Why the Numbers Don’t Matter

October 6, 2016

Why the Numbers Don’t Matter

Lately I’ve stopped caring as much.

About the follows and likes and retweets or shares. I’ve stopped watching the numbers, though if I’m honest I’ll tell you I rarely looked at them to begin with. As I take my feet off the wall and free fall into what’s next, I’ve stopped worrying about the things that don’t matter. And numbers for the sake of numbers tops that list.

There’s a call inside me to open further than I’ve ever opened before. To peel back the flimsy layers that remain between what’s inside of me and the world. To tell my stories… the hard ones, the raw ones, the heartbreaking ones. The ones that show how human and broken and tired I am at times. The ones that taught me what it means to have trust and faith, when everything seems to be crashing down around you. The ones most people sugar coat and share in just the right lighting, so as to manage perceptions and judgments.

There’s a call inside me to open.
Without filters or a hard candy shell.
Without attempting to manage perceptions.
Without worrying about how well it’s being received.

“That’s a hard balance to strike,” he wrote me late one Tuesday night. Always my sounding board and the one who listens to whatever I need to say with love and wisdom. “Showing your vulnerability, knowing you want it to be seen, but being okay with it not being seen, and having the material be of service.”

“I want to focus more on the creating and sharing and less on the reach and numbers and whatever,” I responded. “Like, I just want my life and work to be out there and of service to whoever needs to see it.”

There were times I cared about the numbers. The size of my mailing list and Facebook following. The number of click throughs and how many people were landing on different pages of my website. If you ask most marketers about these things, they’ll tell you that they matter. Like, really really matter. Conversions and open rates. Split testing and bounce rates. Opt-ins and page hits.

I understand these things. I can intelligibly speak about them. I can tell you whether a 40% open rate is good or bad and what it means if your bounce rate is 78%. I can tell you how to split test and how to read the results so you know how to best convert people landing on the page. I know what colors make people click, what images work, where the images should be on the page, and how much your font size plays a factor in sign ups.

But I don’t care as much these days.
Because these days it’s about the work.

The creating. The sharing. The serving.

And while the only way to have a successful business is to have a healthy balance between caring about the numbers and caring about the work, I’m swaying hard to the left (we’re talking sides of my body here, people). To my heart space. To the part of me that’s married to my purpose. To the work.

“I want my life to read like a map for anyone who ever wanted to become someone new.” Hannah Brencher

When I stumbled across this quote I exhaled a deep, “this, yes.”

I want my life to read like a map. I want my life and work to be a guide for anyone who ever wanted to live a life and build their work around the things they’re most passionate about. The things that matter most to them. For anyone who ever had to claw their way out the darkness, fight to find their footing when everything shifted around them, and want to have their voice heard in the midst of the clutter and chaos that surrounds them.

I want my life — my work — to read like a map.

And because of this pull to open, to lay it all out there for the world to see, I’ve stopped caring as much about the numbers. Because the numbers shouldn’t guide the work to the degree that we tend to allow. The numbers shouldn’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t share. The numbers don’t account for the fact that there are things inside of me that have to come out and exist in the world for me to stay sane and happy and healthy. For me to not be eaten alive from the inside out. The numbers don’t show that I’m leaning in with trust and faith and am committed to what’s being asked of me, whether it brings me fame and fortune or not.

Because it’s not about the numbers and conversions.
It’s not about my bank account and making gobs of money.
It’s not about becoming internet famous.

It’s about the work.

The words. The service. The map.

So while I do believe the balance has to be there to attain certain types and levels of success, I also think we all need to enter a period of not caring about the stats from time to time. Focusing solely on what needs to be birthed from within, the body of work and legacy we want to leave behind. Let whatever needs to flow through come, and not try to mold it to what is already working for other people.

If there’s anything I’ve believed about business building with every cell of my being, it’s that there’s a business model, marketing plan, and audience for every beautiful idea, dream, and vision. And the sooner we can turn inward and immerse ourselves in the work, the sooner we’ll find exactly what it is we’re here to contribute.

Then, and only then, should the numbers be considered.

Am I reaching the people I want to reach? Is this an effective platform to get my words in front of the eyes that so desperately need to read them? Am I getting the support or funding necessary to sustain what I’ve built? How can I support myself or my business or my team and still maintain the integrity of my work?

But first, focus on the work.


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