The One Small Tweak that Will Change your Entire Life.
Would you be crazy to think that major success in any field of your life would be the result of one small tweak? Believe it or not, it’s the simple one degree turn that will give you totally different results. The question is whether you’re willing to make the decision or not. After all, all your decisions have led you to exactly where you are with your life this very moment – as you’re reading this article.
Allow me to introduce to you the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle. It notes that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. For the individuals that are familiar with this rule, I’ll share some of my insights using the rule both in my personal life and business career. This principle will reveal your good and bad habits right in front of your face! Knowledge is power right? At that point, you’ll be looking at the exact reason why you’re successful or unsuccessful in any field of your life. At that point, you’ll identify that one degree change which will produce entirely different results.
The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, or law of inverse proportions, was discovered by the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto (yup, it rhymes), who while in college, started making logical connections about his personal life and the Italian economy. He noticed 80% of the Italy’s wealth came from only 20% of the population – sound familiar? It’s your classic “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” notion. He also noticed that 20% of his peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas to be harvested. He made numerous connections which I can go on and on, but the purpose of this article is to find out how we can apply this in our present daily lives.
Now this is the fun part where I get to tell you “YOU CAN’T OUTLIVE THE 80/20 RULE.” Don’t believe me? Cool. Let’s dig in and I’ll reveal a few principles to show you how the 80/20 rule applies in your own life.
80% of your money is spent on 20% of the things you can buy/pay for
I’ll pull back the curtain on my own life with this example. Want to get a better grip on your finances? Out of all the things you can buy/pay for, what do you spend your money on? If I were to take a look at your financial statements, I would be able to see exactly what you’re spending the bulk of your money on. When I recently took a look at my own financial statement thanks to Mint, a financial app, I saw exactly where my money was going . Out of all the things I would buy in a given month/year – no, not the Ferrari yet, I found 80% of my money going to 20% of those things. To be specific, out of all the categories of possible expenses, it came down to only bills, business expenses, and restaurants/bars (Gotta’ have fun right?!) – I may need to change that.
So what’s 80% of your money being spent on? I would assume bills are usually the biggest expense, so now ask yourself: “Even with my bills, am I spending the remaining money on things that could potentially bring me back more money?” If not, you’ll quickly notice that 80% of your money is being spent on things that don’t make your bank account larger!
Yes, I completely understand how it is to live paycheck to paycheck, or worst, wondering where your next paycheck is coming. All I’m saying is $15 can get you a book that will change your life – and that’s even if they don’t have the audiobook online.
You want a quick solution to money? Sometimes the immediate answer is not more money, but using your current money more efficiently.
20% of the food you eat is responsible for 80% of your nutrition.
For those looking to make a change in their eating habits, you can get so many benefits by scaling down on the variety of what you eat. What does that mean? Out of all the food you can chow down on, only 20% of those foods that will be responsible for 80% of your nutrition. Think about all the food you ate or are going to eat today.
But Austin, what if I ate healthy all day, every day?! Great job – I wish I was like you. Even if you had 5 extremely nutritional meals for the day, I can guarantee that one of those meals gave you more nutrition than all the others. Even if it’s just by .00001%, it still holds the 80/20 principle rule true. Even if you were to eat the same variety of food every day, you’d be eating 20% of the food available 80% of the time – there’s the pareto principle again.
You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time
Correct? I’m pretty sure if I were to take a good look at your closet, you would have clothes that you definitely don’t wear often. Don’t you have “work” clothes? You know, the clothes that you’re able to throw on last minute as you rush out the house to get to the office or appointment in which you still look presentable? It’s the exact reason why you’ve noticed when a coworker has worn the same outfit, and vice versa. Could you hypothetically have a different set of clothes every day, absolutely, will you? Doubt it. Highly doubt it. At that point you would then be spending your 80% of your time on 20% of the things that will make you happy – did you see what I did there?
20% of the people in your life give you 80% of the love you receive
I respect this particular example because it has helped me grow to learn how to hold on to the best relationships in my life. Think about this. Out of everyone that you have ever met in your entire life, only 20% of those individuals have given you 80% of the love you have received. Whether that’s family members, friends, a significant other, a mentor, or even your dog, you have felt the most amount of love from only a small portion of the people you actually know!
Be sure to respect the relationships that bring you the most love and happiness. There’s not many other outlets to choose from.
Yes, even your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend is part of that small 20%. After all, you were once extremely happy with that person weren’t you? That individual still gave you more love than those blind dates and pre-mature high school relationships where your “anniversary” was every month instead of every year. Remember those days?
That’s why true, genuine love is so powerful. No matter who it comes from!
80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients
Doesn’t matter if you’re an employed salesman, CEO, business owner, music artist or drug dealer, 80% of your business is going to come from only 20% of your clientele or type of clientele – wait, did I just use a drug dealer as reference for a LinkedIn article?
This was extremely helpful for my own business. I used to cold call, door knock, and walk up to random strangers in Shop Rite until I realized 80% of my business came from people I knew or was referred to. I scratched the cold prospecting techniques STAT!
By the way, walking up to random strangers in Shop Rite looking for business was probably the most uncomfortable decision I ever made to try to generate business. Talk about doing whatever it takes. I never wish that level of uncomfortableness on anyone – not even my competitor….. ok, maybe my competitor.
Once I looked at the source of my business, I cut off some of the other sources that wasn’t generating any business and put my focus on where the business was coming from. I’m set to triple my business this year!
The 80/20 rule inside the 80/20 rule.
Remember, I also consider the 80/20 principle as the “law of inverse proportions.” Even though an example may not be 80%/20% on the nose, I can guarantee it can easily be 70/30, 83/17, or even 99/1.
The more you “attempt” to head towards the 50/50 balance mark, you’ll encounter a massive amount of resistance attempting to prove that principle true. Simply because there is no balance. The world doesn’t operate in that manner. I would stop at 65/35 and even at that level you’ll find a lot of resistance.
Before you finish, I’d like to blow your mind on how prominent the Pareto principle is. There’s even an 80/20 within its own 80/20! In fact, it continues into infinity.
What the hell does that mean? I’ll finish with this example reverting back to your income over the course of a month.
Let’s say you made 10k per month on a salary.
If that’s your salary, you had 2 biweekly paychecks of 5k.
Did you get paid daily? Nope. You got paid a lump sum for each of those two weeks.
Therefore, technically you received 10k in only 2 days out of a 30 day month.
Even in those short 2 days, did you get paid over the course of the entire day? Did you hold your hand out as your boss gave you each dollar for your service? Nope.
Assuming direct deposit, you got paid at exactly one second out of the 24 hour day so technically you got “paid” the 5k paycheck in a second.
What does this mean? You received all your income for the entire month in just 2 SECONDS!
There’s 2,592,000 seconds in a 30 day month.