The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Pareto’s Principle is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who, while at the University of Lausanne in 1896, developed the principle by observing that 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

The 80/20 rule has an uncanny ability to predict a variety of things related to economics, sociology, business and many other areas of life. Pareto would later go on record in a paper and observe that in Italy at the time, approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. This rule has stood the test of time over centuries.  For example the GDP of the world in 1989 showed that the richest 20% of people in the world accounted for 82% of the world’s income. Wow!

How does this rule apply to your business?  This “now common” rule-of-thumb in business implies that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.  But it doesn’t stop there as author Richard Koch notes that depending on your work you can further link your business outcomes.  This means that:

  •    80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
  •    80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers
  •    80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of the time its staff spend on projects
  •    80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products
  •    80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff


If you read this and were half as intrigued as I was, then you want to maximize your business and be sure you are “investing” in the right 20%.  But where do you start?  


Headaches are ESOL’s…

Well let’s start with what is “wrong” first.  Let’s start with the 80% of complaints coming from 20% of your customers line.  This can read as patients, clients, vendors – whomever… the principle is that 20% of the people who you lovingly attempt to serve actually create 80% of your headaches.  

One of the things we talk about in the Full Circle community is ESOL’s.  ESOL iis our acronym for Energetic Space Occupying Lesions.   Unlike their physical “cousins” (SOL’s aka: space occupying lesions) which often show up as tumors, cysts, or other invasive process in the physical body, ESOL’s are energetic space occupying lesions and do not actually take up space in the physical world.

However they cause just as much if not more “damage” to the authentic expression of your inherent greatness by taking up figurative space and not allowing room for new ideas, people, money or depth of relationship to come to you. When you identify the ESOL’s in your life and then create a plan to reduce/eliminate them from your life/essence – all of a sudden 80% (and hopefully more) of your complaints will begin to disappear.


pareto principle for chiro


Increasing sales by finding your hedgehog.

In a similar vein to Pareto’s principle, Jim Collins in his good Good to Great book talks about finding the one thing you are amazing at. Quite simply you can find out what drives 80% of your successes by making sure that you are asking the three questions and finding the overlap:

  1. What do I do well?
  2. What do I love to do?
  3. What does the world need?


In Collins world it is rephrased and summed up by the venn diagram below.  

pareto success principle

When you are truly working at a place where all 3 questions are overlapped AND doing the highest priority item(s) that pushes Pareto’s Principle to the max. Collins calls this a “hedgehog” and it is that bombproof thing you do that keeps the business moving forward.

hedgehog principle

For instance, as a Chiropractor, my hedgehog is the new patient.  If new patients keep showing up at our office then we should largely be insulated from external conditions, plagues, wars etc.  Ok so that’s easy, all doctors know new patients float the boat.  

So how do I make sure the hedgehog keeps rolling?


1) Turns out the world needs answers to how to be healthy.  

2) It also happens to be that I like speaking and

3) I have good content and deliver content via speaking well.  

So my hedgehog? I do lots of new patient dinners, lunch and learns and corporate dinners.  As long as i keep putting myself in front of people, the boat stays afloat and hopefully south to Baja Sur Mexico for a surf-cation!

Are you interesting in eliminating ESOL’s from your life? Need help with finding ESOL’s? What about finding your purpose in business? Do you need helping honing in on your hedgehog in business?

Click to book an authenticity call with one of our specialized coaches that can help you breakthrough your energetic space occupying lesions. 

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