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  • Writer's pictureColin Stickland

If you can't measure it. You can't manage it

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Applying business lessons to real life.

For years I've been lying to myself.

I exercise quite a bit. Running, cycling, circuits, even the gym occasionally. But I've never lost weight, in fact I've gained it. In fact the more I exercised, it seemed the more I gained. The lie I told myself was that I could justify the cake, beer or extra portion because I was exercising so I'd be working it off. But I never weighed myself. And when I did it was a shock. Enough of a shock to do something about it.

So I started measuring.  Starting with what calories where in the foods I ate (quite shocking, that "healthy" smoothy may be your 5 a day, but calorie wise it's a meal on it's own).  Then I measured portion sizes, more surprises. So then I started to measure what I was eating (thanks to the Nutracheck app) and keep it within limits. The good news was that the app also measured my exercise accurately (thanks Strava) and gave me an accurate assessment of what extra calories I was allowed from it. A lot less than my unscientific estimates. 

Has it worked? I've lost a stone in just over a month already. But more importantly I learnt the reality of what I can and can't eat to maintain a healthy weight, and how much exercise is needed to actually lose weight.

It's like running a business. By measuring the inputs (e.g.leads, visits, conversions, repeats, etc.) and seeing the effect they have on outputs (e.g. sales) you can start to gain control. 

It's only when you measure properly you can be honest with yourself and truly understand the dynamics of your business. The good news is that it's never been easier to measure properly thanks to the tools available. Especially in E-commerce. 

Though I'm sure you want growth, not the loss I'm still working on.

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