Here’s a little-known success principle…
To be successful you need to spend 80% of your time on the 20% of things that matter MOST.
When you become super successful you’ll be spending only 20% of your time and getting 80% of the big results you’re looking for.
Wouldn’t you like to be super successful?
The Little-Known Key to Success
The little-known key is to massive success is the Pareto Principle.
I first heard about the Pareto Principle when I read Tim Ferriss’s book The Four Hour Workweek. (see pages 68-73).
(If you’ve never heard of Ferriss read his Wikipedia page)
Ferris claims that Pareto’s 80/20 principle “changed [his] life forever.” From Ferriss’s explanation “Pareto’s Law can be summarized as follows: 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs.”
- 20% of your time and effort yields 80% your results
- 20% of a company’s products and customers account for 80% of its profits
- 20% of the worlds population controls 80% of the world’s income
- 20% of a person’s wardrobe is worn 80% of the time
The principle is named after Vilfredo Pareto, the Nineteenth century economist who discovered it.
Ferriss points out that the 80/20 ratio is NOT set in stone, but merely highlights the exponential tendencies that are usually overlooked in making important decisions about how to allocate time, effort and capital.
Ferriss said that, once he realized the powerful truth behind the Pareto Principle, he sat down and asked himself the following two questions:
- Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?
- Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?
He spent an entire day and put aside everything “seemingly urgent” and did some “intense truth-baring analysis.” And the result?
Ferriss says “in the 24 hours that followed, I made several simple but emotionally difficult decisions that literally changed my life forever and enabled the lifestyle that I now enjoy.”
He discovered that out of 120 wholesale customers, 5% were brining in 95% of his revenue. He came face to face with the realization that all customers are not equal. And most of them aren’t worth the trouble it takes to support them.
So he started firing customers. (i.e. making “emotionally difficult decisions”)
But the result was his management time decreased from 5 to 10 hours per week to 1 hour per month.
And so his biggest realization was this…
“Most things make no difference. Being busy is a form of laziness—lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
So there you have it, straight from the mouth of one of the super-successful folks out there.
Now Stop & Consider…
Is it easy to apply Pareto’s Principle?
No, as Ferriss said, it’s often emotionally difficult.
But if you want to be super successful then you have to be willing to make difficult decisions.
You have to be ruthless about managing your time. You can’t waste any of it.
Most people aren’t successful because they are willing to let too many people, situations, and distractions rob their precious time.
Lawyers are just like most people. Even though sometimes we don’t believe we are.
Lawyers sometimes think that they can’t learn anything useful by studying businesses other than law firms.
Of course that’s not true.
A Wildly Successful Lawyer
Ask Charlie Munger, a Harvard educated lawyer who started Munger Tolles and then went on to partner with Warren Buffett.
Munger is worth almost 2 billion dollars now. And if you study his advice you’ll see he’s not drawing any of it from the practices of lawyers.
So, my friend, if you want to be successful it will serve you well to study the best practices of successful people from every realm.
You’ll quickly discover that they’re all ruthless about time management.
And they’re all willing to adopt great ideas no matter where they originate.
So maybe we should do the same.
Perhaps it would make sense for you to do what Tim Ferriss did…
Ask yourself these two questions:
- Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of your problems and unhappiness?
- Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of your desired outcomes and happiness?
Maybe the answers will change your life like they changed Tim Ferriss’ life.
The time you spend figuring this out is probably some of the most valuable time you could ever spend.