Numbers play a really huge role in our lives, don’t they? Even though we think in words, it’s the figures that figure into our daily personal and professional worlds.
We live by a lot of numbers:
- Time on the clock
- Score on the scoreboard
- Velocity on the speedometer.
- Balance in the checkbook
- What that demon scale says in the bathroom
And, of course, we won’t even mention all those numbers we get from the doctor!
One of my favorite speakers, John Maxwell, uses numbers in many of his books. There’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, The 360° Leader, Teamwork 101, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, and well, I only just got started. Recently, I heard him discuss an idea called the Rule of Five. Now five is not my favorite number, but after hearing him explain the Rule of Five, it probably should be, because five can change our lives.
It’s really simple. Just do one thing five times every day. He explains it with a story:
If you have a tree that you want down, step up to it and take five whacks every day. Eventually that tree will fall.
The important thing to remember is that not only do you have to be consistent in taking five whacks every day—you have to be putting your axe to work on the same tree.. If you go out and give five whacks to a different tree every day, all you will have in the end is an entire forest of slightly damaged trees with no real progress.
This story serves as an analogy for working on your business or making sales. You must be consistent and work on the same efforts every day. If you are trying to launch a new product or service, you have to put time into it every day. Likewise if you are calling on different contacts every day, you never develop the relationship you need to have for a consistent, on-going relationship with one client.
However: the Rule of Five is not just for tasks or sales. Maxwell says that the number five can create significance and impact. Five can apply to lots of things, such as how we value people. Consider these five actions:
- I am going to connect with people.
- I am going to look for ways I can value people.
- I am going to look for ways I can ADD value for people.
- Everything I do are things that add value for someone.
- I will encourage others to add value to people they meet.
If you stop and think, the Rule of Five can add value to what you think, what you do, how you build a business, a life, and even a better community. It goes to being intentional about what you do—each and every day.
Now, back to your favorite number. Maybe five doesn’t work for you. (Five is an “odd” number after all.) But say your favorite number is 3 or 4 or 6. Why not build on the “magic” of your favorite number—the one that speaks to you or brings you luck? Make your own Rule of Three or Rule of Seven? Compound the good.
The “Rule of Five” is really “the rule of consistency.” The best way to do anything is to focus on it for a sustained period of time without distraction. And when you do take a break, be sure and come back to it later.
No matter what, be on target and apply it every day. Make your special number your friend and watch how that changes the numbers that rule your world!