Episode #56 You Get What You Measure

January 13, 2021

Subscribe to Podcast Return to Podcast Episode Browse Podcast Library


You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 56.

Welcome to My Freedom Grove podcast. The all inclusive podcast that teaches mindset and business tools. We'll help you rise as your authentic self. Be unshakable with your emotional freedom and unstoppable in achieving any goal and living your purpose. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. If you want to put your mental health first in life, relationships and business, you've come to the right place.



Hi, my strong friends! So we had a great workshop last week. We were looking at the fresh start for 2021, we were looking at vision and strategy and the metrics that help you to get there. I love this workshop. We were able to be face to face, see each other, interact and be able to talk about what's most important to us. One of the things that popped up was the question of, "when are we going to do the workshop on the metrics?"

So I touched on metrics during that workshop, but I didn't get into full-blown out details because not everybody loves metrics that much, but I happen to be a bit of a metrics junkie. I love data. I spent more than a decade being the metrics queen when I worked in biotech. The best way to make any kind of change is to use your data. It's also the best way to influence when you're trying to have conversations with people, especially in life and your emotions start to get taken over. It's so much easier when you have data that you can pull out and say, here's the number of times this happened. Here's the number of times that happened. It's so much easier because then we can gift data to each other. And it's hard to argue with data. Data is pretty influential. So metrics is a type of data.

Metrics is us counting the data. I've had a lot of success in many areas of my life because I would use metrics and data so that I could move the needle on things. The things that were most important to me, one of those things is My freedom Grove. In order to build a business, it's important to have ways that you can collect data on how things are going so that you know where to pivot, where to adjust or where to do some more experiments. So I am really, really excited to share with you that for 2021, I'm introducing something new. Because of all of the data, I was able to see that more than half of my audience is female.


Exciting Program Announcement From the Unshakable Programs

From the beginning, My Freedom Grove has focused primarily on servicing our male population because there's not a whole lot of stuff out there that is just for men, but I can't ignore that I have a large audience of women, and I want to make sure that I am serving my audience well. So here's the exciting news: I have now opened Unshakable women. So Unshakable is the program that I have been offering to men in 2020. This is the exact same program it's just now for women. So there's two Unshakable programs. I've decided to keep this separate still for just men. And then another offering just for women within the Unshakable program. It includes twice-weekly group coaching. This is like a one-on-one coaching experience, but it's in a group setting. So that way you still get your customized approach, but you get it in one, an affordable way; and two, you get the benefit of seeing other people get coached because a lot of times we'll show up with one particular issue that's bugging us and there's so much more in our life that's going on, that we haven't even really thought of, or we haven't seen the connections.

So when we see someone else get coached, all of a sudden we get the benefit of that too, in addition to what we came for. The Unshakable programs also include three online self-paced courses. The first is Emotional Freedom. This is all about mindset, all of the tools on how to shift the different thoughts and beliefs in our mindset, some diagnostic tools, and a plan to try to help you get from where you're feeling, kind of icky to where you're feeling great. The Defense Mechanisms course, it's all about how to have better relationships with other people by addressing the pain behind our defense mechanisms. And then finally, in the Unstoppable Course, you're going to learn in detail all of the steps of the clarity step system, for how to achieve any goal that you have in life while taking care of your mental health. First, the Unshakable communities are the final piece to these programs. This allows you a way to interact with the other members so that you can rise together in life, relationships, and business. To learn more about the Unshakable programs, go to my website myfreedomgrove.com.


Learn about the Unshakable Women Program.

Learn about the Unshakable Men Program.



What Is A Metric?

In today's episode, we are going to get into all of the metrics fun. So if you really, really hate data and you hate measuring things, this probably isn't the episode for you. But if you're looking for ways to make sure that you're making progress in all areas of your life, you'll definitely want to tune in. A metric is just a measurement. It's just a way to know where we are, where we came from and where we're going. 


Red Metric Aversion: Our Need To Color “Poor Performing” Metrics Green

If you've ever experienced metrics at work, you might know that when metrics are where you want them to be, they're colored green and when metrics are not where you want them to be, they're colored red.


So I have this little term that I call red metric aversion. For some reason, people really don't like it when their metrics are red, they think that that's really bad. And what I've seen happen, especially in companies, is that people will do all sorts of heroics or negotiations, just to try to color that metric green as if the end goal is just to color the metric green, but it's not. The whole point of metrics is to give you an idea of where you want to go. And then to help you uncover what's everything that gets in the way from where you are now to where you want to be. So when I first start working with a client and we're looking at our big vision for where we want to go, all of our metrics are going to start off red and that's on purpose because if our metric was already green, we don't need to go do anything. Everything is already fine.

The red is just to show you that you're not there yet. That there's something, some type of obstacle that's getting in the way. So when we go through all this, we're going to pick measurements that are the things that are the most important for us. You don't have to pick everything under the sun. You're just going to pick the things that are the most important for you, where you want to actually see change because you get what you measure. 




The Three Different Levels of Metrics


There's three different levels of metrics. 

  1. High-Level Visionary Metrics
  2. Tracking Metrics
  3. Doing Metrics


1. High-Level Visionary Metrics

There's the high-level visionary metrics. So oftentimes when someone will ask you like a new year's resolution, what are you going to do this year? You're usually sharing one thing that you want to do for the year when you're looking at a holistic picture of everything in your life. I am sure you're aware that from day to day, you're working on more than one thing.

You're always trying to improve something in your life. So I like to say no more than three high-level metrics. I don't think that one usually fits. I think that there's usually a lot more than that, but if we try to focus on three for a given year, and it doesn't mean that at the end of the year, you have to get there. This is just giving you that uncomfortable tension in order to get you moving in the direction that you want to go.


2. Tracking Metrics

The next layer down is your tracking. So of these three high-level metrics, what are the things that you have to track? That's going to help you to move the needle on those big three. So these are the things that you would track each week. You're looking for trends and how things are going. Are you getting better? Are you getting worse on that one particular thing?

And there might be that one high-level metric that touches on three different things. You need three different things to contribute in order to make that one metric move. So that's your second level, which is the tracking metrics. 


3. Doing Metrics

The third level is your doing metrics. So these are what are your daily or weekly activities that you actually see yourself doing so that you're making progress on where you're going to go. And don't worry, we're going to get into a lot of examples in this podcast. So my background comes from a lean manufacturing facility. I was working in biotech for quite a while, making medicines to help people with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It was really important to be able to make this medicine as fast as we could and get it out to the patients. So as part of lean manufacturing, having a good set of metrics across the board was really helpful.


Tying The Three Different Levels of Metrics Together

And for each individual workgroup, it was important that they had metrics specific for them that were also tied to that high-level visionary metrics for the whole company. There was a time where each department just kind of randomly picked their own metrics and they were doing pretty good, but they weren't all tied together. So we incorporated something out in the lean manufacturing world known as a SQDEC board. So SQDEC board just means it's a visual representation of metrics and it is broken up into five different categories, safety, quality delivery, engagement, and cost. So when you have your high-level visionary metrics, that might be a true North metric, then it cascades down through the different groups. And then each group is coming up with metrics in each of those five categories so that they're making sure that holistically they're taking care of everything that they've thought of everything that's important for what they do.

So I really liked this approach. It is pretty heavy on the number of metrics, but you can choose to just do one in each category, or you could choose several. It's just a brainstorming exercise at first. So you can decide in what part of your life you want to use this? Do you want to use this just for your life? Do you want to use it just for your relationships, just for your business? Or maybe you're going to create something that works for all of those aspects. So for this podcast, I just want you to listen to all of the different variety, and try not to get overwhelmed, because I'm going to give you a lot of examples. The reason is just to jog your thoughts on what would be important for you, because most people have not thought about measuring stuff in their life to try to improve it.

So by sharing all of these different ideas with you, it's going to make you think of, Oh yeah, there are things that I can measure. And, Oh, I hadn't thought about measuring something like that before. That is important to me. So just sit back, listen to all of the different examples. And then at the end you can start to think, do I even want to measure things in my life? If so, what I want to do just a little bit, would I want to do a lot, what I want to use these five different categories and what exactly do I want to do?




Five Categories of Metrics

So since I put mental health as very first, I've actually changed the five categories. Because not everybody is in a lean manufacturing environment, I want to make sure that we're covering all of the bases. No matter what it is that you do in your life. Even if you are not working at all, maybe you're already retired. I want this to apply to everybody. So the five categories that we're going to dive into are well-being, Engagement, Delivery, Quality, and Cost. So my acronym for this is a WEDQC. 



    • Well-being
    • Engagement


  • Delivery
  • Quality
  • Cost


Well-Being Metrics

So let's take a look at the very first category, which is Well-being. So well-being refers to your mental and physical health. You can have some general metrics here. You can use just a plain old happy scale. Instead, I like to call it just a squishy scale from zero to 10. Zero, being that you're feeling your worst 10, you're feeling your best. If you want to break this down into something more specific, you could think about the number of good days that you have out of a month. Like if you were to look at a whole day, did it feel good or did it feel bad?

You might even get more specific. Maybe overall your day was pretty good, but maybe there were a few hours that were really bad. So here you could look at the number of good hours or bad hours per day. You might want to look at the number of triggers and what type of triggers. How many triggers did you have in a month or per day or per week? And what was the amount of time that it took to recover from that trigger? One of the things I include in the Unshakable program is something called my experience journal. This has a day-to-day tracker that lets you track by the hour, how you were feeling. Now that might seem like a bit of overkill, but when you're feeling so yucky, it's hard to really quantify it. And sometimes it's just one thing that can ruin the whole day. But when we look at it hour by hour, we might realize that we only really had three hours where we felt really yucky and the other 21 hours were actually okay. So there's more to that experience journal than that. But when we're looking at our well-being and how we're feeling, having a quantifiable amount is helpful, because then we can set a target as to what we actually want it to be like, is this a problem? When we actually look at how much we're feeling icky in a month when we quantify it, we might find that out of 30 days, maybe there were only three days that were yucky, and out of those three days that maybe it was just a couple of hours. Okay! We might decide that we want to get it down to one day of feeling yucky per month or that on any given day, we feel yucky, maybe 30 minutes, but nothing more than that. So those are targets that we can shoot for to try to feel better. So something quantifiable.

Relationships in your well-being, you might be looking specifically at the time that you're interacting with the other person. How many times did that feel good? How many times did it not feel good? Or within the time that you spent together, let's say you spent a couple of hours together. Of that, say three hours, was 10 minutes bad? Was it the whole time? So having those quantifiable numbers will help you to set a target of what you want it to actually be. Let's say, in a business, all of us have worked or we're running a business. What is your stress level? And how frequently does that happen? Is that every day that you work, is it just a certain number of hours per day? And what is it that you want it to be? 


For your well-being, you might be interested in the balance of the number of work hours that you do versus the number of non-work hours that you do. You might even want to consider work hours. Are you working beyond your work hours? I know for the longest time we were hearing work-life balance and then it switched to work-life integration, right? So the idea was that you could be able to do some of your personal stuff during your work hours, but the trade-off was that now, you're also going to be doing some of your work stuff during your personal hours. But how frequently is that balanced? If you find yourself working every single day and all hours of the night, your brain's never going to have a chance to rest. So you might want to consider looking at the number of hours per day that you're even thinking about work versus what you want to be thinking about work. Are you able to turn off your brain? Are you able to stay within the confines of your work hours?

Well-being also includes your physical well-being. How does your body feel? Is it tight? Is it sore? Is it in pain? How many days out of the month? How many hours out of the day and what do you want it to actually be?

So all of those things can be what you're tracking and trending. So you could see each day, how are you feeling? And are you getting better? Are you getting worse? You can see your peaks and valleys over a month. That in itself is going to tell you some information about yourself. You might see that there's trends of when the bad times happen. And that will give you an idea of where you can do your experiments so that you can start getting to the target that you actually want.

I mentioned that third layer of metrics, which are your doing metrics. So these are, what are the specific activities that you're going to do for yourself? And are you going to use some way of tracking it so that you're holding yourself accountable, you're meeting those commitments you've made to yourself? This could be a daily activity log. It could be a workout log. Anything that you want it to be. I like to use bullet journals or something similar to that, where you're basically just making your own tracking system, just a piece of paper and some different colored pens. I've committed to myself to go on at least three walks every week, just to go and enjoy nature. So this isn't for my aerobics or anything like that. It's just for me to get out and move my body and to see nature. So that helps me both on physical and my well-being. Some other things you might want to consider are fun activities. Have you incorporated a target for how many fun activities you want to do?

And what are those types of things? How about the amount of physical contact, the number of hugs that you have, or the amount of time that you spend with a pet playing with that pet. Maybe there's meditation that you want to do each day? Maybe there's a cool-down right? So sometimes we get triggered. How many times have we been triggered and allowed ourselves to go have a cool-down instead of reacting to that? All right. So that's a whole lot of ideas for well-being.


Engagement Metrics

Let's move on to the engagement category. So engagement is your interaction with other people. This is how much engagement you want with who doing what types of activities? Is it enjoyable? And are you getting the outcome that you actually wanted? So if we're thinking about life, there's a lot of people that have social anxiety. This is really hard to get out and interact with other people.

Maybe you want to make some improvements in that area. Maybe you want to make it where you can interact and your anxiety goes down. It's not about pushing through and being mean to ourselves. This is about our well-being, our mental health and interacting with other people. So what would you want for your measurements? Like we could be looking at the number of people that I said hi to and how I felt when I said hi to them. It could be the number of people that I engaged in a conversation and how I felt during those engagements, in the conversation. Were they pleasant or were they uplifting? And so when I say they, I mean the conversation itself, not the other person. Was it something that you actually enjoyed? Was there an outcome that you were looking for? Like maybe the other person was nice to you, maybe they gave you a piece of information that you were looking for.

What are those things? Very specific. If it's something that you want in your life and you're not getting it right now and you want to have a target, then these would be good things to consider. Think about engagement with your relationships. So these can be your friends, your immediate family, extended family, whoever it is. How many people do you want to have in your social circle? How many new ones would you want to have? How many existing ones do you want to have? How frequently do you want to interact with them? What types of activities, what do you want those activities to feel like when you guys are engaging with each other? Is there an outcome that you're looking for? You know, if you start off with a strange relationship, it might be something as simple as I want to be able to spend one hour in the room with this person without getting triggered, right?

Like that might seem silly to some people, but to those of us that have, that do deal with triggers in our lives and with difficult people in our lives, this can be very significant because we all want to have amazing relationships, but it doesn't happen overnight. It happens in incremental ways. And so if there is someone that you do want to have in your life, but for some reason, it's hard. What are the measurable things about it that you would want to improve? The frequency of contact, the quality of that contact, the outcome could be your feeling or their feelings or a combination of your feelings. I like to just leave it simple as I enjoyed their company, right? So if I could go one hour with that person and I could completely enjoy that one hour, that was great. If I'm tracking that and I can tell, okay, I decided four times this month to spend time with them. And it was going to be one hour. Each time of those four, were they all enjoyable for the whole time? Or I might look at one specific hour, was that whole hour enjoyable? How many minutes of that hour was not enjoyable? And then that's going to help me to start identifying what are the things that make it not enjoyable and start doing some of the work on that. So that's either some mindset work or doing some experiments with the other person.

In your businesses, you have relationships all over the place in your business. You have your customers, you have your co-workers, you have bosses and suppliers. So let's start off with thinking about customers, how many new customers would you want to have? And how many do you have that are existing? So if you're in the online marketplace, you might be looking at how many people do you have in your different pools. So your pools could be a Facebook group or a Facebook page or connected to Instagram or LinkedIn, your different connections there. So these could be connections. These could be customers, and you can make a number decision on that, a target of how many do you actually want to have because you, of course, when it continues growing, you want to reach more people that are going to need the stuff that you have. And then once you have them, what are you doing with them?

Do you want to engage with them? What does that look like? And how frequently? Ideally, you want to engage with as many people as you can, forming really good connections. Now, sometimes connections can take a while to develop. So we're looking at the amount of time that we spend with the person, the amount of time, you know, from one calendar day to the next calendar day, right? It could be a couple of months that you're spending, developing these relationships. Sometimes you want to make it be more. Maybe you're not doing it enough. Sometimes you might want to ratchet it back like you might be doing too much. So I experienced this. I was the customer where I went into this little shop in Mendocino, and I am looking to make more friends out here on the Mendocino coast and more business contacts. You never know who's going to need your service, or who knows other people who are going to need your service.

So I go into this little shop, it's super cute. The owner of the shop and I hit it off. Like she seems like someone that could be a friend of mine. Like we could develop a friendship. The problem for her as a business owner was that with the COVID restrictions, she could only have four people in her shop at any given time. So we started to engage in conversation. We're both really enjoying it. This can help us both from a friendship, but also from a business perspective. But the amount of time that we were spending was not going to work for the customers waiting outside because they couldn't come in until other people left. So engaging for that long was starting to be a problem as far as allowing more people to come in and purchase her products and services. So think about that.

Especially in the online space, we do a lot of organic marketing and talking with people over Facebook messenger or other means we might be spending a lot of time developing those relationships because it feels good to both of us, but there might be other people that are waiting in line, in order to come and talk to you as a business owner, consider that. Do you need to make some room in your schedule to allow everybody to come to you? When you are working in a business place and you can walk around, you might want to consider, are you walking around and talking to enough people? Is this something that you want for yourself?

There was a really great leader that I worked with quite a while back. And he had it as his standard routine that he would make three rounds each day to be able to go and see the people that he worked with. He had a pretty large group that he managed and he had different types of interactions he would have with people. Some would just go and say hi, so we'd just call that face time, just saying hi. And then there are the ones of stopping and doing a check-in, Hey, how's everything going? Do you need any help from me? And then there were the ones that were deeper. It was more of creating that relationship. So it's asking about life, how are things in life in general? And we like to create a family atmosphere. So this particular leader, he actually was keeping like a bit of a record-keeping system of knowing stuff about the different people that they had shared with him. So that when he came back around, he could ask specifically about the person's kids or how’s little Johnny was doing in fourth grade, he was going to that science camp. Right? And all of a sudden that connection is so much deeper.

And when you have those better connections with the people you work with, you're going to be more productive, together, more collaborative. So all of these things happen in engagement. So you get to decide what type of engagement do you want to have in your life with all of the people that you interact with? How would you measure it? How many people, how much time do you spend with them? How frequently? Is it enjoyable? And what kind of outcomes are you looking for? Set some targets for where you want to change things that are happening, either increase, decrease, whatever's important for you. For the doing type of metrics in this, you might have a checklist that says, yep, twice a month. I want to do this activity with these people. And you have that running list, or you might decide, yeah, I do want to make the rounds or on every Tuesday, I want to be able to go and talk to three people. Have your checklist of what it is, how frequently, and then you can color in those little checkboxes, or you can put a little check. And so this way it helps to remind you of those things that you felt were really important for engagement for you and the people in your life.


Delivery Metrics

Let's move on to delivery. So delivery is all of the widgets that you do in your life and in your work, those things that you get done. So for thinking at home, we might be thinking about the different chores or the different responsibilities, like paying bills or doing all those boring grownup things that we have to do, even if we want to. At work, it's a little bit easier to think about what widgets we're doing. What are we making? What are we delivering? What are the things that we're responsible for completing? So when you're looking at delivery metrics, the things that are important here are the number of activities that you're supposed to do. The number of deliverables that you're supposed to be delivering on. The amount of time that it takes you to get it done.

Now, this one is one that most people don't really think about. They think about just getting it done, doing whatever it takes and they don't factor in the amount of time. This can turn around and bite you in the butt in lots of different ways. So, if you have not planned accordingly, you might have more deliverables on your plate that you committed to without thinking, do I actually have enough time to do all of this? If it's a new thing that you've never done before and you're thinking, Oh yeah, I could totally do that. And you haven't asked yourself, how long will it take me to do that? You might find that you have overcommitted. Some of the other things with delivery is your schedule. Did you get it done on time? Did you fit that into your work hours? Or did you have to do the heroics, the overtime to get it done?

Were you able to complete it in full or did you deliver something and it was just partially done and then your cycle time. So cycle time just means from the very beginning, when you found out that you needed to do this thing, or you committed to doing it all the way to when it was done. So this is usually in calendar days, because sometimes we have advanced notice and then there's a planning phase, and then there's the doing phase. And then there's the actual delivery. Having an idea of how many widgets you have on your plate that you've committed to will help you to also level load your activities. So what level load means is that you have spread them out for the amount of available hours you have to do those activities. So let's say that you have three activities that are going to take two hours each, and you have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday available.

If you pile all three of those activities on Monday, and then Tuesday and Wednesday, you have all this available space, you might find that Monday you're exhausted. And then Tuesday and Wednesday, you're recovering. You can choose to spread it out and do one activity each day. So that it's level, you get up every day, you're expending the same amount of energy, but you're still meeting your deliverable due date. So level loading is just looking at the number of activities, the amount of time and effort it'll take, and trying to spread it out evenly so that you don't have to worry about burning yourself out or needing recovery time. A few of the other metrics you might want to consider with delivery are the number of interruptions that you have or the number of scheduled crashes that you get. Here's why this is important. If you have decided that you can do a task and that the task takes you two hours, if you have zero interruptions, then that's going to work.

You're going to be able to get that task done in two hours. But if all of a sudden you're getting all of these different interruptions, that one activity is now going to take you much longer. It might take you four hours. So documenting, like if this ends up being a problem, if you've noticed that you're not getting your stuff done on time, documenting the number of interruptions you're getting and the type will help you. Because you want to try to do some experiments in order to resolve those interruptions. Or if the interruptions are something that are value-added to you, then you can schedule those in too. Maybe instead of two hours for that task. It really does need to be three hours because you want to allow time for this other one-hour interruption. There can be schedule crashes that happen.

So 2020 was a great example of schedule crashes left and right, unexpected things were popping up, homeschooling, and unexpected deaths. All of these things can impact our schedule. Things come in sideways by tracking how many schedule crashes you're getting. That's going to help you also because ideally you want to have zero schedule crashes if you can get them. Knowing your planned and predictable schedule is helpful for your mental health and for you to be able to deliver on all of your commitments. There's nothing worse with someone looking at you, being a little upset that you didn't meet your commitment. You're like, well, but if they only knew how many schedule crashes I got and having a generic term like that schedule crash so much easier than the full-on explanation as to you know, that you got a call from your kid's teacher, that they needed to do this new project. And now you had to run to the store and go get all of these new supplies or that someone needed you to come and do something like a repair on their house or repair on their car or something.

Something that was totally unexpected by just saying, okay, I had a schedule crash. Here's what it was succinctly. You can start to see, do you get the same schedule crashes coming up all of the time? Is that something that you can go and have a conversation with someone to try to minimize? Right? So it could be a conversation of giving me more of a heads up, or maybe that wasn't my responsibility to do any of that, right? I don't know what the situations will be for your schedule crashes, but knowing that you're having them and what type they are, is going to help you. So let's think about some of the delivery things for life. So these could be your home responsibilities. So it could be when you do your laundry, it could be when you do the cleaning aspects of your house. It could be when you do your meals, especially if you have other people that are depending on you, you might decide that you want to have some metrics around this.

If it's something that's important if it's become a pain point for you and you want to improve on it, having integrity in our relationships helps to develop that trust. So integrity is that we do what we say we're going to do. And we do it when we say we're going to do it. What are all of those things that you've committed to in your relationship, those widgets that you're going to do, or maybe there's things that you said you were not going to do, that you did? And that ends up being something that you want to change. You might have metrics on what are the things that I'm doing that I don't want to do anymore. And that you're trying to get down to zero, right? So knowing you are getting closer to that or not is helpful. And that also helps to identify what obstacles get in the way of me getting down to zero of those activities.

Looking at the quantity of activities that you've committed to in a relationship is also helpful because this goes back to the level loading. Are you doing the right amount of activities? Oftentimes we take on more responsibilities than what we should have ever committed to. A lot of the time, we do other people's activities. They might be having a hard emotional time, or maybe they're not feeling motivated, but the activity still has to get done. And it's impacting you that the activities are not done. So you may decide that you're going to do the activities, yourself. Tracking the activities and what it is that you're doing and knowing what's the target for what you actually want to have. This helps you to also collect data, because remember when you're trying to have conversations with other people, you can get quite emotional, especially when you're feeling stressed out and burnt out.

And you're doing more than what you're supposed to be doing. You might start feeling resentment towards the other. And instead of talking with facts and figures, you come full at them with your emotions. That's not going to go well, that's going to backfire. Your relationships are going to deteriorate. So having this data of what are the actual activities and how much on any given day, then you have your target of what actually works for you. This is great for you to have conversations with people. That you can show them what your data is and say, well, here's this, I did these activities. It took this much time. This isn't working for me. This is too much. It's burning me out. I need to do less activities. Here are the ones that I think can go. And that opens up the conversation. So instead of labeling the other person, as, you know, something bad or just being angry, you have data. Data in itself is neutral. It's just numbers on a page. It helps to be able to have those conversations in a lot more neutral way so that it works for everybody.

Now in business, the same thing goes with the number of activities. How many times have you found yourself at work wanting to do a pet project? So a pet project means that there's other activities that you want to do that you think are going to be so great for the business. And so then you go and you spend your time doing those things. And yet the requirements, your basics that you had to hit, didn't get done if you've ever gone in for a review. And you think that you've done really great for the year. And then your boss is looking at you and saying you didn't meet expectations. And you're like, what? How is that even possible? Having metrics about what activities you did and what activities you're supposed to do will be very helpful.

Because if you didn't meet your minimum requirements, it doesn't matter how much extra stuff you did. You didn't meet the minimum requirements for the job. So make sure that you know what deliverables you actually have to do and recognize when are you feeling compelled to do these other things? And will you be able to meet your minimum, plus do those. As a project manager or business owner, you might get shiny object syndrome. You might think this other thing needs to be done, or we need to add this in, and you may not be sticking to your plan. So one, do you even have a plan of what your activities are? So if you do have a project or you are building something like building a new business or, or building a new product, what is your plan for all of the activities? Are you adhering to that plan or are you getting a bit of shiny object syndrome and wanting to go do these other things. Keeping a running track of that, of what were the activities? What was planned? And when am I doing those or not? So it's an adherence to the plan. It's usually like a percentage either. I'm 100% adhering to my plan or I'm 60% because you're looking at the actual activities and the due dates. And then what are all the obstacles that are getting in the way, right? So that shiny object syndrome happens really frequently.

There's also a comparison. So it's like you have this idea of what you're doing. And then all of a sudden you're looking at what other people are doing and thinking, oh, now I need to make changes. Right? All of those are obstacles that you can do experiments on. But tracking it, even being aware, this helps to anchor you down, remind you what you had decided was important ahead of time, and helps you to make better decisions.


Quality Metrics

Alright, fourth category here. Remember I told you this was going to be a bit of a long episode. We're looking at all of the different metric ideas. So quality. This is the quality of your deliverable, the quality of your interactions. If you're thinking about things that you're doing in life, or even in business, there's always a sequence of steps that happens. There's always an input from one step that goes into another part further down. So you have your inputs, you have your outputs. So all of those deliverables, whatever you're doing. It's either an input to somebody else's, or it's an output of your own process. The things that you're going to do. You're going to need inputs and the quality of those inputs are going to directly impact what it is that you're doing. Some of the most important quality metrics. When you're thinking about the inputs for the process that you're going to do the step you're going to do.

So this might be the conversation that you're having with someone they're giving you input. What's your output? What is the reaction that you're having? Or the words that you're saying, if it's a process that you're doing, and someone is giving you an input to your process, some raw materials, some information, resources, whatever it is. Do you have everything on time? Did you get all that information on time? If you're having a conversation with someone, are they talking to you at the speed that you need? Are they holding anything back that you need them to share with you? Do you have everything that you need? So we're looking at, is your input showing up on time? Is it complete? Are there any errors or is it damaged in any way?

So we think about packages being delivered from Amazon, right? This is the best way of thinking about an input. Whatever is in that box. That's your input? Did it get here when it said it was going to, did it have everything that was in there? Were there any errors to it? Did they give you the wrong thing or was it damaged in any way? It could be the package. It could be the thing inside. Was it damaged at all? Your output. So you can also consider output is the words that you're giving to someone, the information, the reaction, anything that you're giving to someone else, or if it is a thing, a widget, like you can think of that Amazon package again. Are you shipping that box out when you said you were going to, does it have everything in there that it was supposed to? Are there any errors with it? Is any of it damaged?

One of the first things you'll want to consider with quality is meeting the needs. So these are your needs or the other person's needs. What's important if we're thinking about inputs, so inputs into what you need. What's important to you? How are things delivered to you? Is it a tone of voice? Is it the type of words that are used? Is it the timing? Is it the packaging? What is it that you need when you're thinking about your deliverables to other people, same thing? Think about their needs. Is there a timing? Is there a tone? Is there something that they need about that? The best way to figure these things out is to ask each other, what are your needs? Like do you actually want to have good quality with the people you're interacting with or your customers? What's important to both of you? You want everybody to win. So in life, different things are going to come at us.

So in life we might have different events that we want to go to. Do we want advanced notice for that? Do we need instructions on how to prepare for it or what's expected once we're actually at that event, do we need to have any kind of preparation? Are we prepared to show up how we want to? Do we have the right education? Do we have the right knowledge of what's going on? Do we have the right skillsets for whatever this activity is going to be? In a relationship, do we have balanced talking time? That's a good quality thing. Are we taking turns, talking, and listening to each other? Are we able to be authentic with each other? Being truthful, not pretending to be somebody else, not being on guard or walking on eggshells. Are we showing empathy for them? Are they showing empathy for us? Are we supporting each other? Are we offering to help? What type of help is too much? Is it not enough? Is it the right kind of help? Is it being offered at the right time?

In business, the things that we're doing, is it meeting our customer's needs? Is it meeting our coworker’s needs? Are we having our needs met? Are our coworkers considering our needs? Are we giving each other enough time to be experts? Right? When you're working in a team, everybody has something to contribute. If it's just one person standing up and being the expert saying, Hey, just me, nobody else. And there's some type of a team dynamic problem, that is going to be something on your quality metrics.

The products and services that you're giving to your customer, is it meeting their needs, check-in with them. Ask them for feedback, ask them, am I doing too much? Am I not doing enough? Am I delivering this at the right speed that you need? Is there some other quality attribute that is making them think they may not want to be your customer anymore? Or maybe there's something that they have ideas for something even better. Like they love everything that you're doing, but they have an additional need that you haven't even considered yet. So you can provide more value to them, that's the quality part. More value by considering creating something else for them, the experience that they have with you.

This was one of the things we talked about in the workshop last week. What kind of experience do you want to have with your customers? And do they like that kind of experience? We talked about a couple of different examples, but one of the things that we talked about was the format that we use when we do online workshops. Do we like webinar-style, where you just get to see the leader of your session and they're sharing knowledge? They're asking questions. They're giving you time to do the exercises, but you don't actually get to be on screen. You don't get to see the other people that are in the course. You don't know if you're the only one that's there or if you're one of a huge crowd or do you prefer to have interaction? So I had thought from my own quality of enjoyment, I love interacting with people. It feels so weird to just stand in front of a camera. And you might know that there's other people out there, but it's so much better to interact as humans to be able to talk to each other. So we talked about that and the people in the workshops were saying they liked this so much better to be able to interact with each other face to face. Now that does put a bit of a limitation on how many people that you could have in a workshop, but the quality of it is so much better.

So you get to decide with all of your metrics, what are the needles that are most important to you? So I call it needles like a gas gauge in your car. You see that needle moving from full to empty. Of all of these things that we've been talking about. What are the things that are the most important, because you don't want to pick metrics that are going to compete with each other? They can't nullify each other. They all have to work together.


Cost Metrics

Alright, the final category is cost. So cost is looking at your time, your money, your resources, like the stuff, the tangible things, and your energy. This could be your physical energy or your emotional energy. You're looking at how much you are investing today and over time. And how much are you getting back today? And over time, is it a good return on investment?

So ideally you want to do things in a way that are costing you the least amount and giving you the best benefit. So let's think about life. I know in life, we don't always think about costs other than financial costs, but there can be emotional costs too. So let's think about the environment in which you live. How is that impacting you? Is there an emotional cost to it? Is there an emotional benefit to it? That was one of the things that my husband and I factored into moving out to the Mendocino coast. We were having a lot of environmental things where we were living like the temperature being 105 for like 20 days out of a month that was impacting us emotionally. So although we were having some benefit of being close to jobs and a few other things, there were enough negative things that were draining our emotional energy. That it wasn't psychologically safe for us to stay where we were.

So when we checked out the ocean area, the coast area, we found that the amount of emotional benefit to us, the calmness watching the waves would help reduce anxiety, the slower pace of life, more nature, more wildlife, all of that huge amount of benefit. And there was still, of course, a financial cost. There's still some other emotional costs to it. But when we weigh the differences, it was a healthier choice for our emotions and our mental health to be out here. And we might still make some adjustments in the future. But for right now, this was a better option for us than where we were.

So when you're looking at your life, your environment, are you getting a good return on investment for everything you're investing in, where you're living? So the time that you're spending. So if you have commute time that you have to factor in or traffic time, are you stuck in traffic? That was definitely one of the things. On one of my moves, I was trying to reduce my commute time, spending four hours a day on the road commuting did not give me a good return on my investment. If you're looking at the money, the amount of money it costs to live somewhere, is there enough benefit coming from it? Or maybe you found a place where it doesn't cost that much and there's still a lot of benefit to living there. Resources. I've met people that have decided to live in vacation rental homes for a long amount of time because all they have to do is just bring their clothes with them. They don't need a lot of resources because being bogged down with stuff was actually impacting their own mental health. It was easier to live lighter, but still have all of the things that you need.

When you're looking at relationships, so we're still in the cost section of metrics, what is it costing you to be in the relationships with the people that you have? So here we might be looking at the amount of emotional investment that you're giving versus what you're getting back. You might be looking at the amount of time in all of the activities that you're doing. Remember in the last section, we were talking about balance in the amount of things that you're doing, the deliverables that you're doing. So all of that has a cost for your time, for your money, for your resources, for your energy, both physical and emotional in your relationships. When you're doing all of these things, that's a cost. And then what is the benefit that you're getting out of it? Are you getting time back? Are you getting money back? Are you getting resources? Are you getting energy back?

When you're tracking these things of what are you putting in and what are you getting out, you can decide on some targets. Do you want to decrease the amount that you're putting into it? Do you want to try to increase what you're getting out of it? What are these targets? Or you might have all of these different relationships and you realize, there are some relationships where I'm putting in 100% and I'm getting zero back. You might want to question, do you want to continue with those types of relationships? So this can be your own social circle. It could be family relationships. It might be community relationships. So think about volunteering. So there might be some volunteer things that you're doing and you're spending a whole lot of your time and effort on doing volunteer stuff because there was something that you thought you would get out of it.

Are you actually getting that out of your volunteer work? So when I looked at it, when I first moved out here to Mendocino, I got involved in several different volunteer activities. One of the main reasons was because I was looking to make some friends, right? So that's what I would get out of it. Of course, it feels good to help, right? But my main driver was that I would be making friends out of this. And what I found in at least one of those arrangements was that I wasn't actually getting friendships out of it. What I was getting was just a lot of work. And the urge to like spend my money, like donate my money into all of this, but the return on investment just wasn't there. And I had other opportunities. There's other volunteer things that I could do where I could have the friendships coming out of that. So that was a really good metric to consider here, right? Because it's like anchoring back. What was the benefit that I was looking for and what is the expenditure of my time and money, resources, all of that? Was it a good return on investment? If not, then I can make some adjustments.

Now, finally in business cost is of course very important, right? If you don't have a good return on investment, you're not going to have the money that benefits at the end that keeps your business running. As employees, we don't always think about this. It's like companies always seem to, you know, just have a lot of money. And so they should just keep paying us when times get tough. In 2020, we saw a lot of businesses folding. I mean, it's heartbreaking seeing how many have had to close down, but it's because if there's no benefit coming back in, right, people are not being able to buy the product or service. Then it doesn't equal out all of the input, all of that investment of time and money and resources and energy, it's going in one end and you're not getting anything out of the other side. Money has a limit, right? Once we spend all of those dollars, it's gone. If we've invested the money into something that is then going to create money for us, right? We have a product or a service or something, right. Where now we are generating money back then it works out really well. But if you're just expending and expending, and expending and not getting anything back, it's not sustainable.

This also goes into looking at the amount of energy that we're putting into things. And the amount of time, we only have a certain amount. We only have 24 hours in a day. If we think about energy, there's this great infographic out there that's called the 12 spoons. Every day, we all wake up with 12 spoons of energy. Some of us that have invisible illnesses will wake up with less spoons of energy. Maybe we wake up with four spoons of energy. That's all you have all day. And so if you spend all of that, what is the benefit that you're getting back, right? You want to at least break even. Are you getting back? Everything that you're putting in, at some point, if you're putting in more hours than what's available and you're not getting a benefit out of it, you have to decide, is that a good use of your time? You might find that there's activities that are not generating any benefit. It's time to prune those back. Or maybe you have lots of activities that you're doing. You've used up all of your hours, all of your time. Everything's giving something back, but some things are giving back better than others.

So it's like a rose bush, right? We love all of the roses on the rose bush. Some of them are a lot sturdier, they're going to last a lot longer. And if we can prune back on some of the smaller ones that are not doing as well, our rose bush is going to flourish more. Same thing with a business. There's going to be some things that, yeah, it is giving us some return on investment. But if we want to be able to survive for the long term, as much as we don't want to prune, we're going to have to prune. This might be different products and services that you offer. Maybe there's something that you're offering that is taking up a big, big expenditure and not a whole lot of people are interested in it, right. Or maybe there's a feature about the product that you're giving. That is just not as valuable to your customers as the other benefits. If you have that feedback loop with your customers, you can find that out because if there's something that people are like, eh, no, I'm not really getting a benefit out of that. Or it's costing me more than the benefit I'm getting. Then go ahead and trim that it works for both of you.

So tracking your investments and your benefits overtime is going to be very helpful. And then keeping your daily list. Your doing list. What are those activities that you're doing? Or what are the things you're going to spend your time, money, resources, energy on, and what are you not that will help you to stay on track?




Whew, that was a whole lot of metrics. Like I said, this could be overwhelming. If you let it be, you don't have to. This was just meant to be an inspiration. Just a little bit of brainstorming of what's possible. What are all of the different things that we could measure if we wanted change in our life, our relationships or our business? It's only going to work if you actually do track it. So first, just having the idea that this was important, like, you know, which ones were important and of that, which ones would you actually track? Because you'll get what you measure. So if you really want it, you're going to dedicate yourself to measuring those things so that you can have that in your life. If it's not all that important, you're going to find that you create these great measuring systems, maybe some bullet journals. You're creating your own, maybe you're using spreadsheets to create things, or you have a planner system that you're just going to add those things in. Make sure that you're picking wisely, don't overwhelm yourself. Don't create something. That's going to take you hours each week of tracking because those are hours you could be investing in the things you want to do. So pick something that's manageable.

You don't have to measure everything every single day. With the five different categories that we talked about, the well-being, the engagement, the delivery, the quality, the cost. These are great things to just check in on once a week, you could do one category a day. You don't have to do all of them. You can choose some of these that you just check on it once a month. It doesn't have to be every day or even every week, you have flexibility. Pick what works for you. What makes sense? And you're going to see a lot of focus and a lot of traction.

All right. So if you ever have any questions on any of this stuff, you know, you can reach out to me, Facebook Messenger, send me an email or something, but all of this metric stuff is part of the clarity steps. We create a vision and then we create the metrics that go with it to help. You know, are you there yet? It's just like on a road trip. You know, if you know that you have 200 miles to go and you've gone 100 miles, you know that you're halfway there. When you're trying to reach your vision in your life, having those milestones of knowing, are you there yet? How much progress? What else do you need to do? So helpful. If you're not paying attention to your metrics, you're going to be doing all sorts of stuff. And you're going to forget what you had decided was important. You go back, you look at your metrics and you're like, oh, I got way off track. I did a whole bunch of stuff I never needed to do. Yeah. That's the importance of metrics. Pick the things that matter the most because you get what you measure.

All of this is included in the coaching, in the Unshakable Programs. So you have the Unstoppable course that teaches you the clarity steps, but you have the two calls each week that help you keep track of it all. So you can use those calls to set up the metrics that are important for you in the different aspects of your life. And then you also get to use those calls for helping you to stay on track, to keep looking at it and to identify, what are the obstacles that are getting in your way, and what kind of experiments to do. All of that is available to you in the Unshakable programs. There is now an Unshakable Women's program and an Unshakable Men's program. I chose to keep the two genders separate because you guys have different obstacles coming up. And sometimes it's a lot more comfortable to talk about your gender-specific obstacles in front of that same gender.

When you decide that yeah, you could use this extra support. Go check out the Unshakable programs on my website at myfreedomgrove.com. Alright, my friends, happy measuring. I'll talk with you more next week. Bye bye.


Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove podcast.  I can't wait to work with you directly. I'll help you to be your authentic self, to have amazing relationships and to live your purpose. I invite you to check out Unshakable Men and Unshakable Women. The Unshakable programs will give you all of the tools, the coaching and the community to help you rise in life, relationships, and business. To learn more, go to my freedom grove.com/workwithme. I can't wait to see you there.


Subscribe to Podcast Return to Podcast Episode Browse Podcast Library

Life is Better When You Stay Connected

Stay connected with My Freedom Grove and be the first to know about new podcast episodes, courses and special live events.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.