The 90 Percent Rule … or the Power of Extreme Criteria
An important skill for an entrepreneur is good time management.
Time forces us to make decisions, it shows us what is really essential in the end, and what is not. Mastering this necessary skill requires us to be vigilant about acknowledging the reality of trade-offs. Sometimes we will have to turn down a seemingly very good option. The very fact of applying selective criteria forces us to choose which perfect option to wait for.
It is often not easy following the right decisions. Do we make decisions consciously, logically, rationally, or emotionally and impulsively? What is better?
It takes discipline to apply tough criteria.
As an entrepreneur and essentialist you should learn:
Say yes to only the top 10 percent of opportunities.
Use narrow, explicit criteria like “Is this exactly what I am looking for?”
Now ask yourself:
Am I saying yes to almost every request or opportunity?
Am I using broad, implicit criteria like “If someone I know is doing it, then I should do it.”?
What opportunities are offered to you?
What are your minimum criteria for this option to be considered?
What are the ideal criteria for this option to be approved?
Here is a simple, systematic process you can use to apply selective criteria to opportunities that come along:
1. Write down the opportunity.
2. Write down three minimum criteria the options would need to “pass” in order to be considered.
3. Write down three ideal or extreme criteria the options would need to be approved.
—> If it isn’t a clear yes, then it’s a clear no.
Only by going through the own work of identifying extreme criteria we are able to get rid of the 70 and 80 percent that are draining our time and resources.
Let us focus on the most interesting work that best distinguishes us in the marketplace.
Of course, finding and having the discipline to say no to opportunities coming along – and often very good ones – is definitely not easy. But it’s a must, otherwise you won’t be successful and people don’t see you as trustworthy, when you “hunt” after every opportunity.
Have the courage to say NO.
Courage is grace under pressure. – Ernest Hemingway
To follow, without halt, one aim: there is the secret to success. – Anna Pavlova
(inspired by the book “essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown)
05/29/2016 / Karin Sebelin / 0
My Success as Brand
In 2011 and 2012 I was several weeks no.1 in the Ecademy score ( for blogging, engagement and engaging / among 600.000 network members ).
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