In business school, everyone learns to show only charts that go up and to the right.
Growth is a sign of traction.
Recently, I noticed that the Fire Jar email list was shrinking.
My analytic-antlers turned up 🦌
Admittedly, a very small decline...
But it felt like a hit to the ego.
Why does it hurt to go "backwards"?
External validation is real
Like many, I struggle with imposter syndrome and decision fatigue.
I used to think that I might someday outgrow these things.
But I don't think they ever go away.
My reaction to the silly subscriber growth chart was a reminder that I still crave external validation. I seek structure in quantifiable metrics.
Arbitrary signposts that whisper :
You're on the right track."
But this mindset also creates risks: Especially when a measure becomes the goal.
Last year, I wrote :
Each week, ~100 people visit TheFireJar.com.
This number has remained fairly flat over time.
When it comes to publishing on the internet, this scale somehow feels small, embarrassing, and insignificant.
By comparison: If I produced a live weekly show and ~100 friends showed up physically at a theater, I would be ecstatic. 🙌
In-person, this feels like huge support.
On the internet, it feels like a "failure".
100 people feels like a lot, in-person.
But relatively insignificant on the internet.
Why do these frames feel so different?
Can you measure "progress" without metrics?
Thanks for the replies!
The last nine :
Filed under :