There are metrics and measurements you need to use to track progress (or lack of) according to experts.
What they don’t say however is that most of these metrics and measurements are over rated. You know what the most important metric is beyond analytics and pie charts?
Market research is critical.
Knowing there are people hungry for your message, hungry for your content or product allows you to go forth with confidence. Getting others to recognize your talents and creative abilities is important too. Otherwise you’re just another struggling artist with great ideas who is perhaps producing stuff people are willing to pay for, just no one knows about you.
This is the point where it’s easy to rehash boring and generic self development lines like:
“believe in yourself”
“do what you love man”
“follow your passion and the money will follow, follow the money and you’re like everyone else”
Yes don’t do things only for money. A mission and a higher purpose is needed. But let’s not discount money. I like money. I have this bad habit of you know, needing to eat 🙂
Feel good, risk nothing
I live in the real world. The real world with bills to pay and ideas and plans that need to workout and materialize into something profitable. I don’t have the luxury of time and money to waste on pursuing something that I would perhaps “love” to do for a career but may or may not pay me back financially.
This is why you need validation
It saves the critical resource of capitol and and the most precious resource of all: time.
I know where you are right now. You’re sitting their wishing you could do something you love for a living but view two obstacles:
1 – To actually make a living at what you want you need to be at the top of your field, otherwise you’re just another poor and struggling peon.
2 – What you want to do can not ever make you enough money.
#1 is True
Obviously. But would you want it any other way? This is the reward for hard work, luck and consistency. Forcing your way into the top 20% is not easy but worth it because that’s where all the money is. There’s no money at the bottom! This is why you must continually develop your skills and live a good life. A life worthy of sharing.
#2 I don’t agree
It’s not a terrible thing to be a big fish in a small pond. Redeploying your skills into a different format, one that people want is part of the problem solving life of an entrepreneur.
You do need validation. What you don’t need is approval.
Validation for the fact that you might be wasting your precious time on a dud of an idea, but approval? Men do what they want.
So if you’re sitting around waiting to be noticed, waiting for a boss, a co-worker or some gatekeeper to give you permission by giving you the stamp of approval, you’re wasting your time.
As James Altucher says, “choose yourself” (excellent book).
You know this already. You know you’re giving too much power away to people who simply don’t care as much as you do about your work. There is a gigantic difference between knowing you are worthy, and achieving your goals (instead of goals, why not live by your values instead?).