You Focus On What You Measure

090410 One Day at a Time AttackedI have the privilege of knowing many fine entrepreneurs. Some of them are doing surprisingly well. Others are licking their wounds and struggling with the loss of confidence in their business, their business model, or even themselves.

 On some level, recent events could represent the biggest failure that some of these people ever have in their lives.

There are several ways to take that. Here's one to think about.

What would you do if you knew your worst failure was behind you and everything from this point forward was a move upwards or at least provides an opportunity to make progress?

I Sense A Lot of Pain.

If you look at
things based on cycles or seasons, then this probably has been winter.  Still, periods like this can teach you a lot about yourself.

I got a phone call this week from a friend who asked where I've been hiding. I was surprised because I hadn't thought about it like that.  Yet, it didn't take much reflection to see that many people I know, including me, have been hiding in one way or another.

For example, one of my closest friends hasn't been returning phone calls. That is one of his early warning signs that tells me he is having a tough time. And several unquestionably smart, resourceful, and successful businessmen have broken down into tears recently while talking to me about the circumstances in which they find themselves.  I get it; there is a lot of pain out there right now.

It affects me too.  A business group that I've participated in for almost 10 years is going on its annual retreat this week. It's designed to be fun and a vehicle to reconnect with ourselves and each other. It's a time for reflection, sharing and hopefully for new insight. Yet, there's a part of me that doesn't want to go.

If I'm honest with myself, it is probably because I don't want to re-examine what happened during the past year.  In other words, I don't want to reflect on what went wrong, again, because I've done that enough already.

But going to the retreat doesn't have to be about that at all. In fact, instead of it being an unpleasant exercise focusing on what I don't want … it easily can be when I focus on what I do want, and how I'm going to get there in a way that's best for everyone involved. The only difference in those two retreats is what I make it mean – and of course what happens because of that.

You Focus on What You Measure.

So, it occurs to me that I might be measuring the wrong things in several areas. Just because I used to keep score one way, doesn't mean that it's a helpful measure for me now.

Measurement is supposed to give you a sense of your momentum towards your target. Done right, it helps you feel more confident and in-control. Sure it tells you what to do less of … more importantly, though, it highlights what we can and should do more of.

Cleansing Or Clogging?

I remember being in a Tony Robbins seminar about health and hearing a simple rule that made sense to me about eating. He said: before you put something in your mouth think about whether it's cleansing or clogging. That made sense to me, and it was helpful. The same could hold true for deciding which things to focus on in business or life. Will focusing on this create momentum and energy, or not? 

On some level pain is inevitable.  Yet, for the most part, suffering is optional.

Choose what makes you strong and more likely to take actions that make progress.

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