I first heard of the concept of ERIC (Eliminate, Reduce, Increase, Create) at a business conference in 2019. The topic, presented by Wilbert Wynnberg, was easy to follow, but turned out to be so simple that it changed my relationship with how I spend my time and my money.
Wynnberg, with a net worth estimated at $5 million, explained that ERIC can help anyone to get out of debt quick. A serial entrepreneur, I was surprised to learn that even he had faced some difficulty in business, when his fellow business partners (and shareholders) decided to leave the company. Wynnberg was forced to buy them out to keep his dream alive and burden the costs of his first conference alone. It seemed as if he took a large risk, but as the saying goes, without risks, there are no rewards.
So, who is ERIC and what does he stand for?
E – Eliminate
E stands for Eliminate, and this first step refers to your time and energy. What are you doing with your time, and are you getting the best return on investment for your activities?
If you are currently working for, say, $10 per hour, then that is how much an hour is currently generating for you. Could you instead find a higher paid job, or better yet, use an hour to create something that sells for $500, or creates a passive income? Eliminate is all about using your time in the most productive and income generating way possible. Find out where you are wasting time, and then find activities that offer a higher pay off in the long run.
R – Reduce
Reduce goes beyond reducing time wasted. It is also about reducing anything unnecessary or not helpful within your life.
A good place to start is to reduce personal and business expenditures. Where are you wasting money? Keep track of your spending and then take the time to analyse every purchase. Are you paying for 24/7 gym access, but only going on weekends (or not at all)? Could you reduce that cost to a weekend only membership instead? Is Netflix actually providing you with a useful service or is it a distraction? Are you paying unnecessary interest on credit cards because you didn’t pay them off fully? Where are your money leaks?
Another good way to reduce is to sell off unused stuff. Clutter is distracting and by selling things you no longer need or use generates cash that can be put to better use. Minimalist author, Joshua Becker says, “The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”
I – increase
After getting rid of activities and things that aren’t contributing to your success, now it’s time to increase the things that are creating success. Make a list of your income generating activities and also opportunities: what could you do more of, and what should you be doing. Often this revolves around providing more value within your job or business, or creating things that can create a passive income (YouTube videos, podcasts, building websites, writing articles, educating yourself).
Increasing your income doesn’t come overnight, but it is good to spend time thinking about how to increase the value of the work you are doing, and how to monetize it. It also helps you when it comes to the final point of the ERIC principles – C.
C – Create
Create is the most important part of ERIC as it offers you the most potential for your future success – financially but also personally. The question of, what should you create is the most broad and beautiful question around. What should you be doing? What haven’t you started monetizing yet? What do you need to do to create your dream life? This step will be the hardest, but it also allows you to think creatively. There are no wrong answers, and some readers will come up with the need to start a new business, pivot their careers or develop something they have always dreamt of. Again, there may be risks, but there are also rewards to be had. The world is yours, but what can you create within it.
Applying the concept of ERIC (Eliminate, Reduce, Increase, Create) forces you to look at where you are wasting your time, where you are spending money, and where you should be focusing your energy. It also forces you to consider your passions and those things you need to create to bring large scale success to your future. Over time, ERIC has become a great friend of mine, and I hope you will get on with him too.