“Your ETR emails are the most positive thing I read all day,” my friend Beth said to me at dinner. We were sitting in a Tapas bar in downtown Asheville, where we were spending a few days at a retreat for fitness experts. The food was delicious, but what I’ll remember most about the night is what Beth said next.

“The article about your rules changed my life. It made me realize that I was being too critical of others – not in a mean way, but just in the way I observed things – and that I needed to change my mindset. Creating my own rules has really helped me become a better person.”

Wow. I didn’t expect that. But that’s the power of a focused message. It might be the most important article I’ve ever written…and may ever write. And it achieves its impact through “The Rule of One.”

Over the weekend I had many conversations with other information marketers and I always seem to be coming back to “The Rule of One” whether we are talking about writing email promotions, doing launches, or creating products.

Let me tell you a little bit more about this rule that I first learned from Mark Ford when I acquired Early to Rise.

“The Rule of One” states that your message will have greater impact when it focuses on just ONE big idea.

In the past, prior to writing for ETR, many of my emails often included “5 tips” or “7 secrets” about a topic. But when you give a list of tips, you barely scratch the surface on teaching your readers the essence of each point. It promotes a superficial understanding, and the reader does not have enough information to make a big change. This shotgun approach is mediocre at best.

But when you dig deep and go all-in discussing just one lesson in an essay or video, that’s where your teaching powers will shine.

For example, imagine this scenario:

What if I told you that you were only allowed to share ONE message for the rest of your life to define your business and create a legacy?

What if you were only allowed one email, one video, one blog post, what is the ONE big message you would want to get out to the world?

What’s the BIGGEST lesson you could teach the world if you were only allowed to teach them one lesson from your expertise?

What is the most valuable tip you would give your marketplace to help the most people?

How would you deliver the most important message of your lifetime?

The answer is by focusing on ONE major message, of course. You’d simply follow “The Rule of One.”

As Mark Ford (writing under the pseudonym Michael Masterson) also notes, “The best thing about “The Rule of One” is that it’s not just for writing books and articles. You can also apply it to your business goals.

Before you go into a meeting, for example, think about the one thing you’d like to accomplish. Make that one thing your priority, and hammer away at it. You’ll be amazed at how often you will end up leaving the meeting with that goal accomplished.

Use “The Rule of One” at business lunches, too, and even parties. Challenge yourself: “Who is the best person I can network with here?” And “What is the one best thing I can say to that person to capture his interest?”

Spend some time today looking at work you’ve done. This can be ads you’ve written, products you’ve created, or goals you’ve set. How could you make them stronger by applying “The Rule of One?”

With “The Rule of One” in mind, you can have a bigger impact. You can take all of your efforts and amplify them. The power of focus is remarkable in all areas of life.

But more importantly, the next time you’re ready to teach someone, turn your ideas into a powerful message using “The Rule of One.”

If you’re looking to make a big impact with your articles, videos, sales messages, and even your on-stage presentations, remember “The Rule of One.” Here’s the exact system I use for creating my daily ETR essays: Should be 800-1,200 words

  • Should have a Tipping Point idea
  • Should focus on ONE big idea
  • Should include an illustrative and moving story
  • Should have specific proof that the idea is beneficial
  • Should have an actionable takeaway

Use similar guidelines in creating your content via “The Rule of One,” and I guarantee you’ll have a greater, deeper, more meaningful impact on the way your readers, viewers, and clients respond to your messages.

[Editor’s Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with a web-based business that you can operate from anywhere in the world – including a coffee shop, your kitchen table, or anywhere around the world where there is Internet access. Discover how you can achieve the American Dream and your financial independence here. You’ve never seen anything like this before.]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com