Saturday, January 5, 2013

"I Manage What I Measure"

I was reading an article in the January 2013 issue of Good Housekeeping by happiness expert Gretchen Rubin (author of "The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.") In the article, she said one of her "Secrets of Adulthood" is "I manage what I measure."

Wow. Isn't that so true?

We keep track of numbers that are important to us. Our age. Our weight. Our checkbook balance. How much we made last year. These are the numbers we focus on. So if we want to make something important to us, we need to assess a metric we can use to judge progress, and then measure it.

Even when I'm not consciously aware that I'm doing this, this principle has power. For example, in September 2011, I started a membership site for resume writers to help them be more effective in their work (their business), and their work with clients. I use a free email-based "journaling" program called "OhLife" to keep a diary of important happenings. The neat thing about OhLife is that it will remind you of your postings from the past — sometimes that's a week ago, but many times it's a year ago.

It will say:

And then, below that, it will include my journal entry. It's really neat to see what was going on at certain periods, and because it's random, it often brings to mind things I wouldn't have thought to look up. It's also a great way to assess your metrics.

For example, periodically, I'll include the number of Bronze members I have on in my OhLife entries. Then, as I get these "past" prompts, I can see the progress I've made in recruiting (and retaining) new Bronze members.

I also keep track of the number of attendees I have for my teleseminars. I create a promotional calendar for marketing each teleseminar, and I keep a running count (in parentheses) on each day of the month leading up to the program. That way, not only can I see how effective certain marketing tactics are (if it jumps from one day to the next), but it keeps me motivated to keep growing that number. (So far, the highest registration for a teleseminar was 162 for "Start, Operate, Profit: Strategies for Building a Six-Figure Resume Writing Business" with Teena Rose in November 2012.) And, as of today, I'm up to 72 registrants for the free "Resume Writer's Affiliate Income Blueprint" program I'm giving on Jan. 9.

My husband was contacted by one of his website clients yesterday, wondering how many visitors they had to their website last month, and in 2012 total. If he didn't have a way to measure that, the client wouldn't know how much traffic they were getting to their site. Instead, he was able to pull up (free website traffic analytics) reports from both (the web host) and Google Analytics.

What can you measure in your resume writing business and life?

Like this post? I also believe that what get's written down get done. Check out my "Ready, Set, Goal!: Business Planning and Goal Setting For Resume Writers" special report for how to set business goals and create an action plan to achieve them in your resume writing business.

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