The Anti-Vanity Metric

There is one metric absolutely devoid of vanity (unlike say downloads, subscriber counts, etc.) that will tell you how your business is doing: profitability.

And yet so many soloists in the expertise space resist thinking and talking about profitability—so Jonathan and I decided to lift the veil on this sometimes touchy topic:

Why profitability is the ultimate anti-vanity metric that will give you a quick read on the health of your business.

How to start thinking about your time as part of your profit equation.

One way to value your business that will rewire how you think about its profitability.

The thrills of desire-based planning—and learning to consider and manage opportunity cost.


“It’s so easy to get wrapped up in ‘Oh, my podcast downloads are increasing’, or ‘My mailing list is growing dramatically’, or ‘My website traffic is going up’. None of that matters if you’re not increasing your profitability steadily over time.”—JS

“It’s really tempting to just think that as soloists, we don’t have any real costs so we don’t have to think about profitability.”—RM

“The thing I do like about an S Corp is it is financially separated—the business and your personal money is separated. You have to run payroll, you have to pay FICA, you have to do all that stuff.”—JS

“You know how much leverage you have when you try to sell or even think about selling a business. What is this actually worth if I’m not here?”—RM

“So you can take your $245 million and put it where the sun don’t shine because you are wrong and I’m not gonna do what you’re asking me to do, which is bad work.”—JS

“It’s what I think of as desire-based planning. You ask what do I want? What is my desire? Who do I want to serve? What revolution do I want to lead? What new thing do I want to learn?”—RM

“Given that constraint of not the entire full tube of toothpaste, you get creative about how you’re gonna get that last bit out.”—JS

“The thing that always makes me sad for people is when I see them not making decisions because they don’t know what to do—so they do nothing.”—RM

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