Don’t be complicated

August 6, 2014 · 0 comments

“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Are you like I once was? Do you ever think that sometimes you make the simplest decision more complicated than it needs to be?

Are you so addicted to trying to make things so perfect and impressive that they turn into a nightmare rather than the dream you had in mind?

Did you know that most of the little details we struggle over in our printing firms are the ones no one else notices anyway? Sometimes, those numerous details are what keep us from enjoying a simpler, happier life — and a more successful company.

I remember one time when I was designing a new sales brochure to help us promote our brand-new digital color copier. At the time, it was so important to me to make sure that we printed that sales brochure on EXACTLY the right paper. I remember looking at dozens of paper swatch books and even calling several of the paper companies to ask them questions about a particular paper. In the meantime, my customer service reps wanted me to hurry up and get the brochure printed so they could give it to our customers. By over-analyzing what should have been a simple choice, I really slowed things down dramatically.

One day a few months later, one of my project managers came to me and told me that it was time to reprint the same sales brochure. She said, “I remember how important the paper choice was to you, and I wanted to ask you firsthand what the name of the paper was and where we got it from.” Well, guess what? I couldn’t even remember the name of the paper or what mill it came from. Now that is sad.

Since the sales brochure was printed full-color on both sides, my project manager asked me if it would be okay if we just printed it on our 80-pound gloss house paper. We did… and you know what? No one even noticed the difference in paper. I learned a valuable lesson that day.

If choosing exactly the right kind of paper is important to you, spend all the time you want, but if in the long run it doesn’t make much difference, choose something that looks good and get it printed!

My suggestion: Don’t be complicated. Work at having a simple approach to everything you do. Life is too short to live that frustrated.

Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge… let your learning lead to action.

My name is Mike Stevens, and I am a printer.

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