This Advice is Worth $780K

I am a learner! I love to read books, take courses, and watch informational videos. I’ve always been that way. One morning in my mastermind group, one of the guys called me out!

He said, “Hey Craig, quit learning and start doing!” So I learned a little productivity hack that I’m going to share with you here today called The Ivy Method. It was developed by Ivy Lee, a pioneer in 20th-century public relations methods.

The Ivy method has really helped me become a doing machine. I get so much more done in my day now that I’ve implemented it myself.

This piece of advice actually earned Mr. Lee $25,000 and only took him about 30 minutes to explain. How’s that for cashing in on an idea?

The Ivy Method

In the early 1900s, Ivy Lee was consulting at Bethlehem Steel Company. In a discussion with company President Charles Schwab, Schwab tells Lee that he and his team don’t need to learn more but they need to DO more. If Lee can help them do more, Schwab tells him he’ll pay whatever price he desires.

Ivey Lee then shared the following process with Schwab:

  1. On a blank sheet of paper, write down the six most important things that need to be accomplished the next day
  2. Prioritize those six items 1-6 in order of importance
  3. Read the list first thing upon waking the next day
  4. Begin to work each item on the list in order of priority until it’s done before moving to the next
  5. Repeat this process each night

Lee told Schwab it didn’t matter if he completed all six in one day, but by doing this he’d always be working on his most important task. He also told Schwab if it worked for him then implement it with his executive team and let him know how it goes.

When Schwab asked Lee the cost of this advice Lee told Schwab to implement it, and if it worked for the company then to pay him whatever he thought it was worth.


Not long after the conversation Charles Schwab wrote Ivy Lee a letter telling him it did indeed work. He and his executive team had increased productivity by using Lee’s method by at least 50%. Over time it’s been said that this piece of advice profited Schwab over $100,000,000.

Schwab also included a check for $25,000 along with his letter. I started thinking about the fact that this happened around the turn of the last century. After I ran the numbers to find the value of money then versus now, I discovered that $25,000 then was about $780,000 now.

For a 30 minute conversation, Ivy Lee earned $780,000 because he helped Charles Schwab increase productivity to such an extent. If this advice was that valuable to Charles Schwab, how valuable is it to you?

Let me know if the Ivy Method works for you and if so include your name and address in the comments, and I’ll send you a bill for $780K. 🙂

Seriously, I would like to hear from you if you have used this method. How has your productivity increased? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to reach out directly.

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