Lesson 2

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The Pareto Principle

You may have heard of the Pareto Principle which states that roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. I know, it’s hard to visualize, so another way to look at this is that 80% of a man’s results occur because of 20% of his actions.

Here are some examples:

  • You own 5 suits but, 80% of the time, you grab your 1 “go-to” suit.
  • You own 20 sports coats, from velvet to tweed, but 80% of the time, you go back to the same 4 safe bets.
  • You have 15 rooms in your house but spend 80% of your time in 3 of those rooms (bedroom, living room, office).
  • You have 48 different mobile apps on your phone but 80% of the time, you only use the eight on your home screen.

Once you understand this principle, you can apply it to any aspect of your personal or business life.

Take this example: Our buddy Steven Smith regularly writes a blog.

According to the 80/20 rule, here are some questions he might ask himself:

  • Which sources give me the top 20% of traffic?
  • Who are the top 20% of my audience that I wish to reach?
  • Which blog posts constitute the top 20% of my best-performing topics?

By asking himself these questions, Mr. Smith can fine-tune his efforts and realize where he should be spending most of his time.

Got it? Good. Now that you understand the fundamentals of the Pareto Principle, it’s time to go deeper.

The Deep Pareto Principle

The Deep Pareto Principle helps you zero in on what is important. You’re essentially laser focusing on the 20% of outputs defined in the Pareto Principle.

Now take 20% of the 20% (4%) and you’ll find that 4% yields you 64%.

This 4% represents the most urgent and important things you need to take care of. I apply the Deep Pareto Principle every day because I focus on things that matter and that are going to give me the biggest return on my time investment.

So I want you to do the same. Think about what you do on a day-to-day basis – do you apply the Pareto Principle? If not – now might be a good time to start.


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