The 15% Rule – Building the Future You Deserve

On June 1, 2020, I hired a full-time Director of Sales and Marketing for Designing Profits, Inc.

It’s my first major hire in years and not an easy one for me to make. I’m guilty of doing a lot of things I probably “shouldn’t” do because I enjoy them. This includes things like creating my own websites, organizing and sending my own emails, and developing my own reporting tools.

But earlier this year, it became clear to me that my company has a chance to grow to a level I had not previously imagined. If only I would stop being the bottleneck.

So, I hired Benjamin Smith to take over all those things I should not be doing. In fact, he and I agreed that I would tape the words onto my desktop computer: “Am I creating content right now?” The implication is that if I answer “no” to that question, I need to give that task to Ben and get back to creating content, my ONE THING.

As you would expect, Ben dove into the learning curve and the first month was dedicated to focusing on, well, that month. We didn’t have much time to think about the future as we were releasing and planning to release new courses within weeks.

But it quickly occurred to me that I hadn’t hired Ben to make June, 2020 better. Rather, I had hired him to make June 2025 exceptional!

So, we adopted the 15% rule. Perhaps it’s more of a guideline, but it goes like this:

15% of everything we do, every dollar we invest, every technology we adopt, every priority we set, should have to do with 2025, not 2020.

Even if it’s just a state of mind, it’s already paying off as we have deemed some critical tools, like software platforms, short-term and others long-term. This means we can deploy the former now, while building the latter in the background until they’re ready to go.

I know that you, too, want to be in a far better place five years from now, so wouldn’t you agree that a mere 15% investment in your future is time and money well spent?

The first step? Go ahead this weekend and take an hour to write in your business journal exactly what your business will look like and feel like five years from today. You do have a business journal, don’t you?

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