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Create For An Experience, Not For A Result

Create For An Experience, Not For A Result

Stewart Hillhouse
Stewart Hillhouse

While planning a creative project, defining success based on specific results can feel like the right way to measure yourself: Number of subscribers, revenue generated, words published.

But while looking for specific results seems logical, it also often leads to a sense of failure even if the project goes well.

I could have gotten 100 more subscribers if only I’d...

I’d have $1000 more if only I’d...

Results are easy to measure but hard to accept.

If you don’t hit the number, you feel like you failed and start to second guess your abilities.

If you succeed, you hardly take notice of the achievement because you’re wishing you’d tried harder. There is always a larger number to look up at.

So rather than measure the success of my creative projects solely in terms of results, I choose to measure them through experiences.

What kind of experiences do I want to be having from doing this extra curricular work?

Here are the experiences that I strive for:

  • Have Meaningful Conversations with Interesting People
  • Practice Clear Thinking
  • Create Unique Opportunities
  • Nurture Lasting Relationships
  • Build Assets and Proof Of Work

Whenever there’s a slow week and it doesn’t seem like the things I’m creating is clicking with other people, I double check that my experience that week lines up with my intention.

If my experiences aren’t lining up with the list above, then I know that I need to reassess my efforts, no matter how many "likes" my work might get.

If I get zero engagement with a piece of content but me and the guest really clicked, then it still counts as a success.

Just because things can be measured doesn’t mean you need to pay attention to them all the time. Recognizing when you’re already achieving the experience you set out to create in the first place will result in a lot less tail chasing.

Because when it comes to creative projects, bigger doesn’t always mean better.