If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s safe to say that you’re after more than the corporate rat race can give. You took a big leap of faith by launching your business. So it’s only fair that the model you’re building supports your personal mission as well.
To achieve true, well-rounded success as an entrepreneur, your goals should also factor in aspects like how you want to feel, how you want to spend your time, and yes, how much money you want to make. But there’s so much more to uncover in your search for success.
In this blog, we’re redefining how to measure success as an entrepreneur so you can live a truly satisfying life and business on your terms.
Three steps to measure success as an entrepreneur
Start with a goal in mind
Without a clear goal to work for, how would you know whether you’ve made it? Reclaiming your success begins by defining it. What is it that you’ve set out to do? And how are you going to get there?
Define this goal with the SMART method in mind (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) or use other methods like OKR. The most crucial element is having a clearly outlined objective to reach.
Measure your objective growth
Building a business is a lot of work. If you started from scratch and bootstrapped your business, it’s likely that you didn’t have the time or resources to track everything neatly from average monthly income to other, less straightforward measures like client satisfaction.
But tracking your achievements gives you a clear view of how far you’ve come. So the first metric we’ll use is your objective growth. You can track growth by evaluating some key business numbers:
Monthly recurring revenue. This is a very simple way to measure predictable income in the form of subscriptions, retainers, and other fixed income you have monthly.
Total yearly revenue. Besides your MRR, your total revenue is a crucial number to track. This number allows you to plan for employees, investments like conferences and equipment, and even your taxes. As an entrepreneur, tracking yearly revenue is one of the simplest ways to measure success.
Number of clients. We all know that giddy feeling of booking your first client. But over time, you’ll need new clients to keep business going. A steady flow of clients is crucial for long-term sustainability. Now, not all businesses need new clients every month, but you still want to keep an eye on this number.
Average project size. Tracking your average project size helps you see how you’re using your resources and what can be optimized. Are you barely making enough to cover expenses but have a full roaster of clients? It may be that their projects are too small and it’s time to up your minimum package. That’s just one example of how you can use this information to drive business decisions that get you closer to your measure of success.
Team size. Not everyone wants a big team. But if your business is growing, you’ll probably need to hire either employees or contractors to keep your processes running smoothly. But beware, more people — without a clear direction — don’t necessarily mean better service or happier customers. So make sure your processes and standards are set in stone before going for the hire.
Conversion rate. This number represents how many of the leads you acquire end up becoming customers. It’s hard to pinpoint an industry average, but you’ll be able to find trends within your business. Your conversion rate is a picture of how well your marketing and sales operate and where you need to tweak things if you want to find more customers.
Evaluate the mental side of entrepreneurship
You could be running a seven-figure business that looks like a dream from the outside. But it wouldn’t matter if you wake up daily dreading your to-do list. I’m not saying your business will be fun and exciting 24/7. But it should definitely inspire you and make you feel challenged in all the right ways. Plus, your business is meant to be a tool to achieve the life you want to live — not drain you.
To measure success on a personal level, ask yourself, does this business support the life I want? Am I making enough to live how I want? Am I able to have the impact I want on the people I serve or the community I live in? Remember, your impact could be the work you do — it could also be the money you inject into your economy or the free time you opened up by leaving your 9-to-5 to spend time with your loved ones or doing what you enjoy.
Measuring success as an entrepreneur is a slippery slope
You’ve heard it before. Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparing your backstage to everyone else’s highlight reels will usually do more harm than good. The only way you’ll be able to dig into what a truly fulfilling and exciting life is for you.
At the end of the day, only you can feel the satisfaction of living your purpose and achieving your dreams. So I encourage you to consider, what would it look like to live a life you love? And go after whatever that is.
Are you tired of playing small and ready to take your business to the next level?