The 80/20 rule is a rule used in business. It states that you probably spend 80% of your time achieving 20% of your results. – That’s in fact pretty tragic: Every 5th minute of your working life is fully productive. – The rest of the minutes are around 4 or more times less productive. Can that be changed? To a certain extent; yes.
The 80 20 rule has two blades: 20% of your effort generates 80% of your results; and 80% of your effort generates 20% of your results.
If you can make 80% of your results happen with 20% of your effort, as is already happening, then you can duplicate that success and apply it to your remaining time. – Therefore producing a total of 480% of your previous productivity.
Once you’ve identified and cut out the wastage, you can skyrocket your productivity.
As a musician you’re a business, or as a band you’re jointly a business. Unless you’re doing music as a hobby only and not making any money from doing so this is a fact. As a business the 80/20 rule applies to you. – And 80%
of your time is pretty much wasted, yielding only 20% of your results!
Think about that a second: If you work full-time; 8 hours a day on your music/entertainment career – that’s 480 minutes – then statistically, using the 80/20 rule, you’ll achieve 80% of what you’re trying to create in only 96 of those minutes. = One hour 36 minutes.
The other six hours and 24 minutes; they’re not wasted, but they could be a lot more productive. In 6 hours 24 minutes you achieve one fifth, or 20%, of the progress you make in just one hour 36 minutes. That’s half of your potential productivity in total that’s not utilised. The fact is that – in a perfect world – you could be over twice as productive as you currently are for the same amount of effort.
As we know; this isn’t a perfect world, and reaching 100% productivity 100% of the time is pretty much unattainable. – But life is short. I’m sure you as a person don’t want to spend 80% of your life achieving only 20% of your career goals. I certainly don’t. – So how can we improve things?
If we’re getting most of our achievements from a fifth of our time then we need to identify what we’re doing in that fifth of our time that is bringing results and spend a lot more of our time – like 80% of our time – doing it. We also need to identify what we’re doing with the other four-fifths of our time that is achieving very little and spend a lot less of our time – like 20% of our time – doing it…
If we could turn things on their head; and spend 80% of our time being fully productive – rather than just 20% of it – and just 20% of our time being less productive: That is to say kicking back and working on the less productive tasks, then we’d get more productivity in total as a result: Over twice the productivity factor, and it could easily bring over twice the accomplishments as a result.
But how do we do that? Can it be done? Let’s look at it this way: Why are some musicians/entertainers stars, while others are virtual nobodies? Are the stars achieving more productivity than the nobodies? – It would appear so.
There is a place online where you can learn a lot more about how to beat the 80/20 rule – as a musician or as any other type of business-person. That place is David Risley’s * Blog Marketing Academy *; a place where you can gain access to specific tools, action plans, and strategies which anyone can follow – in order to turn their website/blog into a powerful marketing and moneymaking tool. – It’s well worth at least a look.
Am I just being a fantasist here? Not at all: Everybody has a certain number of limbs, a similar life-expectancy, and 24 hours in a day.
You don’t imagine Lady Gaga or Beyoncé somehow manage to make every day longer than anybody else’s do you? – And no: The Illuminati don’t secretly provide them with a time-machine: Don’t be so stupid: The Illuminati are a long-dead society that has been figuratively resurrected into a 21st century conspiracy theory by nutjob ex-BBC commentator David Icke. Also time-travel technology on earth is virtually if not completely non-existent.
It appears that it’s not how much time we have as much as what we as musicians/entertainers do with that time that matters.
Let me give you some examples of five things that impact negatively on your time and productivity: –
Feeling that you have to keep a regular posting schedule on your website.
Yes many so-called “experts”, as well as a lot of bloggers, will tell you that you have to post to a schedule to keep your fans with you.
WRONG. If that’s what your fans want then they should be subscribing to a magazine rather than, or as well as, following you. The only thing you’ll get from posting to a schedule is a high percentage of crappy posts, and burnout. The crappy posts will be the 80% in which you’re creating 20% of the productivity.
Rather than striving, to the exclusion of everything else, to produce blog posts to a schedule, for the sake of new material and the fear that your fans will desert you if you falter; instead post in-depth with conciseness, and/or give great detail on the subject with valuable content. when there is something worth posting about.
It’s better to create one post with a great story, deep meaning and great content, than to post a regular piece of insignificant drivel every day. – And you don’t have to post every day. In fact you don’t have to post regularly, to a schedule, at all.
Yes I know that so-and-so guru will tell you otherwise. So-and-so guru is posting as much as possible, because you – and others like you – are buying what so-and-so guru posts and advertises: You think that doing what so-and-so guru says will help you make money online ‘eventually’.
Let me ask you: Who is actually making the money? So-and-so guru is doing well off of your money. How well are you doing? How much money are you making online?
Do you make enough or almost enough to pay so-and-so guru? Congratulations: You work for so-and-so guru.
You say that you can’t possibly be working for so-and-so guru because they don’t pay you; rather you pay them. – Congratulations: You’re a slave for so-and-so guru.
*If so-and-so guru’s services were worth the money you pay them; you should be making a living wage by taking their advice. – Think about that a while.*
Waiting for inspiration
Whilst it’s true that inspiration comes in spurts… (Oh please! Wash your mind…) If you schedule time for sitting around thinking and strumming a guitar until a great song forms in your head, then you could spend literally months in imagining and devising a single track, no matter how good it is.
The awesome track will come to you in time and when you least expect it, so always be ready to take notes and record yourself humming a tune. – Capture a larger percentage of creativity.
Spending too long making your website look ‘pretty’.
As an entertainer you want to have an attractive website with the content nicely laid out; but spending too much time on it to the exclusion of other more important issues is just spinning your wheels and going nowhere.
Would Tesco or Wal-Mart increase their turnover if they set up all their stores in palaces? No.
Harrods is a plush store with expensive and quality products; but their main goal is selling, rather than just looking nice.
They all use a building fit for purpose with easy access, good publicity, plenty of space, and lots of great offers. Everything is arranged inside perfectly, to draw in people as customers, and to maximise their customers’ retail experience. That’s what a business does: It sells things. That’s what your business should do: Look good, but not necessarily extravagantly so, and in the main it should sell things – like your music for instance.
*Palaces don’t sell product. – Offers and marketing campaigns sell product.*
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). SEO – as you used to know it – is dead. Google is too smart to be gamed.
While keywords, meta tags and descriptions, + layouts and proper HTML/PHP formatting, still matter to an extent; spending hours a day on SEO optimisation is a waste of time: If your post is crap you won’t get it rated higher by search algorithms by stuffing it with keywords, using many long-tailed keywords, or fancy meta tags any longer. Writing decent content will increase your search-ranking far more than any of the other outdated stuff.
*SEO can take up 80% of your time and/or resources if you let it; though I doubt you’ll even see 20% of the results from it.*
Making music to a schedule.
Just like posting to a schedule – and I’m speaking from experience here – you’ll turn out a few good tracks and more not-so-good tracks if you do that. You’ll also start to feel burnout. Take your time. In fact the longer you take with each track the better it’ll be – to a point.
The above 5 points do need to be taken into consideration and acted upon by doing at least something about them; but they’re NOT the only issues. I can’t cover everything here; so I’ll have to leave you some detective work: –
You do need to keep up the momentum in your posting to your site to a certain extent; but what’s the point of posting when you’ve no inspiration for anything to post about? Maybe you have nothing to post about either? You’ll end up posting crap for the sake of posting.
Guess what; your fans don’t want crap – but if your posts are crap because you posted for the sake of posting then you’re going to lose fans.
You can’t create songs/tracks/music/posts without inspiration; but sitting about waiting for it is wasting time that you could be spending in getting the mundane routine issues of business sorted.
If you’re, say, doing the books, and suddenly a song comes to you about cooking the books, then drop everything and make notes, even create and produce the song, then return to the books, or whatever you were doing.
It’s a bonus when your website looks great as well as performs well; but there’s a matter of priority here: Performance and appearance should share equal priority. The cosmetics may compliment the performance at the end of the day; but not by a large enough factor to be worrying about the appearance before the overall effectiveness of the site.
SEO can be sorted by plugins and good themes: WordPress SEO and Optimize Press are two that I use on this site. They take a lot of the worry out of my SEO optimisation by pretty much doing it for me. They’re not free as a pair: Optimize Press will cost you a one-off fee, and you’ll be able to use OP on three websites as either a plugin or a theme for that price. – You have to speculate to accumulate: If you want a free music career then good luck and goodbye.
If you achieve a music/entertainments career with success for free and your name’s not One Direction then you’ll be pretty much the first person/band ever to do so without cheating the system. Please inform me if you can ever honestly say you’ve achieved that. – You could be in for making some big money if that were indeed the case… But realistically it can’t be done; so it’s not even worth wasting your time trying.
(I know I’ve upset some wannabes now and probably lost a couple of fans as a result; but you know me. – I tell it as it is.)
I code my own theme on this site, and no it’s not as good in terms of SEO-ability as, say, Genesis Framework – which is another reason I use Yoast SEO plugin. –> I’m a code freak, and it’s how I roll.
Making music to a schedule… Don’t.
Unless you’re planning on taking a break from music and then making a comeback; it’s not wise to let years go by without producing anything. However even if you’re on contract to produce so many albums in such and such a time; don’t schedule it. – Do it but don’t schedule it. – I might say more on that at a later point in time.
-So there are 5 things to avoid.
There is a place online where you can learn a lot more about how to beat the 80/20 rule – as a musician/entertainer, or as any other type of business-person. That place is David Risley’s * Blog Marketing Academy *; a place where you can gain access to specific tools, action plans, and strategies which anyone can follow – in order to turn their website/blog into a powerful marketing and moneymaking tool. – It’s well worth at least a look.
You’ll no doubt be waiting for future instalments of this article with baited breath. (What exactly is “baited breath”? – Maggots on the tongue?)
You’ll want to know when I produce them. You’ll possibly be leaving this website shortly; because this isn’t the only interesting site on the internet, and then ‘chances are that you’ll forget, over time, all about this article, and this website. Will you ever return? Maybe, maybe not?
If you just leave then I’ve got no way of letting you know anything and you’ve got no way of knowing or even remembering, should you forget. I suggest we stay in touch by asking you to join my emailing list. As a reward for so doing I’ve composed a 30-minute piece of music which you may like – and it’s yours free if you join. Here’s the URL you’ll need; just in case the link didn’t do it for you:
I view what I’m about to say as a cliché because other people – a number of internet-marketers – use it, and I jokingly tell people that it’s what my surgeon said when I signed up for her medical-operation email list:
“I’ll look forward to seeing you on the inside.”.
Here’s my usual cliché:
Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do; but if you do: Don’t get caught.
‘Have a good one.