Hi, I'm Deidre. In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a website copywriter, my achievements and roadblocks along the way, and what I’m learning as I go (with Marketing Mentor as my guide).
I was back from honeymoon for a month and hadn’t stepped on the scale. My jeans were tighter, and I knew the scale wouldn’t be pretty. I dreaded the idea of stepping on it.
In my head, I had gained 30lbs eating my way across Italy (and then eating my way across Mexico) and simply couldn’t deal with it.
In the meantime, however, I continued to “vacation eat” because it wasn’t “real” yet. No scale means not real. See?
So, I was whining to a friend about my situation, and she shared a little tip from her job: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” (There’s even a page about this on about.com.) It says:
You can't manage what you don't measure. It is an old management adage that is accurate today. Unless you measure something you don't know if it is getting better or worse. You can't manage for improvement if you don't measure to see what is getting better and what isn't.
So, my friend smiled and said, “Just get on the scale. Stop the insanity.”
In reality, I had only gained 7lbs. Manageable, I thought. Much better than 30. This proves once again that I can’t trust my presumptions when it comes to … just about anything. Cold, hard numbers are much better.
The same goes for business. We can’t manage what we don’t measure!
Without having benchmarks, we are just floating around waiting for something to work. Then, when it does, we don’t necessarily know what it is.
Here is what I try to measure each month: inquiries, estimates, cold calls, newsletters sent, blog posts written, jobs, time, clicks, subscribers, networking, social networking, and accomplishments.
If you need a “My Monthly Recap” worksheet, that will help you measure your business at the end of each month, it comes free (until November 22nd) when you buy the Marketing Mentor eCalendar.
What is the most useful thing you track?