The 80/20 rule, the big picture and more

My last week in business

I’m finding it more and more therapeutic to write these weekly blog posts as it forces me to look back on the week and reflect on what I actually did. In the everyday buzz of entrepreneurship, sometimes it can be hard to keep good track of it.

As per the book I finished this week (see section below on what I’m reading – but hold on, don’t skip this section!), I’m starting to take more of the 80/20 approach to what I’m spending my time on.

I find it’s a great activity anytime you feel yourself getting “too busy”.

The 80/20 rule, or Pareto’s law, states that in many circumstances, 80% of outputs are a result of 20% of inputs. For example, maybe you’re generating 80% of your revenue from just 20% of your clients. Or maybe 80% of the stress in your business is caused by 20% of your clients.

The solution?

To find the 20% and either focus on or remove it. Find the 20% of those customers generating 80% of your revenue, find what they have in common, and go get more customers like those! Don’t forget to also spend less time on the 80% who aren’t. Or to let go of the 20% of clients causing 80% of your misery.

There are endless use-cases here! What’s important is to apply the analysis to your business/life, and take action based on the results.

What I’m pondering

I’m thinking a lot about the “big picture” these days. As you (hopefully) run the 80/20 rule across more and more parts of your life, I find myself starting to ask the question – what’s the type of business I want to build, or what’s really the kind of life I want to live?

It’s one of the many reasons the 80/20 exercise is so great, as you may also find it changing your overall mindset.

As for me?

I really, really like building businesses with a group of passionate people. Right now, I’m focused on the immigration/tech space. But I don’t think it’s the industry that excites me – it’s more that I’m:

– working with great people
– solving an important problem
– helping people solve pain points in a unique way

So while I hope and intend on Visto being a huge success, I’m appreciating the environment and people for the time being, and hope I can replicate that equation in the future as well.

What is the big picture stuff you really want to be doing? What gets you out of bed? Are you doing enough of it?

Feel free to hit reply and let me know if you need a sounding board.

What I’m Reading

As I briefly mentioned last week, I’ve been on a Tim Ferriss kick and in the middle of the 4-hour work week. Finished it up (again) 2 days ago, with a lot of good things to say.

If you’ve never read it, it’s basically a guide to putting more of your income-generating time on auto-pilot so you can spend more time travelling, working on your own businesses/passions, or I guess just sleeping?

If you have read it, it’s definitely worth a re-read every 2-3 years (as I do with most of the good business books I’ve read), because a) I often forget half (all?) of what I read over time, and b) I find you can take entirely different lessons away from a book depending on where you’re at in your life.

My key takeaways from this read:
– use the 80/20 rule more often (see above)
– be more thoughtful with your time, and what you’re spending time working on. Do you really need to be doing X if you could outsource it to someone in your company, or to a virtual assistant for $5-10 per hour?
– we don’t have to play within the confines of what most people think is “normal” – in business and in life

That’s it for me, have a great week and keep grinding.

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