The Rule of 3

The Rule of 3: A test in fortitude.

In life, patterns often emerge that can help you make better decisions and assess how to use your resources. A common example is the “The Pareto Principle,” also known as the 80/20 rule, is a theory maintaining that 80 percent of the output from a given situation or system is determined by 20 percent of the input.  

One such pattern that stands out is the “Rule of 3.” This rule, grounded in both historical trends and the principles of growth, highlights the magic that occurs when something reaches the three-year mark. It’s the point where steady efforts begin to yield exponential rewards, setting the stage for transformative growth and achievement.

I first learned of this from a mentor of mine when I was 16. We were working on a golf outing fundraiser, and he explained to me the three-year rule. In his example he planned to not make money or not much money the first two years and then it would grow exponentially starting after three years. He explained it was partly because of fixed costs, partly because constant improvements, partly because you can do more things once you have the others “down pat,” and partly because word of mouth grows. He then explained to me that rule of 3 is common with many endeavors. This was not only true for that golf outing but over the past 23 years I have watched this rule repeat itself over and over. It has shaped how I approach my life and my business. 

The Power of Three Years

From the inception of a business to the evolution of personal projects, the Rule of 3 consistently reveals itself as a pivotal turning point. Businesses that weather the initial storm and reach the three-year milestone tend to stand the test of time, primed for exponential growth. This phenomenon isn’t limited to the corporate world; it’s equally applicable to individual ventures, social media strategies, non-profit events, and more.

The first year you are a steep learner, and you have very little momentum.

The second year you have learned to do things more effectively and efficiently but you also have enough experience to correct mistakes you didn’t see.

The third year you are compounding the skills you have learned, using what you built, and have enough mistakes to know what works. This sets you up for the path of compounding.

The Foundation of Consistency

At its core, the Rule of 3 underscores the importance of consistency and perseverance. The initial years are marked by laying groundwork, building networks, and learning from mistakes. It’s during this phase that you’re planting seeds—seeds that, when nurtured with dedication and grit, will eventually lead to a flourishing garden of opportunities.

A quote I love that exemplifies this, which comes from a high school football coach Jim Rankin, is “Day to day intensity, week to week consistency, month to month builds champions.”

The Magic of Compounding

Consider the financial realm, where the concept of compounding interest is a driving force. Similarly, when we apply the Rule of 3, we witness the compounding effects of effort, learning, and growth. Yield curves may start to bend in your favor, propelling you into a trajectory of exponential growth. Just as investments gain momentum over time, so do your ventures.

I remember when I first started in my profession an older wiser planner told me “Do you think a client with $1 million just calls you and wants to invest money with you?” I was already struggling to build a client book, and this made me think that would never happen. My fourth year in this profession that exact thing happened. It was the same when we started our social media campaign. It took about three years until we had consistent inbound opportunities based on our content.

From Seedling to Sequoia

Imagine your venture as a tiny seedling planted in fertile soil. As you diligently care for it, providing the necessary nutrients and sunlight, it steadily grows. By the time it reaches its third year, it has developed deep roots, a sturdy trunk, and the potential to soar to towering heights. This transformation from a delicate sapling to a resilient giant is the epitome of the Rule of 3.

Spotting the Rule of 3 in Your Life

Reflect on your journey thus far. Can you identify instances where the Rule of 3 has played a role? Maybe it was the third year of your blog when readership skyrocketed, or perhaps it was the third year of your fitness routine when your progress accelerated. This rule isn’t confined to business—it permeates all aspects of life where growth and perseverance intersect.

Embracing the Rule of 3

As you embark on new endeavors or nurture existing ones, keep the Rule of 3 in mind. Understand that the initial challenges and incremental progress are part of a larger narrative, one that’s building towards something extraordinary. When faced with setbacks or slow progress, remember that you’re sowing the seeds of exponential growth.

Whether you’re launching a start-up, expanding a creative project, or embarking on a personal development journey, the Rule of 3 is your reminder that the early struggles are the steppingstones to greatness. Embrace the power of consistency, the magic of compounding, and the transformation that can occur when you hold steadfast through the crucial first three years. Your efforts will not only yield rewards; they’ll set the stage for an exponential journey to success.

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🚀 The Rule of 3:A test in fortitude that can propel your success. 🚀

❓Ever heard of the “Rule of 3?”❓

It’s a game-changer across fields. Think of it as the moment a venture hits its stride and exponential growth takes off. From businesses to personal projects, the magic often happens around the third year.

In my recent blog I share how I first learned about this rule from a mentor when I was 16 and how its impacted how I approach my life. I have learned in many instances that year three marked the turning point.

It’s not about perfection🎯, it’s about the power of consistency📆, compounding effects📈 , and transforming from a seedling🌱 to a soaring giant 🌳.

Curious to know how the Rule of 3 can shape your journey to success? 🚀

Click the link in the comments to read my blog and learn more.

Have you experienced the rule of 3 in your life? Share with 📣 me if you agree👍 or disagree 👎 or how its impacted your life🙌.


Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

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