Business: 'Trimming The Excess" Laura Prather

Laura Prather

Where I am now in my business looks nothing like it did when I started. This last week I came across a blog post I wrote on the day I decided to close my women's boutique. It's strange, yet satisfying to read that post from the perspective of where I am now. My decision to close one business gave birth to another one that's even better. Every year my business adjusts a little more and continues to mold into something unique. Just as a potter that works with a lump of clay alters and shifts the shape of the clay with the slightest movement, so I've shifted and altered the look of my business a little bit at a time.  Potters have a design philosophy called, Form Follows Function. Basically, it says the intended purpose determines the shape, yet at the same time, the design, while it may be beautiful, must fulfill the purpose well. In other words, a teacup may be beautiful but if it isn't comfortable in the hand of the user, it has not fulfilled its purpose.  From what I understand, a potter may have one plan for the lump of clay on their wheel, but as he or she works with it, they discover that each lump of clay almost has a life of its own. What they started out creating may actually not work and rather, the potter ends up with something different. I suppose our businesses are a bit like that. We have an idea of what it's going to look like when we start, but as we work the business, we're molding our own soul into it - and that influences the shape our endeavors take. Or, the shape we desired doesn't function for purpose for which we intended. Finally, as we find the right form for the function we need, in terms of creating a business, then comes the task of trimming off what doesn't fit. That's where I'm at in my own entrepreneurial journey, trimming the excess. 

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It has taken a bit of trial and error to find the shape and form my business needs to take. And now, after what feels like forever, that lump of clay I've been wrestling with for several years is taking shape. But it's time to trim away those aspects that don't contribute - or even take away from - the overall purpose and direction of my business. It's harder than I thought it would be and honestly, there's a bit of fear attached to the decisions I have to make. I mean, what if I trim off the wrong parts? I've wrestled with this for a couple of weeks now but what made the difference is when I stepped back and considered the Form Follows Function philosophy. I pondered these questions:At the core, what is the function I need my business to perform?In other words, what do I really want to do? Not what do others what me to do or what do I think I SHOULD do. Rather, what do I WANT to do?Once I had the courage to allow myself to have permission to use my business to fulfill the desires of my heart, then I could clearly see what needed to be trimmed off.


Who Is Laura Prather?

"A lifelong entrepreneur, Laura Prather is a marketing consultant to microentrepreneurs and small business owners. Her husband, Rob, and she also have a fun side hustle repairing and selling vintage typewriters. Laura is passionate about living deep in the presence of God and being a light in the marketplace, and she’s embraced her call to be a writer. Laura and her family live near Branson, MO, where she never tires of their beautiful view of Table Rock Lake. You can visit her website at"


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