Obsession

For years, as I engaged in ‘direct marketing’ online, selling my books and raising donations to sponsor costly treatment for under-privileged children, I obsessed about numbers.

  • How many people read my posts?
  • How many clicked on links?
  • How many ordered a copy?
  • How many made a donation?

The obsession extended into choosing what to say, and how to say it – so that more people would see it, share it, spread it.

The change happened so gradually that I didn’t even notice.

But suddenly, one day, I did.

I saw that this expensive obsession was leading to some actions which were not congruent, not enjoyable, not authentic.

My obsession with numbers was directing my actions – like the tail wagging the dog!

That’s when I recalled Seth Godin’s lesson. He stopped allowing comments on his blog. His reason? He didn’t want his writing to be influenced by what his (growing) audience thought or felt. It should be about what he thought and felt.

If people cared to engage with the posts, they could comment on them – on their own blogs!

Seth would often drop by and respond to such comments, when I blogged about them. So the system worked. And his own blog retained its unique tone, style and direction.

Thinking about that, I made changes to this blog.

I publish it for a reason. That reason has nothing to do with hundreds, thousands or millions of people reading it, or liking it, or sharing it.

So… why should I obsess about numbers?

I won’t, any longer.

No stats. No numbers on social buttons. No checking Facebook ‘likes’ or Twitter ‘retweets’.

Just writing.

And thinking about what I’m writing.