Do You Have 80/20 Vision?

by admin on March 27, 2014

80-20 VisionOne of the biggest challenges married business partners face is finding enough time in the day to get everything done.  No matter how hard the both you work, it seems there’s never enough time and there’s always one more thing that needs to get done.

And just one more thing after that.

It’s a never-ending battle for your time, attention, and energy. It’s thrilling and draining and motivating and terrifying — and just about every other feeling you can imagine.

We tell ourselves (and our spouse) that it’s simply part of the business-owner’s lifestyle, but it’s an addiction you must break if you want your marriage — and your business — to survive.

Unless you make a proactive effort to curb your addiction to the always busy, always problem-solving, always “on” approach to living life as married business partners, the odds are stacked against your relationship.

The problem is that it’s far too easy in the midst of the busy-ness to start treating each other as married business PARTNERS — and lose sight of the fact that you are MARRIED business partners.

And I can guarantee that your business, and your customers, and your employees, and your suppliers, and your bank account will scream for your attention louder and more often than your marriage.

Until there’s a problem.  And then you’re faced with the reality that you’re trapped — knowing that both of you are stuck in a cycle of attending to the ever-growing, never-ending needs of the business, unable to provide the nourishment your most cherished relationship requires to stay healthy and alive.

But there is a solution.

Thanks to a bit of mathematic and economic magic, we know that the relationship between the amount of effort we put into something and the results we get is not linear.

It’s called the Pareto Principal and it simply means that we get most of the benefits in any endeavor from a specific, much smaller element of the work we do — typically close to an 80/20 ratio of output to input.

You’re probably most familiar with this as the “80/20 principle.”

But regardless of what you prefer to call this magic principle, it is important to recognize that it is the key to breaking your busy-ness addiction and rescuing your relationship.

Once you recognize that you can get 80% of the benefit out of a focused 20% of your effort, you can become much more selective about where — and how — you invest your time and energy.

This is true both at work and at home. And if you will let it work to your favor, it means you can find the time, energy, and attention to have both a thriving business and a vibrant marriage. But you will need  to make a choice — and you will need to follow through on the commitment.

It starts by identifying the “80/20’s” for each of you in the following domains of your business…

1. Sales/Marketing Management
2. Administrative Management
3. Financial Management
4. Operations Management
5. Organizational Leadership

In other words, what key activities and responsibilities do each of you have (the 20%) that account for the majority of the results that move your business forward (the 80%)? These are the specific areas where you must choose to focus your time, energy, and attention — and delegate, outsource, or eliminate the rest.

Simply put, the other 80% of the activities/responsibilities (that account for only 20% of the results) are an inefficient and ineffective use of your most precious resource as a married business partner — your time and attention.

And with a little bit of luck, it may be that your spouse can find his/her 20% in that mix of 80% that each of you is looking to remove from your daily plate of activity.

Not only will this strategy reduce the level of overwhelm that seems to invade the lives of most married business partners, it provides the opportunity to significantly raise your game in the areas where you invest your time and attention.

These activities are also typically where you have the highest return on every dollar you invest — providing the “return” that enables someone else to take care of the other 80% that is a poor investment of your time and energy.

[Side note: The time each of you spend on your low-return 80%  activities is probably working against your business and acting as a constraint on your growth and profitability. These are probably activities that don’t fit your natural strengths, are outside your core area of expertise, that drain your energy and you find frustrating — or at least extremely boring. And you probably aren’t that good at them anyway. By spending (dare I say wasting) your precious time and attention on these tasks, each of you trades time on low-return activities that could be invested in other high-return activities — either building your business or investing in your relationship.] 

This is the “less is more” strategy to being married business partners.

Rather than simply rushing through each item on your to-do list with a “just get it done” mindset, you can leverage your unique talents and abilities to deliver the very best you have to offer — thrilling your customers, exceeding their expectations, and setting yourself apart from the competition. Without killing yourself and your marriage in the process.

I’m guessing that sounds a bit more rewarding than the level of frenzied chaos you may currently be experiencing.

And I’m guessing the two of you got into business in order to get more out of life together anyway, not to have the business take over your life and suck the life out of your relationship.

“But we can’t do that in our business — we have to do all that other stuff,” you say. Or, “We can’t afford to outsource or bring another person on to handle those other responsibilities.”

I get it. That’s what everyone says.

But you and I both know what it’s costing you to stay on the path you’re currently on — and that’s a heavy price to pay. Especially when there are alternatives that would transform your business and your marriage.

Just as your business needs to adapt to the changing needs and demands of the marketplace to stay competitive, being willing to change and adapt how each of you work within your business is the key to having both a thriving business and a vibrant marriage.

Are the two of you ready to experience the transformation that “less is more” has to offer?

To the success of your marriage and your business,

~ David & Debby

David & Debby Pierpoint

David Pierpoint / Strategic, Futuristic, Intellection, Learner, Deliberative
Debby Pierpoint / Harmony, Developer, Empathy, Responsibility, Consistency


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