First, let’s discuss what minimalism is. It first was defined in the 1950s as an art work that use simple, typically massive forms. For example, a minimalist art for looks like the picture below.
Simple, relatively large forms, etc….. That makes sense.
Minimalism today is something totally different. A description of a minimalism found on the Minimalist website defines minimalism this way:
Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. Want to own a car or a house? Great, have at it! Want to raise a family and have a career? If these things are important to you, then that’s wonderful. Minimalism simply allows you to make these decisions more consciously, more deliberately.
Personally, my first reaction to “Minimalism” is a positive one. I do believe as a society, we over consume. I don’t have to look further than my own house to see that I have spent a lot of time and money filling it with stuff that are really not very important to me. And I’m not being judgmental here, but I think I am a pretty typical consumer so probably a lot of my neighbors over consume as well. As made clear in the definition of Minimalism provided above, the key just isn’t to just stop consuming, but to make your consumption decisions “more consciously, more deliberately.” It’s not a mind blowing concept, but when you consider the marketing assault we face from all the providers of goods and services, it can be challenging to make purchases “more consciously, more deliberately.”
I mean think about it, one of the most basic metrics of the American economy is Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to Investopedia , Gross domestic product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period. Put simply, GDP is a broad measurement of a nation’s overall economic activity – the godfather of the indicator world. This means if we if we aren’t consuming, then GDP goes down and our economy is defined as weak. Talk about pressure to consume.
Okay, with that said, if it makes sense to consume “more consciously, more deliberately” how does that belief co-exist with the desire to create a retail website like Wind In Our Sales, that promotes buying items like sporting goods, accessories, health products, electronics, tools and more? Can a retail website that promotes purchasing a vast array of items and uses social media to promote and sell the items co-exist with the Minimalist credo on making consumption decisions “more consciously, more deliberately?”
I hope I’m not just trying to justify myself here, but here are the reasons I think a retail website and the the spending patterns of Minimalism can compliment one another, and here’s why:
Promotion of Select Items
First, let me describe what the Minimalist website describes as th Minimalist Consumer Process. Before a person wishing to employ minmalist consumption principles to their buying habits, they should answer the following questions:
- Can I afford to part with this money? If you have to charge it to a credit card, you can’t afford it.
- Can I pay the actual cost? Remember, the true cost of a thing stretches far beyond the price on the price tag.
- Will it add value to my life? It must serve a purpose or bring joy, otherwise it does not add value.
- What are the alternatives? In other words, is this the best use of this money? If not, then use the money elsewhere.
- Can I get by without it for awhile? If so, wait. Who knows-maybe a day of contemplation will help you realize you no longer want the thing your wanted. (Its called the 30/30 Rule. If an item costs more than $30.00 then wait 30 hours before you decide you really need it and want to purchase it)
Although the website I have chosen to use as a platform to generate retail sales has over approximately 20,000 items to buy, it doesn’t mean I have to promote all of them. In fact, one of the values of the retail sales platform I have chosen is that it is versatile. I have complete control of which of the 20,000 items I want to promote. In fact, I can hide or not any items that I don’t think adhere to the Minimalist Consumer Process. Conversely, I can vet any products I want to promote and, to the best of my ability, sell items that I feel will add value. I can also encourage the consumer to consider these five questions associated with the Minimalist Consumer Process so consumers are armed with these questions before they make a purchasing decision.
Another advantage of the retail website I selected to sell items is the flexibility in pricing. By pricing items as cost efficiently as possible, I am able, to the best of my ability, to ease the customer in answering question number: 1. Can I afford to part with this money? This is not an easy one. I mean, everyone wants to make money. Also, because I’m such a lousy sales person and social media user, I hope to attract affiliates to help me promote as many items as possible. However, this means that if the prices are significantly discounted, they will not have a strong incentive to become affiliates.
Thankfully, this is where the flexibility of the site comes in to play again. Through the affiliate program I am going to create, the affiliates who join my site will receive a much greater commission percentage on each sale. This will hopefully offset any loss in earnings they may realize due to reduced pricing, plus I’m looking for passionate promoters of sensible consumption, not mindless sales people looking to take money from someones pocket only to put it in their own.
The strategic vision for the services offered under my company, DCRE, Inc. is to help people find creative ways to earn income so they can find more fulfilling lives and not be totally dependent on their employers. DCRE, Inc. is designed to help so many of us who are falling victim to the income gap we are facing in America, To help explain, consider this. Income disparities have become so pronounced that America’s top 10 percent now average more than nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent. Americans in the top 1 percent tower stunningly higher. They average over 40 times more income than the bottom 90 percent. But that gap pales in comparison to the divide between the nation’s top 0.1 percent and everyone else. Americans at this lofty level are taking in over 198 times the income of the bottom 90 percent.
Let’s be be real here. I’m not saying that by participating in the services offered through DCRE, Inc. that someone will be in the top 10 percent of wage earners. That’s not going to happen. No they won’t become millionaires either. But if I’m right about the value of finding a way to make money in what I call the new economy people like you and me can find ways to at least partially pay for items we need now and in the future that adds value to our lives, like education, child care, health care and retirement.
And it’s at the DCRE, Inc. web site where you can find ways to become an affiliate for our retail web site that believes in the Minimalist Consumer Process and other concepts you may find interesting as well.
To summarize, I do believe it is a retail website and the Minimalist Consumer Process can productively co-exist. But that is only true if the site holds to a specific promotional and pricing strategy and if the people who join as affiliates see a greater purpose in the the website than just promoting consumption and the redistribution of someone’s money into their own.
I will continue to revise, refine and improve the process and hopefully it will help someone who needs it.