I have heard that you should measure your work in terms of your output, and not your input. In other words, you should measure your work not by how many hours you’ve put in, but by how much you’ve produced as a result of it. I’d even go further and say that you should measure your work by the impact you make with your output. Obviously, your personal satisfaction is really important, but what is also perhaps more important is what kind of value you are creating for other people.
Last year when I was about to be ready to announce that I’ll be officially leaving the Japanese school I had worked for 4 years, a colleague of mine told me that she was feeling somewhat resentful that I had created my business while still working at the school. She said, “While I am giving my 100% into this job, it seems like this job at the school is something ‘on the side’ for you”, implying that I was giving less than 100% into it. I didn’t know how to respond to her comment at that time, so I just replied to her with “Thank you for telling me how you feel” and left it at that.
After pondering about what she said for a while, I came to the conclusion that true value of your work should be measured by the impact your work has instead of how much hours you put in. This is why there is certain security for working for someone, but in most cases, there is also a limitation for the impact you can make as well as how much you get for that. From now on, I’ll be always measured by how many people benefit from the services I offer, which is the ultimate indicator of the value I am creating for other people – not how many hours I put in, or how many courses or products I’ve created. In a sense it is very scary, but I am also excited to know how far I can go. How about you? How would you like to be measured?