Seth Godin wrote a wonderfully succinct article today on why you need to look past the numbers when you evaluate your success.
A few days ago, the hosts of a Itty Biz explained why you shouldn’t worry about people unsubscribing from your blog. (Short story: Your message is never going to appeal to everybody, but it will always appeal to somebody.
Years ago, I did the nation’s largest wholesale craft show. When the economy tanked, so did my sales. (Actually, things tanked for everybody. Not just me. Not just other craftspeople. I need to remember it’s not always about me…..bigtime.)
At one particular show, I was counting up the things that had gone well: I picked up a prestigious gallery a customer introduced me to. A well-respected craft publishing company tapped me to do freelance work for them. And so on. A veteran exhibitor sneered, “Yeah, but how much MONEY did you make? That’s what counts! Quit putting a fluffy happy face on it.” Deflated, I confessed to the show manager that I must be a flop. She said, “Is money the only measure of your success?”
Hmmmmm….. Good question.
Money is important. Sales are important. Customers are important.
Paying your mortgage, putting food on the table, being able to care for those who depend on your are important. Not being in debt is important.
But they aren’t important because “I have more than you” or because “You’re not as famous as I am” or “He’s more important because his bank balance is bigger.”
We all have a place in the world.
The best work of our heart has a place in the world.
Sometimes, the smallest gesture of human kindness can change the world.
True courage is pursuing your dreams, doing the work, getting the work of your creative spirit, out into the world.
True faith is believing it is worthwhile, even if you cannot see where the ripples go or how far they travel.
Numbers are good. But only when you understand they are only an imperfect measure of something much, much deeper, bigger, more mysterious and profound:
The impact of our words, our actions, our art, on the world.