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Return On Experience - The One Metric That Matters
The new North Stoke Metric. Redefining how to measure success to embrace what truly matters in our lives.
👋 Hey, I’m Felix and welcome to the latest STOKE & FOUNDER journal. With each edition I share surf-inspired startup wisdom I learnt running my startup studio.
Venturing to remote islands, like the Aleutians or the archipelago of Indonesia, we're drawn by the spirit of adventure and the allure of the unknown. These are not just surfing expeditions; they’re journeys into the unknown. 🗺️
In the world of startups, the sentiment mirrors this adventure. Just as surfers go on the next remote surf trip or wait for that perfect wave, we, as entrepreneurs, chase experiences that challenge, excite, and transform us. But how do we measure those challenges, the excitement what is transforming us as part of our Startup Journey?
The One Metric That Matters
Ok. Lets start at the beginning. Traditional business talks a lot about ROI - Return on Investment. Think of ROI as the tangible reward we get after catching a wave - the adrenaline, the applause, the sheer joy of riding it perfectly. It's a measure of how well our effort (or investment 💰💰💰) paid off, mostly in financial terms.
However, as someone deeply influenced by the spirit of surfing and adventure, I'd like to introduce you to another concept - Return on Experience (ROE). Imagine you didn't catch the wave perfectly, or perhaps you missed it entirely. In the world of ROI, this is seen as a loss. But did you learn something from it? Did it teach you patience, improve your timing, or you may simply add that experience to the stories you tell at a campfire? That's ROE. It's not about immediate gains or losses; it's about what the experience added to your journey.
In "Die With Zero" by Bill Perkins, there's a powerful emphasis on the value of accumulating experiences over material / “financial” wealth. Much like compound interest where initial gains generate even further returns, every experience in the entrepreneurial journey enriches subsequent ones. Every challenge faced or risk taken doesn't stand alone but amplifies future decisions and insights. This compounding of experiences make you wiser and a more resilient founder (and human). Those lessons learnt can be as invaluable as the destination's rewards.
Like every wave in the ocean, each startup journey is different. There might be moments of calm and moments of chaos. Sometimes you'll be tossed around, other times you'll ride the tide with grace. But in each of these moments, there's immense ROE to be gained. These experiences, these stories, they shape us, guide us, and often lead us to our next big (ad-)venture.
Pillars of success
So let's check some experiences you might encounter as a startup founder:
Skill acquisition: Launching a venture demands versatility in skills spanning marketing, sales, finance, and more. As you grapple and master these domains, you don't just enhance your professional prowess; you enrich your life with newfound capabilities and confidence.
Networking with visionaries: The startup ecosystem is bustling with pioneers, innovators, and enthusiasts. You'll forge bonds with fellow entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and more, each providing unique perspectives and lessons.
Cultivating resilience: Entrepreneurship is not for the fearful. Amidst hurdles and hiccups, if you persist, you develop a resilience that transcends business. It's about cherishing the journey, irrespective of its rigours.
Making an Impact: Perhaps the most gratifying facet of entrepreneurship is the potential to make a tangible difference. Be it through innovation or service, your startup could touch lives, offering an unparalleled sense of purpose.
True, the startup sphere isn’t always sun-kissed beaches and perfect waves. There will be storms and rocky shores. But each experience, success or otherwise, is a lesson which will compound.
“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt (sorry couldn’t find a better surf related quote )
So, as you wax your surfboard or set sail in the vast ocean of entrepreneurship, look beyond just ROI. Value the ROE. The experiences gleaned might outweigh any financial gain. So, embark, evolve, and enjoy the odyssey!
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