Perhaps you’ve come across (or even binged your way through) the Marie Kondo series on Netflix. You may have even read her book on the “life-changing magic of tidying up.” In any case, the Japanese decluttering guru has become quite the cultural phenomenon, getting people to rethink their closets full of clothes, attics full of junk, and boxes full of meaningless mementos.
But what if we could apply a similar kind of philosophy or approach to the world of making money online? What if we could take the KonMari method and adapt it in such a way to maximum your shot at online success? Let’s break it down.
1. Get Rid of the Clutter
Even though both the Netflix TV series and the book that inspired it give us the initial sense that they’re about “tidying up,” we learn very quickly that the first step to tidying up is discarding all the stuff you don’t need. Before you get your house in order, you’ve got to bag up all that trash and get it out the door. Even if you’re not a hoarder, chances are that you’ve accumulated a fair amount of clutter over the years.
This applies to your life as a blogger or Internet marketer too, except you have to think about “clutter” not only in a physical sense, but also in a digital sense and in a symbolic sense. To this end, you need to do what you can to avoid distractions, like forcing yourself to stay off social media when you should be working.
It can be tempting to pile one tool on top of another in your quest to achieve fame and fortune, but that just leads to more clutter, both digitally and in your mind. Delete unnecessary plugins on your WordPress blog, and disable unneeded Chrome extensions. Clear out the clutter so you can focus on what is actually moving the needle.
2. Does It Spark Joy?
One of the major mantras to emerge from Marie Kondo and her approach to tidying up is asking whether something “sparks joy” for the person. If the book you hold in your hand no longer sparks joy for you, it means it’s time for you to get rid of it. And so, one by one, you decide what to keep and what to discard.
From a professional standpoint, this means that you really should only do what makes you happy. Blog because you enjoy blogging, not necessarily because it’s a path to riches. Follow your passion, because you’re actually interested in it. Do it because you love it, and money can be a happy byproduct (if you put enough time and energy and focus into it).
There’s no sense in doing something for money if it actually makes you miserable.
3. The Vertical Storage Method
Another key lesson that we can glean from Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method is how she chooses to fold her clothes. Most of us fold our clothes and then stack them in neat (or neat-like) piles in our dresser drawers. Kondo disagrees, saying that we should fold our clothes as tightly as possible and put them vertically, like in a card file, in our dresser drawers.
This way, you can see each item without having to unbury anything. Just the same, you need to have access to a global view of your business without having to unpack something to see something else. Can you see everything you need to know about your business? Web traffic? Social media performance? Affiliate conversions?
Remember that there is a place for everything and everything has its place. Stay organized. If you know exactly where you need to look for anything in particular at any given time, you’ll be far less stressed or anxious about it.
4. Let Go of the Past and Future
Marie Kondo says that, when you boil it all down, there are only two reasons why people hold on to their clutter. First, the item connects them to their past, and they’re not willing to let go of their past. A loved one gave them a trinket, and they keep that trinket even if it has no more intrinsic worth. Second, the item is held on for an unknown future. They keep something “just in case,” even if the chances of that future event are relatively slim.
The truth is that the online world moves very, very quickly. Something that may have been valuable or fruitful in the past has become remarkably obsolete today. Are you ready to let go of that old tool or practice? Instead of dwelling on the past or spending too much time trying to predict the future, why not focus your energy on what is happening right now?
Maybe when you do, you’ll be able to spark a little more joy in your professional life too.