A new reality, a new opportunity
Recently, I was sitting in a restaurant with a group of entrepreneurs, and we were discussing travel, life, and…time.
How time is really THE most important resource we have. We can always have more clients, more money, do more.
But we can’t have time back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
And, as luck would have it, an hour later, my 16-year-old son texts me this:
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of your life.
Oh, how I love life’s synchronicities!
In business (and in life in general), we measure success in tangible and quantifiable performance indicators:
- Revenues generated
- Number of clients
- Luxury car(s)
- Big house
- And other artefacts
I remember a few years ago, I was coaching an advisor; everything was in place: the structure of his business, business development strategy, the team…it was an exceptional practice.
One day, he looked at me straight in the eye and says, “Sara, it’s beautiful, I have a nice business, I put 70% of my income aside because I don’t need it, but in the end…why are we doing this?”
You could feel the disappointment, his quest for something more, better, intangible.
We all think that money, recognition, nice things, will make us happy – and to some extent it does, it makes life more comfortable.
But at some point, in our entrepreneurial journey or in our life evolution, we have to change our performance indicators – not for others – for our own happiness.
Let me share a personal story…we moved last year. We left an “upscale” neighborhood to another neighborhood. Saying that I no longer lived in “that” neighborhood confronted my own ego. That neighborhood represented success, I had ‘made it. As soon as I would tell people the neighborhood I lived in, I saw their perception of me “Okay, if she lives there, she’s successful. And if she’s successful, she’s good.”
And we make these kinds of associations all the time…
- Beautiful car = success = must be good at what he/she does
- Very busy = successful = must be good at what he/she does
- Beautiful clothing = success = must be good at what he/she does
Being good brings us recognition, appreciation, external validation.
Pride brings us confidence, courage, internal validation.
But is it possible to be good and successful without the “stuff”?
Warren Buffet is a great example. Since 1958, he lives in the same ordinary house, he drives a 2014 Cadillac XTS AND he is excellent at what he does AND he is the 5e richest man in the world!
Brené Brown is also a great example. She said no to participating tp an Oprah event because her kids had soccer and it was her turn to carpool the kids to the game.
Raising our performance measures
What if we created performance measures 2.0? A new generation of KPIs (key performance indicators) based on qualitative elements, elements based on our core values?
- The number of days/times spent with our families (without cell phones and truly present)
- Laughter in the kitchen at dinner time
- The deep conversations we had during a week
- Time spent gardening, walking, meditating
- The new experiences we get to live
These performance indicators may seem qualitative and non-measurable, but it’s quite the opposite…
Measuring the qualitative
So how do we measure intangibles based on our values?
Simple, grab a calendar and write down every time you accomplish one of these celebrations! For example, I have a large calendar on my desk where I write every time, I take time with family or friends, every time I try a new recipe, every time I take time to do an experiment on my 101 list (if you haven’t read that article, read it here)!
The most important sense for the brain is sight. What the eye sees, the brain believes – and, as I often say when you know how the brain works, you work with it! So, having a visual element such as a calendar, allows the brain to be aware of what we have done, and therefore to really appreciate it.
If we measure the external quantitative factors, then why not measure the internal qualitative factors based on the most important values in our lives?
Because in the end: PERFORMANCE should equal HAPPINESS…