The 20/80 Rule

Many years ago, an Italian economist realized that 20% of the people owned 80% of the land.  As time went on, we began to see a correlation between just about everything and this 20/80 Rule.  For example, you will probably find that 20% of your clients generate 80% of your income.  This is an important fact that we’ll expand upon in a few minutes.  First, I want to convince you that the 20/80 rule exists in just about everything we do.

If you think about it, would you agree that you probably only wear about 20% of your wardrobe?  I do.  How about your accessories – shoes, jewelry, scarves, etc., would you agree that you probably have lots of accessories that hardly ever see the light of day?  Me, too.

I have also found that I probably am interested in closing and working with about 20% of the prospects that come to me whether by referral, my website, or a networking event.  Somehow, it just seems that 20% is where we keep our main focus. 

So it begs us to realize that if we want to stay focused on managing our time to the fullest, we should be focusing on our 20%.  Here’s what that means:

  • Focus most of your time and effort on client projects to the 20% of them that generates 80% of your income.  You may even look to clean out and ‘fire’ some of the clients that are too needy and don’t fit into that 20%.
  • Focus your marketing efforts on the industry that most of your best clients (that 20%) are in.
  • Focus your time on developing programs and software capabilities that your 20% will need support within (What are the problems that your 20% need solved?)

The end result is that you’ll feel much more accomplished, less stressed, and will be putting your time, energy and money into the basket that yields you the most profit.

Jeannine Grich, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker, and VA Business Coach, specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s).  For her FREE article,  “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?” or “Finding or Expanding Your Niche”, Visit:; or contact her at: [email protected].

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