About 18 months ago, my wife Cindy bought a digital scale for our bathroom. I had never given much thought to my weight – I realized I weighed more than I should, but I wasn’t obese, and it didn’t limit my physical activity, sports ability, etc. If you had asked me what I weighed, I would have said, “I dunno – maybe 205.”
And I really didn’t know – I hadn’t stepped onto scales since my first checkup with my new doctor when we moved to Vancouver. That was back in 1992 and I remember the conversation exactly:
Doctor Wilson: “How much do you weigh?”
Me: “I’m not sure. Certainly less than 200.”
Wilson: [skeptically] “Ok, up on the scale.”
Me: [sheepishly] “See?”
The point being that I had really no idea what I weighed until Cindy brought home that scale and I was dismayed to see that mid- to high-220s was the norm and 230 was not an infrequent result. So I embarked on a radical weight-loss plan comprised of two borderline-maniacal concepts:
1. Eat less.
2. Exercise more.
The first was an almost unnoticeable change to my habits, mostly consisting of not always finishing everything on my plate, and avoiding bread and pasta when there were other choices available. The second was a daily 20-30 minute stroll around my neighbourhood after dinner, usually with my daughter. And now there is 20% less of me – this morning I broke 185 for the first time since adulthood.
And it’s all because Cindy bought that scale, so to (loosely) tie this back to this blog’s theme, in marketing as in life, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.