I can’t stand shopping for clothes.
So much so that in years past I would do two big shops a year. One for winter and one for summer. Nothing in between. I’m not one to go shopping for fun. When I do it, I’m all business.
I’m particular in how apparel fits and looks.
I want it both comfortable and reasonably stylish.
I’m not Mr. stylish by any stretch but I make a reasonable effort.
Finding clothes worth buying is a lot of trial and error – as in too much time spent in the change room.
And then there’s the pain of making decisions. Should I get it? Will I wear it?
When done my annual shop, I’m exhausted.
That is until 2 years ago which was when I turned shopping into a system.
I literally spent 3 days hitting every casual men’s stores in two major malls.
I tried on jeans, shorts, shirts of all kinds, workout apparel, etc.
Eventually, I figured out which two stores sold men’s clothes that I both liked and were comfortable.
I noted down the sizes and clothing lines of everything I bought.
Never again would I spend hours shopping for clothes in-person. At least, not for a long time.
Armed with sizes and clothing lines for summer and winter, henceforth I would order everything I need online.
Sure enough, I’ve ordered clothing online from my two preferred apparel stores and couldn’t be happier.
Everything fits perfectly. Looks good. I’m golden.
When one of my two stores has a sale, I load up and save a pile of money.
Even if the internet didn’t exist, this system would work. I’d just stroll into my two stores, load up with the sizes and clothing lines I prefer and pay. I wouldn’t bother trying anything on. I’d be in and out in 20 minutes – done for another year.
Systematizing makes life easier.
I’ve worked hard to largely systematize my niche sites. I’m not 100% done but each year I get closer as the entire portfolio grows.
Systematizing an online publishing business is far more complex than systematizing apparel shopping.
But the end result is the same – less hassle and stress with better outcomes.
But you know this already.
You’re either working on systematizing your own biz or you prefer the boutique approach.
Recently I explained both are good approaches.
There’s another lesson to be learned here though, and that’s taking the time to find out what’s right for you.
Before I systematized my shopping, I reinvented the wheel each year. I’d go to way too many stores. I’d spend way too much time trying on clothes. I’d expend far too much energy fretting over what I should buy.
Part of systematizing my shopping was figuring out what I wanted each year.
Once I figured that out, all I need to figure out were my sizes.
The same goes in this business and in life.
You need to figure out what you want.
It’s easier said than done.
It helps to be specific.
I’m specific with my clothes down to specific lines within the store. For example, I wear the slim cut large button up and down shirts.
It’s the same with my online biz. I really only want to build up large, high-traffic content sites primarily monetized with display ads. This is a fairly specific model.
Maybe reading this email makes you want to vomit because the idea of systematizing your life is repugnant to you. I get that.
If that’s the case, perhaps creating a systematized business isn’t for you.
Create the business that you want.
I suspect the way we operate in life is a good indicator of how we naturally prefer operating a business.
I’m not terribly tidy. It’s definitely reflected in my business. In fact, until I made changes, my business was far more disorganized than my life. To solve this, I set up a system with software and hired a bookkeeper. Now I’m organized.
Isn’t it boring wearing pretty much the same style of clothes all the time?
No. I like it. It’s easy.
I can easily mix and match. Everything fits great.
It’s not like I wear the same two items every day. I buy enough for a new outfit every day of the week. 5 pairs of jeans and about 10 shirts for each season.
Yup, I’m methodical.
While I’m not so bad as to have assigned items for specific days of the week, it sometimes ends up like that. Fortunately, nobody has noticed.
My working days are often much the same.
That’s the way I like it.
I do a little bit of KW research. I write quite a bit (emails, courses, blog posts, etc.). I review my sites. I reply to emails. I jump on the Fat Stacks forum. I mix it up here and there with some testing and tinkering.
Again, the systematic approach works for me.
Figure out what you want to do and the best way to go about it.
Which clothing stores do I prefer? I like Banana Republic for jeans, dress shirts and sweaters. Lululemon for shorts, workout apparel and summer shirts.
Could I find better and/or less expensive stuff elsewhere? Sure, but that would complicate things. These two stores provide me everything I need apparel-wise.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.