So you want to grow your business. You start tracking new Facebook likes, new email subscribers, and your website traffic. You discover how to move the needle on each and do more and more of the activities that create growth in these metrics.

It takes a lot of time. You’re posting to Facebook 5 times a day—which takes creative energy to come up with posts, reading time to share others posts, and productive time to tear yourself away from the onslaught of other people’s posts. You’re looking for new ways to gain email subscribers—hosting webinars, planning joint ventures, hosting telesummits, setting ad campaigns. You’re writing more blog posts, adding pillar content pages, and optimizing the SEO on your site.

The metrics you’re paying attention to are constantly pulling you away from time with clients. But you’re growing your business!

Or are you?

You're wasting precious time paying attention to the wrong things

Are you paying attention to the right things? What have those new Facebook likes, email subscribers, or website visitors gotten you? Have they brought in new revenue? (Do you even have a way to tell?) Have they streamlined your production? Have they helped you develop new opportunities?

Most likely, no.

And if they have, they’ve only entrenched you further into the business you have instead of helping you grow the business you want.

Now, I’m not at all opposed to new Facebook likes, email subscribers, or website visitors. Those are 3 metrics I track myself.

However, I don’t spend time on those metrics until I’ve actually gone about the business of working on my business.

You see, building your Facebook page, growing your list, and buoying your website traffic isn’t working on your business. Marketing your business is an “in” your business kind of activity. And if it’s the only thing you’re making time for, it’s not going to do you a lot of a good in the long-term. Unless you’ve got the right systems, strategy, and development plan set up, it’s not buying you any more time, money, or sanity.

Let me say that again: Promoting your business isn’t buying you any more time, money, or sanity.

You might have noticed that. You might have realized posting more on Facebook—even sending more emails, one of my personal favorite activities—isn’t improving your quality of life.

But if your metrics of growth are all things that lead to more time spent on marketing, you’re wasting time and not creating the kind of systems that lead to true growth, true profit, and true sanity. And I write this as someone who loves marketing with a burning passion.

You’re paying attention to the wrong things.

And it’s costing you time (not to mention money and energy, too).

So what should you be paying attention to?

1) Pay attention to opportunities for streamlining the way your business creates, delivers, and exchanges value.

The way your business creates, delivers, and exchanges value is your business model. There is always a way to make it more efficient, to improve the customers’ experience, and to increase your opportunity for revenue. Always.

By drawing your attention to these opportunities, you can make changes on a regular basis that give you back time and energy while putting more money in your pocket.

2) Pay attention for a message with leverage.

Just because I don’t think marketing metrics should always dictate the way you spend your time doesn’t mean that I think you should stop marketing your business. Of course not. But I do think you should be paying attention to something very different.

Have you ever created a post, an update, or a message that just hits home with people? Something that truly resonates? Most people I observe in the field see that happen and then just move on. The people who are really working on their businesses stop and listen.

In a recent podcast interview, Ramit Sethi said his team spends about 50% of their time developing a new product just listening to the market. They’re looking for that message with leverage so that they can build a system that works for them.

A message with leverage can transform your business. It can lead to a whole new venture, inspire a rebrand, or create a through-line that leads to more loyalty and referrals. It can seem to create speaking gigs from thin air or lead to book deals. If those are some of your goals, it pays to pay attention for a message with leverage.

3) Pay attention to what (really) works.

You might be having success growing your Facebook page, your email list, or your speaking calendar. You might be having success selling an ebook or a course. You might be having success raising your prices.

But which of those things is getting your closer to your goals?

You need a very real Why behind each of those actions. Maybe you’re building your platform to secure a book deal. Maybe you’re growing your email list to support moving from 1:1 consulting to leverage revenue streams. Maybe you’re raising your prices to change your business’s positioning in the market.

You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing to determine if it’s actually working. Otherwise, no matter how “successful” you are at following the latest tutorial and moving the needle on a particular number in your business, you’re just spinning your wheels.

The more you spin your wheels, the less time you have for actually doing the work that matters when to comes to achieving what you’ve set out to achieve in the first place.

As you’re planning for the next season in your business, make sure to tie all of your daily activities to your goals—both big and small. Make sure the time you’re devoting to your business is spent getting you closer to where you want to be.

If this post has made you rethink the way you’re spending your time, I’ve got a free training event coming up in a couple of weeks that you’re going to love. Brigitte Lyons and I are hosting “5 Ways to Make Time to Grow Your Business” and sharing our personal techniques for making the time to create businesses with exponential growth. Click here to register.

In the next post, I’ll show you what working on your business really looks like. In the mean time, I’d love for you to share this post with your network: