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3 Reasons to Forget the 80/20 Rule and Focus on the 4 Percent

3 Reasons to Forget the 80/20 Rule and Focus on the 4 Percent

The number one mistake entrepreneurs make is that they don’t know the ROI (return on investment) of their time. As an entrepreneur I’m guilty of that as well. It’s easy to get distracted and focus on a billion things at once and not see much success from it. In fact, we feel compelled to dip our hands into many different projects.

It wasn’t until recently that I figured out how to leverage my time to see an insane ROI. I would never have figured it out if I hadn’t sat down with the Freedom Entrepreneur himself, Chris Duncan. Christopher Duncan is the embodiment of the freedom entrepreneur. In fact, that’s the slogan by which he lives. He works smarter and not harder which allows him to run eight companies- three of which do seven figures a year- and still be able to work wherever he wants.

    When he says that you can live a life with total freedom, that’s exactly what he means, but because people usually don’t know the ROI of their last hour or the ROI of their staff members they are not able to grow their businesses as fast as they’d like. The problem with not measuring output and productivity is that life can become an endless, unproductive hustle. Here’s a new concept I learned from Chris. Most entrepreneurs know the 80/20 rule- that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. However, if there’s an 80/20 rule then there must be an 80/20 of that 80/20 which is the 4% that will bring you 64% of your results. This means that you only need to know the needle movers of your business that make most of the difference. You don’t need to do everything else that people think they need to do.

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    The 4% is what Chris calls the money-making activity. It’s what you can do repeatedly to make all the money. Here are three things you can do to make sure you’re utilising the 4% concept to its fullest potential.

    1. Anything outside of the 20% must be delegated.

    Now the question becomes how to figure out what that 4% is. The answer is quite simple. The 4% is the money-making activity which I mentioned above but if you don’t know what that is, you should track where you’re spending your time and what activities bring you the most money.

    Put a timer on your phone for every 30 minutes between the time you wake up and the time you go to bed. Every time the timer goes off, write down what you did that past half hour. The point is not to change your daily routine just because you have the alarm. The point is to track what you do on a daily basis so that you can figure out where you’re wasting your time and what you can delegate.

    Here’s an example.

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    12:00 pm

    • Hired someone on Fiverr to make a media package form.
    • Created some part of form.
    • Wrote down services for future reference.
    • Created Google Drive for web developer w/ info.

    12:30 pm

    • Set up Calendly.
    • Created contact page w/ Calendly.

    1:00 pm

    • Talked with client about his press.
    • Scheduled more calls.
    • Friend came over.
    • Created my own form instead of Fiverr.

    This provides a clear picture of what you do day in and day out. You can eliminate the activities that aren’t beneficial for your business and delegate repetitive tasks that don’t do much to grow your business.

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    2. The 4% is cashflow.

    The 4% is the needle movers in your business- the few activities that if you did more of would grow your business exponentially. Chances are if you track how you use your time, you’ll find that the 4% is cashflow. Make sure that the money coming into your business is more than the money going out of your business. This way your business will survive and thrive. If you don’t master cashflow then you will be simply getting by. After identifying what you should be doing and what should be delegated, you should do double what makes the money.

    It can be easy for entrepreneurs to get sidetracked by doing things that don’t yield many results. Here’s an example I recently found on Facebook that shows the difference in results by only focusing on what matters.

      Now instead of being busy he’s being productive.

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      3. Double what works.

      Once you know that you should live by the 4% rule, you need to focus more of your time and energy on that. It’s one of the reasons successful entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk say that you should focus completely on your strengths- not your weaknesses. It’s the reason why other entrepreneurs tell their followers to increase what works. That’s the way to build a business faster.

      In the previous paragraphs I talked about how to identify what the 4% is and how to leverage it in your business. I’m going to use Chris as an example. Chris knew that in his business he was getting massive results- crushing 60K- by putting on webinars and not doing the traditional blog posts to generate leads. Since he knew this was the moneymaker for him, all he needed to do was to get more people on the webinar or put on more webinars to make more money. He grew his business to six-figure months by solely focusing on partnerships and webinars. Anything outside of that activity he hired or delegated.

      If you know that 4% of your efforts bring in most of the results, then you should double the amount of time you spend on the 4% to increase your results.

      Featured photo credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ via huffingtonpost.com

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      Adnan Manzoor

      Data Analyst & Life Coach

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      Last Updated on June 18, 2019

      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

      No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

      Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

      Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

      A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

      Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

      In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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      From Making Reminders to Building Habits

      A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

      For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

      This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

      The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

      That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

      Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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      The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

      Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

      But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

      The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

      The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

      A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

      For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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      But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

      If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

      For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

      These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

      For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

      How to Make a Reminder Works for You

      Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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      Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

      Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

      My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

      Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

      I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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