Every careerpreneur is fundamentally in the numbers business. (And I mean that in the legal sense of the word!) We’re constantly counting something, be it: calls and pitches (how many were made vs. how many are needed to close a sale), sales (how many sales were made plus what was the size of each sale); clients (how many clients do you have vs. how many do you want/need for a thriving business); time (how much time is needed to complete a task or project vs. how much time do you have available to do said), and money (money earned, lost, saved, spent, and invested). Numbers are extremely valuable barometers because numbers never lie! The numbers are what they are.
Ultimately, numbers tell the most objective story of success or failure. But as I recently discovered, it really depends upon how you define “success” and “failure.” From what I learned from planning the Financial Intimacy Conference, the relationship between numbers, success and failure are dependent on what you are measuring when you count, what you determine the measurement to mean, and how you tie that measurement to your identity. Let me explain.
As I shared in a previous post, I started planning the conference more than a year before its launch date. From the beginning, my vision was that we would have 200-300 people in the room soaking up the pearls of wisdom from the speakers and other attendees. We didn’t have 200-300 people in the room on the night of September 21st; we had 40. A far cry (by say 80% if you want to be technical) from our target. And yet, 40 turned out to be the right number…it was awesome! On many levels.
But I had to shift my mindset and expand my definition of success to see the blessing of 40 instead of 200+ for a very first conference. With 40, I was able to do things utilizing my own resources that I wouldn’t have had the capacity to do had the numbers matched my initial vision. With 40, I have a better benchmark for what makes a room feel intimate and how to create that when we do get to 200+ attendees. With 40, I learned an extremely valuable lesson about impact: Impact isn’t measured by the number of registrations or as my team and I like to say, “butts in the seats.”
Yes, I still have 200+ as a goal. In fact, our target for the next event in Los Angeles is to double the NYC numbers. But, my impact (along with the impact of the other speakers) is measured by the effect we have on people’s lives — whether that effect is immediately felt by the attendees or at some point in the future. This is a lesson and perspective that will serve me well as the conference grows.
So while I may have “failed” with regards to hitting the initial target, I know I hit the ball out of the park when it comes to success and satisfaction…and impact.
As you reflect on the numbers you are counting, how might you benefit from examining what you are measuring and how your count/measurement relates to your identify? How might you you benefit from looking at the numbers via the prism of impact? Let me know.