Hi! I'm Sarah Moon!

Outputs β‰  Outcomes πŸ’ͺ

publishedabout 2 months ago
2 min read

Hello Reader,

Outputs are not outcomes.

Learning to discern the difference between outputs and outcomes is the best thing you can do to get out of your own way.

I was reminded of this recently when trying to set our own work priorities: Our own SM&Co website needs some significant updating to reflect our services and ever-evolving way of doing business.

As you likely know, websites are often a huge time commitment when you take into consideration things such as: SEO, link checking, content writing, image sourcing, and then the actual design and layout of the page.

Because I've had the good fortune of being behind the scenes on a lot of website launches, I know how easy it is to allow the output (the website) to get in the way of the outcome (launching so that marketing activities have a hub or nexus from which to flow in and out).

So, in thinking through how to focus on the outcomes I want to achieve (attracting aligned clients into our strategy services) here's how I have made sure that myself and the rest of my team is not going down the outputs rabbit holeβ€”it's just some simple questions, I promise:

βœ… Does this activity fuel the strategy?

βœ… What is the minimal viable product (MVP) that will achieve the outcomes we want?

βœ… Can we iterate once that MVP is completed and working hard for us?

βœ… Are we lingering over details that will make a difference or are we letting perfectionism get in our way?

βœ… Is there information we can gather after version one being "in the wild" that will help make improvements?

Using these questions, it was relatively simple to create clarity on the next best steps that will support the outcomes we want to achieve.

In the context of our own website project, this means that the immediate to-do list became more simple:

⭐️ Instead of a brand new homepage and accompanying text/design, we tweaked the existing homepage to reflect our current offers.

⭐️ I focused the bulk of revamping on the About page, as that was the piece that was most misaligned.

⭐️ We updated the navigation to better guide people to where we wanted them to land.

⭐️ We curated the current lead magnets instead of creating the new one that's in my head.

Does this mean that I'm letting go of all the outputs we want to create? Not at all! But it does mean that we set priorities and will iterate to achieve our goals. Letting go of the false need to have everything just does not serve any of us, and in fact can serve as an excuse to not try things (which is bad, very badβ€”ask me how I know).

I've been talking a lot recently about these kinds of big-picture decisions because I've found that so many of these thought processes are kept hidden, as if everyone just emerges fully able to do everything perfectly every single time. Or maybe we just need to buy someone's magical software or course or whatever and all those secrets will be revealed. πŸ˜‰

And I truly believe that it's important to share this kind of knowledge. I encourage you to take from these observations what you need to continue to develop and improve your own processes, leadership, and decision-making.

Could a focus on outcomes help you make progress? Are outputs (aka your to-do list) getting in your way? As always, you're welcome to hit reply and chat with me about this!

Talk soon,


P.S. If you've been following along with my Google Business Profile drama, Google finally reinstated my profile after someone nefariously reported my business as fraudulently. It should not have been this hard, and I imagine that others would not have the knowledge of the system that I do and could easily have a far worse outcome than I did.