March was a month of replacements and to a lesser degree of acquisitions of items that I found truly useful, and to that the two rules that have dominated the minimalism process have been:
- Rule #13 - Differentiate between things you want and things you need: seems like common sense advice and it seems generally easy to follow and yet very frequent I find myself enamored with how I imagine I would use something only to find myself not using it at all; the purchases that followed this rule have been items that solved a real problem in my life, after I discovered I had the problem and not before (example: a camping mattress after suffering through sleeping on some make-shift lounge pads);
- Rule #46 - One in/One out: for every new item you bring in your life, get rid of (at least) one; this replacement approach has allowed me to bring better items in my life and get rid of some items that were hanging around just because I used them every once in a while, but mostly avoided them due to various defects (e.g. scratched sunglasses, or some uncomfortable headphones).
In getting rid of a small number of cables I had lying around, I also got to experience the Concorde fallacy also known as sunk cost fallacy as some of these items have been purchased because I had already invested in an initial bigger purchase.
Overall, I got rid of 44 items and brought in some 15, for a net total of -29, way over my 10 items threshold, and allow me to reflect how many of my possession are no longer of use to me, just merely hanging around for “just in case” and “what ifs”.
On the business front, I wish I had more progress to report.
I rationalized March as a month of reflection; while I did read at least one book, Raving Fans and found some value, a good amount of time has been spent on just being unsure what direction I can go in.
In the plus side, I have decided that I will read only one more area where I lack knowledge before making a decision: marketing, product validation and customer acquisition.
I am not as confident about having good books as I was in the previous months, even more so given the subject is a lot more temporary. Management and startup techniques change a lot slower than the mores and approaches of how groups can be reach, sold to, and engaged.