I am sure you have heard of the Pareto Principle, more widely known as the “80/20 Rule.” It came from Vilfreto Pareto, the Italian economist who noticed back in 1906 that 80% of the land was owned by 20% of the people. Not coincidentally, Pareto also noticed that 80% of the peas in his garden came from 20% of the pods.
Over the years this “80/20” rule has been used for much more than land and peas. For some reason it works for practically everything in our lives. By the way, did you know that the richest 20% of the world’s population controls about 80% of the world’s wealth?
There are many applications of the 80/20 rule seen in business. Here are a few:
- 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers.
- 80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers.
- 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of the time its staff spend.
- 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products.
- 80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff.
Here is a cool one that you can also relate to: 80% of web traffic comes from 20% of web pages.
It’s amazing how this rule applies to so much more in our lives. I am pretty sure that 80% of the time I am listening to only 20% of the music in my iTunes library! And on my iPhone, I likely use 20% of my apps 80% of the time!
So where am I going with this? Well, last year I decided that I was spending my time with too much “busy work.” I got bogged down answering emails, putting out fires, dealing with interruptions and getting involved with mundane tasks that could have been delegated to others. 80% of my time was being wasted with crap that I did not want or need to do. My days were generally full and I was stressed. Yes, I was a busy “worker bee.”
So I decided I would eliminate, automate or delegate everything that I possibly could, freeing my days up to do ONLY what I wanted to do and what I loved to do. I had my employees and even a hired virtual assistant do almost everything. I also became an expert in saying the word NO!
What happened? My days totally freed up. My time is my own. I work smarter, not harder. I finally have the time to do everything that I want, whether it is work related or play related. And guess what? My businesses are more successful than ever. More customers, more sales, more speaking gigs, and more followers! Not only am I bringing more money in, now I have the time to manage it properly which means my investments are growing like crazy! It is truly amazing what happened and how fast it happened!
I can honestly say that by adopting the 80/20 rule, I have seen the quickest, most dramatic change EVER in my life! I am happier and less stressed and I am able to enjoy more time with my friends and family than ever before. I am able to work guilt free from remote locations such as Breckenridge, Colorado in the winter and the west coast in the summer. Please understand that I am still VERY MUCH involved in my businesses. But since getting rid of 80% of the stuff that I could get rid of, a whole new world has opened up to me!