What are the metrics you are going by?
For 50 years, it was based on one thing: a dollar number. A number that told us everything was ok as long as that number kept on rising. The problem is, it only went up for some people.
From 1948 to 1973, hourly rates in America grew 91%. From 1973 to 2013, it grew 9.2 percent. For the middle class, it only grew 3%.
We were conditioned, brainwashed even to believe that the American dream meant all of our numbers will go up. It didn’t.
So then how are we keeping score now? What are the metrics we are basing our work and business by? If the game of numbers are rigged, what else can we go by?
Maybe it’s the number of clients we need. How many do we need in the next year to be profitable? How many customers do we need to buy our product so we can be profitable?
Maybe it comes down to one person. One single person who is impacted by the work we do. When the metric of success boils down to one person we’re getting somewhere. It means we aren’t looking outward for validation. We aren’t looking at numbers at all.
We’re looking inward, creating something meaningful, something that takes a risk, work that is generous. And in the age of infinite leverage, that one person is everywhere.
Follow Along Upstream
And feel a little less alone on your quest to your most courageous work.