What if I could only subtract to solve problems?

This is one of the questions that changed Tim Ferriss’ life and he talks about it on this episode of the Tim Ferriss Show.

I wrote all 17 questions and have been trying to answer them as honestly as possible. The answer to those questions will likely become Kegs & Code’s business plan so it’s kind of a big deal.


What if I could only subtract to solve problems?

Humans are inclined to add to solve problems. Joshua Fields from The Minimalists said something really valuable on the School of Greatness podcast. He posed the following scenario; when we have a bunch of stuff laying around in our garages or junk drawers and we want to organize them, we buy plastic bins. Problem solved. Kind of. The stuff still there, just not visible anymore. Great! We just made space for more stuff! Not..

I don’t want to go deep into the topic of “stuff” because it’s a bit off point, but feel free to check out the links above and this TEDx talk by Adam Baker if you want to learn more about living with less.

The point here is WHAT can I subtract from my business to fix problems?

First, what’s the problem I’m trying to fix? Fast forward a little bit, question 16 reads; How can I throw money at this problem?

“If you can throw money at it and fix; then it’s not a problem.”

BUT that could also mean that I’m subtracting to fix a problem.

Accounting: I’m outsourcing accounting to a professional now. I spent way too much time on QuickBooks when I could have been creating stuff. I subtracted myself from that task.

Social Media: Growing my social media channels organically is a challenge. I can’t post 8 times per day 7 days a week like some experts advise. I can however post as less as possible and have the big returns. I will go into that some other time but I’m subtracting there too. The # of posts vs engagement ratio is what mattered to me.

Product Line: Kegs & Code at one point had 9 SKUs, today we have 6 and we will have less in the future. If something we create doesn’t break a certain threshold, it’s gone. The month of December is a good month to make those decisions.

Box Sizes: I always wondered “why the heck did they ship this tiny product in this big box?” Now I know why. Practicality. When I stopped trying to fit orders perfectly in a box, I learned that I could have less box sizes, which equals to more space, less clutter, better organization and faster packing & processing time.

That’s all I’ve done so far. Less is more.

If you have ever subtracted to fix a problem, please let me know :)