The 80:20 Principle - Richard Koch

The 80:20 Principle - Richard Koch

 Video Book Summary

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Book Summary Notes

The 80/20 Principle

“The 80/20 Principle, like the truth, can make you free. You can work less. At the same time, you can earn more and enjoy more. The only price is that you need to do some serious 80/20 thinking.”

The principle states that 20% of efforts lead to 80% of results

  • Also known as the Pareto Principle or Principle of Least Effect

Incredible powerful when applied to

  • Business
  • Relationships
  • Learning
  • Success
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Almost Anything!

It's Everywhere

“80/20 thinking requires, and with practice enables, us to spot the few really important things that are happening and ignore the mass of unimportant things. It teaches us to see the wood for the trees.”

Vilfred Pareto

Italian economist who studied wealth and income distribution in 19th century England

During his studies he realized that the majority of the land and wealth was controlled by the minority of individuals

  • In fact 80% of the wealth was owned by 20% of the people

When testing this principle he found that this not only held true in almost all other countries but also in his garden where 20% of the pea pods yielded 80% of the peas


Since Vilfred noticed the 80/20 principle in economics and gardening other experts have identified it in many fields!

20% of Criminals 80% of Crime

20% of Motorist 80% of Accidents

20% of Married Individuals 80% of Accidents

20% of Carpet 80% of Wear

20% of Streets 80% of Traffic 

Look Around!

Where do you notice the 80/20 principle in your life?

Open your awareness to

  • Where you spend your time
  • Where you make your income
  • Who you spend time with
  • What you read/learn from


"20% of what we do leads to 80% of the results; but 80% of what we do leads to only 20%.  We are wasting 80% of our time on low-value outcomes"

His advice

"Calm down, work less and target a limited number of very valuable goals where the 80/20 Principle will work for you"

Apply This

Step back for a minute and look at any area of your life..

Where is the Principle at work?

How can you maximize the time spent on the 20% the produces the 80% of the results?

How can you minimize the time spent on the 80% that produces the 20% of the results?

Koch talks a lot about working less and getting more..  But keep in mind you can work the same amount and get 5x done by cutting the 80% and focusing only on expanding the 20%


“The 80/20 Principle suggests that your strategy is wrong. If you make most of your money out of a small part of your activity, you should turn your company upside down and concentrate your efforts on multiplying this small part.”

“Twenty percent of products usually account for about 80 percent of dollar sales value; so do 20 percent of customers. Twenty percent of products or customers usually also account for about 80 percent of an organizations profits.”

“It is almost certainly true that you make at least 80 percent of your profits and cash in 20 percent of your activity, and in 20 percent of your revenues. The trick is to work out which 20 percent.”

“Executives may suspect that some customers and some products are more profitable than others, but when the extent of the difference is proved, they are likely to be surprised and sometimes dumbfounded.”


Do you know where your revenue is coming from?

Do you know where you are spending your time?

Find Out

  • Start cutting out the 80%
  • Double down on the 20%

*or just enjoy the free time

YouTube Business

This principle is a huge part of me building this business you're noticing on YouTube

The 80/20 Principle Informs

  • What books I choose to review
  • My Mind Mapping process
  • What I decide to include in my courses 
  • How I spend my time

Be Unreasonable

“Everything you want should be yours: the type of work you want; the relationships you need; the social, mental, and aesthetic stimulation that will make you happy and fulfilled; the money you require for the lifestyle that is appropriate to you; and any requirement that you may (or may not) have for achievement or service to others. If you don’t aim for it all, you’ll never get it all. To aim for it requires that you know what you want.”

Genius Quote..  Why shouldn't we be able to achieve everything we want?  The 80/20 Principle is a valuable tool to help us get there

Comes from Chapter 11: "You Can Always Get What You Want"

What do you want?

Be unreasonable

  • "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world.  The unreasonable one persists in trying to adopt the world to himself.  Therefore, al progress depends on the unreasonable man" 

What do you absolutely love?

What comes to you effortlessly?

With whom would you spend your days?

What would you do throughout the day?

How much would you make?

Where would you live?

This is the essence of crafting your vision..  The first thing we go over together in my self coaching course!  One of the cornerstones to success that most people miss.

What's Easy?

“It is important to focus on what you find easy. This is where most motivational writers go wrong. They assume you should try things that are difficult for you.”

“Pursue those few things where you are amazingly better than others and that you enjoy the most.”

“I do not believe that you should devote overly much effort to correcting your weaknesses. Rather, I believe that the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction comes from building and using your signature strengths.” - Martin Seligman

"You are the best you. You will always be the second best anyone else.” - Leo Buscaglia

Find Your Passion

What do I enjoy doing the most?

What am I amazingly better at than others?


“Relationships help us to define who we are and what we can become. Most of us can trace our successes to pivotal relationships.”

20% of your friends/loved ones probably account for 80% of your enjoyment and satisfaction.

This might sound harsh..  But why wouldn't you spend more time with the people who bring you the most joy?

 “The action implications should be plain. Go for quality rather than quantity. Spend your time and emotional energy reinforcing and deepening the relationships that are most important.”

“Self-actualizing people have these especially deep ties with rather few individuals. Their circle of friends is rather small. The ones that they love profoundly are few in number. Partly this is for the reason that being very close to someone in this self-actualizing style seems to require a good deal of time. Devotion is not a matter of a moment... One subject expressed it like this: ‘I haven’t got time for many friends. Nobody has, that is, if they are to be real friends.’” - Abraham Maslow

Koch's Relationship Exercise

Write down your top 20 friends 

Take 100 points and allocate them according to how much value each friend gives you

Take another 100 units and allocate them according to the amount of time you spend with each friend

Look at the time you're spending vs the amount of value they give you..  Do they match up?  Why or why not?

*I tend to be less structured than this exercise..  I think it's a living and breathing thing!  Choosing to spend time with friends who give you value in particular moments..  Just remember to be unreasonable!  If they are not adding value don't be afraid to defy social norms..


“Books can be read far faster... But never read a book from cover to cover, except for pleasure. When you are working, find out what the book is saying much faster than you would by reading through. Read the conclusion, then the introduction, then the conclusion again, then dip lightly into any interesting bits.”

This comes from koch's Tutor at Oxford..  First he told him not to attend lectures because books can be read much faster!

How do you read a book?

Often I find people get stuck when trying to read a lot of books because they read them cover to cover..  

This is how I read the books for this mind map!

  • Read The Introduction
  • Read The Conclusion
  • Listen To An Interview
  • Mind Map The Book Into Points Made
  • Fill In Points Made Following



“Whenever you spot a 20 percent activity, run to it, surround yourself with it, immerse yourself in it, patent it, make yourself its expert, worshipper, high priest, partner, creator, propagandist, and indispensable ally. Make the most of it. If the most appears to be more than you can imagine, multiply your imagination.”

"Conventional wisdom is not to put all of your eggs in one basket. 80/20 wisdom is to choose a basket carefully, load all your eggs into it, and then watch it like a hawk.”

"Keep all your eggs in one basket..  But watch the basket closely" - Warren Buffet

Are You Hedging?

Human beings naturally want to hedge our bets..  Limit our downsides and risks..

While this might be the right idea in theory..  By hedging our bets we lose out on the power of the 80/20 principle.


  • Waiting for the right time
  • Not focusing on one thing
  • Having too many projects
  • Not firing clients you should

Instead of Hedging

  • Discover what your passionate about
  • Focus your energy
  • Continue to use 80/20
  • Remember to be unreasonable
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