Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It’s really called the Pareto Principle, named after an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto. The simple explanation is that 20% of your effort produces 80% of your results.
For me—and for Push—that means identifying the 20% of the business tasks that are most important, and leaving the remaining 80% for the staff. Or getting rid of it all together.
At one time, I had to do everything, because the whole company was me. I can tell you that “letting go” as an entrepreneur is not easy. I am getting better at it, and I attribute that to a staff that is super talented and has my complete trust.
What I have been trying to do is free myself of many tasks, especially personal ones, so I can concentrate more on sales in general, something I’ve failed to do in the past. That’s why we now have a dedicated sales team led by Matt Nichols and Emzee Hilliard. Very excited about that in many ways.
A lot of business advice books tell you to “only do the tasks that only you can do.” That’s really another restatement of the Pareto Principle. If there’s a task at Push someone else can do, then someone else should do it. It’s not that the tasks are beneath me—quite the opposite. But if I can really concentrate on that 20%, then I know I can totally blow up the 80% results.
I’ve narrowed my 20% down to:
- Strategist and lead creative for our largest clients
- Overseeing finances
- Business development
- Setting the vision and tone of the agency
If it doesn’t fall into one of those buckets, I don’t handle it.
Academics also call the Pareto Principle the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity. I think Pareto would forgive me if I call it crushing the absolute living sh*t out of growing this company. Because that’s what I’m going to do.