We often talk about the fact that an idea is strengthened by every element removed from it.

To which many people have recently replied: “That sounds great and all, but how? How do you decide what stays and what goes? How do you simplify ideas?”

On the surface, that seems like an ironically complicated question.

Former Navy SEAL platoon leader Jocko Willink was once asked how to develop mental toughness.

To which he responded: “If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher.”

He didn’t mention meditation. Or playing challenging brain games. Or making a complicated, ten-step plan to achieve mental toughness. Those are all valuable tactics. But before any of that, he knows being mentally tougher requires making a conscious decision to be tough.

And then making that same decision over and over again.

The same holds true for simplifying ideas. You first need to decide to say it simple. And then let that decision inform every piece of communication about your brand.

Want to establish a death-positive brand personality for your historic cemetery? Say it simple.

Need to stay on message with your pro-hits campaign agenda? Say it simple.

Want to make great advertising? Take it from our founder:

Have a, uh, simplified weekend, everybody!

Your always-uncomplicated friends at Brokaw.

How do you decide what stays and what goes? How do you simplify ideas?

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