ETC 07 – How to Measure Success: Ask Will People Miss You When You’re Gone?

how do you measure success

How do you measure success?

How do you know if you’re doing the right thing?

How do you know if you’re making a difference?

Get Updates on All My Projects

I publish a regular update to my newsletter subscribers every week detailing my latest entrepreneurial projects 

The mark of a successful Lifestyle Business is one that makes a difference in people’s lives.

But, how do you measure that? There aren’t many readily available metrics for this task.

Perhaps the best measure of the difference you’re making is to ask what would happen if you stopped making it:

  • People miss rock stars, not politicians.
  • People will miss South West Airlines, but can you say the same about United?
  • More people will miss Starbucks than McDonald’s.

How do you get it right?

People buy on emotion and justify with logic

Would you rather be Starbucks or McDonald’s?

Both sell coffee. So how does Starbucks sell their coffee twice as expensive as McDonald’s?

Because Starbucks is missable.

If Starbucks disappeared here in Asia, a whole generation of digital nomads would lose their choice place of work. Where would students take their English language lessons? Where would young moms meet on a weekday afternoon?

Being missable has distinct business benefits:

  • You can charge more, or at least you’re not involved in the race to bottom of price.
  • You get noticed and remembered. And, in today’s economy, attention is your biggest cost. It’s no coincidence that Starbucks is the most shared brand on Instagram.
  • People tell you that you mean something to them in their life, and that can means a lot to you personally

How about your work?

What is it that you do that’s become part of people’s weekly routine?

  • that weekly newsletter they look forward to
  • that blog post
  • that live webinar
  • that event
  • that weekly phone catch up phone call?

How to Become More Missable

So, let’s talk about how you can become more missable.

1. Stand for something when you’re here (thanks, Seth Godin)

In other words, don’t start a business, start a movement.

  • Brew Dog doesn’t sell beer, it sells a whole experience that encompasses local economies and grass roots activism.
  • Apple didn’t sell computers but sold an idea that individuals could be creative and stick it to the man (just see their 1984 advertising)
  • Starbucks stands for a more human experience. That’s how it can compete with the “big guys” e.g. McDonald’s. Baristas write your name on the cup. They talk to you, ask you how you’re doing. McDonald’s by contrast is a machine.

2. Sell the benefit of the benefit

Advertising speak now. Don’t sell what your product does, sell the benefit of that. Mobile phones connect people. But the benefit of that? You don’t get left out. You can share your life with other people (like I do on Instagram!). You can make friends and spy on ex-girlfriends (not suggesting you do, but these are all within the realms of possibility).

3. Be more human

Your smile is your logo. Your personality is your business card. The way that you make others feel is your trademark. Marketing isn’t a strategy, it’s who you are. Customer service is the best marketing. The experience is the brand.

4. Trade 10,000 likes for a 100 loves

There is a big problem with being “liked”. If you’re liked, you might as well be invisible. 1 million Facebook likes may give you the illusion of being popular but it’s a vanity metric. How many people email you every week telling you what you did and how it made a difference in their lives? How many people come up to you at events and say the same? These are the metrics you should aim for.

5. Find your voice

If you don’t have any haters, you’re doing something wrong. If what you do is meaningful enough, some people won’t “get it”, and that’s what you should be aiming for.

Find your voice. Don’t edit your opinions or your lifestyle to meet the expectations of others. Nobody’s interested in average. In the world of Google and Youtube searches you have to be #1 in your own (small) category. Own that category and go to work on gaining a reputation within it.


Leave a Reply