Addition by subtraction

Alex Valassidis
3 min readJul 6, 2021

In many western societies having more is better. So you should seek on getting more money, buying more stuff, growing, getting bigger. Growth for capitalism is what keeps him alive, like a shark that needs to swim to breathe. If he does not, he dies.

However, fulfillment can also come by wishing less and living a more simplistic life. If you want less, you are happier with less, and you have a fuller life.

If you eat laconically, you focus on what is essential and leave all garbage by the side.

There is certainly room for addition by subtraction in business, remove all the noise, all the clutter, all the distractions, and focus to the essential.

Say less, hire the proper people, delegate, and coordinate; otherwise, you will not be able to grow.

Offer real value to your clients. The real value is what is challenging to offer, is what most of your competitors are not offering generously because it requires essential work. So offer that and stand out because of the quality you provide and the meaningful work. Resist the temptation (often generated from your clients), on providing what everybody else offers; the value is on the hard stuff.

Addition by subtraction and modern capitalism

More and more in the last years, Buddhism and stoicism are getting popular.

That is a trend against the capitalistic tendency of buying more, not because necessary but because “artificial” needs have been created, and desires have been constructed where no necessity was in place.

The constant noise of advertising, of information to a super excess, not only decreases your ability to evaluate what is important, it also distracts you from thinking freely and discovering what makes sense.

When preparing a sales pitch, what you say is important but also all the things you do not say. All the pauses and silent parts are “shouting” for an answer from your prospect by simply offering silence.

Silence also talks, and silence often brings more results than noise.

An interesting article regarding addition by subtraction is the story of the British rowing team and their struggle to improve. They asked themselves a simple question on every new training program, new enhancement … Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?

If you set the same skeptic in your business development, you will be surprised how many processes and procedures you are going to remove and get more effective.

The same applies to writing articles.

The power of a professionally written article lays on the amount of content you remove and erase, all the blah, blah and focus only on the stuff that matters.

The process is similar to the one of the business development.

You first create a draft. The draft can not be wrong. Includes all the information, the good one and the bad one. There is not a bad draft.

After that, you work on your draft; you make it better, you make it aesthetically more beautiful, most importantly, however you remove all the crab. Subtract, subtract, subtract.



Alex Valassidis

I am an expert sales consultant. I give no-nonsense life and business advice FOR THE REAL WORLD.