from a book called The Four-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss:
"Facing certain burnout, I decided to see how Pareto's 19th-century concept applied to my company by pinpointing the sources of most of my sales - and my problems - so I could spend my time more efficiently. I quickly realized that of more than 120 wholesale customers, a mere five were bringing in 95 percent of the revenue.
In the next 24 hours, I made several simple but emotionally difficult decisions that changed my life forever. First, I decided to stop pursuing most of my customers so I could profile and duplicate the most profitable ones. I was spending most of my time working on small accounts, when the big five already ordered regularly, without any follow-up.
I put the customers in the unproductive majority on passive mode. All my complaints came from them. If they ordered, great -- let them fax in the order. If not, I would do absolutely no chasing: no phone calls, no e-mail, nothing.
When Mr. Ferriss writes that all his complaints came from the lesser 5% of his customers, I must completely agree with him. In my business I spend more time handling complaints from non-customers (people who don't buy anything but want to complain about it anyway), performance managing the 5% of non-performers, and removing the less than 5% smelly dirty people from my store. That takes time away from my being able to focus on my high performers...those who can be GMs one day in the near future. And it takes time away from my loyal customers.
Now on more personal terms...
Think of all the friends and relatives you have....that huge vast number. Now think of the one or two (or three or four) people who emotionally drain you, take up your time and energy, and leave you depleted when you go to spend time with your uplifting and enjoyable friends. Do you have people in your life like that? If you do, what are you doing about it? I have no friends like that, because I shed them long ago. I have a few relatives that try to pull that with me, but I tell them I'm having none of it, and they need to change their behavior because they are not going to act that way to me.
All my years of managing people has made those very direct conversations much easier. When casual talking about the 'issue' won't work, a directive now does. But I do recognize I have it 'easy'. I don't have a husband or in-laws or a kid to take into consideration. So at home the 5% of people who drain me is actually closer to 1% or 0%. I get to base all my decisions on what I want, and not worry about taking into account the wishes of others.
Anyway, I really like what Timothy Ferriss said in this article (it was somewhere online at AOL, I think), so I believe I'll be checking out the book very soon. He also had some ideas on efficiency and personal productivity that I liked.
And that is your first installment of "Arm Chair Psych Girl". Have a pleasant evening.