Have you ever felt burdened by what other people see to be doing with their businesses, like you’re supposed to be doing the same thing?
Especially on social media, we can find ourselves comparing our businesses to other that seem to be doing better than we are.
But we can’t really know what goes on behind the scenes in a business or how well they’re doing in terms of what really matters, which is actual profits. Usually all we can see is an external presentation…vanity metrics.
Back when I was a senior at my New Hampshire high school and trying to decide what college to attend, I remember being passionate about one thing: where I _didn’t_ want to go.
“I can’t go to the University of New Hampshire. I can’t. Everyone from my high school is going there. I’m going to look like a loser if I go there, too.”
This is what my 18-year-old self was thinking.
“People in my class think I’m smart, so therefore I have to go to a high-caliber school.”
So I applied to American University in Washington, D.C., even though deep down, I wanted to go to UNH.
I’d visited and thought it’s red-bricked Romanesque buildings and leafy campus were so beautiful and just how I’d pictured my ideal college campus.
However, I stuck firm to my decision to go to American. After all, I’d gone through the whole application process and gotten accepted, so I figured it was too late to change my mind. I had to go. (Good ol’ [sunk cost fallacy](https://hbr.org/2021/07/how-susceptible-are-you-to-the-sunk-cost-fallacy).)
When I got to American University, however, I hated it. It just wasn’t the right place for me. It wasn’t the experience I really wanted.
But I’d been so focused on what I looked like to others, what they perceived me to be–which was, I thought, soneone who would go to a prestigious university–that I ignored what I really wanted to do, which was to go to UNH.
I was carrying around the false idea that where I went to school determined how intelligent I was, instead of my intelligence itself. But intelligence is innate, so an external thing like where you go to college doesn’t affect it.
I was focused on what other people’s perception of me was instead of the experience I wanted to have.
And the kicker is: I ended up leaving American and going to UNH afterall. My only regret was not listening to myself sooner.
Which brings me back to vanity metrics and the compare-and-despair of social media and external marketing.
Vanity metrics give only a superficial perception of a business. They don’t give us a complete or accurate picture.
Instead of focusing on these ultimately meaningless externals, you have to know what you want, and then just go do what you want.
Just because someone says something works, doesn’t mean you have to do it. It also doesn’t mean that you have to do it the way they do it.
We have to stop comparing ourselves to others and worrying that we’re going to be judged if we choose to do things differently.
Often the marketing is pushed on us to follow what other successful entrepreneurs are doing, to achieve the same metrics, but when we look at the data, it tells us something else.
As Seth Godin puts it, “Those clicks, views, and ‘likes’ are only there because they’re easy, not because they’re relevant.”
You want to ask the people that you’re connected to, the people in your community or on your list, what they want right now, and what kind of experience they want to have.
You don’t need 1,000 people in your program or at your event to be successful. In fact, I’ve seen a shift where people want smaller, more intimate groups whether it’s for group coaching, online courses, or events.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. It really can be simple. And it can be what you want, instead of what you think others expect.
[Click here](https://terzakisandassociates.as.me/IdeastoIncome) to contact me and we can come up with a plan together.