Last month on the Rabbit Room, I wrote about vulnerability. About myself, I observed, “Over the years I’ve learned to tuck away emotions like hurt and sadness behind calculated reactions to injustice and disappointment.” The time since that post has been split evenly between ending a job of 8 years and beginning a company, now 3 weeks old. There has been ample opportunity since March to experience vulnerability and its corresponding emotions.
My new venture SMPLFR (pronounced “Simplifier”) has two objectives. I am building a consulting practice focused on content strategy. Every single word has the power to change the world. Unfortunately, many writers are producing far too much change. There is no shortage of content. SMPLFR helps organizations simplify messaging and the execution of content strategy. In a world of excess, less becomes an advantage.
SMPLFR also is a product company. I am using it as a platform to write my next book: working title, Simplify the Middle. My first book focused on individual change. What can you and I do to embrace simplicity? This new book will emphasize systems change. How do you and I (and institutions) simplify the way things are done? Beyond the book, I have dreams for the SMPLFR product platform, starting with a simplicity lab. Exactly what that looks like and who is involved… more to come.
There have been so many encouraging moments in the past few weeks. Kind words of affirmation. Entrepreneurial adrenaline. Outlets for creativity. But there have been discouragements, too. A 3-week-old company lacks security. The “let’s get going” activator in me is being sorely tested by the virtue of patience any entrepreneur must nurture. In the past I have started companies with others; I miss having business partners.
I have been reading Andy Crouch’s new book Strong and Weak while spinning up SMPLFR. It is a godsend. Perfect timing for my dual journeys in vulnerability and entrepreneurialism. The mission I have given to SMPLFR is to amplify human flourishing. Then I came across this line in Andy’s book. “Leadership begins the moment you are more concerned about others’ flourishing than you are about your own.” A terrifying and invigorating summation of all that I desire my life and SMPLFR to be.