There is an amazing principle in life that when fully understood will probably change your life forever. It's called the Pareto Principle or the 80:20 Rule. This universal truth was originally discovered by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1906 when he noted that 80 percent of the farmland in Italy was owned by 20 percent of the population. Pareto, also an avid gardener, subsequently noticed that 20 percent of the peapods in his garden yielded 80 percent of his harvest. This was all the validation he needed to launch an intensive study into this amazingly consistent theory that states that 80 percent of our results will come from 20 percent of our actions. I personally believe the 80:20 Rule is the best kept, most underutilized "achievement formula" in business. Richard Koch, in his groundbreaking book The 80/20 Principle, describes this rule as "the prin ciple of greatest outcome for time and effort expended." Most people believe that time and effort alone deliver results, and, while this may be true, the 80:20 Rule teaches us that time and effort on the 20 percent that really matters will deliver 80 percent of the results we seek.
As Figure 8 above reveals, the opposite also appears to be true. When we are focused on the 80 percent that doesn't matter, we tend to get 20 percent of the results we want. The truth is that when our actions are not focused on the 20 percent that matters, the results we want usually don't show up. Doing a lot of things is never a substitute for doing the right things.
Like everything else, real estate sales has its 20 percent. The 20 percent the Millionaire Real Estate Agent focuses on are the Three L's— Leads, Listings, and Leverage. When you are concentrating on Leads, Listings, and Leverage, you are focusing on the key activities that will yield the greatest return for your business. Let's refresh our memory as to why these areas should always be foremost in your mind and go into a bit more detail.
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