I thrive on indicators in all aspect of my life – business and personal. In my personal space, my indicators typically revolve around health and wellness – how I consume food and how I work it off. In my business life, my indicators revolve around efficiencies and execution on our way to creating a second-to-none agency and content experience for our clients.
Some focus on the end with their indicators – weight lost and deals closed. I don’t. There is a reason.
I believe that personal and business will eventually intersect each other at a point where you realize all of the previous moments and experiences of your life equal a connector to your current foundation. For me, focusing on the effort and not the deal stems from years of being told I wasn’t good enough. Even under those circumstances, I was able to find sellable solutions to get what I wanted.
I was cut from a high school travel baseball team. Rather than accepting the defeat, I went to the coach and asked why. He said the talent pool was so deep and there were too many people better than me (his opinion) in the pipeline. I, as a larger kid, offered to do whatever it took to make the team including telling him I would run five miles before every practice and game just to have a jersey with no guarantee to play. He took a chance on this safe bet and gave me a chance. When my opportunity came, I hit the ball – out of the park, in fact, and earned a regular starting catcher position. Effort led to results.
In high school, I was also cut from the school newspaper. The teacher said my writing just wasn’t good enough. I said I would do whatever it took to make the paper and suggested going to journalism camp over the summer (yes, journalism camp exists). He accepted the deal, not promising me any writing, but the chance to be a part of the process. I busted my butt with storytelling, quickly becoming the top sports writer and given every major assignment for the paper.
The creation of opportunity continued through college and into my first job, when once again I was told I wasn’t a good enough writer, but given a low-level non-writing position at the newspaper where I worked. During off-hours I would write stories to submit to the editor. I decided to think outside the norm and created a column focused on putting celebrities in uncomfortable scenarios through my questions (called Say What?!?!). The column quickly earned a huge following and propelled my journalism career.
When given lemons, make lemonade. Results can rarely happen without effort.
Today, in my business world, this is the way I think. You can’t guarantee results, but you can guarantee great effort. It is 100 percent in the control of an individual whether they are willing to put in the time. This is why the most important part of a KPI in sales, weight loss, marketing – virtually anything – is effort.
Effort leads to results.
While results are clearly measurable, so is effort (if set up correctly). With effort being measured, it’s very easy to see who gives a shit and who doesn’t.