The Kaizen Newsletter #24 (11/19/2019)

How to apply business metrics to improve your life

Last week, our sales director (and friend and mentor) decided to give an after-work workshop on "how to provide more value" to the company.

The focus of this workshop was to determine what is your KPI for the year and then find what are 5 daily/weekly activities that will contribute to attaining your KPI.

Now, what is a KPI?

A KPI is a key performance indicator, which is a fancy way of saying a measurable value for an important business objective. For sales, an example of that would be "500K in ARR (annual recurring revenue) from clients". For marketing, an example would be "200 new leads per month".

Once you have your KPI, the next exercise would be to determine daily/weekly activities you should be doing that would definitely help attain your metrics. For the first KPI example I gave above, some activities would be cold calling leads, participating in events/conferences, practicing your pitch, on-site meetings.

So why all of this story about KPIs? Well, as I was doing these exercises, I actually thought to myself "Well, how about if we applied KPIs for outside of work as well?".

Enter Life KPIs.

So what would a "Life KPI" look like? Well, this highly depends on what you want to achieve after a certain amount of time. If you have a side-business, it could be "Make an extra 20K by EOY". If you simply want to read more it could be "Read 20 books by EOY". The important thing is that it has to have a TIME and it has to be MEASURABLE.

So once you have your KPI, the important part is to find your daily/weekly activity that you will be doing to attain your KPI. 5 is a lot, so I would recommend starting with 1, max 2. If your KPI is more like the "make an extra 20K by EOY", it really depends on your side business, but an example would be "send 20 emails to potential clients per day" for a freelancer. For someone who has a "read 20 books by EOY" is a bit easier. Your daily activity would be most something like "read 20 pages per day".

How do we know that we're going to hit our KPI?

One important thing I haven't talked about yet is weekly and/or monthly reviews. Every week, set some time to see if you've hit your weekly KPI. If you want to read 20 books by EOY, and say the average book has 300 pages per book, then you'd be looking at ~125 pages per week.

If you DID hit your 125 pages mark during the week, that means that you're going in the right direction and that if you continue this way, then you should be hitting your 20 books by EOY.

If you DIDN'T hit your 125 pages mark, then look at how many times you were able to do your daily activity? If you only did it 4 times during the week, then you know that you should be reading more and adapt. If you accomplished your daily activity every day, but are NOT on track on getting your KPI, then maybe you should be changing your daily activity.

Why the review is SO important is because it allows you to course-correct if ever you see yourself not hitting that KPI and doing these reviews weekly will tell you sooner than later if ever you're not on the right path.

Action Items

  • Find yourself a goal for next year and turn it in a KPI

  • Find a daily activity that you can do to get to that KPI

  • Review, review, review


Weekly Favourites

🧠 Thoughts

  • I was reading through Ryan Kulp's FAQ and I completely agree with him when he says that "most blog posts are porn". Lately, I've been a lot more interested in reading long-form essays and books and a lot less about random articles I find online. It means a lot less content can be shared with you guys, but at the same time, I also feel a lot more intellectually challenged. But maybe the real answer is that it should be a balance?

🎮 TV Shows

  • Pokemon Sword & Shield - The new Pokemon game on the Switch came out and I've been really enjoying it lately! I'm not even at the first badge yet, but I'm slowly getting there! If you're a Pokemon fan, then no doubt you already bought yours, but even if you're not a fan, I'd definitely recommend it. It's very beginner friendly (a tad too much IMO), it has really nice graphics and just a really fun game overall. So I'll be spending most of my (very limited) free time playing this for the next couple of weeks/months!

🐦 Tweets

  • Cutest thing I've seen this week. Animals are the best.

  • This really hit me in the nostalagia. The Razr was actually the first phone I ever got, so it felt pretty good to see a more modern version. Thought about getting it, but then saw the 1500$ price tag and told myself I'd be sticking with my iPhone.

  • I always wondered why Herman Miller never went into the gaming scene, but I guess it's happening now. Best ergonomic chair in the world that also has a super nice design? Yes please.

  • This is the goal. Create habits and systems so that you don't even need to user willpower anymore.

🎧 Music

Albums

Songs

🙏 Shoutouts

  • Shoutout to my friend and mentor Alex Trinh for giving us the KPI workshop last week. Really helpful for my actual job, but was also the inspiration for the main story of this newsletter.


👋 End Note

If you want to know what I'm up to now, you can check it on my website here.

If you enjoyed the Kaizen Newsletter, then it'd be cool if you can share it with your friends. They can sign up here.

Feedback is always appreciated, so let me know what you liked and what I can improve on by replying to this email.

If you see any cool articles, links, tweets, stories or podcasts that you think are interesting, feel free to share as well at alex@alexhughsam.com