What Types of Businesses Can a Minimalist Start?

Open Field Fog

by Ryan

So you’re a minimalist. You have less than 100 possessions and you don’t believe in accumulating stuff. You’re pretty much a die hard do-it-your-selfer and you enjoy having your time more than anything. However, you’d like to start your own business to bring in some income, but you don’t really know what to produce. You’re probably wondering, what kind of business should a minimalist start?

Why are you having this problem? Because you don’t want anything yourself, so it’s hard to imagine that anyone else would want things as well. Trust me, I can relate.

I struggle with this all the time being a minimalist. I really don’t like shopping, I don’t purchase much, and I can’t imagine spending my money on the vast majority of consumer products. This vastly decreases businesses that I can start that I would actually believe in.

You gotta believe in what you’re doing.

If you don’t believe in selling widgets, you’re probably not going to be good at selling widgets. If you don’t believe in consumerism or the accumulation of stuff, it’s going to be a hard road selling products, unless there’s something you truly believe in.

So what can you believe in?

Services that save people time (since it’s their most valuable asset) or products that might do the same. Minimalists might actually enjoy pdas or other multi-functional devices that replace the need to have a camera, voice recorder, phone, alarm clock, and other products. That is, unless you’re extreme enough that you avoid these things altogether. By promoting one product you’re indirectly moving people away from consumerism (weird huh?)

You can get into products that teach others about minimalism, or having a minimalist lifestyle. You can provide services related to the minimalist lifestyle which include bicycle repair, green home improvement, or personal finance advice. Perhaps a organization service that cleans people’s homes or businesses and removes clutter could be your ticket.

Meeting in the Middle

For a while I became really withdrawn to the extreme from consumerism and the idea of entering the mainstream, but you’re not going to be able to fully “beat” the system by withdrawing from it. If you’re smart you’ll start a business that capitalizes on the game of capitalism (pun intended). You can then use your profit to further propel your business which directly relates to your belief structure.

Choosing a business to go into as a minimalist isn’t the easiest thing to do, but as long as it’s ethical, something you believe in, and ideally doesn’t harm the environment or your conscience, go for it!

What types of businesses do you think are best for a minimalist to start?

What ones are worst? Inventory manager? Retail store clerk? Thoughts?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea@savingsscoop.com November 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Hi Ryan,

The best type of business a minimalist could start is something like a blog, or writing; you can even start your own survey business where all you do is take surveys; you can work from home or anywhere in the world and startup is minimal.

The worst business for me would be sales; where you have to depend on people to buy things from your company.

Lindy Mint November 16, 2010 at 9:15 am

I agree with Andrea on web-based businesses selling services as opposed to products (web design, consulting, etc.).

When it comes to products, I think whatever you as a minimalist would want to buy is an option – something of quality that combines form and function (rather than just random junk that takes up space).

And then there’s always consumables and re-purposed items.

Jared Erni November 16, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Finding what you want to do can be the biggest challenge. No matter what you believe a minimalist lifestyle is, just remember to operate with as few distractions as possible.

There is no way to get around the fact that at the heart of all the interactions among people, that there is money involved; there has to be everyone is accountable for themselves financially. Do not run from the fact that money is involved.,it has to be.

Get Happy Life November 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Online business I would say, because it is not expensive to begin with (there are exceptions of course), and it requires a lot of passion and discipline, but by being a minimalist, chances are you already have them
.-= Get Happy Life´s last blog ..Charisma is not a gift It’s a choice =-.

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