Thursday, January 06, 2005

Curious about the Power of Threes?

Have you ever noticed how often the number three is used? There are three characters, three steps, three qualities, three points in a presentation, three parts to a story - I could go on and on, but I want you to start noticing threes.

Let’s start with stories and storytelling. You can find the complete article, Storytelling with the Magic of Threes, at Many stories have three characters - The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears, stories with three brothers. Others have three wishes, three times something happens or must be done to achieve an outcome. Most stories have a beginning (the status quo), a middle (the crisis), and the ending (a climax or resolution).

What about business? In Jim Collins’ popular book, Good to Great, he examines why some companies make the leap from good to great. He finds that they have three things in common:

  1. They are engaged in activities they believe they can be the best in the world at.
  2. They understand the economic engine that drives their business success.
  3. They are totally passionate about what they do.

How to successfully sell a product? I took part in a teleseminar today, where the three steps to being successful pursuing this were stated as:

  1. Find the hot target market.
  2. Research and discover what it is that they already want.
  3. Sell them exactly what they are already ready to buy.

The above threes were followed by two e-zines that stressed threes. Alexandria Brown, the E-Zine Queen (you will find her at sent three lessons she learned from having her first sale:

  1. Don’t be afraid to have a sale (but not too often).
  2. Don’t be afraid to send out a few reminders (but not too many).
  3. If you set a deadline, be prepared to get the most orders close to the deadline (and stick to it, even if some want to slide in afterward).

Sean D’Souza of Psychotactics (you will find him at sent his solution to resolution management in today’s e-newsletter. Rather than adding more and more resolutions and goals, Sean suggested picking three projects at most and focusing on them. Of course, each project will have many subsets, but having only three major areas will keep us from spinning our wheels and losing it!

What threes have had an influence on you? I know that I could go on citing more and more examples, but I would prefer to read some of you feedback. Happy threedom!