Success means many things to many different people. Some believe that success is based on your wealth, prestige and material possessions. Others believe that money and power mean nothing when it comes to success. And because of that, it’s difficult to create one formula for success that will meet everyone’s needs. Truth is, success can be whatever you want it to be. That is your right. But if you want to truly be successful (in whatever way you imagine success to be), you have to properly measure any efforts, results or lessons learned in the process.
Measuring success by input.
What you put on the table will determine who eats off of it. One way to determine if you’re headed toward the life you want is by the effort you put into it (e.g. research, content creation, etc.). How much time do you spend during the week learning about your industry? How often are you networking? What new projects have you started? In a world where you can achieve overnight fame just for posting a funny 10-second video online, society’s attention is elsewhere. And the number of distractions are only increasing. You have to be able to cut through the noise and get people’s attention with your product or service. What makes your brand different? Putting more into your brand is a great way to determine potential success. It’s fairly easy to calculate. More planning = greater chance of success.
Measuring success by output.
Which is how 99.9% of people measure success (I made that number up). At a young age, we’re taught that if you put in more effort, you’ll receive a better outcome. More studying = good grades. Here’s one you’re presently familiar with: more calls = more sales. Or another one: more social media = more awareness. Wherever you’re at in your career, you’re taught to look at the numbers. And let’s be honest, executives want results. But what most people don’t see is that measuring by output takes the MOST patience and critical analysis. There could be a lot of reasons why your numbers are still low: your product could be defective, your content could be inaccurate, your communications could be inefficient, your target audience could be incorrect. Whatever it is, it’s your job to figure it out. The metrics you use to measure outcome depend on what you or your team is looking for — increase in customers, increase in sales dollars, increase in social media engagement, etc. Your team will have to determine which factors matter most to your organization and which objectives you all want to accomplish. Once you establish that, you have to monitor these numbers over time. Analyze and evaluate the change and use that analysis as part of your marketing strategy. Make sure you approach your results with an open mind and a willingness to change. Don’t discount the numbers automatically. Analyze and think about why your results came out the way they did.
Measuring success by improvement.
Probably the most rewarding way to measure your success. If you’ve given your all and your numbers are still not where you want them to be, think about why you started. And where you started from.
“I may not be where I want to be, but thank goodness I’m not where I used to be.”
What lessons can you extract from your experience? If you came out a better person or a better worker, then according to this measurement, you are successful. Strayer University’s national Success Project Survey indicated that most people believe this measurement — a measurement of your character and happiness — is the true definition of success.
But what does success look like to you? And how do you measure your success? Leave a comment below!