As business coaches at the ThriveTime headquarters it is our job to stay ahead of the crazy that life often brings us. This week I watched Clay coach a fellow colleague through working through a crazy situation. This particular person was upset about the closing of their house being rescheduled. However, the crazy part was that the reason they couldn’t close was because of something they were responsible for. So through no fault of my colleague’s she was caught in the middle of legal threats and various people blowing up her phone at all hours, just to yell at her. Clay talked about this particular couple in our weekly Sam Adams meeting. He referenced a principle called the pareto principle which is defined on wikipedia as “ The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” Or more simply put. 20 percent of people will take up 80 percent of your time if allowed to.
Life is too short to spend all your time with demanding and time consuming people.
So let’s break this down into real life, if we let just anyone take our time, we will by default give 80% of our life to just 20% of people who demand it. This is where the controversy can come in. Just say no to those people. Yes, even customers. This is something that often surprises many of my business coaches clients when I tell them that Clay often turns down business, and not just in regards to his business coaching program. He also turns away clients at Elephant in the Room, and Sam Adams Realty. The reason being that Clay knows that the money he would get in exchange for taking certain individuals business would not be worth it. They would be the ones to eat up 80 percent of his time with complaints and demands. Life is too short to spend all your time with demanding and time consuming people. Clay encouraged my colleague to never work with people like this again because they are definitely not worth the time, effort, and grief she had put into them.
As I was reflecting on this throughout the week I thought about how it is definitely a concept that should extend into my personal life. Saying no to crazy customers, that is easy for me…saying no to crazy family members….that is a little more difficult, but just as important. In hindsight, I realized that since starting to work at Thrive I have definitely gotten better at setting boundaries with extended family. Before my husband and I would never miss a concert, a birthday party, a family dinner, and if they ever felt like we had neglected them we would go over for dinner. Now that is a lot of events, a lot of nights where we stayed up way too late simply to avoid confrontation. Now I know that a moment or two of confrontation is much better than 80 percent of my time being focused on making sure all extended family members were happy. While thinking about the pareto principle this week I was able to identify those 20 percent of people that take 80 percent of my business coaches time so that I can effectively set boundaries with them and thus simplify and improve my life.