227 - Sometimes The Numbers Don't Tell The Story - John Laurito

227 – Sometimes The Numbers Don’t Tell The Story

In this short episode, host John Laurito talks about the podcast and how he focused too much on tracking the numbers made him lose the enjoyment he felt when he started it. Something leaders can learn from. It’s good to track your company’s numbers and even better if those numbers keep doubling over time but don’t forget that there’s also progress that you can’t see. There’s growth happening within your team that can’t be determined by your numbers, as well.

[0:00] Intro

[0:30] Secret of the podcast

[5:09] Lesson learned

[7:29] Today’s takeaway

[8:58] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership. Obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large for the last 20 years. Today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito, and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic. What makes the best leader so good? Welcome to tomorrow’s leader! 

John All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dive deep on all things leader-related, related to leading yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito, your host. My voice went up quite a bit on that. Tomorrow’s Leader, Leader! Something in my voice is changing. Let me get back to my normal speaking voice. Anyways, welcome to the show. 

John OK, so a couple of things. First of all, I’ma tell you a little secret about this whole podcast. So when I had started this podcast, which, Kevin Palmieri, thank you my friend for pushing me in this direction, and Terrence McMahon, great influencers on me with regard to podcasting. And I never had thought about doing this. It just really didn’t even cross my mind. And then I, upon talking to these guys, and Terence and I were talking first, and he kind of brought it up and I’m like, Yeah, you know, maybe, maybe. And he referred me to Kevin, and Kevin is the one who runs my stuff behind the scenes and does all the editing and producing and everything now. And I remember as I started to get thinking about it, I’m like, OK, you know, I think I could do this. This would be fun. This would be interesting. And I had some fears and trepidation about it because naturally, anything you’ve never done before, you’re thinking, OK, am I going to be good at it? And I’m going to build an audience? And that’s how I like to measure stuff. I mean by numbers. 

John OK, so how would I actually measure if I’m doing this well? Well, I guess it’s the audience size and everything like that and how fast it grows. And at the same point, so I started doing this and you know, I did the first few episodes. And as you go back, if you listen to episode number one, two three four, I mean, I don’t know if I’d be interested in your take to see, was it how different it was then as it is now? I mean, I was doing it in my dining room. I converted into my studio and now I’ve got more of a legit studio that I’m working from. But you know, it was interesting. It was just, I think back… It was only a year and a half ago, a little over a year and a half ago. So in any event, I just started to say, OK, well, I need to be able to measure my progress. So let me start to track this. 

John I’m a big numbers guy. I’m a closet analytic and I said, OK, well, let me look so. So Kevin had shown me Buzz Sprout, which is a platform where we published this, and here’s your numbers, and here’s how to track it. Well, alright, this is pretty cool. I can look at this from my phone, so I can kind of look at it almost, you know, every week or whatever it is, I’m putting three episodes out a week, so let me take a look. So now, once a week, I would look at this. I would see how many downloads an episode God or how many in general, and I could see these numbers starting to grow, which was kind of cool. And then I went to every day, I started to look at them and I started to see them grow, sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes down, sometimes up. And then I started looking in multiple times a day. I got to the point. I think I looked at the thing 10 to 12 times a day, at least sometimes 20. I mean, every single, like few minutes. I wanted to go on this thing. I was obsessed with it. 

John I got really excited as I started to see progress in the audience growing. But then I also and for the first few months, it was like skyrocketing. But then I hit a period of like a month or two where it plateaued, and I remember getting really frustrated because I’m like, OK, what am I doing differently? Why did it plateau? Why did why is the audience not growing at this point? And you know, what’s? What’s the deal? I don’t understand. And it was like pulling my hair out, trying to figure this thing out. I do different styles or different episodes. I think about the content and get different guests on and everything like that. And it started to become not fun because I couldn’t figure out the answer to this thing. And I finally started to say, You know what? Let me just not worry about it. Let me actually just get back to trying to create great content and what I think is, you know, enjoyable, interesting, impactful. And let me just go back to doing the stuff. The reason that I started was to get a certain message out there, teach people leadership, bring guests on who teach leadership – whatever it was. They just want to make it interesting. I want to tell stories. 

John I wanted to get people excited about stuff and about leading their own life and leading other people’s lives. And let me just step away from the numbers for a little bit. And I did. I actually disconnected because I’ll tell you it was stressing me out and it was not meant to do that. It was. So it’s meant to be something I really enjoy doing, which I did and -. 

John Oooops, *phone rings* Hi Skyler, how are you? OK, hold on one sec. Let me just call her back. So I started to – I should turn my phone off, I guess, but I’ll be right back. This episode is going to be a short one, I give her buzz in a few so sky. Yes, I did put you in on silent mode there for a sec, but I will call you right back anyway. 

John So I ended up getting totally stressed out about something that was really bringing me enjoyment, and I learned a lesson about that. Sometimes you get to just take a step back and say, Let me get back to doing this in a way where I am enjoying it and having passion around it instead of it being like a chore. And when I did that and started having fun with it again, then ultimately it started to be something I really did better at. And I took a break from looking at the numbers and I went back and looked at them. I don’t know. After a month or a couple of months, I’m like, Whoa, what happened? This thing like skyrocketed. My audience doubled. It was really, really cool. 

John So I’ve got to say for a guy who is admittedly a numbers guy, sometimes you’ve got to take a break and not get overly maniacally focused on him because sometimes they don’t tell the true story. There’s sometimes, you know, and if you’re a runner, sometimes you have a great run, but you look at your time and you’re like, It really wasn’t my best time, but I felt good. I felt like it was a great run. I had my rhythm going and everything like that. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great run because your numbers, your time wasn’t great. It still could be a great run. I go to the gym and sometimes I’m not pushing the weight I want to push or the reps I want to do, but it’s still a great workout. My muscles, I can tell, are pumped. I feel like it’s a great workout. For the next couple of days, I’m really sore, but I didn’t sell any personal records. I didn’t hit the numbers I wanted to hit. That’s OK. I still made a lot of progress and in some cases, even more progress. 

John So I look back to the podcasts. I think I was growing more during that period of time, and that was one of the most helpful things for me to see the numbers plateau and for me to step away from the numbers and not worry about anymore and just deliver what I thought was great content. And it ultimately turned out that was the answer. I just needed to get back to doing the stuff I enjoyed and make it something that was fun that I look forward to taping these episodes, not looking at as a chore and not trying to predict how people are going to receive them or not. You know, I gave up on that. I don’t know how all of you think, to be honest with you. And that’s OK. That’s what makes us great. We’re all different people. But if I can put stuff out that I think is interesting and valuable and get some feedback, which I love your feedback, I will greatly appreciate that. Then that’s what I’m going to do. And then all of a sudden, the numbers take off. 

John So my message to you leaders, I know I talk a lot and have about the importance of watching numbers and seeing stuff. Sometimes you’re making a lot of progress, or people that you’re leading are making a lot of progress, that just doesn’t show up in the numbers and you have to give room for that. You have to allow for that. You have to understand that that’s part of the picture. There’s not always going to be something that shows up that you can track. There’s nonquantifiable stuff that goes into you growing personally and professionally and your organization growing. They might be getting stronger. There might be higher levels of trust. 

John A lot of times the things that are changing the growth aren’t going to show up in results and numbers for three months, six months a year, sometimes two years. Then you have to trust the fact that the feeling of getting better, of getting out there and doing a great run, even though your time was not great. That actually is leading you to perform better in the future. Because you liked it, you felt great. Your muscles get stronger, your recovery was good. Everything, your breathing was good. That’s part of growth. So again, if you’re like me and you get fixated on numbers, sometimes it’s OK, admit it. But just take a break from it. All right. Trust me on this. 

John OK. I hope this was helpful. I’m going to call Skyler back, so I’m going to wrap this up. As always, I greatly appreciate you liking subscribing and sharing and enjoying this and giving me feedback. And of course, go down below. Give a five-star review. Thank you. Have a good one. Bye. 

Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Once again, that’s John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, Lead On! 

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