Doing, having, or buying more isn’t always the answer. Maybe you need to reduce to expand.

Reduce to Expand

When something needs to expand - your checkbook, your business, your house - the conventional thinking is to get bigger. Get a better paying job, hire more employees, find a house that has more square footage. Indeed, that works. But there is a limit. You only have a certain number of skills; you’re only so good. You can only manage so many people, and what if they are not the right hire? If you buy too big of a house, what will fill it?

Maybe instead of hiring more, earning more, or buying more, what you need to do is reduce other activities and focus. Easier said than done, but important. Do you need that home office, spare bedroom, and extra den? Are there spaces that can be multi-use? Take a lesson from the Tiny House Movement. Do you need to hire more employees or do you just need to find some kick ass contractors who can help solve your problems? Perhaps Rakefire can help you build a tool to make your existing employees faster, provide them more insight, or integrate some existing tools that are a chore to manipulate. Maybe you need to be a little more frugal, or to understand where your current income goes. On the personal side, YNAB is the best budgeting tool I’ve ever found.

We haven’t achieved focus yet. I’ll admit, real focus, is tough to achieve. But we’re getting there. Today, I complete a form to reduce my hours at my full-time job so that I can focus more on Rakefire. A long time coming, my awesome business partners, Jim Harris and Phil Monroe have made some remarkable sacrifices to make it a reality. My lovely wife, Didi, has supported me throughout this entire process. She continues to be a champion for our dreams. I’m looking forward to the journey. It’s scarier than I thought it would be, and I’m not quite sure my parents and friends get it. But I know it’s the right choice.

I could have continued with the nights and weekends side hustle, but I find it to be such a drain on my happiness, productivity, and joy. This is the first tangible step I’ve made toward focus in my career. It will be good for me, for my relationships, and for Rakefire.

So I’ll ask you: What do you need to reduce? What excess is in your life? Can you be a little smarter with your money, time, resources, or energy to find better joy? Something that’s deeper, more impactful, and feeds you in a more meaningful way. Consider reducing, so that you can truly expand.