I saw the above in a random post this morning.  I’d like to take that 2% and up it to the 20% reminder Pareto’s Law conveys.


Shape it how you want to, 20% of the people in your life cause 80% of the problems, 80% of your time goes to 20% of your customers, etc.  No matter how you frame it, it is a great reminder of really taking a look at how you are distributing your resources and the return on investment, be it financial, emotional, etc. you receive.

Recently I’ve noticed my 2nd and 3rd quarters have been time starved yet not financially productive.  I’ve taken a look at where my time is going.  And true to formula, 80% of my time is going to 20% of the people in my life, which happen to have a low to no return on investment for me, relationship wise, business wise, productivity wise, etc.  A very ‘people pleasing’ dynamic grew out of this 20% at some point, and unchecked that dynamic has grown like a field of weeds. Consequently I have the majority of my time being sucked up by people with their hands out.

Don’t get me wrong I believe in mentoring, supporting, even volunteering.  The risk factor to stay aware of is when we fall out of balance and there is no mutual benefit. I’m not suggesting there always has to be a mutual benefit on every human interaction you have, but odds are you have a lot of responsibility in your life and need to be cognizant of what will build you up, and what will tear you down.

It is true, if you identified a 2% shift there would be an impact.  Realistically though, odds are if you invest the time you can identify over a 20% factor that would significantly change your daily life, and subsequently your life as a whole.  The challenge is one, carving out time for evaluation, and two, having the courage to set down and walk away from those things that no longer serve your mental, financial and/or physical well-being.

I’ve recently completed step one, and now begin step two.  Step two will not be an easy journey for me, and perhaps at times unpleasant, but I do know that doing the ‘work’ to make it happen contributes to not only further empowering myself, but perhaps even empowering another by modeling the behavior.