It’s true! There is power in numbers. Whether you believe it or not, numbers play a significant role in our lives. The number three goes back to the very beginning of time; all the way back to the Triune Godhead. The Bible says, “All scripture is … useful for teaching, rebuking [/] correcting, and training …” (2 Timothy 3:16, TNIV). Okay, so that’s four, but if you combine rebuking and correcting, which usually go together, it’s really just three.
Body, soul, and spirit; the three parts of the conscious mind: the preconscious, the conscious, and the subconscious; three archangels: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael; three steps to the writing process: plan,
write, complete or write, read, rewrite. These are all indicators of the power of three.
In our family and business lives, the number three can be easily found. Think about it. We are advised that sneezes come in threes, and that in baseball it’s three strikes and you’re out. Or maybe your house is like mine sometimes: a three-ring circus. As you can see, the number three plays a part in our everyday lives.
When life overwhelms us, we are instructed to take three cleansing breaths. Try it the next time you’re feeling stressed. Stop and breathe in deeply, hold for the count of three, and then exhale slowly. You’ll be comforted in knowing how helpful just three deep cleansing breaths can be when life puts you in a dither.
Besides this advice we are told that when you want to accomplish a goal, you should commit to do three things toward that goal every day. Developing a business requires a steady, methodical, and disciplined approach towards the end in sight. Over time, as you take this advice to heart, you will see your business grow exponentially. When applied to family life, it can help solidify family bonds.
Even when you are ready to sell your business, the number three raises its head, because there are three ways to evaluate the value of your business. Those three ways are; asset-based, earning value, and market value.
Now, let’s look at how the number three can be impactful in increasing a business’ profit margin. There are three main ways to increase profits: reduce expenses, raise prices, or increase productivity. Any of these three things can, and will, elevate a business’ success. However, the most significant of these is reducing expenses.
There are hundreds of ways to reduce expenses, some of which can be immediately implemented, while others may take thought and planning. Things like using a smart thermostat to control the temperature in our offices, reduce paper costs by only printing what we really need printed, reevaluate standing costs for services we use, like the coffee machine rental, the telephone/internet services, and the cloud storage (do we really need it?). Maybe we can pool our resources with other business owners by joining one. The famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud believed that behavior and personality were derived from the constant and unique interaction of conflicting psychological forces that operate at three different levels of awareness: the preconscious, conscious, and unconscious. He believed that each of these parts of the mind plays an important role in influencing behavior.
A buying group to purchase things like health care more cheaply, or we can encourage word-of-mouth advertising (incentivized by offering referral bonuses, which is something I do). We might consider buying in lieu of renting, and we all can save money by paying invoices timely in order to avoid penalties, etc.
If we can pay off credit card debt, we can save a ton of interest. I suggest working toward that goal.
When I was a financial advisor, I had a client ask me if it was better to start a savings plan or pay off a credit card. While I would have benefited financially from helping her start a savings plan, I couldn’t ethically advise her to do that. Saving plans, at that time, returned four percent, while credit card interest rates were eighteen percent. Simple math says: pay off the credit cards! So, that’s what she did.
And, that’s advice that still holds true today.
Doing just one thing towards this end can boost profit margins, even taking them from the negative into the positive.
The power of three is all around us. Let’s use it to our advantage so we can reap the rewards of a happy, healthy life and business. Just for kicks and giggles I have included a list of things that come in threes that my editor, Gary Ciesla uncovered.
List of things that come in threes:
3 Coins in a Fountain (movie)
3 Days of the Condor (movie)
3 Bones in the human ear
3 miles in a League
3 goals in a hat trick—The achievement of a positive feat three times in a game, or another achievement
based on the number three in some sports.
3 feet in a yard
3 books in Lord of the Rings
3 ships of Christopher Columbus
3 sheets to the wind
3 books in a trilogy
3 wheels on a tricycle
3 wise men
3 strikes and you’re out
3 cornered hat
3 is a crowd
3 R’s—Reading, writing, and arithmetic (basic skills taught in school)
3 sides of a triangle
3 Races in the Triple Crown (horse racing)
3 Angles in a triangle
3 Cousins of Donald Duck: Huey, Dewey, and Louie
3 Trimesters in a pregnancy
3 Flavors in Neapolitan ice cream
3 Bean Salad
3 To Get Ready (and four to go)
3 stars in Orion’s belt
3 Parts to an atom: protons, neutrons, and electrons
3 Caloric sources: carbohydrates, fats, proteins
3 Primary hues in white light red, green, and blue
3 Parts to the personality: Id, Ego, and Super-ego
3 Earth divisions: core, mantle, crust
3 Rock formations: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary
3 Times a Lady (song by Lionel Richie)
3 Bags Full—Baa, Baa Black Sheep
3 barleycorns in an inch
3 hands on a clock (with the seconds hand)
3 colors in the flag
3 Men and a Baby (movie)
3 Great Pyramids at Giza
3 on a match
3 holes in a bowling ball
3 colors in a set of traffic
3 minutes in a boxing round
3 teaspoons in a tablespoon
3 Megajoules in a kilowatt hour
3 Laws of Motion
3 Legs on a stool
3 Monastic Vows (poverty, chastity and obedience)
3 Body types: Endomorph, Mesomorph, Ectomorph
3 Ring notebooks
3 Notes in a triad (chord)
3 Domains: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucaryota
3 Germ layers: Endoderm, Mesoderm, Ectoderm
3 Species of Homo: Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
Of the people, by the people, for the people
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
Liberty, equality, fraternity
Paper, rock, scissors
The good, the bad, and the ugly
Small, medium, and large
Ready, aim, fire
On your mark, get set, go