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I have a deep affinity for Italy. While in college, I studied a year of Italian.  My favorite part of class was when we had an Italian feast where everyone in class brought their favorite Italian food.

While I’m not Italian, I am deeply grateful for the influence Italy has had on my culinary tastes. While I was dating my wife, I told her I would take her to Italy.

I still need to make good on that promise.

Next year I’ll be making good on that promise.

Next year my wife and I celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary.

We’ll be celebrating Italian style.

I’m looking forward to it.  It’s going to be a blast.

I’ve recently realized that Friday is my Italian day. For lunch I have pizza.

At dinner, my whole family gathers around our dinner table for spaghetti.

My children love pasta shells. My favorite is angel hair pasta, which I never had until I met my wife.

Her name is Angel. You can probably figure out what her favorite pasta is.

All this leads me to the most influential Italian thinker in my business life.

Vilfredo Pareto conducted a study in which he observed that 80% of the wealth in society was held by 20% of the population.

The Pareto Principle later became known as the 80:20 Rule.

Further analysis shows that the 80:20 Rule applies to many facets of my life.

  • 80% of my sales come from 20% of my customers.
  • 20% of my time produces 80% of my income.
  • 20% of our work typically results in 80% of our success.

The Pareto Principle helps me realize how important it is to focus my priorities on the things that will have the most impact.

If I move my focus from my best customers to the 80% of my remaining customers, I lose leverage.

In my marketing and sales activities, I choose to focus only on replicating customers that look like the 20% who are my best customers.

Why do I focus on the 20%?

  • They are the ones I enjoy working with the most.
  • They are a joy to work with.
  • They are the ones I help the most.
  • They are my best customers.

Now on to what I call an 80:20 activity. An 80:20 activity is an activity that will provide you with a large impact on your business or life.

What’s the one thing that will have the biggest impact in an area of my business?

Here’s your action item:

Look at one area of your business and ask a simple question.

What is the most impactful thing I can do for this area of my business?

The answer will give you an 80:20 Activity. Molto Bene.

Now go do it!

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