How do you know? You measure.

How do you know if you’re the best racing wife ever? Well, you obviously look at the racing-wife-scale and see where you match up.

Oh wait. There isn’t one. (Unless we live together. In that case, even the dog knows where I rank.)

Unlike marriage, there are ways in racing, and in business, to know if you’re improving. You might be winning more races. Or finishing more races. Or feeling more comfortable in the car – whatever’s important to you.

But how do you know for sure? You measure.

Because you can’t improve what you don’t measure. 

Think that’s baloney? The entire basis of our sport rests on who crosses the finish line first, then second, and so on. Our performance is measured every single night. It’s up to us if it’s measured that one time in that one way or many times over in other ways.

So why can’t you improve without measurement? Anyone who wants to achieve a certain goal (hint: setting a measurable goal is the real first step) has to know where they’re starting from. And they have to know what constitutes improvement towards that goal and what factors actually matter.

And that last point is the real key: you have to focus on measuring and improving what actually affects the overall goal. 

For example: if you’re looking to be more attractive to sponsors active on Twitter, keeping daily track of your Instagram followers isn’t a helpful act of measurement. You can improve that number without making progress on your overall goal. Measuring Twitter followers is the first step.

In racing, there are countless things we can measure. Shock pressure, weight, fuel consumption, ride heights…you get the picture. Some of us swear by lap times; some adjust by air density readings.

I’m not suggesting you go crazy and measure every single thing. I don’t know how many other ladies in racing enjoy a pocket protector.

What I am suggesting is that you pick a few things that directly relate to your performance and start measuring them. In the Twitter example, you could also measure how many tweets you send, how many retweets they get, what types of tweets get the most retweets, etc.

In time, you’ll begin to find ways to improve what you’re measuring. That, in turn, will affect your overall performance.

Can I get a cha-ching?

Xo. Kristin

P.S. What are you measuring? Get after it by telling us in the comments section below.

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About the author

Kristin Swartzlander Kristin Swartzlander is passionate about applying business sense to racing 'nonsense' in hopes of growing the sport of dirt track racing. She is a business strategist who works with entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them learn how to use public relations, marketing and social media to achieve their goals. Learn more about social media, marketing and racing sponsorship on the DirtyMouth blog.