273: The Metrics That Matter For Your Business

17 Minutes Read

If you're building a business, you probably already know all the metrics that you "should" be looking at: website visits, leads generated, percentage closed as sales, etc.

But in so many businesses, the reality is much more, well, human and alive. It's more like a garden than a conveyor belt or a funnel. 

So how do you know when you're on track if traditional metrics miss the heart of how your business works? This week's podcast will help you answer that question in a way that aligns with your vision and values. 

You will discover:

  • How to "delay disappointment" so that you don't lose momentum even in the face of poor metrics or setbacks
  • An easy mindset shift that turns those email unsubscribes or floundering social media posts into sources of energy and creativity
  • How to refocus on the metrics that contribute to your next Lantern and the overall vision of your business

Click here to join the Superabound Collective to get free access to the Leadership Book Study group Steve mentions in the episode.

Listen on Spotify here



Episode Transcript

Steve Haase  0:02  
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches Erin Aquin and Steve Haase where business owners like you learn tools that help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges. You are listening to Episode 273 the metrics that matter for your business.

Unknown Speaker  5:55  
Anyone? Am I the only one? Am I the only one who's? Okay. So many hands out there. Thank you. Thank you for joining me. Yes. Sometimes it really sucks. You publish a video, you pour your heart into a post, you create something that you think is dynamite, you send that email and crickets

Steve Haase  6:17  
And so I actually brought it up. And our meeting I said, Erin, I hate it when I put out a post and, you know, buddy down the road gets 1000 likes on his and I get like two on mine. What am I doing wrong? Why do I suck? She's like, Steve, you don't suck. Look at our business. We're doing fine. Oh, my God, you're right. We are doing fine. So how do you reconcile the feeling that you may suck? Which might happen at one time or another? As an entrepreneur, it's destined, you're destined to experience that? How do you reconcile that feeling with the also true fact that your business might be doing fine, you might even be growing, you might be serving your mission, you might be fulfilling your purpose as a business. And as a

Thanks for joining us, everybody, happy 2024. If you're listening, the week we go live, we had a wonderful getaway, it was actually our annual planning off site. And a lot of people do a double take when we tell them that the two of us went somewhere for an annual planning off site they're like, but don't you see each other every day? Yes, we do see each other every day. But there's something magical that happens when you step outside the flow of the every day. And you kind of elevate your perspective. And you look ahead to the year that's coming, maybe even to the year beyond that. And even farther into the distance, we don't usually give ourselves this gift. But last week, we did. And some pretty cool things came from it both for our business, and also some topics that we want to share with you. And that is what today is all about. One of the big things that hit us that I can't wait to share with you is all about the metrics that matter for your business. Because if you've studied how to build a business, I'm sure you know all kinds of metrics that you should be looking at traffic generated to your website leads generated for your business, percentage of those leads that turned into sales conversations percentage of those conversations that turned into closed deals. Yuck, look, maybe that works for you. But in so many businesses, the reality is much more human. It's much more squishy. It's more kind of like a washing machine than a conveyor belt. So that's what we're going to talk about is how you actually zero in on how you know you're doing well. What are the metrics that actually matter for your business? And how can you shift things around to use that insight for yourself?

Erin Aquin  2:07  
Hello, and yeah, Happy New Year, everybody, if you're listening while we are live. And you're planning retreats, just you and your co founder or you by yourself, if you are the sole executive team. I think it's one of those things that many large companies do. But not a lot of small and midsize businesses really do. And I will say the other thing a few people kind of did a double take on who know us. Because we host client retreats here, we have pretty sweet setup in our home. So it takes a lot to impress me, when we go away somewhere because I have all the creature comforts of my home, I got my good pillow, we have a luxurious massage chair and a beautiful space and sauna and like we've we've made it not only a wonderful space to live our day to day life in. But also it were set up to host clients for retreats. And so we obviously take advantage of all of those amenities on a regular basis. So I did hear from some people like why would you bother leaving. And I totally understand I've had those thoughts before. And we have attempted a few times to do like day long personal retreats here in our home. But the thing is, when a client comes here, to a retreat at our home, they do not bring their laundry, they do not bring their children or their children's toys. You know, we were living in a space where it's so easy to just drop into day to day. Housework and you know, find a spot on the wall that you just want to like, do something different with so it was really refreshing to get away. And to be in a different space. It sort of put us in the context of our relationship as business owners and co founders that in talking about things that we don't always approach in like our weekly meeting or our daily huddle. So that was very valuable for me. And we've talked about the concept, the Superabound concept of static before. But a lot of what we discovered, actually came out of some of the static that we both have, and sometimes don't talk about with each other. Of course, we both have our own coaches and our own support. But there are some things that just are so high level you don't really even think that they're worth articulating until you're in a setting where you have five or six hours to think about how you're thinking to think about how you might might be inviting in mismatched opportunities to your business, or you might be blocking really great potential opportunities. So that was amazing to have that time with you, Steve. And for anyone out there who is at a point where you really want to take your business to the next level, cannot recommend a personal retreat, or a coaching lead retreat, you know, we do we do them, if you don't have to figure it out yourself, we can coordinate that with you, we do sell a select number of those. We do just a few of those a year, but definitely be in touch with us if that's something you would like to organize. So let's talk about metrics. metrics that matter.

Steve Haase  5:42  
I'm going to do a quick poll. Just raise your hand if you've ever published a video or a post on social media or sent an email and utterly disheartened by the results.

as a human being even that gets to the heart of the question, which metrics matter. As humans, we're going to compare ourselves, you're just gonna happen, right? So when you put out that video, that doesn't perform the way you want it to, you're going to experience maybe Erin says she doesn't she has a magical approach to not being befuddled by the numbers, which, you know, we're going to hear from that about that in a moment. But finding a way to have some space around the numbers that might not be where you want them to be. And actually refocus on the Numbers that relate to your purpose as a business. And so when we talk about the metrics that matter, the first place to begin, is your vision. Why does your business exist? What does success look like for you as a company? What are your lanterns for this year. And when you get really clear on the purpose, and on the bigger picture of what you're trying to create, that's the foundation for not getting bummed out. But all the metrics, all the experts tell you that you need to be paying close attention to Okay,

Erin Aquin  8:05  
and I'll share my secret, I don't get bummed out about like, we'll call them vanity metrics. Because I have a technique. And this is something I kind of taught myself early on in my coaching business, because I just remember when we, when I when I opened it, it was just me for all really, for quite a few years, I opened the doors, and I think I thought it was just going to work. Like the people who trained me did some really good marketing on talking about how I would just hang my shingle. And suddenly, I would be our head posts and blogs, which I already knew how to do. And it was just gonna like happen overnight, it was gonna be amazing. And that was not what happened. I feel like I was in a pretty good position to do well, because I had already been an entrepreneur for a long time. So I understood a lot of the the things that other people were gonna have to figure out. But I did not just have like a wave of people banging down my door to work with me. It actually, I realized was going to take a lot of creating trust with people, I think. I mean, we're seeing this a lot in the coaching and consulting industry right now. There has been some industry level things that have happened in the last few years that has people questioning the trust of coaches and consultants. And so I knew from day one that I wanted to be a business owner with integrity, which meant figuring out how to operate with my vision and values and all of that good stuff that we teach. But I would say that my secret to not getting a upset about metrics and numbers and all that kind of stuff is a technique called delaying disappointment. I have learned as a business owner to not post something and expect that I'm going to have 100 likes, and then be disappointed the next morning when I wake up and like, one person has seen it and like to have no comments on something that, you know, it was a really important piece of thought work that I wanted to put out into the world. I just learned to delay my disappointment about that. Because I have actually no idea who is reading what who is seeing what, how they're taking it, how they're thinking about it. And I'll also share that a few years ago, I became friends with someone who is like very Instagram famous in their industry. And I felt like kind of, you know, like, ashamed of my 1000 followers, I was like, I only have 1000 people that follow me on Instagram, this person has 20,000 30,000 followers just keeps going up every day. And we were talking about business. And she kind of said, like, yeah, I have a lot of followers, and a lot of people like my stuff, and they share it. And I'm gonna maybe make $100,000 This year, like her all of her time and work on Instagram hadn't yielded the revenue that my business had. And I was like, does the followership actually matter like, we're doing multiple, six figures, compared to what my friend was making with a tiny fraction of her quote, unquote, fans. That has always been true. You know, we don't have millions of podcast listeners. But we have people who really like to listen and listen often, and talk to us about the show. And some of those people become clients. And so I just learned that if I'm disappointed, because I'm not getting instant gratification, that's really not the energy I'd like to bring into our business. So I just hit the pause button. But anytime I'm about to say, Oh, I'm so disappointed in the results of this, I just hit pause. Like, maybe we'll see how I feel about next month. Let's see what this turns into. And maybe see if if you want, you could share the idea of ripple results.

Steve Haase  12:35  
That's a good teaser, to good teaser ripple Ripple results. Stay tuned, folks, it's coming. It's one of my favorite things that came from the off site. But we're gonna stay focused on the metrics that matter for your business. And delaying your disappointment is one way to stay focused on them. Because if they aren't going to move the needle in a material way, there's no need to get bummed out about them. There's enough in entrepreneurship to bum you out that you don't need to heap on shame or blame about your social media game, or anything else that might be weaker than you'd like. So this brings us back to vision. Because when you tap in to where you're going, and what it's going to look like, as you get there, you're going to start coming up with ideas for milestones, your lanterns, we call them. And the reason we use the word lantern, and not goal is because the lantern has that image of fire, that spark of life of spirit. And so if you are connected to these meaningful moments in your business, that is going to be the source of metrics that matter for your business. So for us those lanterns, our clients that have come into our programs for the first time, clients who have referred other people who have come into our programs, clients who have signed up for new packages. And when we look at those, our numbers are good. They can always be better. And that was part of what we were talking about how to make them better for the year ahead. But those engagements that make all the difference, were what we started to focus on. And a new picture emerged from our business of being on the right track of knowing what we're doing, of really building something valuable and with good momentum. Which, you know, if you were an email consultant, you might look at our numbers and say, You guys think so? We just kind of let that one slide off our backs and say, Yeah, we want to get better with our email game, and we're gonna, but that's not our main metric right now.

Erin Aquin  14:50  
Okay, I'm going to take issue with this actually, because the problem that we identified for us with with our email situation Question is, we have people on our email list who joined the email list back when it was a Quinn yoga, which was my yoga business. Some people that I had another company called eight wins Eastern medical arts was not a good at naming things back in the day. And people were our, you know, were on my list because they were on my blog and my websites changed a few times. And yeah, we've cleaned up some of the list. But some people stuck around. Some people were like, interested in the coaching thing in 2020, a lot of people who were looking for relationship coaching, because they were stuck at home with their partners and realized they didn't have a great relationship. A lot of people joined at the time my world and has, like, if you go back far enough on this podcast, you'll find all the iterations of the business. So I think it is kind of one of those things where business pivots and changes and the the way we support people changes, and some people are going to love the change, and they're going to stick around, and they're going to work with you if you're a business owner. And some people are going to say, well, this isn't for me anymore. And I'm going to unsubscribe, because it's not, this is not for me at this point in my life. So for anyone who gets upset about email metrics, I just offer that if you see people unsubscribing, or you see a low open rate, it's a great time to hit pause on your disappointment about that. In fact, I kind of look at it as I'm so glad those people are taking care of themselves by hopefully finding what they need. It's not what we do. There are plenty of people that are not going to be interested in Superabound, because they don't have businesses and they don't have a lantern they want to upset that actually freaks some people out. They're like, Oh, you said the goal word. You're talking about doing big things with your life, I am out. And they don't have to stick around, they don't have to host us in their inbox. So I'm just going to fight with you on that one a little bit, Steve, because because the metric I think that matters to me the most is the people I help. And sometimes I get to do it in a really direct way with our clients and our students and our certification program. Even in the like very low cost membership I have that's more kind of about spiritual work than business, I get so much more energy from helping people. Definitely, when we started the business revenue was the biggest metric that I tracked. Now I track it because I want to keep the lights on and I want to keep energy flowing in our business. And I want to you know, be successful and show other people that that it's possible. But the main metric is always humans we help. I

Steve Haase  18:00  
love how feisty you are, I love that you'll fight any kind of disparagement of your baby, you love your baby, you love your business. And that's that's one of the things that makes you a wonderful entrepreneur and a great co founder and CEO,

Erin Aquin  18:14  
okay, I'm feeling very argumentative. I also don't like calling business a baby. I know, that's not really what you meant. But I just want to say this, because I've heard this in other entrepreneurs circles are like my business is my child. I don't think of my business as my child, I think about my big vision, our big vision, which is to help people realize the life the universe is dreaming for them. And I think about the business is the vehicle for that legacy to exist. So I do get a little feisty about it even to you. And I'm being very nice to Steve, by the way, on this podcast for anyone listening, you should have heard me during the founders meeting. I'm not mean, but I get I get really on my point. So ranting aside your business for everybody listening, your business is an extension of your legacy. It's the impact you're gonna have in the world. So I don't know, like who the fuck cares if you'd have two likes on one post that you thought was great. Someone might have thought it was great. And they might be thinking about it for months, I once had someone hire me. I posted something I thought was amazing. Crickets. And then a couple of months later, someone emailed me and said, I've been thinking about what you've said in this Facebook post. And I think I'm ready to do the work that you're offering right now. I totally invited someone in without even knowing it. And if you're a business owner who does marketing, that's a better than sorry, it's a better way of thinking about it. I want to tell you how to think but it's more supportive to you and your business to think I'm inviting people in with this.

Steve Haase  19:50  
It just has such an energy of life to it when you say it that way. And if you're listening and there's a voice in your head saying, Oh you guys They're just softening over kind of papering over poor performance, you know, the real metrics, sounds like you're really lagging on the stuff that makes good business, you're just trying to make yourself feel good about it, I'm gonna take a moment to take issue with that voice in your head, which is also a voice in my head, but take issue with that voice. Because all of these metrics are made up. They're all just ways that we can manage our businesses. A metric is just that it's like a panel on a giant dashboard, and use the ones that are going to actually help you get where you want to go. I worked at a company once, where they put hundreds of engineering hours towards their back end development so that they could see one single number that told you how well the customers were doing. It was incredible the engineering that went into this number. And I tell you, we lived and died by that number, if your customers were low on their customer health score, you were not a happy camper. And if they were high, oh my gosh, everything's gravy. And after about four or five years, they scrapped the whole thing. They're like, Oh, it's too easy to game. Oh, it's not relevant anymore. You're like, wait, but that wasn't, wasn't that everything. That number was the whole deal. You're like, No, we just made it up. It's just a way for us to help manage the business. So even with these things that you think are the gospel of how you run an organization, they're still just made up. It's your business, your organization, you get to create the book, on what success means. So be bold, be fierce,

Erin Aquin  21:46  
and be a human. My, you know, my lack of getting ruffled about weird metric things. Is also comes with age, not like I've been in this business that long, but I've been in business for 20 years, I've had various businesses, I've seen a lot of things, I've experienced a lot of things. And I think the other piece, too, like I'm kind of on the flip side, I'm just working this out of my mind as we're talking about it. But on the flip side of delaying disappointment, is not assuming that anything is going to go the way it went. Before I can share a story I had, when I was doing a lot of consultations for my business, I was at a point where I was coaching mostly on relationships, I wanted to shift into working with business owners, I wasn't totally sure how to do it, I had just sort of reached my first financial milestone that sort of gave me internal permission to say, I know how to help people with business because I've achieved a level of success that I'm comfortable sharing about talking about, I know some things that don't work, I know some things that do work. And someone requested a consultation. And they said that a major barrier for them was going to be money. And it was at a time where I had just increased my rates to at the time for me, it was an uncomfortable amount. And this person, but you know, clearly on paper, this was not going to be a client of mine, they were going to find out my rate and just be like, that's too much, I can't afford that they were going to find out that I was actually kind of transitioning into working with a business owner and they wanted a relationship coach and they were going to find this out. And it wasn't going to work. But for some reason, I just had this sense that I should get on the phone and just see how the conversation went. And I started working with that person, and has become a very successful business person in the time that we've been working together. But on paper, if I just judged it based on what I had heard what other people had said, if I had just kind of been more robotic about it, and been quote unquote, logical instead of followed my own intuition, I would have missed out on one of the most incredible client relationships that we are that our business has ever had. So I just want to offer to that. Metrics are great. We're not saying don't have metrics, but find the ones that actually matter in your industry in your business. Use them to help support you don't live and die by them. And at the end of the day, be a human, be a human if someone wants to get on the phone and talk with you about how your business could help them. And you have the time and the space to do that. And you have the person on your team whose job it is to do that. What is it going to hurt, you might find your next best customer because you were not so focused on the metrics of what the form they filled out, but on finding out who human is and what they might need. Same thing is true. I think when you're a leader, you know, you could look at the metrics of someone on your team and Say they're performing poorly, it's time to get rid of them. But if you're leading through coaching, you might say these are some we use these metrics as like red flags, or green lights, we're seeing a lot of things that I consider red flags, and I want to talk with you and support you and find out how we can turn these into green lights. Or like maybe the metrics we're using to measure performance aren't working. If you are willing to be open and curious and make space for humans, then the metrics can be a really beautiful component. So

Steve Haase  25:31  
I hope that helps you flick away any particularly annoying metrics for 2024, especially if they don't actually relate to the next lantern that you want to light. There is magic all around us. And if you are focused on your vision, the universe is going to respond, right there's a symbiosis between where it is we want to go and how the world kind of conspires to help us get there or maybe even someplace better. And so you don't have to give extra attention to stuff that doesn't actually align with that. You can use your intuition, you can talk to us, you can talk to mentors, Just do yourself a favor and get clear on what actually is going to make the difference for your business and the lanterns you want to light this year. One thing that kind of came forth from the off site that I can't wait to share with you is the leadership book club that I'm going to be hosting regularly in the Superabound Collective. We're gonna go through Adam Grant's new book, we're gonna go through some of the best books out there for becoming a better leader. And of course, when we launch our book, we're gonna be studying that one too. We'll walk you through that one. But it's gonna be a good time. It's going to be low key, of course, it's free. We'd love to see you there head over to besuperabound.com/collective to join today, and the book club will be kicking off very shortly. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.