How do we review our own KPi’s when we’re self-employed? How can review ourselves objectively?
The concept of wellness is the idea that our health is largely driven by our state of mind, and our state of mind determines our performance. From a business point of view, performance powers profits, which is why we have key performance indicators (KPI’s), targets and performance reviews. And just because we work for ourselves, doesn’t mean that KPI’s and performance reviews aren’t important, although they are harder because we are our own reviewer, and invariably we are our own worst critic. So how do we address this, especially if we are going through a low patch?
The first thing is to understand the nature of performance:
- It is definable.
- It is measurable.
- It is reviewable.
By extension then, performance is separate from our state of mind, and therefore impervious to our moods or rhythms. We can therefore evaluate it apart from ourselves, because we have established a definitive criteria – one that we can write down and refer to, one that doesn’t change just because we aren’t in a good place mentally, emotionally, or – dare I say it – spiritually. So let’s briefly look at our three criteria.
Performance is definable. Regardless of the nature of your work, you established yourself as a professional in your field with the intent of providing a specific service. You did this out of the conviction that your skill set and experience would carry you through whatever work came your way, work based on your clients conviction that you are the right person for the job. Or to put that another way, your previous performance has convinced someone else to pay your for your current performance. They gave you a specific set of tasks with a definable outcome, and you exceeded their expectations. They defined it, you exceeded it. The first box ticked.
Performance is measurable. My personal mantra is to exceed expectations – go the extra mile is the phrase we use. This isn’t about ingratiating ourselves on someone else, this about pure professionalism. You aren’t the only person offering your particular service, and the market place is very competitive. So why would you give your client any reason to go elsewhere? The ultimate performance review comes from your client, not from your state of mind. Did they pay you? Did they come back for more? They defined it, they endorsed it. The second box ticked.
Performance is reviewable. The reason why your clients come to you is because you have a service that they need, and they have ascertained that you are the best person for the job at that point in time. But you aren’t the only service provider – we call that competition. Are you competitive? And how do you review that? Do not make the mistake of assuming that price is the sole criteria – your clients will pay a premium for satisfaction. If you lose a client based on price, that will be the reason they give you, but the likelihood is that they have reviewed your performance, and your quality has dropped. Conversely, if they continue to engage you – even though they know that your competition is cheaper – it is because they have reviewed your performance, and you have passed. They defined it, they endorsed themselves. The third box ticked.
Performance is about professionalism. You are the professional and you have been engaged for that reason. End of story. It is your confidence in your original decision to hang out your shingle – a decision measured and reviewed by your clients – that is your ultimate KPI. Are your still in business? Do your clients keep coming back? Or better yet, refer you to someone else? You defined it, they endorsed it. The last box ticked.