Reduce Reuse Recycle

by | Jul 24, 2011 | Business | 20 comments

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

But not in that traditional earthy way you’re probably expecting. Although I am a recycler. In fact, I am a Master Composter Recycler in the City of Edmonton. 40 hours of classroom training and 30 hours of community service, a certificate & picture with the mayor of Edmonton to prove it. It was a great experience.

But I digress.

What I wanted to talk about today is more related to consumerism in some ways, and somewhat related to information overload. And bringing things back to a simplified way of thinking. Reducing, reusing and recycling what we already have in our life and business.


This past week I was able to pack up a few things in 30 minutes & go on a road trip – for an entire week. How many people are able to do that with a full time job, or even their own business? I know I wasn’t able to a couple of years ago. It’s a luxury to me. It’s something I crave deep in my soul. Being able to go off on an adventure – go with the flow.


And so I went. I packed up and went to Vancouver for a week. And yes, I did spend most of the week in the hotel room creating a new product that I’m dying to tell you about. But that’s for another day. Here’s how it happened.


Physical Clutter

I reduced what was in my surroundings. All I had with me was a laptop, clothes for a couple of days, my smart phone and a notebook. I listened to what people were talking about, and ideas started to float in. This often happens when I’m on a long car trip, flying on a plane, on a bus, train or boat. Forward movement makes a big difference.

Mental Clutter

I also remind myself frequently that I’ve learned enough already. I don’t “need” to take another course, sign up for another program or complete some arduous task before completing my next project. I already have enough knowledge to share with one right person. There is someone waiting to hear what I’ve got to share, even during those times when I don’t think I’ve got it all figured out. That in many ways I am the expert they’re looking for.


Physically Re-use

The idea that came to me this week was almost thrown out, because I had this thought. “But I’ve already created something very similar to this 2 years ago.” But when I realized people were asking for something similar, but in slightly different format, it was a huge relief. Most of the homework was already done. I knew the steps to complete this project quickly, and I could take a bit of extra time to really listen to what people were asking for. And then pull in what I already had (including my knowledge, skill set, and a product created 2 years ago)

Mentally Re-use

Taking a concept I had played with over and over again over the past several years, made this project a complete “no brainer”. Yet, for people who are reading about it and commenting, it doesn’t seem like it’s a ‘no brainer’ for them. In fact, many people seem to think it’s simply not possible. I’ve had to face some fears about not being able to please everyone this week too. And go back to my strengths, and remember these are things I’ve been studying for years, and it’s not second nature to everyone. I’m re-using what I already know, to create new content.


Physically Recycle

The systems and procedures I’ve used to promote other programs are readily at my fingertips. I was able to go through my plans from the launch of my last project, tweak them a little bit and make this program have wings and fly, within 4 days of the initial idea. I had an easy checklist in 15 minutes.

Mentally Recycle

For a long time I’ve been telling people I believe something is true. Now, when people ask me, “Is it really possible to have an idea for an ebook and launch it within 7 days?” I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, YES. It’s possible. Not only is it possible, I think it’s probably the best way to do it. There’s often a big rush of energy when a new idea comes to mind. People that are willing to give feedback also feel that new energy & they’re happy to help. Work with the flow of it. Create the project, tell people about it, create a sales page & even if it still needs to be edited, be ready. Allow your body, mind and soul to accept that this project is going to be fully completed.

I’m recycling an idea, and making it more useful than it was the first time. It’s stronger now than it was before.


I’ve experienced a few growing pains along the way. You might too. It might feel uncomfortable, and you might encounter some fear. This might even be similar to the feelings we have when trying to be earth friendly. We know it’s the right thing to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but sometimes it “feels hard”. It’s not as easy as just picking up a convenience package in the store, throwing it in the microwave, and tossing all the packaging in the garbage. But once you start to do it, it’s almost hard to go back to the “other way”. It begins to feel wrong, because you’re creating a new habit.

Allow this to be a new habit – of completing projects. Of allowing great big ideas to come into your head, and setting aside as much time as it takes to complete them, and launch them to the world. Sell your ideas! Share your ideas! Make money & life a happy life.


How can you recycle something that you already have, to make a new product your customers will love? Have you been listening to what they’re asking for? I’d love to hear your stories.

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  1. pat novak

    What a great way to look at this! What I got is, you really were listening to what your clients were telling you, and realized, I already have something for that need! We can get so caught up in the wonder of our own creativity, that we stop listening to those we are wanting to serve. We’re not really paying attention. You paid attention, and with that, came up with a product they wanted. That is my next goal, to really focus on that!

  2. danielle (

    i love this! i am just in the beginning stages of planning what type of course i’d like to put together with all the knowledge i’ve gained through teaching yoga for the past 8 years- but this made me think of all the ways in which i can borrow from the 100 class plans i have written, the workshop content i have created, and the videos i have shot explaining poses, etc.
    just like i love to buy vintage accessories, “already been used” sequences are just as effective the second time around.. and each yoga class i teach doesn’t have to include a playlist made from scratch… building off successful things we have used or offered in the past saves so much time and energy!
    thanks for making re-cycling of all kinds cool!

  3. Suki

    This post is so right for me now. I’m having trouble with organizing my life at the moment. I’m kind of doing everything what you mention above but I was still in the mess. After reading this post and you pointed out about Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. It’s give me a much better idea what I am doing. Thanks for the bullet point my life.

  4. jean

    Loralee~I like what you said about having the knowledge already and that the right person is out there looking for your expertise.

  5. Kathleen

    Thank YOU LORALEE! Oh my WOMAN! this is such a HOT TOPIC FOR ME! I have learned soooooooooo friggin much! I have PHDS (worth of study and courses) in some pretty major areas… a life lonnnnnnggggggg lived with RICH RICH RICH experiences and wisdom. And yet… do I need something more? is the incessant little gremlin whispering in my ever self-doubting ear! Its VORACIOUS… the bottomless pit of self doubt. Never good enough.

    THANK YOU! oooooooo… I feel sooooo inspired!

    oh! and guess what? EDMONTON is my hometown! yay! and I plan on taking a road trip up there the end of August/beginning of Edmonton! I wasn’t going to because I felt like I needed to keep my nose to the grind stone. Yet the vision for my new life is that my site is my stillpoint so I can be a WORLD GYPSY! Maybe we can get together when I come up there!

    Thanks for the inspirational post, Loralee!

    • admin

      Oh, it would be so cool if we’re there at the same time. I’m in BC most of the time right now… Miss home though! Kindred spirit ~ world gypsy ~ Loralee

  6. Scott Powers

    First, I love that you shared your Master Composter Recycler honor….if I need to address you by something other than Loralee please let me know 😉 Second, this post hit me between the eyes. It’s so tempting to fall back into the comfort zone of “I need to learn more” than actually do the real work of creating. I’m definitely familiar with this pattern.
    I’ve been in re-use mode lately, going back to my past stories from my financial career for my posts, and also some of my bits that I used in my old networking group to bring people in. Sharing these gets me excited about blogging.
    Finally, your recyle part gave me hope that I will finish my product sooner than later!
    BTW I did take one action step after reading this and de-cluttered my Twitter feed which was long over-due.

    • admin

      Yep! definitely address me as something else… LOL
      Congrats on taking that action Scott! Twitter feed, inboxes, etc…wow! It can be a huge job. But when it’s done it’s so Freeing! Kudos

  7. Sasha Campbell

    Loralee I love this post. There are so many great ideas here. Firstly I love and admire that you just picked up and went with the flow of life. This is what a lot of us should be doing. However maybe all of mental clutter is keeping us from that. I also am truly inspired by you writing your e book in 7 days. What inspiration!! I think you are providing such great value in a time when we are all on some form of information overload. Thanks.

    • admin

      Hey Sasha! If you have an ebook idea, and want help getting it out there in 7 days just let me know! I’m more than happy to help. It’s so very possible, and I love sharing the possibility of it. I spent a lot of time in a different headspace, believing it wasn’t possible either. Let me know if I can help! Hugs~ Loralee

  8. Laura Gates


    This is inspiring! I love this line: I don’t “need” to take another course, sign up for another program or complete some arduous task before completing my next project.
    I can see we could form a club here on not thinking we need to know more before we launch ourselves onto the world. I have also been thinking, I don’t need more information, I just need to package it and get it out there, for thanks for the kick in the pants!

  9. Laurie Rosenfeld

    Loralee, what a creative way to apply Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to our entrepreneurial businesses. I especially liked your ideas around reducing physical and mental clutter. I reduce physical clutter by taking my laptop to a different space. Sometimes it’s a different space in my house (since I work from home), sometimes it’s a coffee shop or an airplane. I agree that slight changes to the physical environment can do wonders for my creativity. And I like your suggestions for addressing mental clutter too. I also need to remind myself that I know enough right now. One of my mantras is: “May the people I can best serve find me.”

    As for something I can recycle that my clients will love … I think I am doing that right now with my blog posts. I am taking material I sometimes send clients in email and turning it into blog posts that can benefit others more widely. Thanks for the question and enabling me to draw attention to what I am already doing.

  10. Tanya

    OMG I’ve got to learn from you how to REDUCE when I go on a trip! I find I take soooo much stuff with me … whether it is just going down the street for the day or on a trip. I pack way too much stuff.

    The part I like the most is letting go of mental clutter. Yes, we have everything we need inside of us. We forget that so many times, thinking we are not good enough. Thanks for the reminder.

    • admin

      Oh me too Tanya! I was packing for one week this morning. I used to lug 3 suitcases on trips…. it was overwhelming. Last year I challenged myself to do something a little bizarre. I went on a trip with one tiny carry on suitcase, and a shoulder bag. For almost 2 months. And as I traveled across Canada and the US, I found that I really had more than I needed. All of a sudden all of the things I had at home were completely pointless (well, maybe not completely, but close). I really needed very little to be happy and healthy. It’s an interesting realization.

      Simple tip for packing? Pack what you really “think you need”. Leave it in your suitcase for a while (even if it’s just an hour). Then pull out about half and leave it at home. If you miss something, you can usually pick it up at a local shop. Take a little look inside too and see if you might be feeling a bit of fear or concern about ‘lack’. When I pack too much, it’s usually because I’m worried I won’t have enough. Does this ring true for you at all? ~ Loralee

  11. Jenny Shih

    I never thought about mental reduce, reuse, recycle–but it’s funny that you talk about it because I have used it! I am a big fan of reusing ideas and concepts in business; it saves lots of effort. I love reducing my negative thinking–no need for an excess of those? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this idea in a new way, Loralee!

    • admin

      Oh Jenny! Love that you stopped in. Because I’m also in love with your Idea Juicer program. You really are the super hero of recycling content, and I love it. I’m going to paste your product link here
      And you’re so right. A cleanup of that negative clutter is sure an easy way to make room for the good stuff, isn’t it?

  12. Tina Pruitt

    OMG Loralee! This article is fantastic and such perfect timing for me! The Mental Clutter section was right on…I always feel like I have to do the next thing, the next class, the next whatever to “make sure” I am “doing it right”. But you are exactly correct, in that I AM and HAVE EXACTLY WHAT I NEED NOW TO MOVE FORWARD! I am complete for what my message is today…..
    Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and your process….much love!
    xo, Tina

    • admin

      Me too Tina! I had an amazing coach a few years ago who continually reminded me that “I already know enough!” Obviously I still need to learn this lesson repeatedly, and writing little blog posts about it can certainly help me move through this process. It’s a funny place to catch yourself, isn’t it? Holding back from sharing where you’re at, because there’s a possibility you could learn more, be better, etc. Yet there are so many people who are ready to hear what you know, right now. Love watching what you’re doing with your work. ~ Loralee

  13. sheila

    Great point, Loralee! I completely agree with your comments about running with an idea in the moment of its inception while all of the energy is surrounding it. I have a habit of thinking everything needs to be difficult and arduous (work) and am just learning to go with my creative flow and allow (purpose). A key to it is to create in the moment inspiration strikes rather than thinking, “oh, good idea, I will do that as soon as I get through this other work.”

    • admin

      I love that you brought this up Sheila, about working the moment the inspiration strikes. Especially because I’m slightly torn on this issue myself. In some cases I believe it’s also essential for me to stay on task with the goals I’ve set for myself. I have a tendency to have “bright shiny object syndrome”. And I know there are times where a new idea is simply a distraction from doing the real work. And for those times, I allow myself an amount of time to really capture the essense of “the bright shiny object” and I write “BIG NEW IDEA” on the pages (usually in red) & tuck them into a binder I call, “BIG IDEAS”. When I’m feeling a little blue, or need inspiration I flip through this binder. Its interesting to see that I’ve had several evolutions of the same idea, over the past 10 years or so. I guess this is still harnessing that energy in the moment & moving with the creative flow. What do you think Sheila?