How does the success or failure of your project, translate into a quantitative metric?
Metrics are often found by reducing larger goals down to milestones. The two most useful contexts I've found for metrics are for Project Management, and tracking Target Daily Income.
Project Management Metrics:
- If my project needs to be 50,000 words, and I have 10 days to reach that goal, then I need to be writing 5,000 words a day.
A simple way to manage that goals, and provide myself with a visual cue for my progress. Spreadsheets are wonderful. Using spreadsheets, I can easily come up with a simple line chart describing my movement forward, in contrast with my goal:
The result is a baseline method of tracking my progress, which can be helpful if I'm trying to maintain a specific ship date.
I modified my form from Daily Income Earned, to Word Count Milestones, because I wanted to keep in mind the whole scope of the project.
Target Daily Income Metrics [TDI]:
Target Daily Income Metrics are more of a gamification approach toward metrics. The Term TDI comes directly from The Bible. Tim Ferriss communicates the idea well, and you should hear it from him anyways -- so I won't go into it here, except to say the following:
- If my monthly income needs to be $784, then my TDI for 30 days, is $26.14 / Day.
The more minimalistic I am about my budget, the more accessible my goal becomes.
Once my client work has been completed, I will move onto tracking TDI using "Average Daily Royalty Income" as my metric of choice. The "game", or "experiment" comes in when testing how my actions affect the daily metric.
Here's the raw data for my royalty sales throughout the month of October.
You can see there is a definitive spike toward the end of the month, when I released "Wild Seeds". The most obvious conclusion I can derive based on this metric is shipping a new project has a positive impact on my metric of choice.
Keeping One solid metric is crucial for tracking your progress toward a given goal.
I would recommend that the metric have a concrete relationship to your end goal. "Follows" or "Likes" might be useful for understanding how your content is interfacing with your current audience, but they aren't going to pay your bills -- that is why I have chosen to use a TDI based metric.
Were I to translate the information above into Royalty Average Daily Income [Royalty ADI], I would get the following information:
- Royalty ADI = $3.26
- TDI = $26.14
Only $22.88 Royalty ADI to go!
If you want to get super micro-motivated about it, you could probably even set up your own stock ticker: [Royalty ADI: (+)0.3 points today!] -- That's fun, right?
I find that metrics are useful for maintaining motivation and a larger perspective on my current position, in relation to a specific goal.