Focusing on a single metric for success can be a great way to measure and plan. When you have a growing company, it can be almost distracting to focus on all the numbers that clamor for your attention:
- Quarterly sales growth
- Staff satisfaction
- Investment capital raised
- Marketing ROI
- Sales timelines
- Cost of goods sold
Any while all of these (and so many more) matter and can be tracked simultaneously, it can be a bit daunting to do so.
One way to slow down the onslaught is to focus on a single metric for a fixed amount of time. So if you want to decrease costs, focus on reducing expenses for a given quarter. Or if you're looking to grow sales in a key industry, then zoom in on that for the next 30 days and track every success and failure.
Of course, at the risk of being overly reductionistic, I'll posit a single metric worth tracking weekly, if not daily:
Are you happy?
There can be a lot of ingredients to happiness - profit, headaches, growth, friendship, media buzz, excitement - but I think tracking this will let you know if you're heading in the right direction.
You don't want to bend to the whims of any given moment (every day can have its own ups and downs), but if you notice a downward trend in your personal happiness, you need to course correct.
Make all the money you want, but if you're not happy (and don't think you will be), it's time to close up shop.