Balance, schmalance: Why Swedish Lagom is better for your business

Now you’re probably thinking what the heck is Lagom? Lagom is a Swedish word meaning ‘just the right amount’ (aka enough, sufficient, adequate). In other words, rather than ‘balance’ which is almost impossible to achieve except for a couple of seconds at a time or ‘perfection’ which is plain exhausting, it’s what those smart Swedes aim for instead.

When you think about both balance and perfection, we’re usually looking outside of ourselves. Trying to project something for the benefit of other people. Lagom, takes a different approach. It drives individuals to find their own levels of contentment, inner peace, and comfort.

And that could actually be the key for small business owners who are trapped in a lose: lose the battle of pitching up every day striving for balance and perfection in all they do, only to strike out all round and damage their self-esteem in the process.

Read more about work-life balance improvement here.

Lagom – the swedish philosophy

Lagom’s real benefit though is not just as a trendy buzzword, it’s a Swedish philosophy, some say is behind why Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world. It’s also a philosophy that Australia’s often burnt-out small business owners might do well to adopt.

Picture yourself in a space where you’ve enough clients, work, money and time to have what you want in life. Go on, be honest, is the million/billion dollar turnover you’re striving for going to make you that much happier? Will $200K or maybe just $20K more deliver you as much happiness without the sacrifices of time, health or sanity?

Lagom can be described as the new minimalism for anyone with the desire to live with fewer material possessions but aim to enjoy a fuller, more content life with work/business as a piece of your life, not the only piece – until retirement.

Sure, the current business environment demands new ideas, innovative thinking and time to put that thinking’s plans into action. But how will you meet those demands when you’re constantly tired, chasing your tail with a to-do list a mile long?

How you can cut yourself some Lagom slack?

  • Do only what needs to be done, when it needs to be done (no more ‘just in case’).
  • Outsource the things that need to be done on a regular basis that neither deliver client business nor uplift your spirit. What things might they be? Your books, answering your phone, regular admin tasks like taking diary bookings, etc
  • Get help with the little things – having a team that looks out for you is what really enables it Your team might be outsourced, staff or part of a flexible office space environment. Imagine if any time IT went down or you ran out of toilet paper or coffee, it was someone else’s job to fix, not yours.
  • Form partnerships with like-minded competitors. The Lagom philosophy basically erases any form of wild competition around the business – figuring there’s enough business for everyone. Each is prepared to step in to help the other out when the workload is high, family time or holidays need taking. Everyone buys into the same collaborative mission, which contributes to each building stronger businesses in the process.

A good way to begin implementing the ‘Lagom philosophy’ into your business is to just relax a bit. Sounds easy, but rationally reduce your pace and work smarter instead by adopting some or even just one of the above points.

So relax and put in just the right amount of effort and energy into your business to have an awesome life instead.