I latched onto the 80-20 rule about 30 years ago—I heard it in college, and it is probably one of the most important lessons I learned during business school. The notion that 80 % of revenue comes from 20% of your customers is a very powerful rule. From an economic standpoint, 80% of wealth belongs to 20% of the population. This is crazy, when you think of how unfair it seems, but it is true! What I experience almost on a daily basis it the fact that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the workers. Think group work, committee work, you know what I am talking about. Now, I look for the “20s”, the one’s who are getting stuff done.
One of the main reasons I decided to create a new kind of agency with millennials, was not that millennials are hot, hot, hot right now, it was the great experience I had when I coached a group of IU Kelley Business school students with their personal branding and how to be more successful in college in order to launch themselves into the real world. I called the group Club 20, in the spirit that these students were “20’s”, doing most of the work, getting the best grades, and making things happen. It was a six month program and I had a blast teaching those kids the stuff they don’t teach you in business school, and the things I wish I had known when I was their age.
Today, I am living and breathing the 80/20 rule more than ever. After recently finding and reading Richard Koch’s book, The 80/20 Way, I am more of a believer and practicing this principle in my everyday life. Today, while cleaning up my closet, and trying to jam more clothes onto the rods, I realized, I probably only wear 20% of the items 80% of the time. I have my favorite jeans, t-shirts, black pants, blazers and, of course the shoes! In the spirit of walking the talk, I started to edit down my wardrobe, donate to My Sister’s Closet, and enjoy the extra space and extra time I will have from not taking so long searching for my favorite black t-shirt that I wear 80% of the time!
Bottom line, the 80-20 name is to force this new agency use a strategy to think differently, work differently, and produce better results for our clients. In addition, we will be more productive, more cost effective, and more profitable, allowing us to “work less, worry less, succeed more and enjoy more.” Yes, it sounds hokey, but to me, it is worth the leap of faith to see if we can prove this principle true.
I encourage you to pay attention to the 80/20 principle, and read The 80/20 Way. Let me know of any 80/20 life discoveries that you notice, or how you have put it into practice.