Thursday, October 31, 2013

How do you measure success?

How do you measure success?

It is a great question and one I want to address here after being asked by a fiend of mine on Facebook on how I measure success.

Many of us have dreams and think about what we would like to be or have in the future.

If you work for someone else or for a big company, I guess you may have been asked where you see yourself in 5 years time. That question is asked to try to help people create a vision and encourage them to work towards that vision but of course, only if it is in line with the 'companies' objectives and business plan!

Success can be different for a number of people but lets look at how you measure it.

Success is something that lies in the future and that we work towards. If your lucky enough to win the lottery or a big talent show, then you could say you have attained instant success but for the majority of us, that will not be the case.

Success is something we will have to work for but we can put in place some actions that will help us. We should plan a journey towards what success will be or look like for us.

This journey, which I will talk about in a minute, will have markers along the way and these will help us measure our progress and add up towards the final destination that is success.

So think about the end result of success actually not being the measure we seek, rather it is this journey.

This is important because if we only expect to measure or achieve the final destination without a measure along the journey, we will most likely fail or fall away front the journey. You see, by only having your focus on the end result, this will not take you to that result.

The desire and dream of what success is for you is a great thing to have and very healthy but that is not the substance of the journey. That is the vision. Vision is critical but it is not what will do the work for you.

The journey is what we should focus on and moving forward and along that journey.

So, what will the journey look like?

Your journey will be different to mine but we will share some similar aspects to how we measure our journeys.

Achievable goals is a term you may have heard about. Maybe you agree with setting goals or maybe you have never given it much thought or maybe you think it is a silly thing to do.

Well goal setting in a very simple way is how we set our journey out, how we plan the route we will take.

Lets imagine for a moment that your an independent business person, a sole trader.

You have a vision, a dream of being financially secure and enjoying life with your family and friends.

That is a good strong vision. That is our start point.

The journey is what we need to plan to get us to the dream.

So we need to look at setting realistic goals that we can both put in place and actually work on.

Too many goals are set that are too big or just are not realistic. Sometimes a goal can actually be a vision and it is an easy mistake to make, to create a goal that should really be the big vision you want to work towards.

So goal setting. What goals you may ask should you be writing down?

The goals will be set in groups and by groups I mean the parts of a business that make it turn and act.

So we could list the groups as Marketing - Cash Flow - Customers - Raw Materials

Making goals in each of these groups will shape our journey. The goals need to be things you can do now and also in the near future. So we could write a goal to be achieved in 3 weeks time as well as another to be achieved in 6 months time.

Let me explain like this, lets say you want to work on your marketing, you want to use social media to help you grow your business.

Your goals may look something like this:

Marketing goals
1. Set up a Facebook page - to be completed (tbc) in 3 days
2. Take the Facebook page address/URL and have printed on stationary etc - tbc in 3 weeks
3. Add the Facebook page and create a link url to the existing website - tbc 1 week
4. Grow the connections on Facebook for the page - tbc 2 months
5. Set up a twitter account - tbc in 3 days
6. share and create a link to the twitter 'name' on website - tbc 1 week
7. Print the twitter link/name on stationary etc - tbc 3 weeks
8. start to add content to Facebook - tbc as soon as page is ready and 'live' :every day
9. start to add tweets to twitter - tbc as soon as account is ready and live :every day

OK, I hope you can see from the example above that the goals set are action steps that list what needs to be dome both immediately and in the coming weeks, months to achieve the task of marketing your business.

The list above in the example can be even bigger with the other areas of social media like a blog, pinterest and other current websites that your customers are using.

But the point here is that by creating these goals or tasks, is that you are identifying the actions that should be worked upon, those that create the journey toward what your success will become.

So by listing and then tracking these goals, you will have the route for your journey and you will have your measures as you can easily see what has been achieved and what needs to be worked on.

As you set these goals in the groups, so you have a detailed goal list set out, you will see how you can work on the journey to move towards the end vision or dream of what the success will be.

At this point as I come to a close, let me say that this is very important because just dreaming or simply thinking about what success looks like to you, without setting the journey, shall mean you will never arrive at your success, it will remain a dream and just that.

The journey will take hard work and determination and sometimes it will be easy and other times it will feel very hard, but if you have set out your route on your journey and start to travel along it, you will find you are creating the foundation to make the dream a reality.

Let me finish by saying that the journey can be set for different success visions. As you achieve your first you will need to set another. You just can't stand still because you have achieved your first dream of success, you should continue with a new and fresh vision. All the successful business people do this. We must continue to move forward.

I hope this has helped you and encouraged you to think about your vision and what your journey will look like.

Let me know how you get on and I wish you the very best in your work!

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