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The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsely states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Business-management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; he developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Again referring back to my book of the moment “4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss, the above principle should be constantly bashed into our heads in every area of our life.
Take, for example, all the wasted time we spend on the 80% of low-income generating clients. Take a look at your book of business and begin deciding on how to fire the majority of the 80% of low-income generating clients. I know, I heard you screaming, “but what how are we going to replace that revenue?” Here’s an idea, prospect. Call on new accounts, have your producers or God forbid YOU hit the phone, the streets, and go sell something!
If you need a little help – watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCf46yHIzSo
Next, look at your staff, wait, am I telling you to fire your staff. NO! But I am telling you that an investment in the 80% of lower performers might just be a wise move as we gear up for the busy January 1st season. I believe that NO employee of your team wants to do a bad job. They thrive on their personal and your agency success, but some folks need a little more training than others. On another note, if you know you need to fire someone, you are doing a disservice to him or her by keeping him or her around. You are impeding their personal growth and hurting every other employee that counts on you to make mistakes. Train or fire is your choice, but you know what needs to be done.
Look at your office, there is clutter everywhere. 80% of the items you see you have not touched in over a year. Throw them away. The bottom of the stack of business magazines in the bathroom probably will not ever be read or referenced, throw them away! All the old prospect files that you are going to call back someday should be thrown away as well. Fresh start means new attitude. If you didn’t call on them last year, you won’t this year and you are only holding on to the file to make you think you have a “pipeline”. Stop the madness today, pitch it and get on the phone. Today is someday!
Now, go home, look around, same exercise as we performed at the office. Look at all the “stuff” you had to have, but no longer need nor use. If it’s valuable, list it on www.craigslist.com, if it’s not; give it to a friend, a local shelter, or Goodwill. I recently learned that most Goodwill’s would come and pick up your “stuff” if you call ahead.
It’s time to fall back in love with Pareto. You’ve met him before, even followed his principles for a short time, start today kicking your life back into gear by focusing on the 20% of the things, actions, and people that generate 80% of your wealth and happiness. Do it or the rest of us will make fun of you behind your back!
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