The 80-20 rule
& real success

What is your 80/20?

The 80-20 rule & real success. Fran’s home business making and selling organic soap bars is doing very well. In fact, Fran is about to partner with a local sustainable factory that will help her scale up production to be able to put her products in natural health stores around the country. Combined with a recent successful deal with a distribution center, Fran’s little enterprise is about to explode. And yet, Fran is terrified she’s about to burn out.

She’d always prided herself on being a one-woman army, handling everything from the book-keeping and raw material supplies to quality control and marketing. Now it feels as though her little business, something that had started as a hobby, is about to slip away from her. She hasn’t had more than five hours of sleep in the past three months. And when she does sleep, she has anxiety dreams about invoices and missing sale calls. 

Fran weighed herself and found she’s actually fifteen pounds heavier than she was last year. Still, this is what Fran’s friends had told her was needed to become successful: hustle, hustle, hustle. She couldn’t stop now. In her darkest moments, Fran fantasizes about letting her business fall apart or getting bought out, just so she can get some rest. But that’s not going to happen.  As her big break approaches, Fran wonders – how much longer can she go on like this?

Prioritizing the “Big Rocks” 

Where do you spend most of your time? Many business owners such as Fran burn themselves out doing things that other people have told them they need to do, but it’s utterly unnecessary. There are certain actions that will produce the majority of your success. 

This is popularly known as the 80/20 Rule. 80% of your results come from maybe 20% of your actions. Identify what the most important action that you can take is to move your goals forward, and spend most of your time on that. 

Then you’re working smarter, not harder. If you’re trying to make money, there are certain actions that are income-producing actions, whereas others simply waste your time and deplete your energy.  If we don’t have to do something ourselves we should automate and delegate and if it is not urgent or important we should eliminate whenever we can.  We start this process by applying the Stephen Covey parable of the rocks. 

Suppose you have to fit a series of big rocks, small rocks, sand, and water into a bottle. If you start with the sand or the small rocks, you won’t be able to get the big rocks in before filling it up with water. You have put the big rocks in first, and then everything will fit.  If you figure out which are the big rocks for your business – that is, everything that you have to do in order to maximize your success, you can make your life much easier and focus only on what matters.

Automation and Delegation

One easy function that you can automate is your emailing. Emails can take up a lot of your time and can be surprisingly draining.  The vast majority of the time, sending and responding to emails does not directly convert to sales for your business. Consider using the auto-responder function in your email application to help stay in touch with new prospects. 

When someone asks for more information, you can create an email list that they can join by opting in for a “drip campaign” with information about your products and services, fun downloads, happy birthday and holiday wishes. You can also use an AI algorithm to choose pre-written messages to send to your contacts when they make inquiries.

In addition to automation, you can delegate tasks to qualified people.

From freelance job sites to networking groups such as local chambers of commerce or BNI, individuals who specialize in handling the tasks that are bogging you down are ready to help you. 

Avoid the temptation to find the cheapest service provider, because they’re very likely to take the training and experience they’ll get from working for you and leave for a higher-paying position within a few months. You can also hire a firm to manage your tasks for you using multiple employees: even if one leaves, the firm can immediately replace them for you. 

Still, delegating can be very inexpensive for a lot of tasks. For example, I’ve hired someone to follow up with customers to thank them in various ways and to follow up with former customers. I’m also delegating someone to write this very blog entry for me.  If you can make hundreds of dollars in an hour by doing the right activity, then it’s worth spending a few bucks so you can take that time. 

Life is often a whirlwind of activity as we meet our needs, especially as business owners. It’s vital to our own health and well-being, as well as our business success, to identify what really matters and focus our energies properly. And delegate the rest. By doing that, you’ll find that success in business has far less to do with hustle and everything to do with focus and flow. 

Rabbi Dave’s passion is to help people break through their barriers so they can achieve their best. He lives in his dream home in Israel and loves traveling the world with his wife Cheryl to spend quality time with each of their six kids and their families! 

He has his dream job as the Chief Innovation Officer for a nonprofit based in NY that helps thousands of kids per year (and helped him when he was younger) and doesn’t have to worry about making enough money because of the dream income from his “part-time” business.

His “extra” six figure income has given him the ability to be debt free and pay the bills, own multiple homes, pay full tuition and has sent them on an all-expense paid cruises and trips to the most luxurious resorts all around the world. Now that they have the dream family and the dream income they’re on a mission to help others reach their dreams too!

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