What is the 80-20 Rule?

It’s a general rule of thumb in business and economics that says that 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. Though the math might not be exact, the general rule very often holds true.

It’s true in your family: 20% of the home’s inhabitants create 80% of the dirty laundry and eat 80% of the chips.
It’s true at your job: 20% of the employees do 80% of the work (especially if you work for the government)
And it’s true of your search for ways to make money from home: 20% of your efforts produce 80% of the results. Which means that 80% of your efforts are wasted time. (Remember, the math is not always exact. It might be more like 69.23% of your efforts are wasted.)

So if you’re going to be successful in working from home (whether that’s through an online business or through more traditional jobs), you need to be aware of low-leverage vs. high-leverage activities.

Low-leverage activities are in the 80% category. You do them, but they are not very likely to bring big results.

High-leverage activities are in the 20% category. You get a lot of mileage from a little work with these activities. So, of course, you want to learn to recognize those high-leverage activities and try to spend more time there instead of on the time wasters.

High-leverage activities include things like study and training (if you’re talking about online businesses such as blogging or affiliate marketing), meeting new potential clients/employers and consistently searching for new work (if you’re talking about traditional jobs).

That last one is one of the easiest to master, but also one of the most commonly failed. Real work-at-home jobs are out there. I’ve had a few of them. But you won’t find them through a typical Google search. (In fact, searching Google for online jobs is at the bottom end of the low-leverage activity pile.) You find them through your contacts (which you are always hopefully expanding, another 20% activity) and through smart searches at select locations.

Which select locations? We’re partial to Craigslist because we have found jobs there and know others that have, too. We also like the job resources we published a few days ago. You’ll get more results from one hour of high quality searching at those locations than from five hours of the Google shotgun approach to finding work-at-home jobs.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, I absolutely consider reading I’ve Tried That a high-leverage activity.

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