Why You Shouldn’t 80/20 Your Life

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In 1906 Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed that every year 20% of the pea pods in his garden produced approximately 80% of the peas.

He soon realized that this principle held true in all sorts of areas and industries. This became known as the Pareto Principle, or what is now often referred to as the 80/20 Principle.

The 80/20 principle stipulates that 80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action.

The 80/20 Principle has become quite popular, and it’s one of the systems that people use in order to become more effective and productive, so as to invest their time and energy wisely.

But the thing is, most people don’t struggle with figuring out a system for maximum effects, they struggle with consistency and discipline. They are not willing to go all in.

That’s why the best system to use, especially when you’re just starting out, is 99/1. Let me explain.

You Will Never Become Good at 99% of the Things You Try

Look, odds are that you are not going to be any good at about 99% of the things you will try.

Jack of all trades, master of none, right?

But there’s that 1%, the thing that inspires you and motivates you like none other. Whether it’s business or blogging or writing poems, that 1% that you’re good at, that one thing that you’re truly passionate about, that’s what you should pursue and invest as close to 100% of your time and energy as possible to become a master of that skill or craft or art.

Doing this ensures that:

  1. You build massive amounts of self-confidence. The most underrated aspect of confidence is that it’s the side-effect of being competent. The better you are at something, the more confident you are. And the truly astonishing fact about confidence is that it’s transferable. If you know you’re a master at something, it will be far easier for you to develop other skills in the future.
  2. You build a network of like-minded individuals that acts as a support system, allowing you to reach higher levels of success.
  3. You develop an income stream you can then invest in order to build additional income streams, develop new skills, or take advantage of other networking opportunities.

The 80/20 principle is great for course-correction and making incremental changes to a system that already works, but it fails when it comes to figuring out your life’s passion.

Master One Trade, Then Become a Jack of All Trades

I strenuously believe that being a jack of all trades, even though a master of none, is still far better than being only the master of one, but at the same time I think that we can only properly develop and reach our true potential by becoming really good at just one thing first.

Once you become the master of a skill, once you’ve invested close to 100% of your time and energy into becoming a top expert in your field, you can then work towards developing additional skills.

As a matter of fact, it’s almost inevitable.

The master spends less time failing his way to success, and has more time to invest in developing the skills required to become more productive and efficient.

Think about writing: after a few years of blogging full-time, you no longer worry about writing articles that people read, you are constantly trying to figure out a system that enables you to be your most productive self.

But productivity without mastery is the same as the difference between motion and action. Without being so good at something that they can’t ignore you, it’s almost impossible to hit any worthwhile targets.

If you aren’t able to produce quality content on a consistent basis, you won’t reach your goal of having an audience of thousands of readers.

Stepping boldly in one direction is the best way to build self-confidence, earn your financial freedom, and develop adjacent skills that are required for further success.

Without going all in on developing a passion or skill, it makes no difference what system you use to be more productive.

80% of $1 is not enough to optimize, and you shouldn’t spend only 20% of your energy to earn that much. You should spend a lot more time and energy in order to turn that $1 into $100 or even $1000.

Once you do that, then you can optimize, improvise, and experiment.

What is the one thing you’re most passionate about?

What is the one thing you’d like to earn a full-time income doing?

What is the one thing that you can do for longer periods of time than just about anything else?

That’s the 1% you can become a master at. Once you become a master of that, you can optimize your time and energy in such a way that the 80/20 principle will enable you to reach higher levels of success, not stop you at the bottom of the food chain.


  1. “productivity without mastery is the same as the difference between motion and action. Without being so good at something that they can’t ignore you, it’s almost impossible to hit any worthwhile targets” love this quote you said, I definitely plan to share this post with others!

    Liked by 2 people

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