In my corporate consulting days, “what gets measured gets done” was one of my favorite mantras when working with top level leadership. I was always reminding them that in the corporate world, employees will follow you when they know you are paying attention and they know what to expect. What you ‘measure’ in real, day to day life, is what will get attention.
As a self-employed business owner I find the mantra still holds true. I get the most done when I’m paying attention to the details and measuring what matters. I work more focused when I have a goal. I work more quickly when I’m clear about the outcome I’m working toward. And when I am not clear on what I’m building—and measuring—I can slip around and let days or weeks roll by without seeing results in the things that matter most.
So what are you measuring right now? Not sure? Take a look at what’s getting done.
- Are you measuring yourself against a clean inbox? Then you’re probably staying on top of those emails
- Are you measuring yourself against how engaged your audience is on Facebook or how many friends and followers you have? Then you’re probably spending daily time on social media.
- Are you measuring yourself against how much impact you’re having? Then perhaps you’re focusing consistent time on growing your list, spreading your message and sharing your expertise.
- Are you measuring yourself against the revenue goals you’ve set? Then you’re likely taking consistent daily action to market and sell your services, products and programs.
- Are you measuring yourself against profitability? Then you’re most likely monitoring expenses as well as income and making sure you maintain a healthy profit margin.
Yes, it’s true that what we measure, we are more likely to act on.
But the challenge for most entrepreneurs is in knowing what to measure?
And in the absence of really meaningful measures, we default to quick and easy ones. Like revenue. Revenue is great. But if it’s not balanced against smart spending (of both time and money) you can go bankrupt building a high revenue business.
So I ask you, what really matters to you?
Is it freedom? Then what if you measured was how much free time you create for yourself.
Is it impact? Then how about tracking the number of people you reach via all the avenues you use to get your message out. You could track the number of talks you give (and audience size), the number of people on your list, rss feed, social media channels. The key here is to make it meaningful to you so that you are measuring yourself—and ultimately your sense of success –against what matters.
Do you want to grow your revenue and profits? Then make sure you track your daily income and know how much of each dollar you earn is profit. Are you putting money in your pockets each month or is the revenue flowing in one door and right out the other? Keep your eye on the most meaningful number you can.
What about energy? Do you want to feel energized and excited about what you’re doing? I know I sure do. So one measure I’ve taken on this year is tracking how much “energy investment” I’m putting in. I track my weekly time spend on activities that recharge and renew me, such as exercise, fun, quiet time, massages,etc…
I recommend keeping a simple scorecard or even a visible chart on the wall to keep you reminded of your “measures that matter”. Otherwise it’s tempting to start measuring yourself against other people’s standards, expectations and visible results—which is a surefire way to derail you and bring your momentum to a screeching halt.
I’d love to hear from you. What are the measures that matter most to you and how do you keep them front and center in your life and business? Please chime in below.