What if I told you that 80% of your successes in life came from 20% of your actions? Crazy right? But that’s exactly what we’re talking about today.
What is the Pareto Principle?
The Pareto principle is a concept developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto back in 1895 after he noticed that 80% of the land was owned by just 20% of the population. This lead Pareto to the conclusion that all economic activity could be subject to this principle.
This rule says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. For example, 20% of your customers will account for 80% of your sales. 20% of your products or services will account for 80% of your profits. In languages, 80% of the language you speak and use will be made with a scant 20% of your words. 20% of your tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do, and so on.
Let’s take a look at a video.
How can we use it in the book writing industry?
There are SO many ways this principle applies.
- 20% of your customer base accounts for 80% of your sales. Who are these people? They are the ones you know by name, who come to you to purchase every book you write. Treat those choice few customers well, greet them by name and with a smile, go out of your way to make those customers really happy with their experience, and they will tell all their friends to come to you and not the guy down the street.
- 80% of your success comes from 20% of your tasks. If you have a to-do list that’s ten items long, try to identify the two items on that list that are essential to get done, the ones that will move the needle further than anything else. If you’re a math person, you can number these items from one to ten, with one requiring the least amount of effort. Then, consider the potential positive results from doing those things. Label those from one to ten, with ten having the highest impact. Divide the amount of effort by the potential results. This gives you the priority ranking you need to more effectively manage time and increase results.
When looking at your laundry list of tasks, what choice few would make you feel like you actually accomplished something today? When interacting with your customers, which of them should you talk to regularly to make them lifelong customers? How can you identify the 20% of things that really matter for you to do, the things that only you can do, that will be 80% of your results?