Simple Inspiration in Times of Trouble

Simple Inspiration in Times of Trouble

This is the full article of Julia Hobsbawm post on LinkedIn on the 1st April 2020

Julia Hobsbawm Writer and Speaker on Social Health. Author, The Simplicity Principle: Six Steps Towards Clarity in a Complex World.

They say that a week is a long time in politics, but that’s all out of the window isn’t it? A week is now a lifetime all over the world. We are united by a common enemy, by a common threat, and it has united us in strange ways: We focus less on the complexities of modern life – ambition, careers, money – and more on the simple essentials: Love, community, survival.

It Simple, Sweetie

This photograph is nearly thirty years old, about the age I was when it was taken, with the dazzling life force that was Maya Angelou. I have written for British Vogue this week about how she inspired me to write my new book The Simplicity Principle with her mantra ‘Keep it Simple, Sweetie’ and in a time of trouble we need simplicity as we hunker down and keep close to what matters.

Simplicity is Sophisticated and Cuts Through Complexity

Maya Angelou taught me that simplicity is not simplistic but the very opposite: It is sophisticated. When you keep things simple you reduce the stress on your mental load, you connect to what you know all along matters, helping you jettison the rest. 

When you keep things simple you give yourself permission to be yourself, not a complicated version of you which perhaps you created accidentally and incrementally as a work persona. Instead of multi-tasking you can recognise the reality that we are born to monotask instead. 

Six is the Perfect Simplicity Number

I have created a six-step process (based on the fact that we all need a good organising number and 6 is both mathematically and geometrically ‘perfect’ but also falls within the working memory limit of seven). 

The 6 elements of The Simplicity Principle are as follows, and each are covered in my book (audio, paper and digital in more detail) and begin with a six-word mantra or axiom: 

  1. CLARITY: Being Crystal-Clear Brings You Simplicity
  2. INDIVIDUALITY: Humans Should Take Priority Over Machines
  3. RESET: The Always-On Mind Needs Rest
  4. KNOWLEDGE: Escaping from Infobesity Must Come First
  5. NETWORKS: Diverse Networks Matter More Than Networking
  6. TIME: Treat Your Time Like Your Body

Each element has a six-step process to follow whether you are a Leader, Manager, Freelancer. If you would like to know more about the forthcoming webinars on each topic and The Simplicity Principle, simply contact me directly.

I will let Maya Angelou have the last word. “While one may encounter many defeats, one must not be defeated”.

You can find more on Julia’s upcoming webinar series, her books and other talks at

Her British Vogue article “How One Train Journey With Maya Angelou Changed My Life”

Julia Hobsbawm.
Writer and Speaker on Social Health. Author, The Simplicity Principle: Six Steps Towards Clarity in a Complex World.

Rebecca Woolstencroft


Rebecca Woolstencroft – CA/GAICD 
Chief Executive Officer/Director

Rebecca is a bundle of enthusiasm and energy when it comes to making sure that MB+M provides the best service it can to its clients.  The first part of this comes from ensuring that MB+M has a great team of people who share in the core values of MB+M and it’s number one principle “making your life easier”.  The first step to this is to ensure that her team love what they do, and they truly care about the people in their community.

Rebecca has been at MB+M for over 20 years, and pretty much tried every role they have.  Her passion currently is running the MB+M business from a strategic perspective so that she can continue in her role of advising and mentoring business owners in their daily challenge to run their businesses.

Outside of work Rebecca is a keen community contributor, currently as Chair of the GV Health board and assisting in a variety of community projects whether they be coaching a sports team, or sitting on advisory committees.  Her true passion is sport, and she loves a hit of tennis or run on the netball court.

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