The 80/20 Rule, And What It Means For You

Posted by naxumadmin / January 31, 2018

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It was the summer of 2015 when I learned a valuable lesson that has no doubt frustrated many people, yet has helped me since. The lesson was learned while I was being a Captain of a tender boat in Alaska. Tender boats are the lifeline of many salmon fishermen. While the fishermen tend to stay on the fishing grounds, the tender boats drive to and from town multiple times a week to deliver the fish that was purchased from the fisherman. On these tender boats there is the Captain, and 2-3 deckhands.

The lesson I learned is simple, assume everyone knows nothing, they have never done it before, and will not understand what you want unless you explain it to them in terms that a 5-year-old would understand, basically assume NOTHING!

I was in Atlanta this past weekend and heard a new take on the 80\20 rule. This is where my lesson from above kicks in. I’m going to assume that you have never heard of this rule before and unless explained, The following ideas won’t be understood.

The 80\20 rule was developed in 1896, by an Italian after he realized that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by only 20% of the people. This idea that 80% of results are the consequence because of 20% efforts, has been used for the past 120 years to help people, businesses, and even industries discern what it is that is working the best for them.

Usually, when someone at a conference references this law on stage, that person is part of the 20% that help produce 80% of the results. Studies have shown that children as young as five display traits of either being in the 20% or the 80%. There is a fundamental difference wired into our brains that distinguish one group from the other; there are literally 2 ways of thinking, but as a society, the 80% look to the 20% to find the answers that will help them be in the 20%.

Do you see the mounting challenge here?

The 20% is trying to tell their “secrets” on how to be successful but the reality is, what works for the 20% won’t work for the 80%.

For 80%-er who understands how his or her mind is wired can use this knowledge to help them be more successful. To help the 80% understand how their mind is wired we have to look at the idea of gratification and how to use it to achieve positive results.


In short, the 20%, work off of delayed gratification, and the 80% work off of instant gratification. We see how this plays out when people set goals.

A 20%-er will set a year goal and will methodically work for that goal until he achieves success. The 80%-er will set a year-long goal than in a week lose track and forget about the goal.

One study used 300 5 year-olds to test this idea of gratification. The study put each child in a room for fifteen minutes with a marshmallow. The deal was, that if the marshmallow wasn’t eaten in fifteen minutes, then they would get another marshmallow. Conversely, if the child ate it, that marshmallow was the only one they received.

Are you a marshmallow eater or an investor?

Guess how many children ate the marshmallow vs how many waited. 80% ate it while 20% chose to double their marshmallow goodness.


Donald Whitney
Hacking Achievement

If setting goals and working to achieve them doesn’t work so well on the 80%, how are we supposed to achieve greatness in life?…Little Rewards. Instead of setting a year-long goal to be 175 LBS, if you are an 80%-er, set a small goal of simply working out TODAY.

The next day set another goal of working out. The third day, you have a new goal, don’t break the chain. You have worked out two days in a row, that’s a streak. If you work out the third day, you’ll have three days of workouts and a connected chain. Keep this mindset of not breaking the chain and you’ll be able to work out for an entire year and be 175LBS.

Have you heard of Jerry Seinfeld?

Story has it, when he was working at being who he is, he would write one joke every day then mark the calendar. He saw the marks as a chain that he didn’t want to break. Today Seinfeld is one of the great comedians of our time.

What are you struggling with today? Is it getting up at a specific time? Maybe it’s staying focussed and hitting a prospecting number goal? Whatever it is, if you in the 80% and crave instant gratification, create it. Create the small goal for today that will fill your need to see a result now.

Do this and you will be amazed at how simple achieving long-term success will become.

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Remember it’s not your fault that you are in the 80%, also remember that the 20% didn’t choose either, it is being an individual, it’s what makes us human. Half of the battle is won just by realizing and accepting that you are part of the 80%. Once you recognize your strengths and weaknesses, you can create ways to play into each category.

If you are not part of the 20% don’t write-off their methods to achieving success. Study as many methods as you can, learn them, then make them work for you. Tweak one thing, don’t use another, add something to YOUR mix, but don’t give up on yourself.

Don’t be the person to say, “Oh well, this is who I am, I can’t change, I might as well accept who I am”. There is only one correct statement there, “I might as well accept who I am”, this is the first decision you need to make.

See yourself for who you are, then decide to discipline yourself to be the best version of yourself. Discipline yourself to do consistent, daily action, create rewards for yourself. By first understanding who you are, you can then move forward and use your strengths and weaknesses to gain that gratification you crave by hacking achievement.

If you are a leader, or an executive, in a referral marketing company and desire to see your 80%-ers achieve higher results. Sign up for a FREE demo of the Naxum S.P.E.E.D. system and learn how we inspire millions of people to share products and services they care deeply about so they experience the Magical Power of Referral Marketing.

BEN DIXON Chief Executive Officer

Ben Dixon is the CEO of the referral marketing technology company and works with companies spanning the globe in mlm, direct sales, and affiliate marketing. For more information on Gamification and using real-time notifications to engage your affiliates in the sales process create your FREE NaXum account.

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