Evaluating success

13 November 2014

Following on from yesterday’s blog post, we have been talking in the team @ FWL about what success looks like and how we can evaluate success. It turned out to be a difficult question to answer.

One member of the team said: ‘Success is achieving your objectives or goals. You can’t achieve success unless you are clear about what success actually means.’ That said, success can mean different things to different people. Some people view success as achieving something that they have desired or planned for. However, other people can still be considered to be successful even if they do not plan their goals and targets in life. It all depends on what your perspective of the term success is. An interesting discussion…

We did all agree that there is no shortcut to success. It takes hard work. To be successful in what you do you need to prioritise your work and take up one thing at a time. Success is also related to excellence; the more outstanding your work is, the higher your success rate will be. Believing in yourself and keeping yourself motivated and determined to achieve your goals goes a long way towards helping you to enjoy success.

Just as the definition of the word success is different for everybody, so is the means to evaluate it. How do we define our goals? What are our priorities for this year, next year and so forth? And how will we measure whether we achieve those goals?

Well, looking at the past …. A quick look at our website statistics shows how our reach has grown since we first set up this website, giving us quantitative data – numbers, in other words! – to compare. October 2013 saw 1,115 unique visitors to the site and October 2014 was more than three times that at 3,405! The best blog so far this month had 1,000 unique views – clearly, the Idiots Guide to Airport Security went down well with readers.

In recent months, business referrals have come our way from ‘unexpected sources’ and one of the larger projects which the team is currently working on came from someone searching on Google for genealogists interested in researching our female ancestors. The search returned references to my two lectures at WDYTYA this year on Women at War (one in London and one in Glasgow). Who knew that FWL would have gained work from me delivering those lectures?

So, now the challenge of how to set goals, plan for the future and evaluate our successes…. with work coming at us from all angles, which is a challenge in itself! Having left full-time teaching only just over a year ago, I am delighted to be in a position that planning for the long term future of FWL is needed!

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