Thursday, December 11, 2008

The 80/20 Factor

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday, who was feeling a sense of frustration - she has a male friend, that, as she put it, seems to give so much more to than he does to her. Talking to her about this, I couldn't help make a connection to a basic principle of business -- the 80/20 rule. Essentially, 80% of all business comes from a solid 20% client base. Interesting principle - institutions have been set up on this

But then it applies to relationships -- think Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (Have you ever seen it? If not, I'd advise renting it!) In it, Jill Scott's character is married to man that emotionally abuses her, and he ultimately leaves her for his younger, thinner mistress. Later, when the male characters are speaking, they discuss the 80/20 rule, distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Essentially, the "80" is equivalent a woman that would have it all, verses the "20," which is another woman, that is often good for the superficial, but often lacks the substance of the "80." The following blog explains it further.

At the end of the movie, Jill Scott's character's husband, when he sees the transformation his ex-wife makes, mistakenly references the "20/80 rule." Having found her strength, she puts him in his place, corrects him about the rule, and dismisses the attention he gives her (go Jill go!) as he realizes he had his "80" in her.

It's human nature, when we have our "80" in front of us, to wander and wonder what if with a "20." However, what it boils down to is simple: either appreciate what you have, or spend forever looking for pieces when all along you had your rock.

I'm wrapping my head around this one - it makes so much sense it's scary, don't you think?