Metrics that don’t matter

Metrics that don’t matter

I think distractions may be on of, if not the, biggest causes of failure. Especially in this modern era, it is easier than ever to get off course and allocate time to things that really do not matter.

I want to make a clear distinction here because “things that do not matter” are not necessarily things that do not make money or advance you professionally. I’m referring to time spent on things that:

  • do not bring you happiness
  • do not help you grow
  • do not provide value to others
  • do not give you value
  • do not give you a fun time

I am a big believer in trying to make the most of my time. And however I have to do that to maximize the “utility” I receive and give, I will.

Now back to these stupid metrics. “Vanity Metrics.” I have written about these things many times. Why? Because I think I, and many other ambitious people, spend a lot of our time getting distracted.

Vanity metrics, in short, are indicators that “falsely” validate you. They boost your ego but do not really help you in the long term or deliver any long term help.

Getting caught up in these metrics is actually really dangerous. Well not physically. But, years later, you can find yourself in the same spot as before. Because these metrics mean nothing.

Here’s a good example. Viewcount. If I wanted to, I could get 20,000 views a month on my own blog + medium account. Probably more if I really wanted to. That is not me being cocky. Or at least I hope it’s not read like that. It’s me understanding how this world works. And how media is dominated by certain types of content.

The thing is, and luckily I figured this out relatively quickly, is that viewcounts would never make me that happy. There was a point where I was getting much more than 20,000 views a month. I was publishing everywhere. But the views did not make me happier. They did not make me a better writer.

Your goal can be whatever you want. But know that there will be tons of distractions looming.

I don’t post to my personal (or any) facebook account because those are really vanity views. They are friends who are reading my content. Why? Because they are my friends. Sure, I can deliver them value. But those click thrus are not for the same reason of some stranger, some new connection, is clicking on my article.

And one of my goals early on in writing was to start conversations with new people. Posting on my own social media was not helping with that. The only thing it was doing was falsely inflating my metrics. And making me feel better along the way.

I am so passionate about metrics and distractions because I know just how important focus is. And I say that, because I, myself, am working a lot to focus on the things that really matter.

I hope you do too. I hope you’re happy first though.

Originally published at Jordan Gonen.

By jordangonen on January 19, 2017.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.