The Three P’s of Success

Updated on July 21, 2019 Updated on July 21, 2019
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Everyone wants to find success both in their personal lives and their professional lives. Because success is an almost universal desire, there are thousands of books, podcasts, articles, TV shows, and seminars that claim they can teach us how to be successful.

And all of the people selling those books and other things have a vested interest in making finding success seem harder and more complicated than it needs to be. But we like to keep things simple and assume you want the same.

We love Marcus Lemonis of the TV show The Profit. He is a successful business person and on the show, takes failing businesses and teaches the owners how they can simply achieve success using the Three P’s of Success.

There is no magic formula, no book to buy, no seminar to attend. You can spend a single hour after you finish reading this (for free!) and implement one small suggestion for each of the Three P’s into your personal, professional, and financial life.

Making small changes or minor improvements will not only make you more successful but make your life easier too. Building habits and creating systems are the small picture things that make up the big picture things. No one can overhaul their life in a single step but step-by-step, things get better and easier.

So what are the Three P’s of Success? Let’s find out.

The Three P’s of Success

You might be surprised by how simple the Three P’s are.

People

The people you surround yourself with the matter. Everyone wants to fit in with the people around them. That can be a bad thing if the people around you are into drugs. And that can be a good thing when the people around you are successful.

You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

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Make sure some of your five are financial friends. If you’re a business owner, for example, find at least one other business owner and make them a financial friend. You have something in common; the two of you can compete in a healthy way that pushes you both. You can’t read every book that might be helpful to you, but you can each read a few books and share the key points.

Financial friends can help you make decisions and tell you things that you might not want to hear. Filter your ideas through their world view for a different perspective.

What if you don’t have any friends who stick out as possible financial friends? You can cultivate existing friends. Don’t go in like a hammer. Instead, lead with sharing. No one wants to feel dumb, so don’t share a victory, share a mistake or a problem.

This makes people feel more comfortable about sharing their own mistake or problem. Next thing you know, the conversation has started. You at least have an opening to a possible financial friend.

If that doesn’t work with the people already in your life, you have to venture outside your comfort zone. Find events that are centered around something you want to improve, a lecture, a Meetup, a conference.

networking

Attend and try to cultivate some financial friends. Most of us don’t like talking to strangers, but I promise it won’t kill you. Everyone else there feels awkward too.

Product

For most of us, we are the product; we sell ourselves. So we have to refine our product. Everyone wants to improve their financial situation by making more money but to do so; you have to improve yourself. That’s the “personal” in personal finance. How can you become a better product?

Through education. You don’t have to go to college to be successful, but you do have to choose a major that makes the investment of time and money, especially if you’re going into student loan debt, worth it — the time value of money. 

Must you spend four years getting a CS degree to become a coder or can you attend a three-month boot camp and get the same job? Does your career require a Master’s Degree, or are you just afraid to join the real world and prefer to stay an eternal student? And if you do get an advanced degree, is the jump in salary commiserate with the amount of student loan debt you’ll have?

student-loan-refinance

Now that you’re all edumacated, you’ve got to market yourself. LMM could be the best podcast in the world, but what good is that if no one knows about it?

We’re not helping anyone; we’re wasting time, and not making any money. So the podcast had to be marketed through ads, by starting a Facebook group, and a million other things Andrew and Matt came up with to get the word out.

For you, as the product, the marketing is your always up to date resume, it’s attending industry events, it’s a killer LinkedIn profile. And don’t wait until you’re between jobs or desperate to get out of your current job to do these things. If you do them consistently, you won’t have to scramble for a new job; the job will come to you.

Process

Do you have to think about brushing your teeth or putting on shoes? No, because for years you’ve had a process in place to do those things. They’re second nature now. Everything in your life can be (almost) as easy as those things when you develop a process for them.

Every Friday, review and categorize your spending in Mint. See how you did for the week and what adjustments you need to make for the upcoming week so you can make the right decisions.

Every Sunday, have a weekly review. What did you accomplish this week, what didn’t get done, what needs to be done next week?

Get organized. When you aren’t, it makes everything harder. You need to pay your quarterly taxes. Where is your checkbook? You don’t know because your checkbook doesn’t have a home, So you waste an hour looking for it. Mise en place is not just a cooking prep technique. Everything has a place, and everything is in its place.

This can take some tweaking. You know you need a budget, but you don’t like Mint. Fine, try YNAB, try the Envelope Method. How doesn’t matter, just that you do it.

Document your process. Whether you notice it or not, everything on this site has to meet specific criteria, things like H2 Headers, bolding, links, etc. I know the requirements because I’ve been here for years. But how would a new person know? We don’t all work in an office together, so it’s not like you have someone from LMM standing over your shoulder showing you the ropes.

We documented the process of writing an article in a place where everyone can access it. This makes our lives easier, and the new writer’s lives easier. We have a process, and it’s documented.

P’s: The Secret to Success

There you have it. The three things you need to be successful in anything you do.

The truth is success isn’t a goal or destination — it’s a MINDSET you take on to achieve your goals. And like all other mindsets, you don’t just drop it once you achieve your goals. Instead, you adopt it so you can carry it with you forever.

The Three P’s of Success: People, product, process. Find your people, refine your product, and implement your process.

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Candice Elliott - Editor-in-Chief Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.
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