Stats: A Powerful Drug

I’ve been blogging for a long time and for a while I really cared about stats and I really cared about how many visits and pageviews and comments and social shares that were happening in and around the blog.

And, for a time, it was good… but I quickly became obsessed and overwhelmed with having to not only manage those figures but also to engage with the never-ending struggle to make them grow.

And, to make matters worse, what I realized very quickly is that, for whatever reason, my emotions would go up and down based on the performance of just a few clicks here and a few subscribers there.

This was madness and eventually I stopped counting and I stopped caring about most of those things. I say “most” because I still take a look once in a while to ensure that the statistical packages are still working but other than that I have zero emotional response when I see the results.

I’ve done the same thing for Twitter… for newsletter subscribers… for essentially everything else in my life. Until, of course, a new technology and platform shows up.

YouTube has once again reminded me how strong the pull is to count your stats, to become a slave to the numbers, and emotionally tied to performance.

Despite my years of “training” I still can succumb. It’s insane to think but it’s true and I was reminded of that today of how powerful that drug can be (and how quickly I need to walk away from it).

My career and my success has always been predicated on one simple measure, one simple metric: Execution. That’s it. Everything else is just details, most of which are non-essential.

Do good work, don’t stop, and then the results will come when they need to come.