June 1, 2021 Jo

Could This Meeting be an Email? The Pareto Principle of 80/20

I’m sure you’ve heard of the 80-20 rule? If not, this is something you really want to look into!

It is also known as the Pareto principle. Vilfredo de Pareto was an Italian sociologist and economist who, during his studies, came to the realization that around 80% of the nation’s wealth belonged to 20% of the people.

Exploring the phenomenon further, the 80-20 rule seemed to apply to more than wealth. 20% of the country’s criminals commit 80% of crimes, in a school class, 20% of students have grades 80% or higher.

More importantly, the Pareto principle states that for many outcomes, roughly 20% of your efforts yield 80% of the outcome. The question I want to ask today is: How often do you revisit your business practices and efforts to see what yields the most outcome?

It’s so important to know!

Not long ago, I took a step back and reviewed what my 20% were. It turned out that I had wasted my efforts on tasks that could have been handled by someone else. For example, I spent too long on copywriting when I should have hired a professional copywriter. What I came to realize was, I need to be the face of my business. That is my 80-20. And then I tell my team “I’m your bitch!” I will do what they tell me to do, and they do the rest of the work. That way, I get to focus on what I’m meant to be doing: Coaching you!

It’s time to figure out your 80-20

So, take a look at your practices. And when you realize what your 20 should be, then you do more of that. If you’re selling products or offerings, look at the product that yields 80% (or the most) of your business.

Take inventory once a quarter and spot the efforts, tasks and offerings that just don’t yield.

I spoke to a client the other day. He told me about his biggest time thief: meetings. He would find himself in meetings all day long and often wonder: Do I need to be here?
So we came up with strategies of where he could ask, “Am I needed at this meeting? Does this subject require a meeting, or could it be an email or a sent document?” There is a difference between being needed and being wanted. Sometimes you’re needed in a meeting, but often, you’re just wanted. This is something a lot of CEOs struggle with.

But we don’t need to. Finding out where you need to be and what you need to do is vital. Once you know, you can start delegating and making better choices! So find your 80-20!