What is the law of 33% in selling?

Stoic Sales Minds Podcast




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June 1, 2019


Hey. It’s Trev. Host of the Stoic Sales Minds Podcast… And this is episode 3…

So… today’s question is…


If you haven’t heard of the Law of 33%… it was first introduced by Tai Lopez, social media influencer and all around smart guy!

In a nutshell… the law says we need to divide up our time into thirds so we can get better at anything. I’m talking self improvement… success… Something I’m sure you’re into… since you’re listening to this podcast.

The Law of 33% means I must spend…

One third of my time with people I can mentor…

One third of my time with my peers.

And one third of my time being with people way ahead of me, people who can mentor me. Specifically 10X better than me.

Yup 10X.

Maybe 10X wealthier, 10X healthier, 10X wiser…. Kind of like that.

Whatever my goal is…. Find a 10X mentor.

If we’re talking 10X financially…

This means…  if I’m earning $100K per year for example… I should spend ⅓ of my time with someone who’s earning $1M a year.

Who Follows The Law of 33%

What’s interesting is…

Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z all follow the Law of 33%.

These successful folks all had mentors. Yes, mentors they listened to and followed. So, whatever works for them… I try to follow.


How I Follow the Law of the First 33%

Here’s an example of how I apply the Law of 33% to my business.. Stoic Sales Minds…

Okay… so 1/3 of my time is spent scouting stoic sales people…. I’m a sales scout. That’s my business.

And part of scouting means I interview a lot of people for sales jobs. But often during our conversations I find myself in mentor mode.

I become the mentor. So, I’m following the law of 33. Not intentionally. It just happens.

During interviews I ask candidates questions like…

Hey Cole….

“So why are you thinking about making a career move now?”


“What do you see as the upside of this job for you?”


“What would have to change in your current job so  you’d never have to leave?”

When I ask these types of questions, I learn a lot about the candidate I’m speaking with.

This is because…

I’m digging deep into how they really feel about themselves, their job, and their goals.

Often I end up giving them advice on what might be the next step forward for them.

It may not necessarily be a new job. It could be something else they need to improve like get better at managing their sales process, their time, their boss, their clients …

I like to think that I’m not just interviewing candidates, but mentoring them in certain ways.

Just listening to them talk about what their goals are… allows me to offer advice, especially to the less experienced biz dev reps and account executives.

Often I’ll get emails from these folks later who follow my blog posts on LinkedIn or listen to this podcast.

They’ll ask me how they can get better in sales, how they can get promoted, how they can get their dream job.

Why I Mentor

Interviewing allows me become the mentor. It’s natural. I don’t have to find people to mentor. By default they are already there.

I see mentoring sales folks as kind of giving back. Helping them so they avoid the mistakes I made in my sales career.

Another example of how I mentor is…

Helping sales people who’ve found themselves out of work. Perhaps their company downsized or closed down.

These folks will come to me to ask how they can create a better resume.

I’ll tell them they need a professional LI photo, or they need to put their sales accomplishments in their resume, as well as their quota achievements.  

I’ll tell them how they should add a video cover letter so recruiters can see their personality.

I like helping these folks, because they are in a tough spot, because they’re unemployed. It could happen to any of us. Let’s not forget this.

90% of startups fail, so it’s possible to find ourselves at work at any point in our careers.

Who Can YOU Mentor?

So who can you mentor?

If you’re a business development rep maybe just 3 months or 3 years into your career you can mentor college graduates who are looking to break into a sales career.

You might have college friends who you can help.

Coach them about what they need to do to land a job in sales. Help them with their resumes, help them get interviews, tell them about your first three months on the job. Tell them what you did right and what you did wrong during the hiring process. This way they can learn from you.

If you’re an account executive, mentor the BDRs in your company.

Tell them what they need to do to get to the next level as an account executive.

Maybe they need to sharpen their prospecting skills.

Maybe you could give them some tips on how you handle full sales cycle selling.

Maybe you could let them take over part of your demo or presentation.

Every little bit helps to help them take that next step up in their sales career.

And if you’re a sales manager, mentor your middle 60% of reps who need coaching.

Your top 20% will figure it out on their own, for the most part.

Your bottom 20% should find another career, if they can’t improve, despite your help.

Perhaps they’d be better in marketing, HR or customer service. Help them decide.

Mentoring sales people is rewarding.  

Don’t think of it as charity or a burden. You’ll learn a lot from these folks. You’re also giving back. You’ll feel good about yourself because you’ve helped someone develop their career.  

How I Follow the Law of the Second 33%

Okay… so, the next 1/3 of my time… according to the Law of 33% is spent with my peers.

These are entrepreneurs just like me. People who’ve started their own businesses.

For example, I have a friend who recently started his own digital marketing agency in Vancouver.

He’s in a completely different industry than sales scouting… but we have a lot in common.

We’re both need customers and also need to serve existing ones more effectively.

We often bounce ideas off of each other on the phone.

As a business owner  my peers are other business owners.

It’s incredibly valuable to get their advice on something I’m thinking about trying in my business.

Since my friend isn’t working  my business or even in my industry he always has a fresh perspective which makes all the difference in the world.

Another great thing about spending ⅓ of my time with my peers is… we can push each other to become better.

This could mean holding each other accountable for goals we set.

Asking questions like, “did you run your advertising campaign yet?” What worked? What didn’t? What did you learn?

I learn a lot from my peers, because I can benchmark a lot of what they do that’s working, and also, what isn’t working in their business… and apply it to mine. Even though we’re in different industries with different target markets.

Now for you… as a biz dev rep, account exec or sales manager…  you may think your peers are obvious. But don’t just think about your colleagues here.

Step outside of your company fishbowl….

Who else do you know who’s a peer.

Spend time with sales reps in different companies and industries. That will give you ideas for peers you haven’t even considered. Diversity is strength.

How I Follow the Law of the Third 33%

Okay, so the last 1/3 are the people I spend time who are on another level than me completely are the folks who have very successful businesses. 10X what I have.

This last third inspire me to go beyond what I’m currently achieving.

They open me up to new possibilities in my mind and gets my stoic mentality going.

So who are these mentors?

They’re influencers in their niches. I like to call them gurus. And the’re often selling knowledge. So, they’re professional mentors. That’s their business. You’ll see them on YouTube and Facebook, read their blogs…

They’re teaching things like… how to sell, how to market, how to use social media, how to take your business to the next level and how to develop yourself and others.

They have a lot of followers on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook ,and LinkedIn.

They dominate their industries. And of course they make a lot of money. But they give a lot of their knowledge away for free too. Their good content comes at a premium.

To get mentored by the gurus I have to pay to play.

This means I have to join their mastermind groups, or pay for 1:1 coaching, when needed. It’s a monthly membership fee, but what I can learn and can apply to my business is worth it!

Not saying you have to pay to join a mastermind or for 1:1 coaching from someone like Tony Robbins or Gary Vee. That’s expensive!

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t either.

But you could ask someone in your network to mentor you. Perhaps your CEO, or a successful entrepreneur where you live.

I won’t go into how you approach them to mentor you… because that’s a whole other podcast..

Just start thinking about how you would approach them and how it would benefit them.

Sounds intimidating, I know…

But to be successful, you have to toughen up a little and be a stoic.

You’d be surprised that successful people want to give back too. They follow the law of 33% just like you. Even if it’s done naturally.

Anyway, more on this topic later.

Final Thoughts

Okay, so this is a very general guideline of how the law of 33% works in my business and how it can help you improve in sales.

Hope you got a lot out of it. If so, kindly subscribe to the Stoic Sales Minds podcast, so you don’t miss a thing.

If you’d like to read some of my blogs, head over to my website StoicSalesMinds.com and check out the Blog section. There are lots of stoic sales questions I answer.

If you’re a biz dev rep, account exec, or sale sales leader you’ll find them practical, psychological and tactful.

Stay tuned for the next podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Stoic Sales Minds Podcast on Apple iTunes.

Tune in next time, thanks for listening to…


Trevor Hefford

Host – The Stoic Sales Minds Podcast

P.S: Whenever you’re ready… here’s how I can help you hire stoic sales reps so your business grows.

Trevor Hefford: Host of the Stoic Sales Minds Podcast