The Power of Simplicity in Your Business - Amber Hurdle | Globally Recognized Leadership & Personal Branding Expert

The Power of Simplicity in Your Business

April 17, 2016

Today I’m going to be the non-expert advocate for a rich and delicious word: SIMPLICITY.

Why would I advocate something I kinda suck at?

Let me explain.

My career has been chock-full of designing complex communication campaigns, planning high profile, high budget productions that have a ridiculous amount of moving parts and carefully crafting PR strategies.

The word “simple” was never a part of my profession.

Definition of Simple

In fact, when you come from a career that involved celebrities, luxury resorts and some of the top business leaders IN THE WORLD, you do get a mindset that there is no other option than PERFECTION…than the BEST money can buy…than doing everything BIGGER and BETTER than before. You always have to top that last WOW!!!

So with that LONG career pattern as my foundation, this is what my current business has looked like, thus far. Perhaps it can help you gauge where you are in your journey and what next steps you may want to take:

Year One of Business

ivegotacomplicatedorder

By the fall of this year, I was recovering from a hysterectomy, going to coaching school online at night, and leading my company’s internal communication and engagement during a corporate buy out while only the GM and VP of HR was aware of my departure, thanks to my SEVEN MONTH notice. (We let the rest of the senior leaders and my team in on the plan about 90 days out, then the rest of the company soon after that.)

Oh, and I was coaching clients for $25/pop in order to get the number of paid coaching hours I needed to become certified by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

2012 was the epitome of complicated.

Year Two of Business

MOXIE_BANNER

I was hiding behind a brand logo and trying to make everything look all shiny and perfect. After all, that’s what I did as a corporate employee, and at the time I was only targeting corporate clients. If I couldn’t make it look totally pro, I just didn’t do it.

You can imagine how well that worked out for me in moving (and failing) forward. (Insert sarcasm here.)

Year two was the realization that I did not have the massive budget, nor the team that reported to me, to do it how I felt it had to be done before I could call it mine. In my corporate world I literally blew money up on stage like a rockstar. (By the way, if you’ve never choreographed indoor pyrotechnics, I’m not sure you have truly lived.) With reality sinking in, I created all kinds of content, then never moved forward with it because it wasn’t “good enough.”

2013 was the year of “let’s just keep things complicated because that’s all I know.”

Year Three of Business

Amber_Banner

No one…and I mean NO ONE…ever called “Moxie Internal Relations” (my legal company name). They called for Amber. Even my corporate clients wrote checks out to “Amber Hurdle” despite what the invoice said. All of my referrals were “call Amber,” not “call Moxie Internal Relations.”

So I got the memo loud and clear.

I had to face my fear of putting MY face out there and promoting me.

Ugh. It felt so egotistical. And I had spent my career making other people and brands look awesome. I was behind the scenes happily not accepting credit. I knew what I accomplished and that’s all that mattered. Hello-I had a PR degree. That’s what ya do. I didn’t WANT to promote myself?!

But I had to and I knew it.

So I went through two more versions of my website (of course), did a full blown photo shoot, redid my cards, migrated my enterprise system to a new domain (I mean, that just sounds complicated) and totally rebranded.

2014 was the year of being extra complicated in the short term to try to be less complicated long term.

Year Four of Business

AH Day Two-158

Well, sh*t, it worked. And it worked so well that I had to hit the brakes. I did not leave corporate–the corporate pace, the never ending hours and the constant tug between family and work–to just create my own version of it myself.

That is not what I wanted.

So I pulled WAY back. I reevaluated my core values. I decided that I was not realistically able to do all that I was doing AND live my amazing personal life as I wanted to.

I stopped creating custom training for my corporate clients and instead offered what was on my extensive training shelf. I embraced the Bombshell Business Bootcamp concept I created over a year prior, but never moved forward with, and decided to put my energy into supporting Bombshells (bold, brave and unwaveringly confident fempreneurs) first and foremost.

Oh, and I ditched the purple. Amazing design and just what I asked for, but it was not at all me!

2015 was the year of considering what simplicity might look like.

Year Five of Business

WHAT MAKES A BOMBSHELL

Well, holy wow. I am in my fifth year. Who would have thunk it?

While my husband and I spent part of our New Year’s Day at the Omni Hotel in Nashville creating our 2016 vision boards, I also vowed to make my word of the year, “Simplicity.”

Because my personality triggers include passion and innovation it is very hard for me to not reinvent things all of the time. However, I have found ways to refresh my work without starting from scratch.

I have eliminated EVERYTHING that was too much for me to keep up with while also enjoying my rockstar life. (Seriously, if you knew my family, friends and community, you wouldn’t want to miss out, either.)

I’m SUPER picky about the corporate work I take on.

And this year I am committed to always choosing the option that had the least amount of steps between my idea and the execution of the idea.

So far, so good.

I even accepted that I had to move a few steps back to make my giant leaps forward. No big deal.

If someone thinks I’m full of myself for promoting my God-given gifts that I genuinely use to help build other women up, now it just sounds like a personal problem to me. It’s surely not my problem!

The result? I’ve never been more focused, more confident in my direction, nor more ok with making little mistakes in all of my career.

At the same time, I’ve gotten OK with the fact that work to me is play. I freaking love it. And since we goof off sometimes during the day to have fun, it’s FINE if I watch NCIS at night while also writing a blog post.

I’m not saving babies here.

As part of our annual planning, my husband and I even committed to simplifying our calendar by carving out special days to put first things first.

Now we have almost weekly Day Dates again (so our overwhelmingly busy weekend social calendar would not get ahead of our own QT), and implemented Movie Meatball Monday. The later is something our family can look forward to: cooking our favorite meatball recipe, renting a movie and just hanging out together in the bonus room the one night of the week that no one had regular commitments, that wasn’t impacted by my son going to his dad’s house every-other-weekend, and that we knew we could guard as our family time. Even our friends know if plans are made on a Monday night, the Hurdles are out. And when your 13-year-old son looks forward to the night he gets to hang with his mom and step-dad, you know you are doing something right.

So, it’s kind of crazy that by simplifying it created even more abundance. Only the things that matter and can happen as fast as my life goes get my attention.

2016 is the year of simplicity.

And it feels GOOOOOD.

What do you need to simplify to amplify (as my friend, Cerries Mooney says)? Let us know in the comments!

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