Yesterday was a peculiar day.
First I got a clear rebel call to action on twitter from Jason Zook.
Ask yourself this question: "Is anyone ACTUALLY using the social share buttons on my website?" If the answer is no, remove the damn thing! Mediocre content doesn't get shared just because you slapped social sharing icons on your site. Great content gets shared no matter what.
Which made total sense and had me reexamine why I was using Sumo.
While it is an amazing free tool for anyone who wants to grow their web traffic and social share numbers and so on, it's not like people have been killing themselves to use the share buttons. They were more there to PROVE someone was sharing. They were there so I could see the numbers and feel reassured that somebody cared.
That's not a good enough reason to keep something, is it?
In fact, I would argue that those numbers were putting the focus on the wrong thing and distracting me from the more important thing - THE WORK ITSELF.
I didn't act on the call to action right away. I still had to be convinced...
The same day, I realized I had been too preoccupied with twitter. Every half hour I would pop in to check for mentions or share what I was doing at that moment, and it was clearly distracting me from my work on the Creative Rebel Academy. It was almost as if the numbers were more important than what I was creating. LUDICROUS!
No result or number will ever outshine your projects, and they shouldn't be able to.
So when I realized I was too preoccupied with numbers, I sat down and did what I always do - went back to rebel basics with a rebel resource.
In this case, it was Sian Richardson's The Unmistakable Effect magazine.
(It's a digital magazine to get you stoked on winning at your own game.)
I grabbed issue 5 - Make Moves, Not Resolutions - and basked in some of my favorite articles - the one from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits who said he lived a life without goals and so every day was full of discovery and curiosity and magic. Then I read the interview with Kathleen Shannon who said she was focusing on magic and synchronicity this year, and when I read something in her interview, it was GAME OVER for the numbers.
My good friend Paul Jarvis (who doesn't even really buy into goal setting) inspired me to focus more on the process... And when I did that I actually reached more of my specific metric-based goals!
*the sound of numbers dying a slow and painful death*
We all know this, but we forget - we can't rely on superficial things to keep us happy or to keep us engaged. We have to find what truly matters to us and allow it to sustain us. And so those 3 calls to action - Jason's tweet, my realization that numbers were eating my life, and Kathleen's reminder - finally made me see reason, and ACT.
(Funny enough, I went against my own policy about numbers and forgot that business and marketing were supposed to be fun, not soul-sucking. Which is why I always keep the rebels close, so they set me straight when I waver.)
So how exactly did I act on this???
First I removed the share buttons from the Academy and hid the Sumo badge.
Next I removed the like buttons on the Rebel Blog - because every time I visited the blog, I was looking at how many likes there were and how many new comments.
Finally, I promised myself I would spend today in the company of rebels. And if you want to do the same, I recommend hitting up these rebel resources (that will also help you put things in perspective in the moments you have forgotten what matters):
After all, you create what you consume, so consume mindfully!
And don't forget the things that used to make you happy, but you kind of fell out of touch with because you got busy and started adulting, OK? Throughout my whole life I have loved music and musicals, and I just watched La La Land, and I felt alive again.
Now that I've taken positive action towards removing the numbers from my life and work, I feel lighter and READY to give my whole attention to the things I love - discovering new sources of rebellion and working on the Creative Rebel Academy.
(Even though realistically I know it'll be a tennis match of going back & forth.)
And if you have things in your life that you LOVE, they deserve to be more important than the stupid numbers. I know you don't do it on purpose - I didn't either - but promise me that the minute you realize you're doing a disservice to your purpose, or your passion, you will revert back to your creative, rebel self.
What about you, friend? What distractions have you eliminated lately?
Enjoy your weekend, and your chill time.