Here's another one inspired by Tim Ferris (@tferriss) - or, rather, one that Tim wrote about in his best selling book, the 4 Hour Work Week- https://www.amazon.com/4-Hour-Workweek-Escape-Live-Anywhere/dp/0307465357) What I'm going to do is add to what Ferris did, by applying the principle to writing and other aspects of my life. If you'd like to read about this at length, I suggest https://www.amazon.com/80-20-Principle-Secret-Achieving/dp/0385491743
Now on to how I've begun to make this actionable. But first, a brief explanation of the ratio.
If you're not familiar with the theory known as the Pareto Principle (often called the 80/20 analysis), Pareto was an economist who noticed an overall societal trend whereby 80% of the wealth of a society was concentrated in the hands of 20% of the population. This is a gross oversimplification, but because this isn't an economics lesson I'm choosing to give the broad strokes of the theory - if you'd like to know more there are countless books/articles besides those I've linked, including the Professor of all America - Wikipedia! Or just Google "Pareto principle" or "80/20 rule".
The beauty of this principle, like all actionable theories, is that it extends past a lesson in college Econ. and can be utilized on our lives. To being with an example Tim Ferris has discussed and written about numerous times, he would ask himself, 'What 20 percent of customers are responsible for 80 percent of my purchases" - or some similar analysis (the ratio works in both directions). Here's how I've used it as an author, which will help explain the founding of my Facebook group, Harlan's Readers, which you can join here:
80/20 as an Author
So, because I'm a skeptic by nature and like to test the validity of any advice/self-help, when I read about the 80/20 rule (which is sometimes skewed to 90/10) I decided to just do a casual analysis of things in my life to which it might be applicable, specifically my burgeoning career as an author. So when I do giveaways, or post blogs like these, or host an event (like my cover reveal or release party for Impressions of You), or even ask people to sign up on my newsletter, I notice that it's largely a very small sub-set of my general "Facebook Friends" (upwards of 4,000 +, the overwhelming majority of which I've never interacted with in any way). When I started to do the (very) rough math in my head, applying Pareto's Principle to my readership (which I'm defining as both actual people who've purchased the book, but also those who just generally interact and seem supportive of me as an author) I started to see about a 90/10 split relative to all the "friends" on Facebook. But it's from this 10% that Harlans Readers was (and continues to be) formed. Rather than appealing to 4,000 people, I'm attempting to make 10% the focus of my attention, and in doing so (as many of you reading this may be members), I hope to grow my readers through your support, reviews, and reccomendatipns, which you've all been very generous with so far.
How to Apply in Your Own Life
So there's a little analysis that can be applied to your own life, whether you're an author or not (e.g., what 20% of people in your life are causing 80% of your stress, what 10% of activities you engage in bring you 90% of your happiness and fulfillment, and so forth.) In a more complex sense, let's say there are a list of problems you're facing (I did this analysis myself recently), what 10% is causing the 90% of problems? States a different way, let's say you made a list of 10 things you wanted to address in your life, what 1 of those things could make most (or all) of the other 9 things less severe? This could be as simple as "get more sleep" - that one thing could be impacting the other negative things in your life, or it could be "save more money", or whatever. Just a little New Years advice from something I've found very valuable, and thank you all for being my 10%