In reading this issue’s story “10 Reasons your Competitor Sells More Than You,”
I was struck by the simple and foundational underlying message… to work smarter, not harder.. and that not one reason even hints that success comes from working longer hours, micro managing or sacrificing home life and personal development.

Sometimes as business owners, we get stuck on that treadmill, living the “advice” offered by the Queen of Hearts, in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:

“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.”

But there’s better “advice” than hyperactivity: do what you do best, and delegate the rest. Or put in different terms, concentrate on those areas that bring a higher return on your investment.

The Pareto Principle is actually at the core of this advice, a mathematical model that has proven that for all interactions, professional or personal, approximately 20% of our efforts drive 80% of results. (Could this be applicable in bridal… that 20% of our brides create 80% of our grief?? Can that be right??)

So the key here is to identify that 20%, those core strengths, and to focus your efforts (and time) on those areas of the business you can have the greatest impact with those core skills.

Working smarter not harder.

And at the end of each day, discuss with your staff lessons learned from working with the difficult 20%, and celebrate the successes of satisfying the quieter majority.