Minimalists avoid paying taxes

Minimalism - what's that supposed to mean ?!

07/26/2017 | Economy, work, life

"If I had more time, I would`ve written a shorter letter." - Blaise Pascal

Some know the term minimalism through art, design and architecture; others through advice articles on how to clear out the basement, wardrobe or, better still, the whole house. But what is actually behind this attractive catchphrase? Does it have any serious depth and to what extent is the topic relevant to business?

By Manuela Maurer *

(Photo: © Ivelin Radkov -

First and foremost, minimalism in general has something to do with concentrating on the essentials: "Less is more" is a common saying. By leaving out the superfluous, one can get to the core. Wherever everything is no longer covered with useless stuff and distractions, where there is no dancing at every wedding, there is clarity, style, calm and strength.

Growth and profit maximization ...

However, a law firm is not already minimalist because it relocates its work to a building of minimalist architecture or because it hangs minimalist works of art in the conference room. Above all, these are aesthetic characteristics that are usually perceived as appealing, interesting and somehow different. But actually minimalism is an attitude of mind that strives for independence from material values ​​and freedom in thought and action; which turns away from the still tenacious ideals of growth and profit maximization.

Rather, minimalists want to be as independent as possible from things and larger possessions, because "you don't have the house, but the house has you", as H. D. Thoreau stated. Minimalists want to be free from worries that pile up with a fortune that constantly demands more attention, time and further financial resources.

Gather and secure ...

"My house, my car, my boat", advertising has not taken up for nothing in order to make use of our striving for material prosperity, status symbols and the winning mentality associated with them - our will and the consumption of things that we may even have do not need to crank any further. A surefire success! And not only our concept of success is on the scale, but also our fears and security requirements. Protection plays an immense role in our minds and purses.

However, minimalists do not always want to (have to) earn more money in order to gather and secure, but rather they rethink their needs. "I don't need a lot, so I don't have to work a lot," says Ferguson, a character from Jack London. Before he became a minimalist, Ferguson was the managing editor of the largest newspaper in San Francisco. That wasn't a particularly healthy thing for him in the long run, which is why he radically changed his life.

Many become self-employed in order to escape the hamster wheel of permanent employment. They want to design and determine themselves, not be dictated to what they do when, where, how and for whom. Inevitably, however, the freedom of design is used in order to reproduce precisely those structures, even in self-employment, which one wanted to idealistically avoid.

Permanent availability and a 12-hour working day ...

It should be more and more sales, that means more fixed and variable costs, more and more obligations, permanent availability - and a 12-hour working day: A device is set up - also privately (house, car, boat) - that needs to be served and must be operated in order to keep functioning. The fears that he will not do that again increase evenly. On the other hand, reducing sales in a targeted and controlled manner or leveling them off to a healthy level is much more difficult than constantly increasing it.

So minimalists follow a completely different concept for success. It's about nothing less than redefining what success in life actually is. And quite mundane it is simply about more time for other interests: traveling, cooking, reading (no business advice!), Sports, making music, gardening, spending time with family and friends ("quality time"), meditating, learning from New. That is growth too!

Incidentally, this is roughly the point in overall development where you begin to be interested in minimalist advice. You want to get out into nature again, long for deceleration and possibly even the trashed basement will be tackled. And that's a good start at any point in time. The knowledge and experience gained in this way can also be transferred to the office organization, marketing, the client structure and, of course, your own work organization.


* Manuela Maurer is the publisher and editor-in-chief of STB Web.

Note: Please note the date of this article. It dates from July 26th, 2017, so that the content may no longer correspond to the latest (legal) status.

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