Find Your Vital 20- How To Use the 80/20 rule

Everyone loves to praise the 80/20 rule but I don’t see enough resources on how to determine the vital 20%.

Pareto’s Principle, known as the 80/20 rule, states that roughly 20% of the inputs lead to roughly 80% of the outcomes. So how can we determine which 20% we should be putting the bulk of our energy into? 

For me, that required interrogating my intentions. I wrote a piece on that here.

Your Intention Drives the Vital 20

Consider the project of writing a book. Consider if my primary intention is to prove to myself that I can write a book. The goal developed from that intention is to write and publish this book by a certain date. The 20% of inputs that contribute to the goal are writing (12%) and marketing (8%). 

The vital inputs would look very different if my primary intention was to create a stream of automated/passive income. Then, my goal would be to sell X number of copies or make X amount of money. In turn, the inputs that contribute most to a monetary goal would be based in promotion, not creative process. In fact, if the book were a purely business endeavor, the most logical (and lucrative) path to take is to outsource the writing to a ghost writer. That way I can focus all of my attention on marketing the hell out of this book. 

You can see how quickly one project can be accomplished in many different ways.  So how can you determine what kinds of activities will most effectively drive your desired results? 

How to Determine The Right 20%

The first way is to use your own deductive reasoning to choose some inputs and then trial and error your way to success. 

Another way is to ask someone who is where you want to be. You do not need to literally ask the person via email or twitter dms. Many people have given themselves to mentorship via the short and long form content they put into the world. 

If you start asking the right questions when consuming content of successful people, you can piece together several useful answers. Or host a podcast so you can outright ask people what activities are drive the most business growth. Once you collect enough data, you can see which 20% of inputs delivered outcomes you aspire to.

I’d love to hear some of your goals and what you think are the most vital 20% for you! Leave a comment below or DM me!

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