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The Rule of Three

On a panel at Rotman Commerce’s Women in Business group, I was asked for an example of a really important lesson that I had learned recently. I couldn’t be happier to share my answer. It was a big lesson, and a major gateway for my professional and personal growth.

I learned how to ask for help.

And not only that, but I learned to ask for help in a way that genuinely enabled me to evaluate, process, and even enjoy the decisions and opportunities in front of me.

How? I used the rule of three. In writing, this refers to the principle that groupings of three are inherently funnier, more satisfying, and more effective than other numbers of things. In the context of asking for help, I called three people. It is an incredibly useful strategy for big life decisions, and even the small ones that can run circles in your mind. One advisor. One lawyer. One friend. For everything.

Asking for help from people that you trust implicitly, that know your story, and you, is invaluable.

At the beginning of the year, when I had evaluated what I had ahead of me, I made a list of all the people ‘in my corner’ and asked them if I could call them on a particular obstacle, issue or opportunity I was weighing. As things presented themselves, I would contact three from the list to hash it out. If one was busy, I called another one.

Some of these people I pay for their professional help and opinions, some I don’t. The money I have spent has been beyond worth it for the amount I lean on them. All of my obstacles and opportunities – and the decision-making process that comes along with them – are funnier, more satisfying, and more effective because of my trio’s involvement.

Their invaluable contributions have:

  • Enabled me to build more trust in myself (because who doesn’t have doubts?);
  • Ensured I don’t fool myself (because sometimes that can happen);
  • Helped me see the path I wanted to take (because I do know it is there, and that I can find it, even if sometimes I can’t see it)

When you know where you want to go, you can get there. Like I did 5 years ago, when I pitched the idea to take Women of Influence global, when I knew it was the right idea and the right way forward, and as a result it took a 20-minute meeting to get the biggest “yes” – starting us on an exciting path that we still traverse today. We have gained many more sponsors and partners and Senior Executive women on our journey.

Celebrate with us as we host our debut event in London, England, with new friends and partners. Thomson Reuters. RBC Wealth Management. UK Trade & Investment. Air Canada. McCarthy Tetrault. Thank you, and we’ll see you there!

To advisors, lawyers, and friends: