Entrepreneurial downsizing - a story of how well that can work | Women's Agenda

Entrepreneurial downsizing – a story of how well that can work

Lauren Trlin, Founder of Buzzy Tasks explains how outsourcing has changed her life for the better. Lauren takes us back to the time she made the decision to leave the corporate world, follow her passion as an entrepreneur and how by doing this she made her family $20,000 and simplified their lives. 

It’s been 10 months since I packed up my office, hugged my colleagues, handed back my office pass and quit the Corporate Dream. My days on the Terrace had come to an end. To seal my fate further, I told everyone I wasn’t coming back. Yep, I cut the safety net out from beneath me and I haven’t looked back.

The past 10 months have flown by and it’s fair to say I’ve had one of the best years of my life. I’ve also suffered an unexpectedly positive side effect with my corporate departure. Since starting Buzzy, a website dedicated to the art of outsourcing, I have begun to embody my own business philosophy – Simplify your life so that you can spend more time doing the things you love.

Here is the story of how I made my family $20,000 and simplified my life in the process.

The Dilemma 

Let me set the scene. It was early November 2014. I had just rented out my apartment (to save money) and notified my mum that I was moving back in with her and my brother. Only the dog, Ruby, seemed to be thrilled with my decision.I returned with my car and all the furniture and clothing that had been in my apartment. I packed everything I had into mum’s spare garage and shoved the rest behind cupboard doors.

I wasn’t until I uncovered my primary school notes in my old childhood room that I realised I had a problem on my hands. I was suffocating in a sea of stuff collected over the years by my family.

The Solution

This is where the story gets interesting.

First the hard truth; de-cluttering your life is hard work. It is emotional, time consuming and far from glamorous. Early on in my de-cluttering saga, I realised that this was a challenge I could not undertake on my own so I enlisted the help of various pros to help me out. I utilised the Bees on the Buzzy Hive to help me begin de-cluttering, sorting, cleaning and tidying my family’s life.

Here are some of the many ways I outsourced the simplification of my life:

I hired a professional photographer to photograph every single item my family wanted to sell. I then posted each item on Gumtree and eBay. Let’s just say my peeps (Dazza and Co.) at the local post office know me very well.

Mum and I hustled on Gumtree. I put my negotiating skills and legal background to good use by wheeling and dealing from the back garage.

I outsourced my admin, filing and office setup to a Buzzy Bee who was far more efficient in cleaning up my filing tray than I could ever be.

I outsourced research tasks (like furniture removal) to virtual assistants located in Perth.

I will also be simplifying my life further by hiring a professional organiser to help me with the rest of my clutter.

It may sound counter-intuitive to pay people to help you de-clutter and organise your life but it actually works out vastly in your favour especially if you’d never be able to complete the tasks on your own.

The Results

Over the past few months, my family and I have recouped over $20,000 (not including my car) by selling off all the furniture, clothing and home goods we really didn’t need.

Since beginning this journey, owning “more” possessions is no longer a priority for me. I now consider it a stressful burden. I’ve also realised that less junk equals less expenses.

Here is what else I’ve realised:

Investing in Experiences

I’ve swapped acquiring things and I have instead invested in more experiences like travel, delicious food and wonderful memories. I’ve travelled through the US, Bali, Europe and Australia over this past year and I’ve spent time across the world with the people I love creating beautiful memories.

Mother Earth

My newfound attempts at minimalism have extended to other aspects of my life. I now grow some of my own vegetables (my beets are looking fab) and I have a greater appreciation for the natural beauty around me.

I’m also now reluctant to acquire more possessions because I cannot bear the thought of adding to landfill.

My Health

Over the past 6 months I have slowly been emptying my bathroom drawers of all the products containing harmful chemicals for my body. I’ve slowly been replacing these products with natural, locally made beauty products.

My Happiness

At the moment, I’m crazy happy. I now recognise that all the things I had accumulated didn’t really add anything extra to my life. Over the past 10 months, I’ve crammed this little mind full of wonderful experiences that I’m going to grip onto harder than that YSL handbag I have since sold on eBay.

Freedom

Ok, I’m not making a tonne of money…yet. The thing is though, I don’t need to because I’m no longer mindlessly wasting money on junk to satisfy some inexplicable craving.

Does this mean I’m not going to buy anything anymore? Not at all. It just means that I’m going to carefully consider my future purchases and the role they play in my life.

I’ve gotten back the most important gift we’re given in this lifetime, that being the gift of time. The result is more time and freedom to spend doing the things I love.

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