We tend to think that there’s usually a proportional correlation between effort and result.
But if we stop and think about it, we realize that’s just not true. How many times have you put a LOT of effort into something and gotten mediocre results?
Of course, once in a long while…you might get AMAZING results having put forth very little effort. So…
What’s going on in the Universe?
Is everything just random? Or is there some underlying thing happening that might (if understood better) allow you to get MORE of these small effort/big results outcomes?
Well, believe it or not…
There IS such a hidden lever that you can use to put forth small effort and yet reap big rewards. It’s called the 80/20 principle, or the Pareto principle.
Many highly successful people know about this principle, and have used it as the main leverage point of their highly successful businesses.
Tim Ferris called this principle of “the cornerstone of results-based living.” The 80/20 principle is a game changer.
When you realize that it is small causes that have big results, life becomes exponentially easier. Business success is virtually guaranteed.
The key is to learn how to find the small things you can do, in very little time, with very little money or none at all, to have a big impact on the people around you.
Although some uses of the 80/20 principle are obvious and take almost no mental effort, other applications of the principal take quite a lot of thought.
Here are some quick examples of the 80/20 principle in action.
- 20% of the roads in your area carry 80% of the traffic.
- 20% of people’s wardrobe is worn 80% of the time.
- 80% of warranty claims come from 20% of the product defects.
- 80% of your productivity comes from 20% of the tasks on your to do list.
- 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients.
And so on.
As I said, some applications of the principal are obvious. But, the most powerful ones take more thoughtfulness.
It helps to have someone to help guide you in understanding the principle, and understanding how to apply it.
Here are two excellent books that will help you understand the principle, and discover how to apply it in a practical way to improve your life, and your business.
- The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More With Less, by Richard Koch
- 80/20 Sales & Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less & Making More, by Perry Marshall
Now, as I mentioned earlier, some uses of the 80/20 principle are obvious and take almost no mental effort.
But most applications of the 80/20 principal require strenuous effort and/or thoughtful insight. This is especially true when it comes to applying the principle to the practice of law.
In other words, there is no magic wand or “low-hanging fruit” that will help you make big improvements to your practice.