The Alignment Dashboard – How To Stay Sane As You Scale

Let's be honest for a moment --

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

And I gotta say…

Business often feels a lot like getting served up one knuckle sandwich after the other.

It’s one thing to have a plan to scale your business…

It’s quite another thing to muster the grit and gumption to execute on your plan, year after year.

To successfully grow your business, you need to balance two things:

  1. Knowledge (how to grow)
  2. Mental conditioning (the maturity to see it through)

And in today’s newsletter I’m going to show you a tool that will help you:

  • Get a better handle on the numbers that matter in your business
  • Manage your team more effectively
  • Reduce anxiety and reclaim the headspace that allows you to enjoy life

If it weren’t so deathly dull, I’d call it a “KPI Dashboard”.

Instead, I’ll call it an “Alignment Dashboard”.

I use this exact dashboard at StoryLearning to keep a high-level view of what’s going on in the business and keep my meddling hands out of the kitchen.

My reward?

The ability to earn millions of dollars working only work 5-6 days a month.

How does that sound to you?

Let me tell you about it…

A Great Way To Ruin A Walk

It was summer 2020, and I was strolling through Victoria Park in East London.

It was one of my first post-lockdown excursions, and it was beautiful to see so many people out basking in the sun…

The smell of reefer wafting over the bushes…

(As tends to happen in East London parks.)

I don’t remember why I was there…

Or what I was doing...

But I do remember it for one simple event:

[Phone call incoming]

“Hey man, we’ve got a bit of a problem. Our sales are down 80% and I can’t figure out why.”

Not exactly the tune I like to dance to at 3:30pm on a Wednesday afternoon.

It was a weird situation…

Turns out all of our sales pages had broken, but in a strange way.

There was some kind of caching issue on Clickfunnels, and although the pages were loading correctly, it was impossible to scroll down further than 30% of the page.

Although we had received a few emails from customers who couldn’t buy, it seemed like a temporary bug, and so nobody properly picked it up.

Since we operate a 7-day free trial system on our main courses, it was over a week until we started to notice the problem.

To make matters worse…

Clickfunnels were no help at all -- taking days to provide a series of “fixes” that didn’t work. I’ll spare you the details, but it was another 10 days until we gave up on their support and took matters into our own hands by rebuilding all our sales pages from scratch in a new funnel.

Those were a sh**** couple of weeks.

We lost $10,000s in revenue.

But you know what I cared about far more?

The peace-of-mind I lost during that period, which of course spilled over into home life and other things. (It’s hard to chill out when you know your entire business has ground to a screeching halt.)

Reality is…

As a business owner, this kind of stuff happens.

There’s no point wingeing, and you'd best grow yourself a hide thicker than a crocodile in this game.

But eventually, you reach a certain level of complexity in your business, where you risk having stuff on your mind the entire time.

  • “What if…”
  • “I’d better just check…”
  • “Are the emails finished for this sale on Thursday…?”

There’s only so much you can hold in your head at one time without going completely insane.

And Uncle Olly doesn’t want you to go insane 🙂

So, you need a simple way to keep track of the things that matter to the business… and to you.

So that you can free up your mind to be less anxious, less reactive, and enjoy yourself more.

The Humble KPI Dashboard?

Here’s what this is all about...

You’ve probably heard of “KPIs” - Key Performance Indicators.

These are supposedly all the numbers you should care about in your business:

  • Top line revenue
  • New leads
  • NPS

…whatever it is for you.

And if you don’t have one already, I’m going to recommend you create a simple KPI dashboard for your business:

how to track metrics in your online business

(Completely made up)

Ask yourself:

  • What numbers represent the health of the business?
  • What numbers do I want to see going up?
  • What numbers would cause concern if they dropped?

Create a simple spreadsheet that tracks these numbers weekly

And, for heaven’s sake…

Keep it simple, stupid!

It’s really important not to stuff loads of numbers in here. Just focus on your core numbers.

If you overcomplicate things, you’ll toss in the towel quicker than you can say Jack Robinson.

I recommend you have a team member update these numbers and check in on them once a week.

If you’re solo, do this first thing on a Monday morning.

Why is this important?

The discipline of creating KPIs helps you catch any warning signs early, so you can react quickly and minimise the damage.

Not only that, you’ll have all the key numbers of the business in one place, and start to spot patterns.

It also takes you out of reactive mode and into a place where you can be more strategic.

For example, I remember going through a phase of obsessively checking sales stats. You know… refreshing the page every 10 minutes. It was an addiction that was seven different shades of wrong. As soon as I realised the madness of what I was doing, I started gathering sales numbers once a week - inputting them on a spreadsheet every Monday morning. The routine of doing this gave me the crux I needed to wean myself off Stripe and free up my head space.

My peace of mind doubled overnight.

A dashboard like this, we can consider this “the basics”.

If you went to business school (I didn’t), you probably learnt this. (Or not, I don't know what they teach at those places.)

But look…

As helpful as this is…

It’s not enough.

As entrepreneurs, we know that business is far more than just the numbers... As I discovered to my horror during my walk in Victoria Park on that beautiful summer’s day in 2020.

Your own peace of mind is just as important as the money.

In fact…

Once you get past the point of money making any material difference to your life, it dawns on you that “peace of mind” is one of the world's most precious commodities!

Give Anxiety Some Respect


There’s the stuff that keeps you up at night.

There’s the stuff that weighs on your mind.

There’s the stuff that you wish would just cut you some slack.

And as your business grows, this stuff becomes more and more important. It becomes more important because the more cluttered your mind is, the less you can step back and operate strategically.

The more reactive you are to events, the more you’ll hassle your team about small things.

As the boss, if you can't keep your head out of the little things, you’ll cause more problems in your business than a terrier in a rat hole.

And frankly, this is why many people never scale their business.

They fail to manage themselves.

And get paralyzed as a result.

Point is…

Anxiety is real…

Anxiety is human…


The way to deal with anxiety is not to try and lock it away in a box, but to create systems that give you clarity over what’s happening in your business.

Introducing: The Alignment Dashboard

You’ll never read this in a “scaling guide” from a fancy business school…

But I believe that “anxiety metrics” deserve a place on your KPI dashboard, right alongside revenue and lead numbers.

Got something that keeps you up at night?

Something small keeps bugging you?

Quantify it, and stick it on your dashboard alongside revenue, leads, and everything else that feels serious and official.

This is because…

Feeling aligned in your business is a hill that is worth dying on.

Here are some of the things I like to track:

  • Google Health Score (red/green light, monthly) - This gives me peace of mind that our website is functioning well, and is a powerful lead indicator of future SEO problems.
  • Organic Leads (number, weekly) - Lead flow is the equivalent of a heart beat for us, and causes all kinds of knock-on problems if it’s disrupted.
  • Promotional Calendar (red/green light, weekly) - This system helps make sure that every promotion gets run. We make millions of dollars from manual promotions (i.e. they need to be set up and triggered by a human), so this is a potential point of weakness. (See chapter 4 of the case study on systematizing revenue-generating events.)

Again, keep it simple.

It needs to work for you, and be easy to maintain.

And it’s perfectly fine for this to evolve over time, too... as you mature as a leader. (We only added Google Health Score recently.)

Now that you have a dashboard that covers both key business metrics, and anything that keeps you up at night, you should be able to:

  • Run a tighter ship with a better handle on metrics
  • Feel happier and less anxious
  • Create space for yourself and your team to work strategically

Now, draw a lungful of sweet air, my friend!

Action Steps: Design Your Freedom Dashboard

Entrepreneurs are great at starting stuff.

But usually poor at managing stuff.

But if you value a business that aligns with your life, it’s a good idea to work towards having a grip over your business that creates space for you to do your best work.

Not to mention enjoy your life.

When the sun is out in Hobbitshire, I like to drop everything and head outside...


The thing that allows me to do this, is knowing that an “early warning system” is operating in the background.

So what are your KPIs?

  1. What numbers represent the health of the business?
  2. What numbers do I want to see going up?
  3. What numbers would cause concern if they dropped?

Open up a Google Sheet and whack ‘em in.

But don't stop at “money metrics” - pay attention to what creates anxiety, and create a metric that quantifies the issue:

  1. What keeps you up at night?
  2. What little things keep bugging you?
  3. Where do you not feel in control?

This dashboard will give you a finger on the pulse of your business, mental freedom to enjoy life, and space for your team to do their best work.

I can’t promise you’ll reach entrepreneurial nirvana…

But it might bring a little more sunshine into your life.



CASE STUDY: Blueprint Of A $10m Online Education Business:

  • Business model blueprint
  • Product ecosystem
  • Team structure
  • Evergreen sales strategy
  • And much more

Join my free newsletter for online educators and I'll send you the case study immediately...

We will protect your data in accordance with our data policy!

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}