Do you love your business… a little too much?
By that I mean, do you check your Google Analytics, subscriber, and comment stats on a daily (or hourly) basis? Do you analyze every tiny action you take to see whether or not it causes an uptick in the numbers?
Too many business owners are obsessed with stat tracking, especially in the first few years of business.
It’s understandable given that your traffic, subscriber count, and engagement levels are gauges for how well your message is landing with prospects. Except…
There’s a HUGE downside to constant stat-checking, and it can bring your business growth to a grinding halt, not to mention totally send you off track, mess with your head, and keep you from doing what really matters to build your business.
Which begs the question, how can you pay attention to your business numbers without it backfiring on you?
Keep reading to find out.
Help! I Can’t Stop Checking My Stats!
There are countless scenarios where newer business owners get sidetracked by their stats.
You go on Facebook to be of service for 30 minutes. You do everything right; you’re helpful, you give great advice, and you don’t push your services on anyone.
Then, you immediately check your Facebook page to see if you have any new fans. You open your email marketing software to see if anyone opted in to your free offer. And you check Google Analytics to see if traffic increased to your site.
You schedule your blog post to go out at 6 a.m. When you start work at 9, you frantically check to see how many people opened and clicked. You compare the percentages to last week and every previous week this year.
Next, you check your blog to see if anyone left a comment. Then you see how your traffic looks and if you’re on an upward trend since last month.
Sound frighteningly familiar?
You might be more or less extreme, but one thing is for sure: If you’re preoccupied by (or obsessed with) your stats, you’re wasting precious time doing what actually matters, namely, building your business!
Why Checking Stats Is Hurting Your Business
Mistake #1: Giving to get, not giving to give
By focusing exclusively on “did that pay off for me,” you’re in a mindset that is completely UNattractive to prospects.
You’ve heard me talk over and over about how being of service can help build your business. Whether that’s engaging on social media, sharing great free content, or anything else, the way for it to actually work is to give freely. And if you’re obsessively stat checking, then you’re in a “what’s in it for me” mindset, not a “be of service” mindset.
Mistake #2: Getting lost in the weeds of the data
If you’re always looking at your stats, you’re getting totally lost in the weeds of data.
I’ll save you the boring engineer-speak, but statistically speaking (as in that stats class I actually didn’t hate in college), you need way more data for any small change in your numbers to actually mean anything!
Two comments one day, three comments another… it means nothing. Traffic up by 20 people, down by 10… meaningless.
It’s only over long durations of time and large numbers that your stats tell you anything valuable.
Mistake #3: Misinterpreting what you see
If you’re checking your stats frequently (more than once a month), you’re bound to misinterpret what you see.
For example, if you show up in a Facebook group to be of service for 2 hours then immediately check your fan count and subscribes and don’t see an uptick, you’re likely to take that to mean “it didn’t work.”
But that’s the wrong conclusion, because, like Mistake #2 said, you simply don’t have enough data to actually draw a real conclusion.
Even worse, when you draw a conclusion like this, it means you’re going to stop doing something that has a high likelihood of paying off… if you did it in adequate quantity with stellar consistency. But you never let yourself get to that point, because you stopped too early.
And that’s mistake #4.
Mistake #4: Taking action too quickly based on bad data
This all means that if you’re obsessively stat checking and don’t really have enough data to draw real conclusions, you’re making decisions too quickly based on bad data. And all of that means you’re stopping your business growth before anything has a chance to even get going.
And that’s how you hurt your own success, all over some measly little numbers!
Mistake #5: Letting your confidence ride on the numbers
The last mistake, and this could be the deadliest of all, is letting the numbers dictate your mindset.
Yes, numbers can give you some indicator about your success, but they are not the place to rest your confidence.
I know a business owner with a 20k+ mailing list and 300k+ Facebook fans… and she makes less than six figures a year. I know another business owner with almost zero traffic, a list less than 1000, and no fan page who makes well into her first six figures.
There’s so much more to business success (and your awesomeness as a human) than stats. So whatever you do, don’t let your numbers be a symbol of how good of a businessperson you are.
Break the Habit NOW
If you’re a stat addict, don’t get too down on yourself. We’ve all been there.
However, you can now consider yourself fully informed about how detrimental stat checking is. This means you need to stop NOW. (If you’re not sold on stopping, leave a comment and tell me why!)
While you want to see your numbers go up overall, staring at them everyday is like watching the stock market. It’ll make you crazy, scared, and downright frustrated.
This means instead, make sure you’re focusing on a proven plan that will move your business forward and help you create the results you’re looking for. (Need a plan to make it happen? Check out this plan for those of you just getting started and this one for those of you already making money but wanting to get to six figures.)
Over to You
I’d love to hear what you think about all this.
Are you addicted to stats and analytics?
Are you the opposite (and you never check your stats)?
And what are your biggest insights from this post?
Share your experience in the comments below.