I don’t watch sports all that much, but I do know that the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs won their NBA playoff games last night.  They both did it while making at least half of the shots that they took.  They needed to hit at least 50% of their shots to win.

Baseball season just started, and if a player can hit the ball two or three times out of every time they get to bat, they’re going to be doing great.

If a professional golfer gets one – just one – tournament win during the season, he’s had a hugely successful year.

My point is that success is judged differently in different fields, industries, and applications.  All of those examples dealt with athletics, but the same goes for different businesses.

Most wedding photographers have had great years if they shoot at least 20 weddings in a year plus some other portrait sessions.

Right now, if I can get 2-3 new coaching clients every month, it’s been a great month.

Even still, if a commercial real estate broker can close one or two deals in a year, he’s a success.

So what are your numbers for success?  Whether you’re a small business or an employee, what hard numbers measure your productivity and success level?

I believe knowing your numbers for success will help you with three things:

1) It gives you a target to shoot for.  Even if you don’t hit the number every time, you’ll come closer than just trying to do as much as you can without a goal.

2) You get lots and lots of clarity on what’s expected (if you’re an employee) or what’s necessary (if you’re a small business owner).

3) It gives you something to measure your performance against.  How did I do this week/month/year?  This month was outstanding, but I’m struggling through this month a bit.  Having a clear framework helps you understand how things are really going versus just going by your gut feeling.

So figure out what constitutes success.  Maybe it’s rooted in your business plan for entrepreneurs, and maybe your team leader or boss determines it for you at work.  Either way, figure it out, make it clear, and you’ll benefit.