The 85% Rule

If you're trying to figure out what to do with your life, friends might suggest you ask yourself this question: What's easy for me but hard for others?

It's good advice.

Another question that's equally important to examine: What work are you willing to do that others are not?

In other words, where are you willing to grind?

At first glance, the leaders in most fields appear to do similar things to the rest of us. But look closely and you'll see that they're willing to do that little extra that others are not.

It's getting up 20 minutes early so you can stick to your meditation practice. It's staying back after the game to work on your shot.

You see this happening in business too. A sizeable part of Stripe's success can be ascribed to its willingness to grind through the financial regulatory environment. They got to the point where others had given up and kept going.

I'm a huge fan of Richard Koch's 80/20 principle. But the problem is if you aim for 80%, you look like everyone else.

Instead consider an 85% rule.

A sweet spot exists just beyond, where the work gets more challenging but if you're willing to stick it out, you stand out.

And if you happen to enjoy that sort of work, you're virtually unstoppable.