Bob Adelfson - Divorce Book

CHAPTER 4 The 80/20 Rule

In 1906 an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, found an intriguing correlation. He noticed 20% of the pea pods in his garden held 80% of the peas. Studying the peas prompted him to take a closer look at this ratio. In one of his initial discoveries, he found 80% of the land in his area was owned by 20% of the people. After a detailed study, he observed this ratio held true in many aspects of life. The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, is the result of his findings.

For example:

• 80% of your income is derived from 20% of your work. • 80% of a business’s income is derived from 20% of its customers. • 80% of your value to an employer is derived from 20% of your work.


When Vince and Sue were shopping for a new home, Vince wanted an ocean view. They looked at many desirable properties but didn’t find any that were right for them. Some were overpriced; others had obstructed views. The search went on for almost a year until they found an older home a short walk from the ocean. The neglected exterior and dated interior were not encouraging, but when Vince stepped out onto the third-floor balcony off the master suite, he was sold. Any shortcomings in wall color or 22

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