In the startup scene there’s a saying: “You build what you measure”.
If for example your startup is measuring number of new registrations, then you’ll end up building and iterating in a way that makes that metric go up. However, if you stop measuring this metric and concentrate on something else, you may find that the number of new registrations start to decrease.
Another good example is how large companies often only measure the growth rate of their profits. In doing so you may forget to measure other key metrics which may have actually made the company a success in the first place!
A good few years ago I heard that people are basically thinking of three things in life: Health, Wealth, Relationships. This seems accurate to me. I have noticed that whenever I meet someone new all I need to do is make them talk about one of these three things and they can go on and on forever. Also, people love to talk about themselves so that person always ends up feeling like you really “get” them at the end of the interaction.
I hadn’t realised I was doing this, but I soon realised that I was treating these three points almost like business metrics. I always keep track of these three things and make sure the trajectory is always going up. When you need to make a decision in life, keeping these three things in mind always help. What I like about this system is how effective it is in drastically improving your life combined with how simple it is. For example my health goal is to get down to 10% body fat for the summer time, my wealth goal is to finish my postgraduate training and continue to work on my startup, my relationship goal is to continue to meet and befriend successful entrepreneurs.
It’s deceptively simple, however as soon as you are aware of these metrics you can’t help but move towards the goal.