The EBiz Developer -January 2002 - Article Three
Theory is good - practice is better by
All the advice in the world won't help unless we are prepared to
act on it.
The old adage 'knowledge is power' is only half right.
It's in the implementation of knowledge that power truly manifests
You might have spent years learning about the theory of being a
mechanic…learning how engines work, how fuel systems deliver and
the rest. But you don't become a mechanic till you start to work
on your first car. When you put all the theory that you've studied
to the test - then you gain the real benefits of your hard work.
Theory is good - practice is better.
So over the next few months we are going to tackle this challenge.
We shall look at how we can make the most of the tactics and strategies
that guarantee our progress. We'll also follow through with some
of the best tactics to push us on in our various quests.
Instead of merely ac-knowledging the information, we will start
to act-on-the-knowledge, and start using it to improve our potentials
rather than filing it away for the 'future'. And as we all know…the
future (as we like to see it), doesn't always turn out how we imagine.
Just as a mechanic does, we shall break everything down to it's
smallest and most understandable part. No longer being able to use
the excuse that it's 'too complicated', or too time-consuming'.
No to any more whitewashing excuses.
"Be not afraid of going slowly; be only afraid of standing
From China, now to Italy.
Back in 1897 Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist observed that
80% of the land in every country that he studied was owned by 20%
of the population. Pareto's observation of 'predictable imbalance'
have since been applied to almost every aspect of modern living
- business and personal.
The '80/20 rule' implies that the relationship between what we
put in and what we get out are rarely balanced. In most aspects
of our lives this means that 20% of our efforts produce 80% of the
goods. 20% of the sweat produces most of the rewards.
Which conversely means that 80% of our efforts produce only 20%
of the rewards!
So now imagine if we could identify that most productive 20%. By
identifying what produces the most rewards, and concentrating on
those, how much more could we achieve? How much faster could we
get to the goals end. And by the mere act of discovering the productive
20%, we can also identify the non-productive 80% and start to either
phase them out or pass them on to someone else.
The benefits of this of this kind of analysis relates to more than
just our 'home business' ambitions. Our whole lives gain. Cutting
out the non-productive efforts creates more of us to share around
- for ourselves, family and friends - leisure and learning. With
less wasted time, more productive time. With less wasted efforts,
more efforts focused on what will really get us our successes (whatever
they may be).
Whether we are considering a work from home business, are already
in the business, looking at a franchise, developing our own 'unique'
home business, or feel that life is plainly too packed with 'stuff'
- this kind of analysis identifies the ties that bog us down and
hold us back.
So how do we go about this vital analysis? How do we discover what
we should be concentrating on for the best of rewards?
A simple two-step process helps point out the percentages, and
guides us to the most productive and successful use of our time:
To know what our most productive actions are, we need to know what
actions we are taking:
So we need to 'Identify the Goal'.
We need to be as specific as possible. No generalisations.
For example, if it is a home business question, what area of
home business? Marketing, Delivery, Development? So the goal question
"Identifying all the actions involved in the Marketing
of X product."
Then identify the time, effort, money…all the resources that
are currently being put into achieving this goal.
Keep track. For the next week, fortnight or month, (the time-scale
will obviously have to relate to the question you are asking) make
a note of:
What it was you did;
how much time it took;
how much money it cost;
what were the expected results.
Make a note of everything that you regard as relevant to
achieving the goal.
Analysing our actions against our results shows up the most productive
What contributed most to achieving the results? (The 20%)
Identify the actions that brought the most returns.
What contributed the least to achieving the results? (The 80%)
Identify the actions that brought the least returns.
Most of us keep muddling through. Because things 'seem ok', 'aren't
too bad', we don't feel that there is any reason to change anything.
So we change nothing and nothing changes.
(And dreams and ambitions remain dreams and ambitions)
By investing a little time and effort in analysing exactly
what it is we do to deliver what it is we get, we can discover the
20%. The 20% of our actions, investments, contacts, that create
the 80% of what we want - the rewards. The reason why we do what
And by focusing more on that 20%, by cutting back on the wasteful
80%, we can deliver more of what it is that we want.
In parting, here is a question to ask yourself whenever you are
about to act on your goal:
'Is doing this going to have a direct and purposeful benefit
to me achieving my goal?'
If the answer is no, don't do it!
Best of everything,