by Tom Reilly

“He’s a three-percenter.”

“What’s that,” I asked the sales manager.

“Every year, he invests three percent of his time and income in personal development. That’s what it takes to be the top salesperson in a salesforce of 500 salespeople.”

Are you a three-percenter? How much time and money do you invest in the brand over which you have the most control? I’m talking about Brand You. What are you waiting for?

In 2014, U.S. companies invested 2.8% of their top lines in product research and development. They invested .42% in training and development. People represent the single unique dimension of value, but companies invest 6-7 times more money developing products versus people.

Let’s face it. Your company is not going to invest three percent of its top line on you and your peers. This means you must take charge. Brand You is your responsibility. You might as well own it.

You must read, study, and train five hours every week. This is three percent of your time or one hour for each day of the workweek. If you don’t have time for this, study time management. Invest $3,000 every year of your $100,000 income in your professional development. If you’re not making that kind of money, are you investing in yourself to reach that level? This is your responsibility. Most companies will not invest that much time and money in your brand. Own it.

There are few guarantees in this world. I cannot guarantee you will be number-one in a salesforce of 500 people if you make this investment. However, I can guarantee you will not be number-one if you fail to invest in Brand You.

Check out my new book The Humility Paradox: For Personal and Organizational Growth. Visit us online at or see it at AMAZON.

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