80/20 rule: 8 areas where it can be applied to increase success

6 min read
Anastasia Dvorak

Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, has been one of the most prominent ideas of the early 20th century. It was coined by Vilfredo Pareto in 1906 when he noticed that 20% of the population in Italy owned 80% of all properties. Pareto then realized that this principle can be applied to almost everything in life.

The main idea is that the majority of the results (80%) comes from a minority of causes (20%).

You need to find activities that bring the most value and the highest return on your investment (ROI) of time, money and energy and then eliminate the rest.

Here are some practical tips on how you can use this eye-opening principle in real life.

How to apply 80/20 rule in your business

Did you know that approximately 80% of all your revenue comes from just 20% of your customers?

And what about 20% of your services/products that are bringing in the highest margins?

Have you ever wondered how 20% of all your activities are contributing towards 80% the growth of your business?

The key is finding and identifying that 20%. You need to focus on your 20% in order to become more productive and successful in your life and business.

But how do we do that? Let’s find out.


Did you know that 20% of your social media posts create 80% of all the impact? Look at your social statistics and see which type of posts created the most reach and evoked the most reactions from your followers.

Online Store dashboard next steps on social
GoDaddy’s Online Store includes a dashboard with easy-to-read analytics.

Did you know that only 20% of your YouTube videos bring 80% of the viewers? Determine which videos have the highest number of views and subscribers for your channel. Which videos are bringing the best leads?

Did you know that 20% of your blog posts are bringing 80% of all your traffic? Take a look at your Google Analytics and see which blog posts are the most popular ones.

Related: Google Analytics for beginners

Products and services

Not every product or service that you offer is valuable and worth keeping. Look into your numbers and see which products/product categories are selling the best and providing the most value for your customers.

Focus on creating more products/services like that and eliminate the ones that do not bring the same impact.   


Your employees have a major effect on your venture’s:

  • Success
  • Reputation
  • Survival
  • Long-term growth
Woman affixing reports

According to the principle, only 20% of your employees bring in 80% of all the revenues.

Determine which employees perform better than others and make sure they feel valued, and their effort is being recognized.

When you find your top 20% employees, ensure that they are compensated appropriately with proper benefits and do your best to keep them working for your company.

Retaining an excellent employee is much easier and less expensive than trying to find a new employee to replace them. Always invest into your top performers as they are the ones driving your company forward.

Related: What you need to know about employee assistance programs


By now you won’t be surprised to find out that only 20% of your customers are bringing in the highest profits.

Take a look at your customer base and see if you can separate it into niches and personas.

It’s important to determine which customer segment is bringing you the most value, so you can focus all your efforts on satisfying this particular type of client.

You need to focus on taking care of your best customers, as they are the ones who make the most impact on your business.

This same rule applies to unhappy customers, with 80% of complaints coming from 20% of customers.

By focusing on one particular segment/niche that positively affects your business, you are not losing everyone else – you are bringing in the type of loyal and dedicated client who will value and appreciate your product or service for years to come.

Daily tasks

You cannot do every single thing well. Everyone has their core competencies or things they do extremely well. Focus on the tasks that you do well, that bring you joy and don’t drain your energy. Then outsource, delegate or remove anything else that you don’t like handling.

You will save time and money in the end by hiring a professional versus doing a task that feels like chore you cannot stand.

80% of these tasks waste your time and money. You are better off giving them to others.

What you need to understand is that other specialists can do the tasks you don‘t want to do faster and better. Efficiency can be reached by realizing that you need to focus on your core competencies – tasks and activities that you do well, that bring you joy and that push your company forward.


Here again the Pareto principle applies, with 20% of your relationships bringing you most of your joy and positively affecting your life and business.

Who are the people you should be spending more time with?

Think about it. Don’t waste your time on relationships that don’t make you happy.

You can’t always please everyone, so focus on the people who would appreciate it the most.


Did you know that you only wear a fraction of the clothes you own? What’s the point of keeping the 80% that you never wear?

Person pulling clothing out of a closet

We use only 20% of our tech gadgets. Twenty percent of your habits will make the greatest difference in your life. The list goes on and on — but you get the point.

The 80/20 Rule can be applied to almost everything in life. It can be a powerful tool that you can use to be more successful. It gives you a unique perspective and helps you determine what’s making the most impact.

The 80/20 rule can make you more successful

This rule is all about spending more time on important tasks and eliminating or spending less time on tasks that are less valuable.

The 80/20 rule helps you determine what’s working in your life and business and eliminate what’s not.

It gives you insight and clarity and helps you focus your efforts on maximizing the most amount of value.

Embrace the Pareto principle. Eliminating everything that doesn’t work for you and focusing on the employees, customers, tasks, and activities that bring you the most value will change your life for the better.