Woody Allen – who made some vaguely interesting and successful films last century apparently said “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
There are some interesting histories to this “eighty percent” idea – including the overly quoted Pareto Principle. The concept is pretty simple on the surface – and includes “(Approximately) 80% of your success comes from a small percentage of your actions (eg 20%)”
Stay with here while I do some interesting maths – but it will make sense at the end.
If we just accept for now that 20% of our time produces 80% of our success – let’s 20/80 those numbers, and we get 20% of 20% gives 4% and 80% of 80% gives 64%. This results in 4% giving 64%. So 4% of your actions give you 64% of your success.
We can repeat the maths and we see that approx 1% of actions gives 51% of success. Now, without getting hung up on the calculations – focus on the principle that a small proportion of our total actions produces a majority of the outcome.
Before we get to Julius Caesar – consider what you do at the start of EVERY day. You either consider your purpose, goals, and actions for the day – or you do not. Right now – Give yourself a score out of 10 for how well you do this at the beginning of each work day.
I am now going to suggest there is specifically meaningful use for Woody Allen’s “showing up”. What if “showing up” means becoming present, remembering then committing to the purpose of why you are there (today) and what is important to act on (today). The degree to which we know why we are there, and doing the important things is our score on “showing up”.
Showing up does NOT include working hard reactively to what happens to you in the day. It is not about just being excellent as react. It IS about RESPONDING to what happens in your day – after filtering it through your purpose for being there.
Now mash in Julius Caesar “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
The Big J showed up. He knew why he was there – something to do with world domination and addiction to power…
He saw – he considered the environment – and then he applied massive, consistent, focused action (conquered). Not just every now and then – but every day – probably even hourly. He would have been immersed in his purpose to such a degree there was absolutely NO DOUBT what meant to be.
Review NOW your score out of 10 for “showing up” at your business, job or role. How does your score compare to Julius Caesar? Would your daily power change if your “invoked” JC during your preparation for your day? Is it likely that more of the vital 1% or 4% or 20% that give you the majority of your success would get done?
You could even imagine that instead of a little angel on your shoulder guiding you to do the right thing – you had an angel who was invoking Julius Caesar and making your constantly consider why you were there, and where your most powerful leverage actually is? If you had “no choice” but to focus your attention on your purpose constantly – or a little angel with a Roman short sword would stab you in the ear – how much would your effective productivity multiply?
The best part of this is that you can even get 4% of your working time focused – it will make a vast difference to your bottom line results. It may simply mean that you move from “doing things right” to “doing the right things right”.
Choose to have a prolific week! If you are going to invest your time in your business (or profession or life) – it actually takes LESS work to make it ROCK. It is hard work struggling. It is draining. It is not fun. So change and decide to get legendary – or if it feels better to you – decide to “not be in a sucky place” anymore.
Townsville based James Hooper: The term “rainmaker” is becoming regularly used in business context as someone whose role is to ‘make rain’ or ‘create growth’ in your business. In some senses the term ‘business coach’ is limiting as it is primarily about optimizing the effectiveness of the owner/operator. Sometimes the leverage is in the business systems rather than in the operator – and focus on that produces the preferred outcomes.
Business is a game, a puzzle, a tool to get you what you want in life. Call me for a second opinion (other than yours) on how to make your business give you what you want it to.