The 80/20 Rule For Making Money

In today’s article I’m going to take a kinky look at the often-discussed 80/20 rule. In case you’re not aware of it, the rule states that 20% of what you do gives you 80% of your results, so the trick is to find out what that 20% is for you, focus on that and delegate the rest of the stuff.

But here’s the kink, we’re looking at how 80% of something is actually responsible for most of your results. Another kink is that many people are focused on learning and applying the 20% element of this equation, and hammering away at it whilst getting little or no satisfaction from their results.

This article is based on a fraction of an interview I did with Kerwin Rae recently. Amidst the massive quantity of high quality information and advice he shared, this piece jumped out at me as the starting point to the series of articles I’ll be creating from those interviews.

The Million Dollar Difference

Here’s the deal; psychology is 80% of the game. If you’ve heard this plenty of times before, but you’re still unsatisfied with the results you’re getting in life, then it means there’s still a missing link and you might find it here, so please read on.

Kerwin’s created dozens of millionaires in the last ten years. What’s fascinating about this is that he’s trained thousands of people, yet thousands of people haven’t made the shift to becoming millionaires – but a percentage of them have.

From interviewing those who have made the shift and doing his own research, Kerwin knows wealth creation has very little to do with the business techniques and tools, and everything to do with the psychology of the individual. (Techniques and tools for success in business is the 20% of the equation that many people focus 80% of their energy on, but still don’t get the results they’re after.)

Is Your Operating System Faulty Or Fantastic?

Kerwin explains that your psychology is your operating system. It’s built on your beliefs, values, and identity that pre-determines your behaviour. Your psychology, or operating system dictates what kind of information you register about life and the world around you, what decisions you make, what kind of life experiences you have and how you perceive those experiences.

Whether it’s wealth creation, health creation, or finding your soul mate, the trick is being able to sense and perceive what’s right there in front of you, and what’s really going on around you rather than being blindsided by your blind spots.

Kerwin explains that the human brain processes 400 billion bits of information per second, but we’re only conscious of 2000 of those bits of information. Becoming more aware or conscious of what’s in your environment means learning to see things as they really are, not as you perceive them to be through filters that include your psychological blind spots.

There’s a term for these called a “Scotoma”. It refers to a psychologically induced blind spot. This means on some level, you haven’t observed and registered the existence of something that’s present, so you convince yourself it isn’t there. Then you eliminate from your awareness all visual information that exists about it.

Is The Answer Right In Front Of You?

Kerwin describes how this works in life by using the example of when you go to the kitchen cupboard and look for the salt – but can’t see it even though it’s right there in front of your face. So you yell out to your partner and ask where the salt is. They walk over and show you that it’s on the shelf right in front of you at eye level.

It doesn’t matter that the salt was staring you in the face. At that moment, you couldn’t see it no matter how hard you looked because your mind hadn’t observed and registered any visual information to tell you it was there. This same process applies to making money and creating success in any area of your life.

If your mind, or psychology, isn’t observing and registering the information around you that relates to being successful and wealthy, then no matter how hard you look, and how well trained you become in using tools and techniques, your blind spots will keep you from perceiving and acting on what you need to experience success and wealth.

Sam Stosur’s Secret To Winning The US Open Grand Slam

This reminds me of something I heard Sam Stosur’s mother say in a radio interview after her daughter’s US Open grand slam win last week. When asked about her daughter’s success, she said:

“This time she just had everything in place, she had her mind right. Her mind was in the right place and it all came together for her to win.”

Sam Stosur has been perfecting the techniques of her game of tennis for years, but winning a grand slam, or success in anything needs more than techniques, you need the right psychology to win.

Digging A Bigger Hole

Kerwin shared with me his own experiences of how his blind spots and his own faulty operating system had got in the way of him experiencing lasting success and fulfilment in his life. Kerwin explained how in the past, he constantly felt like there was this void in his life.

He came from a poor family; his mother was a single mum on a pension. Their idea of a big celebration was to have kiwi fruit on pension day. It wasn’t that they didn’t have a great life; as kids, they didn’t need money to have a good upbringing. But because he didn’t have money, when he felt there was something missing, money seemed like the most obvious answer.

The problem was, when Kerwin made money, the void just got bigger! So he thought, “Wow, if it’s not money, maybe it’s cars!” (That made me giggle internally because it seems like most men jump to that conclusion, which seems very weird to me – but women generally think it’s shoes☺). So he started buying flash cars, then houses, then dating model girlfriends and going on expensive holidays around the world.

But the more he did all this, the bigger the void became. The penny dropped when Kerwin returned home from a 7 month trip around the world and had spent a ridiculous amount of money “trying to find himself”. He said that as the wheels of the plane literally touched down on the runway, he realized the gaping void was an internal emptiness that he was seeking to fulfil.

Finding Lasting Success And Fulfillment

Even though Kerwin had a keen interest in learning about psychology for many years, this is when he began to work seriously from the inside out to change his psychology and operating system. And the gaping void gradually became less of an eternal emptiness and more of an enduring satisfaction with life.

Kerwin explains that often the case with relationships, health, wealth, finance and business, is that everything you’re seeking is right there in front of you. But you convince yourself that it’s not there because your blind spots have eliminated all the visual information that it exists. The only way to discover the things you’re seeking is to become more conscious, which means being more aware of the reality of what’s present, not just reality as it’s been filtered through your blind spots.

If you’re operating system is faulty and you think something is missing because you can’t sense it in your life, then you will keep looking for it outside of yourself and your blind spots will keep hiding it from you. Like Kerwin and so many others, you could spend a fortune and years of your life looking outside of yourself, or you could start now by working from the inside out.

Where 80% Of Your Success Is Hiding

Psychology is so important because your psychology is 80% responsible for your success in any area of your life AND for your ability to experience lasting fulfilment and satisfaction from your success.

Kerwin runs a number of programs to help entrepreneurs grow their business and increase their profits, but one of his programs “The Power To Create” works to help people create a different psychology or operating system to get the results they’re seeking in life. I’ll be writing more about this topic in future articles and attending the course later in the year. If you want to master the part of the equation that determines 80% of the success game, I’d thoroughly recommend you come along.

Once again, many thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear any comments you have at the end.

Cheers, Neroli.

About Neroli Makim

Neroli Makim is an intuitive artist and writer who loves exploring Creativity and its relationship to personal fulfillment and professional success. She educates people about Creativity, what it is, why it’s important and how to access it within themselves. For more information, visit

Follow Yaro

View Yaro Starak's profile on LinkedIn
Follow us on Instagram


  • Very interesting parallels with the software that you use and great interview too. I’m quite an experienced marketer and still find it hard to make money online.

    • It can be difficult to spot opportunity when they arise, because many entrepreneurs are looking at the surface when sometimes you have to look deeper at things around you to find things that can help you reach your goal. The 20 percent only comes when you do change mindset and find out what truly matters and then act accordingly. Apple has whole different way of finding an opportunity and truly making it work for their company. You have to get people to think differently in order to spot an opportunity at times.

      • Hey Devon, thanks for your comment, it certainly shows up in Apple’s innovative & successful business that they’re doing something differently doesn’t it? Interesting to think about, cheers, neroli

        • its so true that entrepreneurs only make 20% of their sales from 80% of their time and make 80% of their money from 20% of their time. its all about money making activities concentrating on the stuff that makes you the money.., period

          • Sam

            Hey Jack, its not just with money making, it’s everywhere! A student studies hard and 80% of the questions come from 20% of what he has studied….. lol…

            Jokes apart, this is applicable everywhere – Advertising, marketing, PR and what not. Hence this 80/20 rule is considered to be universal.

          • I guess a big mistake a lot of novice marketers make is they spend 80% of their time focus and energy on the 80% part of their business which is bringing in only 20% of their income in hopes that they can “bring it up” when really they should be focusing on the 20% that is already there!

    • Hey Danny 😉 It’s interesting isn’t it? We can spend a lot of time getting really good at something, but there really does seem to be that tipping point each of us needs to suceed, reach, and from all the research I do, it becomes ever clearer that the tipping point is psychological. I wish you the best of luck finding that shift within.

      I’ve got another really interesting interview coming up Jeremy Britton, who started out just smashing it with techniques and thought mindset was some bogus hippy thing, but he discovered through experience that making the money without the mindset led to some serious disasters in his own life and the lives of his clients.

      Cheers, neroli

  • Raj

    Something that all money in this world cannot buy, is hiding within our minds! As you said, the obvious is not always obvious. When we were kids, so many things seemed obvious to us but they are not so any more. I guess the primary reason for it is experience. With time comes knowledge and wisdom! A Thought provoking post.

    • Thanks Raj 🙂 It’s amazing how much wiser we become with age hey? I wish I had the wisdom I have now when i was younger, but I guess that’s just not the way it works! cheers, neroli

  • Thank Neroli..very nice article…Where 80% Of Your Success Is Hiding?…I just want to share with you about this…success and failure is more than just a matter of whats on in our’s mind, or ou’r psychology…but we have to thingking about our’s blue frint..And our’s blue print was created and we call it “fate”…the problem is we have a blue print that was done by the creator…and remember…our blind spots and our own faulty operating system work just follow the our’s “blue print” and that the “game”…if we do not aware of our “fate” …that’s would make all we do against our’s fate and would make big problems…the more hard work we do “ but against” our fate..The vainer we have…no more inspirations..
    ..and no more Sam Stosur’s Secret To Winning …”This time she just had everything in place, she had her mind right. Her mind was in the right place and it all came together for her to win.”

    • Hey Harmen 😉 I like your comment about having a blue print for life. I think we have some kind of blue print, and our life flows when we create according to our blue print, but we also get to choose how we want live our lives.

      I had a funny dream a really long time ago that there were Angels were walking around the big shed at my parents cattle station carrying the blue print for my life around in big cylinders – like the things you post documents or put maps into. I was trying to look in the cylinders to see what my blue print looked like – but all I could see was through the other end of the cylinder 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, cheers, neroli

  • Great advice, i can’t believe 20% of what i do accounts for most of my results. That means most of what i do doesn’t mean anything. It kind of make sense because i’ve heard before elsewhere that to increase your success rate you need to double your failure rate.

    • I can see where you wouldn’t want to believe that, Sokun, but it’s not that 80% of what you do doesn’t matter. Wouldn’t that be bleak? The idea is that 20% of what you do will be the most effective tasks for growth toward your goal. The other 80% counts, those task simply aren’t the most effective things you’ve done.

      • Hey Daniel:) Great to see you again:) Love the new avatar pic too! i must be due for a new one soon….maybe in the new year. Thanks for adding some clarity to the 80/20 rule for Sokun, everything we do matters for sure, cheers, neroli

    • Hey Sokun 🙂 Daniel’s right, everything you do matters, it’s just that there’s a small percentage of what you do that gets you the best results, that’s what we’re encouraged to focus on. But in this article, I’m making the point that 80% of success is in our mindset, as Kerwin says in the video interview.

      I’ve got another interesting interview booked with a business man who started out ignoring the mindset aspect and was still very successful financially, but he kept running into major problems elsewhere – it might be an interesting read for you to help understand this topic some more 😉

      Thanks heaps for your comment, cheers, neroli

  • Mindblowing and Interesting too…

    Thanks a lot for this now I have to get work on my psychologically induced blind spot which really matters lot for me in my daily routine as the same like you have given example of not getting salt which is just infront of our eyes.

    • He-he, that story made me laugh too Mel 😉 It’s so easy to relate to it! It got me thinking as well, I haven’t been able to forget it since the interview & I keep wondering about my own blind spots & what I’m missing. Cheers, neroli

  • I’ve always said the reason new bloggers fail is because they spend too much time and effort focused on and writing about the technical and not enough time on the psychology behind their tactics but this articles puts it beautifully, Neroli. I never thought about how big a roll this could play in findning success, but now you’ve really got me thinking.

    • Hey Daniel 🙂 I just gave you an excited welcome back in a comment above, so will jump straight to your comment.

      Actually, it reminds me of what i just told Mel in a reply to her comment above…this whole psychology thing just keeps coming up for me. There must be a really important piece of the puzzle waiting to fall into place around it, because every where I turn, I’m reminded of the importance of mindset.

      I certainly need to improve and build on my technical skills too – but it does feel like I’d be wasting my time if I didn’t pay due attention to my mindset. I heard John Assaraf speak again last week, and the way he explained some of this was amazing, particularly how our minds need re-wiring if we want to get out of our current mindset to experience something different.

      CHeers, neroli

  • Hi Neroli, I am too tired (big day) to write but as I read and listened to my mind 3 things I relate to in business.
    1.The salt is the preservation ….cash flow
    2.The spice is the core of a business
    3. The pepper is what keeps us on our toes.
    The recipe to success when you can understand this analogy is simple.
    Kerwin from his experienes has learnt to look outside the square and pantry:)
    Delegate andlearn this great art , shows you know how to trust, Faith comes when you have no fear, Truth is believing..I know it sounds all a bit too philosophical ….and the key is STRATEGY!!! have them in place and ready…:A Strategy is our execution , no not die..!!! 🙂 and I am sure Kerwin understands that one…If at first it fails make sure you have your next move/strategy ready planned.! In reference to voids TBC..night sweet lady..xx great article as usual ! 🙂

    • sorry about’s late..xx

    • Ha-ha, hey Anna 🙂 I’m not at all worried about typos! I make plenty, especially when tired! I like your analogy of the salt – pepper -spice in relation to business. Very good way of seeing it working altogether. Also, strategy – I’ve heard a lot of successful business people really press this as an extremely important element to success – great comment! CHeers, xxn

  • Hi Neroli, I didn’t actually know about the 80/20 rule but it is really interesting. Psychology does play a big role in anything. I have noticed a lot of times that with the competition staying close, I have won or failed a lot of times in my life just based on my psychological approach to the task. That made the biggest difference.

    It is quite incredible that we are only conscious of 2000 of 400 billion bits of information that we take in. The salt example is a good one. I watched a program on TV a while back where a test was being carried out and how the same person’s success rate of intercepting a particular blip on the screen amid a jumble of other graphics kept changing each time he did it, basically the more conscious that he got of what was right in front of him.


    • Hey Jean! Look at your avatar pic! Have you commented here since getting a new pic? I don’t remember seeing you as “you” before 😉 cool – great pic.

      That show you mentioned sounds fascinating, like a perfect example of what Kerwin’s talking about. It’s also pretty cool you’ve been able to observe yourself to see how your own success & failure rate is affected by your psychology. Most of the time, we’re so involved in the “game” or “competition” we lose our ability to observe what’s going on in our minds. But it certainly does hold the keys to success & failure.

      I watch what my mind does in my group PT sessions, and it totally runs the show over my bodies responses to the exercise!

      great to see you again, cheers, neroli:)

      • Hi Neroli, I’ve had the gravatar for a while now. I think I mentioned about it to you in another post, although I can’t remember which one but I’m glad you like it!

        Yes, those type of shows have always piqued my interest as they let us go deep into our psychology and learn about the mysterious ways in which our brain works.

        That is a great way to breeze through the PT exercises! I find my gym sessions quite hard to get through sometimes but when I have a lot of things on my mind, I find it easier to get through the exercises as I am practically in another world where I am trying to find solutions to my problems.


  • Sam

    The problem in finding the 80% hidden success is because there is no metrics involved. Say for example, when applying this 80/20 rule in marketing (even applicable for internet marketing) we have metrics to measure. Same rule with traditional advertising. But when you say in online money making scenario, how can we apply that.
    For eg: Say a website is trying to improve ad click CTR. Though one can tweak and measure, there is always room for improvement right. How would one crisp and find the max optimal rate? Its definitely impossible! Just my opinion. Open for thoughts !

    • Hey sam,

      I think someone like Yaro or Gideon would be able to give a much better answer to your question about figuring out the 80/20 rule in a clear & accurate manner in relation to online business. I’m pretty new to it myself, so any answer i give would be from a novice who’s learning the online ropes. Both Yaro & Gideon have been successful online entrepreneurs for a long time now, so I’d recommend dropping them both a line to see what their responses are:)

      cheers, neroli

  • VOID….
    I just love that ‘Scotoma’ it is actually a Greek word for ‘in the dark ‘ besides the fact the Greeks gave a lot to western civilization and is more than likely going to be the catalyst for some major world shifts in all of the above, however ! I will get to that another time along with the psychology and number crunching:) Am I doing it right? The 80/20.

    After listening to your interview again this morning with my fix of a wake up coffee I realised one part of Kerwin’s story I relate to. That four letter word. No not the ‘F’word…VOID! It really triggered an emotional memory of my own journey to the state of feeling quite down. Then as I continued to, as one does, think and pondered over something that just sits in my stomach connected to my mind:) I logically try to put some perspective in not only Kerwin’s story however my own which is somewhat similar. I was almost mad at you Kerwin!!! for triggering a sensitive point 🙂 until my brain separated the two.

    • Emotion versus logic and looked at the positive side of VOID.
    If you look up the word on Wilkpedia it has no reference to emotion. It is initially ‘Void (astronomy), the empty spaces between galaxy filaments’ . Yes you might argue it’s synonym ‘Empty or meaningless’.

    Hang on all those voids we all have on finding ourselves and our search for self satisfaction , spiritual or business journey can be taken in a positive way and not as emptiness, that gap will always widen if you are a high achiever and there is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself with whatever might take your fancy at the time.

    Men and their toys, we love them too, yes! Neroli, shoes as you mention ,clothes , luxury , expensive perfume etc. All the things that money can buy when we work damned hard for it, besides for every cent you spent you have helped to put bread on someone’s else table. ‘What a great excuse for spending 🙂

    Then at some point you find yourself evolving after reaping the rewards of hard work and what got your rocks off back then doesn’t do it for you today. So you move on to ‘NEXT’!

    One can look at this in two ways. Money doesn’t necessarily buy you happiness but on the other hand it damn well can help you to find it. I am writing this as I have always had an ability of listening to my intuition and when I don’t I could kick myself for it. It’s a women’s thing usually you might say but we all have it and Kerwin would in his own journey understand and teach this. Without getting to much into my own personal detail because this is Neroli’s interview and Kerwin’s story . A girlfriend calls me to say ” I have a spare ticket to this Ultimate Business Seminar ” It is for 3 days and Anthony Robbins with Richard Branson were guest speakers. My girlfriend says “Anna ( as I am known) come along you will enjoy meeting my friends ” . Ok I was trying to fill a void of socialising and meeting new friends. I was on the ‘NEXT ‘ phase of my journey and thought it’s time to widen my network and meet some new people for social events. I certainly was not going for the intention of any money making schemes and the people I met at the time were from all different work related industries. Some successful, others I had the sense were not likely to ever be self employed. Which is fine, success does not mean you need to be self employed. A mother raising children or a man learning to change a nappy is a success in their own right.

    Back to that word VOID..! Here I was sitting freezing to death , yawning at some of the speakers that had all this quick rich schemes and if you really believe that some of those opportunities exist today (apologies should this sound offensive) then I suggest you start looking around at ’Today’ and the major world changes taking place. I never thought I would live to see a war however we are in the midst of one it is not ‘opla’ The Greek word for explosives and bombs. I see it as an economic war and a change for the new way of living be it business or other as in Kerwin’s talk.

    So I sit through 3 days of listening, taking notes and then here comes on stage Kerwin. Within seconds this person grabbed my full attention, first with his visuals and his humane stories amongst his marketing values. I thought finally someone making some real sense here combining real truths about success and the fact I love marketing.It is a great fulfilment. So I signed up for his Masterclass. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I could only attend one day. My only complaint was ‘by the way’ I kept to myself, I am freezing, turn that bloody aircon down. For once I shut up put up and listened. Well known trick to keep us from falling asleep is to turn the aircon up:)

    Kerwin’s company was kind enough to allow me to return in this coming November to finish the course.(looking forward to it) In the interim I follow Kerwin on Facebook and amongst many comments from his students and friends I meet the lovely Neroli above and a beautiful friendship has developed with a like minded person.

    After this morning’s episode of taking the VOID as a negative emotional trigger I now realise how positive a VOID in my life has turned out. The universe is connecting me to like minded people that is finally inspiring me to pursue that void that I knew was there and did nothing about it until recent.

    So my dear Neroli and Kerwin another parallel of synchronicity ! Now I will look at a ‘VOID’ not as a negativity in my life, instead I will perceive it as a daisy flower. Not ‘he loves me not or yes he does’ and what will the outcome be. ‘Will I or will I not’ and look forward to the result and always use this metaphor as a rebirth just as a flower blossoms in the springtime. Thank you both for the great food for thought and changing a perception within me that grows like an unwanted weed in our gardens. You changed my thinking today so much that I will never feel like something is missing , I will pull that weed out and plant a new seed!

    P.S to Kerwin, thank you for very cleverly saving me the embarrassment of spelling your name wrong on FB. Now that is professionalism at it’s best.!!! One very clever man and a beautiful woman on every level.!Neroli 🙂 xx

    • hey Anna 🙂 that was quite an epic comment! I haven’t forgotten to reply to it, it was jst such a big comment, I had to let it sink in & re-read it a few times to get all of it.

      It’s very cool that you have that transcendent experience of understanding voids. They really are one of the greatest blessings in our lives, but we often don’t realize it. In the creative process, if you understand them, voids are the most desirable things experience, because the emptiness of a void is teaming with untapped and unexpressed potential.

      The emptiness & stillness of a void is something most people are terrified of, and if you look around at our lives, it’s easy to see that a massive part of western “civilization” is geared towards constantly trying to cover up or fill those voids…Rather than letting ourselves drop into them fully and let them gift us with insights and wisdom that comes from the deepest part of our souls. It sounds like you allowed yourself to drop into this and fully and emerged refreshed, inspired and fulfilled with an inner knowing that nothing in the outside world can match. Lovely 🙂

      AND this is the place that holds all our seeds for future creative expression, as you say, so a void really is the essence of creativity, well done Anna, creative genius at work! xxn

  • I believe that wealth creation is all in the mind. Just like the cliche” What the mind can perceive, the body can achieve”. 🙂

    • Sam

      Well, Yeah, I have to achieve to you to some extend but not completely. In today’s marketing world we need to plan and execute things. With just thinking it is not going to happen right?

      • Right on both counts Golden Boy & Sam, it’s all in the mind, it all starts in the mind, but any creation needs strategic planning & execution to be really successful. We can succeed without always being strategic, but strategy in our planning and execution totally amp up our success levels & rate 😉

        cheers, neroli

  • Ann

    Customer Services makes up the bulk of the 20%

    • Sam

      We might need to look in from a broader perspective. Not only customer service will enable people to bring the profits. It is research, quality of product, market saturation in a niche, competition and pricing will come into picture. Just my 2 cents !

      • I agree with you on this Ann.

        Sam’s points about quality of product etc are valid & important. If we sold crap products into a saturated market at overblown prices, of course our business would fail – so they’re good points….but they’re also the basic any entrepreneur has to learn in the beginning. If they don’t know this already, they’ll find out the hard way pretty fast.

        But what Ann’s saying is right for any business starting or established. The reason people buy from us, providing we’re offering them something of value that they want, is because they know, like & trust us….& that’s all in the customer service sphere 🙂 cheers, neroli

  • […] View the original here: The 80/20 Rule For Making Money – […]

  • I never thought that there are rule named after on this concept. I use this almost 3 years ago.

  • west palm beach condos

    Very inspiring. I never really thought that being successful could be achieve this way. I mean yes, there are values that are needed and there’s also tools but i never really look at it this way. Thanks for a very creative and inspiring post. It’s quite lengthy but i sure learned a lot from this write up.

  • Great post! The power to create is actually from within. This is so inspiring and motivating. Thanks.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Yaro: Email | RSS | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn | Instagram | YouTube