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The Rule of 17

In finance, the Rule of 72 is a simple way to determine how long it will take an investment to double in value. If you divide 72 by an investment’s interest rate, or its rate of return, you see how long it takes to double that investment. For this discussion, our investment is our pie (whichever pie you want to focus on), and the interest rate is 1 percent. Dividing 72 by 1 leaves you with . . . 72! That means you can literally double your productivity in any area in just 72 days by making tiny, 1 percent improvements. 

But it doesn’t stop there. If you are two times more productive after 72 days, what happens 72 days after that? At 144 days, you’re four times more productive than you are today because you’re doubling the double. Another 72 days later, you’re eight times more productive than you are today. Go one more round, and you are sixteen times more productive than you are today. And this is less than ten months after you started! Who doesn’t want to be sixteen times more produc- tive in a key area ten months from now? You can do it, and you can do it by making only a 1 percent positive change every day. And as you become more productive, focused, and disciplined on that key area, it begins to grow—maybe slowly at first, but that slow start leads to exponential growth before you know it. That kind of steady progress is what took me from a starting salary of $22,000 at age twenty-two to over a $1 million per year within five years, and it’s what has taken many of my clients to even greater levels of success! 

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Erik Weir