The Forgotten Rule


Everyone has a golden rule. Most live by do to others what you want them to do to you. But mine is the 80/20 rule which was introduced to me when I worked at Hertz as the Pareto principle. The 80/20 rule is simply explained as 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes. For instance, while at Hertz I learned that 80% of our revenue in sales came from a steady 20% of customers (frequent Gold customers or corporate accounts). And 80% of our customers (one timers, weekend renters, etc) covered the other 20% of the other sales. So therefore we were pushed to take care of the 20 percenters (while not neglecting the 80 percenters) to the best ability and not lose their account. I thought it was stupid because I was for equality for all! Until I noticed the bonuses all due to the high demand by our 20 percenters. I wish I can break it down even more for you, but that’s a talk over a macchiato.

I failed miserably trying to please everyone above and beyond meaning getting way more cars than needed into my fleet, causing me to sit heavy (have too many cars unrented) because I didn’t trust the 80/20 rule. Those extra cars I got for the reservations that never showed up were 100% of the 80 percenters’ fault. The other way I failed miserably was giving my one car left on the lot to the one time renter over my main account client for a big dealership. This put our whole account with them in jeopardy. Mind you that they rented at least 50 cars between Monday and Friday…like a said this is for another time.

The reason I brought this up was because I realizing how effective people can be if they apply this rule to all parts of their life:

  • Time: You’d be surprise or not, how you may be wasting time being unproductive. Focus on the few large items that will give you significant results. Make a list and see how a few items will have the most impact on productivity.
  • People: Think about the people you talk to on a daily basis. Only a handful of people out of ALL the people you may know. 20% of the people you know may give you the 80% of support you need.
  • Food: 20% of the food you eat will add 80% of the nutritional value your body needs and the junk which is 80% will add less than 20% of nutritional value.

Those are just a few aspects of your life you can apply the 80/20 rule to. The point to this rule to be successful starts with awareness; recognize your 80/20. The next step is find out ways to start emphasizing your 20%. It’ll be almost impossible to rid yourself of the 80% that is unproductive to your life (or seems that way); because the truth is we are still human. It may not be creating enough value to your liking, but it adds to the balance that you need for a great quality of life.