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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly life changing book for anyone - BUY IT!
I read this out of curiosity not realising the tremendous impact it would have. Not normally one to write reviews I felt I had to make the exception for this book. For me it provided that moment in my life where the light bulb switched on in my head and I said "ah- I get it".
Before, I was "successful" in the traditonal sense. Good job, nice home, a very normal guy...
Published on 12 April 2005

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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Great Insight But Richard Koch Overstates His Case
On the one hand, Richard Koch has a great insight, that most results (80%) come from a small number of causes (20%). Therefore, we should concentrate on the causes that are important both for specific outcomes and in your life generally. We should not waste our efforts on causes that are likely to have little effect on the overall outcome.

On the other hand,...
Published on 30 July 2009 by Honest Dude


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly life changing book for anyone - BUY IT!, 12 April 2005
By A Customer
I read this out of curiosity not realising the tremendous impact it would have. Not normally one to write reviews I felt I had to make the exception for this book. For me it provided that moment in my life where the light bulb switched on in my head and I said "ah- I get it".
Before, I was "successful" in the traditonal sense. Good job, nice home, a very normal guy. I always strived for more, working hard and generally putting unnecessary pressure on myself.
The book's principle is so simple yet incredibly profound and can be applied to every aspect of life, from daily tasks to life changing decisions.
As a result, I really do so much less, am far more relaxed and only spend time doing things that are really important. The results are great- I'm far more effective - lazy intelligence instead of a busy fool.
I'm not really a self-help type and dislike most other titles out there but this book has really changed every aspect of my life and perspective on it.
I walk around feeling that I know something very few people truly understand which gives me the inner peace others seem to constantly strive for.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, 28 Jan. 2005
When we honestly look at how we spend our time, most of it is put to trivial uses, but if fully implemented the 80/20 principle would create a revolution in our work and lives.
When Richard Koch put out "The 80/20 Principle" in 1998 it was classified as a business book, but it was the section which applied the principle to personal life that made it such a big hit. The book made such an impact on me that I included it in a list of the key works in the personal development literature, along with the likes of Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale and Anthony Robbins. This list became "50 Self-Help Classics". I haven't regretted it.
True to his own principle of expanding on what works, the author has elaborated on the principle in subsequent books, but I personally do not tire of coming back to the 80/20 principle. Who COULD tire of a natural law? 'Living The 80/20 Way' is written in Koch's usual enjoyable style and is a superb place to start in understanding the principle. It won't take you long to read but may literally change your life. Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Advice and Enjoyable to Read, 24 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
This is so simple, so basic, and so clearly true ... yet in our lives we do the opposite. It's a short book and very easy to read, and it's not sugary like so many others, but it will really help you. The basic idea is not so complicated, but Richard Koch illustrates through the many examples just how to go about applying it to real life - something lacking in most books of this type. I genuinely believe this book can make a real difference and make sure that more of one's life is spent on useful things and less is wasted on stuff that at the end of the day is not really that important.
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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Great Insight But Richard Koch Overstates His Case, 30 July 2009
On the one hand, Richard Koch has a great insight, that most results (80%) come from a small number of causes (20%). Therefore, we should concentrate on the causes that are important both for specific outcomes and in your life generally. We should not waste our efforts on causes that are likely to have little effect on the overall outcome.

On the other hand, Richard Koch overstates his case because:
1) His Examples Require Technological Change. On page 21, he explains how our modern world achieves more with less. For example, today agriculture only employs 2-3% of the population yet it achieves more than when it employed 98% of the population. Today's computers have far more power than the early computers even though they are cheaper and smaller. The Sony Walkman is a versatile source of music despite it is not having speakers. All this is true, but until somebody has invented a better way of doing things, the idea of doing more with less, is no use to the overwhelming majority of people, because it relies on technological change that has not yet happened.

2) His Examples Rely on Hindsight. On page 13, he points out that if 5 people play poker, it is likely that one of them (20%) will walk away with at least 80% of the stakes. On page 16 he points out that 1% of entrepreneurs notably Bill Gates make more than 80% of the money from new enterprises. Again on page 16 he points out that police spies had details of thousands of professional revolutionaries yet only one of them Lenin achieved a lasting revolution. This may be true but we only know the detailed outcome with hindsight, so it is useless to most of us who have to make decisions without hindsight.

3) His Examples Rely on Distortions. In chapter 3, he talks about how we can all achieve much more with our time. On page 32, he quotes the example of Archimedes who in a flash of inspiration when his bath overflowed shouted Eureka (I have found it). However, it is only someone like Archimedes who spent a lifetime studying mathematics and physics who would get to this inspiration from an overflowing bath; most of us would not. On page 42, he gives the example of Warren Buffett who he claims is definitely not "super busy". That is a distortion, those who know Warren Buffett say he works extremely long hours, his secret is only making a few very good decisions but the research to support those very good decisions takes many hours. Warren Buffett loves his work and therefore claims "he tap dances into work" but he works very hard.

4) His Examples Rely on Omissions. On page 91, he illustrates how 'anyone can make a million' by saving 10% of their income and investing it for say 40 years. However, his example relies crucially on an investment growing at 10% every year which is unlikely in the real world. Thus, it is generally agreed that the last 10 years have been "a lost decade" for equities with share markets having hardly advanced during those 10 years. Also, he leaves out the effect of inflation which even if it is only 3% per year (and it may be higher) would mean the buying power of a million in 40 years time is much less than a million today. It may still be worth saving despite this, but surely, an honest author would point out disadvantages as well as advantages and that some assumptions are unrealistic.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less is more!, 2 Jun. 2004
By 
I'm normally sceptical of self-help books but I have read and enjoyed some of the author's previous business books. This book has the same chatty and forceful writing and the more you read of it the more you start to see that this guy talks a lot of sense. It has opened my eyes to changing the way I lead parts of my life and focusing more on what I can get out of life than what I need to put into it.
The most interesting parts I found were the "real life" stories and I'd like more of those. If you are fed-up of the rat-race and open to a new approach to living your life I do recommend reading this.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really seems to make a difference, 24 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
This book tells you to concentrate on the few important things in life. That sounds very obvious but the stories and examples are telling, and the author helps you to work out in detail your own plan to "work less, worry less, succeed more, enjoy more." I've already started and it's early days but it seems to be working.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will help you improve your life, 12 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
This book explains how you can work less and not only enjoy life more, but also achieve and earn more! And it has the ring of truth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended., 1 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
This one is even better than the classic book The 80/20 Principle from the same author.  And it's all about how to improve your personal life.  I've already started to put Richard Koch's advice into practice and I can testify that it works!  And at the same time, it's less effort than before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 Feb. 2014
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Koch has written a lot about the 80/20 principle. First he had some pages about it in his strategy books, then expanding and elaborating on the idea in "the 80/20 principle", seeing it as one of the fundamental laws of business, life, the universe and everything in "the power laws", trying to start an 80/20 revolution with "the 80/20 individual" and his more political and sociological writing such as "the third revolution" and "suciede of the west". More recently he has returned to strategy, finance and management with "the 80/20 manager".

"The 80/20 way" is a slightly different book in the sense that it is not written for a business audience, but rather for people in general. A consequence of this is that the examples are more focused on issues like how to get an education, how to get a job, how to save and invest money, how to build a personal relationship and how to obtain happiness by simple living. In fact, part 2 of the book deal with these five topics in this particular order, which seems more or less like the natural order of how most of us address these issues, and he then illustrates how the 80/20 principle can be used in each particular case.

Interestingly, when Koch writes about self-discovery, authenticity and education, the first of the five chapters in the middle of the book, he doesn't mention his own education at Oxford and Wharton, but rather chooses to illustrate the points by talking about his career as a management consultant and how various experiences from that period helped him understand aspects of himself in terms of why he was now living a different kind of life. As he already talked about Oxford and Wharton in "The 80/20 principle", these new insights was helpful for getting a fuller picture of a man who lives the 80/20 way. When he is not talking about himself, or people like Warren Buffet or Ronald Reagen, most of the people he has interviewed are rather ordinary people with modest ambitions. This is a mixture that works very well, and gives the book great balance.

The first part of the book, by the way, explained the three steps of how to live the 80/20 way. The first step is to focus on the 20% goals that produces 80% of happiness and achievement ("less is more"). The second step is to use the 80/20 principle for finding the easiest way for reaching the goals ("more with less"). The third step is to carry out the plan in the simplest way possible, once again using the 80/20 principle by focusing on the small and easy things that produce great results.

The third part of the book contains a simple template that illustrates how the ideas of 80/20 goal setting, 80/20 planning and 80/20 action can be implemented. An excellent example of a person wanting to become an expert on animal care illustrates how it can be used.

Personally, I think this is one of Koch's best books and it is by far the best self-improvement book I have ever read. His section on personal finance has been of much help for me over the years, which is a summary and a reflective extension of "Your Money or Your Life" (Dominguez & Robin, 1992).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Read for the Busy Person, 2 April 2011
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Curiosity made me read this book. Surprise caught me out when I realised that my well-organised days could be more productive by making some radical changes in my work practices. Unlike most books which seem to re-state the blindingly obvious, this includes case studies which stick in your mind and pop up at times when you're making business decisions - so that it has real usefulness in your working or business life. Of course, these ideas can also be applied to home life, but the book is mostly about getting more work-life balance by simply being smarter about what you choose to do with your time.
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