Traditional business measurements include profit, market share, and sales growth. But are those the true measurements of success?
Are numbers the primary way we should measure success (or failure)? Shouldn’t there be more meaning to what we do as entrepreneurs than dollars, cents, and charts?
If you are like me, the answer is an unqualified “Yes!” I believe that in the coming decade and beyond businesses will find new, better ways to measure what they do, including things like:
- Genuine Client Benefit
All of these new, non-traditional measurements can be summed up by the phrase “creating space for meaning”. But what does that mean, exactly? I’m glad you asked!
The New Industry Leaders
Thinking about your business in new and creative ways is always worthwhile. It can lead to breakthroughs, innovations, and triumphs.
Here are some entrepreneurs who changed their paradigm by thinking creatively about the way they measure their business:
Tara Gentile founded a traditional branding business called Quiet Power Strategy. But when her business became stagnant, she reimagined it as a community-driven membership that she named Co-Commercial. Here, in her own words, is why she decided to put her personal values ahead of traditional business measurements.
Scott Olford created the multi-million dollar “information” business Lead Craft. Then he closed it for good so he could launch a transformational program called the Relevancy Engine. Here’s his story.
Lewis Howes is a widely recognized online marketing expert. But instead of continuing to grow his business, he ditched it in order to write a book called “The Mask of Masculinity”. Why? Find out here.
These are all successful entrepreneurs who decided to stop embracing the normal and traditional path in favor of more rewarding and enlightening business discoveries, ones that include seeking answers to important questions like:
- Why am I working so hard and enjoying it so little?
- Does what I contribute to the world truly matter?
- What’s the reason for my hard work?
- What can I do to create genuine positive change in my client’s lives?
Like all of these people, I’ve been thinking a lot about the meaning of what we do as entrepreneurs. It can’t be all about the money, can it?
There’s got to be something more. And what I’ve discovered is that there most definitely is. And as an online entrepreneur, it’s critical to your happiness that you move beyond traditional measurement tools and embrace results that offer perspective, such as:
- Measure impact rather than income
- Focus on love notes rather than list size
- Count the content you create rather than the followers you attract
- Measure transformational results for your clients rather than sales
“Okay,” you probably are thinking. “That’s all well and good. But how can I actually do it? How can I change the way I measure my business so that it actually offers more meaning than simply more data?”
Again, I’m glad you asked!
Back in the ‘90s, the big book in business philosophy was Steven R. Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. In it, Covey talked about shifting your paradigm, changing the way you looked at your business, your marketplace, your world in order to gain a new, exciting, and innovative perspective.
By looking at the world in a new way, it’s often easier to see the underlying reasons behind why you do what you do – in other words your unapologetic belief statements.
Discovering these are the key to creating the baseline foundation that can define every decision you make, every piece of content you create, and the path to every new discovery that lies just beyond the horizon.
Mine include these:
- There is a plethora of untapped human potential that is the key to changing everything in the world. This type of inner genius is present in everybody and is just waiting to be discovered – and it can be uncovered by effective, consistent branding.
- The choices we make effect not only our lives but also those of everybody around us. So when we strive for greatness, we not only help benefit ourselves but also our families, our co-workers, our clients, and our friends. We can be the lighthouse that uncovers the possibilities for everybody else.
- Our mission in life is to discover our own truths in order to help others discover theirs. And the path to this enlightenment lies in branding.
By shifting your paradigm inward, it’s possible to make genuine positive change outward.
Guiding values provide the foundation for any business. If they are built on solid ground (truth) the business can prosper. But if they are rocky at best, it’s going to be nearly impossible to achieve the success you envision.
That’s why defining your inner values is so essential to your long-term strategies and overall success. Yours are going to be your own. I can’t define them for you. But I can share some of mine:
- Truth – You could say this is my “flagship” value. The goal of my business is to shine the light of truth by helping people discover their own truths about themselves, their brands, and their businesses.
- Intelligence – Brands and businesses alike need to use smart processes in everything they do. Otherwise, too much time will be wasted on wheel-spinning and inefficiency. As a branding entrepreneur, I focus on challenging people’s assumptions about “why” they do, not “what” they do.
- The Big Idea – Everybody has the potential to be their best and bravest version of themselves. Our goal is to help our clients discover the path to making big, dramatic changes through innovation, truth, and intelligence (see above).
Measuring success exclusively by dollars and cents doesn’t work in the 21st Century. It’s not going to lead you where you want to go. Plus, it can destroy your spirit (not to mention your business) if you put ALL of your focus on tangibles.
Instead, shift your paradigm by expanding how you measure success by looking at “worthiness indicators” such as:
- Client Satisfaction/Impact
- Mentions/Positive Reviews
- Published Content
- Web Visits/Transformational Results
Ultimately, these are going to offer you a better picture of whether or not your business is successful. But more importantly, they can help lead you to genuine fulfilment, happiness, and the joy that comes with contributing to make the world a better place.