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The Numbers Game

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The Numbers Game

Photo credit: Daniel C.

This past week I read a really inspiring post from a new blog I recently started reading by Maxie McCoy. In “What are you Measuring,” Maxie reminds us that we are not measured by numbers, but rather by moments and by love.  A few of her brilliant words:

You’ve got a credit score. Letters by your name. You’ve got 140 character bios. And super sassy business cards.

Bullets on a resume. Figures in your savings.

They’re the things you have. Things you’ve built. Things you’ve worked toward. But they aren’t your essence. Your being. Your magic. They aren’t you.

She goes on to list many more important things that can be measured and concludes:

Measure your life with love. Of others. Of you. Measure with joy, from deep and lasting support. Measure it in what you give. Measure in what you feel. Measure only from your heart to your soul.

Always Measure In

This manifesto (Always Measure In.) reminded me of the following post I wrote in 2009, which I have edited and updated for re-posting today.

I feel it is still as valid today as when I originally wrote it:

In 2009, Megan of Velveteen Mind wrote an outstanding post that I *still* refer to on the meaning of numbers in the blog world. In “Internalizing the Statistics: I Bet You Think This Song Is About You” Megan talks about the controversy that is the numbers game in the blogosphere.

Before I get into what she wrote, I wanted to remind you of something else she wrote that I feel is worth repeating over and over.

At Blissdom09 she uttered the most unforgettable words which have stuck with me since that time, I came back from my first blogging conference and mentioned these words, here is an extract:

...about blogging without obligation vs. blogging with discipline. I think the most important thing is this: OWN IT.

I wish I could say that those are my words, but they aren’t. They come from Megan at Velveteen Mind, an empowering woman who blogs the way she wants, when she wants and about what she wants, and as a reader of her blog you know that is what you are going to get because she has set those expectations. That is what is key. If you write it and it is interesting, they will come. After that, you just need to let people know your pace and don’t apologize for it…own your blog.

Own It

How powerful is that? I seriously think about printing that out and taping it to my monitor all the time. Those words have guided me over the past years and I keep them close.  I also share them with other blog friends when they feel they aren’t “doing it” right.  There is no right or wrong. There is what works for you.  Don’t lose sight of why you started a blog in the first place. It should be for pure pleasure.

So now back to 2010 and the other Megan Jordan sound-byte that is worth rejoicing in, or as she closes her posts with “relish” in.  In that post she wrote:

You are not your stats.

You are not your little stats. You are not your big stats. You are not your ignorance of stats.

 

You are not your stats

I encourage you to read the rest of her post here.

Another early influencer in my blogging career was Liz Strauss. She also spoke about numbers at another conference I went to a few months later in the spring of 2009, SOBCon 09.  I blogged about it, but have pulled this extract:

…she said many things that struck me, but one in particular: numbers don’t mean anything until you label them.

Stop and think about that for a minute.

How true is that!? The importance assigned to numbers is purely subjective. The implication being decided by the person who is receiving or interpreting the information. I love that!

People focus on numbers a lot. What’s your traffic? How many comments do you get? How many books have you sold? But – but – but – in comparison to who? Under what circumstances? With how much investment? It is all subjective, that requires a unique perspective.

Don’t worry about other people’s labels. Focus on you: decide who you are and what you stand for and stick to it, be genuine, and most of all…be nice!

Focus on You

I wanted to do this post because I think from time to time we all need reminders that we are more than just a number.

We are the sum of ALL our parts.

How about you? Have you been a victim of the numbers game?

Like it? PIN it!

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Irma

Thursday 8th of October 2015

Thanks God I'm not a victim of this games.

Amber NElson

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

Numbers are good to brag about, but it takes a long time to build those numbers the right way!

Murissa

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

Saw this quote and it made me think of this post again - "The whole idea of "breaking through" is such a crock... If you do nothing else, build a religion around this one fact... You can feel relevant, you can imagine that you somehow matter in the larger scheme of things, you can commit to being a force in the world, without hitting some arbitrary high score or crossing some imaginary threshold of popularity." — Heather Havrilesky

Andi Fisher

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

@Murissa, that is a GREAT quote, thanks for sharing!

Janel

Monday 28th of September 2015

Thanks for this, I definitely tend to measure myself by how much I have accomplished in numbers, and I'm so much more than that. Thanks for the reminder.

Andi Fisher

Monday 28th of September 2015

@Janel, you are welcome, everybody - including me - needs a reminder from time to time!

Murissa

Monday 28th of September 2015

As a blogger you tend to value your work with number of comments, number of visitors, number of followers on social media. It can get discouraging if you need time for yourself and then suddenly your numbers take a dive. I've cut myself a break because a lot of people still visit the site and find my words meaningful - there is no way to measure "helpfulness" or the inspiration you can give to individual readers.

Andi Fisher

Monday 28th of September 2015

@Murissa, so true! Helping one person is reward enough!