To measure success in this day and age it pretty much boils down to a number. Sales numbers, weight on the scale, pant size, steps walked, income, number of orders, miles ran, test results, and so forth. There is nothing wrong with measuring success by numbers, I personally love it, but numbers can also drive us batty. I’m here to tell you that numbers can lie from time to time (from a personal success standpoint, not as in lab results). I’ve got a HUGE question to ask you plus I’ll give you five amazing ways to measure your success without involving numbers.
Not long ago a friend ask me a few questions about my blog and she had a hard time of why I was pouring so much time and energy into it. The numbers threw her off. The conversation went something like this, “Christy you only have X number of social media followers, you don’t have hundreds of email subscribers, and your sales are down. Why are you doing this? You can make a lot more money if you did anything else.”
Can you relate?
If you get frustrated when people tell you things you already know…especially about the numbers, then I know you get it. If you get weird looks when you tell people you’re a stay-at-home-mom, a full-time volunteer, or you spend a lot of time on your hobby, then I’m sure you also get it…if not more so.
First off, there are times when we didn’t ask their opinion but they gave it to us anyway. This is where we graciously explain what we do and why we do it without getting defensive. In fact, if people do this there is most likely something stirring in their hearts that needs healing. Either way, this is when we swoop in and stick up for ourselves and honestly, yet kindheartedly, ‘shut them up’. Most importantly, it’s when we say, “I measure success differently, let me explain.”
My friend. What she said.
As I mentioned earlier I had to have this hard conversation the other day with a close friend. She was confused and even got a little heated…this, I can’t figure out…but I think it was out of concern. She obviously measures success and happiness by numbers and numbers only. I love my dear friend and she knows that that’s why we can be brutally honest with each other.
Just so you know, she’s okay with me blogging about this conversation. And for the record, I’m not saying she is wrong in how she measures success but opening her mind to different ways of measuring broadened her perspective and even helped her in her line of work. The thing that bothered me most was the tone she used in talking to me. It was stern and serious like she was my boss or an investor. I felt like I was on Shark Tank being blasted by Mr. Wonderful. I certainly wasn’t asking her for anything. But I simply took a deep breath, reminded myself that my friend is trying to help me, and spoke from my heart.
When the heart comes out in words, things change. Throughout the conversation, she listened. She nodded her head, even cocked it at times. You could tell she was unraveling her confusion. The tone in her voice changed and she said, “I didn’t even look at it that way. I get it now.” I simply responded with, “Cool.”
What does your work provide?
When you lose sight and get stuck in the numbers game, to measure success by numbers and numbers only is eventually going to bite you. This is a time to remind yourself why you’re in this game. Rather than ask yourself what the numbers are telling you, a bigger question you should ask yourself is this: What does (whatever-you’re-working-on) provide for you? This is a HUGE question. And it’s how you look at it that determines your success.
5 ways to measure success
Blogging provides me with an outlet. I’m the type of person who measures her day by what she created that day. Did I write a blog post? Did I create a social media post or inspiring quote picture? Did I work on my shop? Did I incorporate a new plug-in or fix a few things on the website? Did I help my son with something or make him laugh today? Did I try a new recipe? Things like that. Having an outlet to feed your creative beast is not only therapeutic but is a seriously good vitamin for mental health. My blog provides me with a place to bring my ideas to life, to express my thoughts, and help others in the same boat. This is a success!
I come from a large family with a variety of personalities. If you happen to be the baby of the family, like myself, sometimes it can be hard to be heard. In large conversations I have found to be heard and listened to is like a battle. You need to fight for space. And even when you do get the soapbox you’re likely to get interrupted. Do you hear me? On the flip side, the pro of this family position is that I have become an excellent listener, which in some ways is more powerful than speaking. But when I have something important to say when people won’t let me have a voice, my blog gives me permission to speak without interruptions.
Life purpose is something every human craves. We want to feel like we’re making a difference! My blog helps provide that purpose. Whether 500 people read my stuff or ten, I’m at least going beyond my walls and reaching out to the world. I’m at least taking the steps to do something I am passionate about. For instance, as I mentioned earlier, my blog gives me a platform. I’m passionate about helping people live simply and helping their kiddos enjoy the small stuff. I’m also passionate about our mental well-being. And I love to try and raise an independent child in a fun way. My blog allows me to fulfill those passions by writing about those topics…it gives me purpose.
I can’t stress enough how much my blog has exercised my brain! There have been numerous programs I’ve had to learn to get to where I am today. Sure I could have paid someone to do it all, but what good is that if I don’t understand how it works or want to make a small change? I personally like to try things on my own first. If I can’t figure it out, then I’ll pass it on to someone else. Having my blog has kept my mind sharp and eager to learn. It’s exciting and it’s a confidence booster when you figure something out. Success!
According to Merriam-Webster gratification is the act of pleasing oneself or of satisfying one’s desires. After a big week of working on my blog, I love looking back on the week and saying to myself “You did it, you figured it out Christy, and made it happen!” It’s so gratifying to see all your hard work put into action, kind of like mowing the lawn. Stepping back to see a job well done satisfies the soul and brings warmth to the heart.
Wrapping up how to measure success
Measure success by what your work provides for you. On that day I talked with my friend, I told her, “I know you like numbers, but numbers don’t always tell the truth of success. My blog provides invaluable benefits. It gives me an outlet to express my creative side, it provides me a safe place for my voice to be heard, it gives me a purpose to get out of bed every morning at 5:30 A.M., it exercises my brain and keeps me learning new things every day, and it satisfies my soul. So thank you for your concern about my numbers, but numbers do lie when it comes to this.”
Do not give up on your passion. Do not let anyone tell you to shut your doors because they don’t understand. Keep moving forward one step at a time. Your time will come when people will turn their heads to see what you’re up to. Shine your light the way you like to do it!
Take care friend,
Bonus: How to start a blog
Starting a blog can be overwhelming. There is so much information out there it’s hard to know where to turn. My suggestion is to check out my post on starting a blog. You can also start by writing blog posts right now in Word or in your journal.
By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.