How to effectively apply the 80/20 rule to everything in your life

“Business success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics.” – Tony Robbins

Not only have I found this to be true in my business life, but also in things like finances, relationships, writing, volunteering and so much more. So let’s take a look at this for a minute.


This is obviously a passion area of mine and I’m always looking to teach others what I have learned. Do I have all the answers? Absolutely not. But after 8 years of budgeting, living on little income and leading 14 Financial Peace classes, I do have some wisdom on the subject. I say that to get to my point so you know where I’m coming from.

Dave Ramsey says that “Personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge.” And I 100% agree with that statement. I know this stuff but even me applying it is hard sometimes. Okay, most of the time. Since I’m a spender, it’s just easy buy and then try to figure out where I can fix the problem later on. So the simple fact that 80% of the work comes from my behavior stands true in my life and I bet it does in yours if you really consider it.


I could read all the books in the world on treating my wife with respect and serving her in the best way possible, but if I don’t apply it, I’ve only done the 20%. The other 80% is me putting into action what I have learned. This is one reason I have dedicated myself to becoming a life learner. And if knowledge is power, then behavior is source of that power. Power doesn’t simply exist, it has to come from somewhere.

Again, this rule stands true no matter what relationship it is. Knowing isn’t half the battle, it’s less than a 1/4 of it.


As someone that loves to write and create content, I have to actually do the work. Just knowing that I can get my message across using this medium does absolutely nothing if I don’t actually write. My daily habits and behavior to create content is the majority of the work to getting my message out into the world. And to take it a step further, this really includes all types of content creation.

For instance, we do YouTube videos. We have a lot that are recorded but editing is the larger part of the process. So really, recording is the 20%, while editing is the 80. So, if you follow us and wonder why we don’t consistently post, it’s because of the simple fact that finding an extra 8-10 hours in our week to edit and post is really difficult to do.


This is honestly an area we would love to do more. We volunteered at our church for a long time but are currently in a transition period right now. Our schedule and life that we have worked hard to build has also helped give us freedom to help people during the week when many others are at work. Do we take full advantage of that? Of course not. But again, this shows that thinking and considering helping others (20%), is only a small part of the actual work. If we truly want to get intentional about this area of our life, we need to change our behavior.

What this really comes down to

It’s really about behavior. It’s not about business or finances or any of these other things I mentioned here. It’s not about decision making, not really. There is really only one decision to be made and that is to change your behavior. If you want to have success in something, you must change what you are doing. You must act on your life and your journey if you are to have success.

I’ll leave you with one quote that I was recently handed and it’s a real nugget of gold. I hope this helps you in your journey.

“Success is eventually inevitable if you continuously do the right thing that matters in the moment. Once you have that mindset, it’s easy to succeed because you know you’ll get there as long as you stick with it.” – Matthew Wilson

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