When we see someone whose business is doing really well, is that success? Maybe yes, maybe no. It’s only success if they perceive it to be.
How do you define success in your business? What’s your scorecard? Is it the number of customers you serve each year? Is it your total sales dollars? Is it the bottom line? Is it the number of visits to your website or the number of emails and phone calls you get? Are you even keeping score at all?
If you are keeping score, are you measuring your success against your own past performance or someone else’s? True success is your own personal growth. If your main goal is to beat someone else, and you’re not a sports team, then I think you have your eye on the wrong goal.
Be better than you were the last time.
I trained in Tae Kwon Do up until a few years ago (a back injury ended that run) and the master always told us that we weren’t striving for perfection, we were just trying to be better than we were the last time. It’s a great philosophy in business and in life. Don’t try to beat the next person, just try to be the best you can possibly be today. That’s all any of us can really achieve. We can’t automatically be better than someone else just because we want to but we can be better than we were yesterday. Any of us can achieve that.
I did a webinar on social media
recently and I mentioned how I know some people whose goal is to have more Facebook friends that anyone in their market and category. To me that’s a little like a dog chasing a car. What’s the dog going to do once it catches the car? Success on Facebook is not having the most friends it’s having the most interested, engaged audience, that’s interacting with you and your business. Having an audience that’s doing business with you and bringing you new clients is a successful experience on Facebook.
What’s the score?
When it comes to your advertising and your own website success isn’t having the most views of your ad, or clickthroughs to your website. Page views and clickthroughs don’t automatically result in business. The quality of that traffic is much, much more important than the quantity. So, if you’re measuring the success of your ads based upon the number of clickthroughs or emails alone, then you’re using the wrong tool. I’ve talked about these topics on webinars about Return on Investment (ROI) and Conversion.
How do you measure the success of your website? If you’re using an analytics tool like Google Analytics then you’re still not getting the full picture. Website analytics, at least for service businesses like most wedding professionals, aren’t connected to your sales numbers. They’ll tell you trends of traffic and how many clicks came in from various sources, but they can’t tell you how much business you booked from each source. In an article I wrote on this subject, “10 Reasons why Google Analytics can’t tell you if your ad is working”, number 7 was that most people who look at reports like this don’t know how to read them properly. There’s a lot of information on those reports but if you don’t know how to read and interpret it you could be making important business decisions using the wrong information.
When it comes right down to it, success is your personal point of view. You’ve heard the old saying that “money doesn’t buy happiness”. Just having money is usually not enough. In fact, the pursuit of money is very often a fruitless journey. Many people just want more, and more, and more, but to what end? More stuff isn’t going to make you healthier or improve your outlook on life.
Success isn’t only about money. Having a happy home life and personal relationships is a form of success (Happy wife, happy life!). For anyone who has suffered from health issues, being healthy is a very important form of success.
Take some time to reevaluate your scorecards for success. What steps can you take to be more successful this year, next year and beyond? What one step are you going to make today towards that goal?