breeds turgidity.

Fire workaholics.  They don’t work hard, they are poor managers of their time.  And they generally like to be heroes, and they like to be seen being heroes.  So they will create problems to solve.

Set small goals and achieve a series of motivating small victories.  Don’t look into the unforeseeable future.  Remain flexible.

Say no by default.  Don’t listen to the demands of a few customers.  Allow customers to outgrow your product, so you don’t risk alienating new customers.  Henry Ford said, “If I’d listened to customers, I’d have given them a faster horse.”

Go to sleep.  Sleep breeds creativity.

Throw less at a problem.  Your restaurant doesn’t need a bigger menu.  It needs a smaller, more polished one.

I find this philosophy is true in most aspects of life.  Think of an entity that is always eager to put out every fire, something that throws money at every problem, that always grows in size, and has become bloated to the point of rigidity and uselessness.  Oh, you thought of the federal government too?

I highly recommend this book.

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