80% of the things we do, will not make money


I went to a party recently and there was a successful business owner, let's call him Joe.

I was eavesdropping on my table and what bothered me was when I heard people describing Joe's success, they said it was 100% luck. I stayed quiet. 

Since I knew Joe personally, I knew his financial success wasn't inherited and he invested hard work and time to get to where he was. 

But this made me think. 

When we run into successful entrepreneurs, we don't see the frustrations and costly mistakes they had to endure to find what works. So we assume it was easy. 

We don't see the time Joe had to spend away from people he cared about to work on creating value to the marketplace. The sacrifices he made so he could spend more time with his loved ones later. Doing things now, so it would be easier later. 

This brings us to:  

1. Know when you're getting lucky:

This is very special.

Once Joe knew he had a service that created value in the marketplace, Joe had the awareness and persistence to know he was getting lucky.

Knowing he was getting lucky, he created a system and hired employees so he could stop working in the business and start working on scaling the business. 

2. 80% of the things we do in business do not work and will not make money. 

A common theme I hear among highly successful entrepreneurs is they constantly test their services and products with their customers until they find something that works. 

Most of the things we do in business keep the business running and do not create money.

For example the task of creating products or services creates money. Marketing for buyers creates money. This is where entrepreneurs should invest most of their time.

Creating and testing their products or services to see if they have value in the marketplace and once you know you have a customer, replicate the process. 


Suzy buys milk everyday and has a choice of 2 grocery stores. 

The 2 stores are 100% identical, except for one thing, grocery store #1 always runs out of milk. Management is too busy doing the 80% trivial tasks to notice that they've ran out of product.

However, grocery store #2 noticed that milk was a popular item. They also realized they were understaffed and at an additional $80 per day, hired an employee to keep the shelves stocked at all times and maintain signs outside to let everyone know their sales. 

After 30 days, would Suzy go to grocery store #1 or #2 for milk?

Which store would Suzy expect to find what she's looking for?  

In summary, when we look closer at the productive entrepreneur, we find their sacrifices are not seen by the naked eye and they invest most of their time creating high value products and closing sales from buyers they obtain from marketing.  

Everything else does not have a direct correlation to making money and should be delegated.