Yesterday, I gave a talk at the HRPA Conference, Canada's largest annual human resources event.
After my session ended, I visited the conference bookstore to sign copies of Change with Confidence. As I was chatting with a bookstore employee, I realized I had done the same thing one year ago almost to the day.
I am a fan of measuring year-over-year results, both professionally and personally. Finances, running statistics and adherence to guidelines get year end reviews.
What I hadn't reviewed this year was the progress of my book. I reread a blog post I had written after the last conference for clues about what I was measuring. This was little help since my focus was on how I got to the conference in a three-day snow storm in New Jersey.
I do remember that the number of sales was very important to me. As a first time author, it was a tangible measure of acceptance, or the importance of my book. I checked often.
Also important were the number of reviews, interviews and the number of articles I got published. More concrete measures of approval.
As the year progressed my focus changed. The biggest accolade was a reader who emailed me to say how much my book had helped him. "Just what he was looking for," was what he wrote. Also, a few professors had added it to their reading lists and a company believed in it enough to create an online course on the content, which meant a lot to me.
My focus had changed from acceptance to influence.
I hadn't realized that my change in focus has affected my promotional efforts. It had become part of my decision making criteria for speaking engagements and the businesses and institutions I approach.
I feel good about my progress and the types of results I will make this year.