September 2015 Archive

The 80/20 Rule, and how it can change your business

Well hello there friends!

I have something really amazing for you today.  What I want to give you in the next four minutes is possibly the single most profound and practically helpful business principle out there.  I’m not even kidding.

If you can understand and apply this single principle it can literally change your business and the way your business affects your life.

Powerful stuff.  Are you ready?


Have you ever heard of Pareto’s Principle? Maybe you have heard of it referred to as the 80/20 rule?  In its simplest form it means that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It is a principle that has been proven to be true both in the natural world (gardening, economics, psychology) as well as in business.  So what does this mean for you?

It means that it is very likely that a few of the following are true:

20% of your clients are generating 80% of your income
20% of what you are filling your time with during the work day is generating 80% of your profit
20% of your marketing investment are generating 80% of your sales
20% of your images on Pinterest are generating 80% of your repins
20% of your clients are generating 80% of your word of mouth referrals
20% of your products are generating 80% of your sales
20% of your work day activities or clients are generate 80% of your frustration

So what’s the big deal? How does that knowledge change my life?

The smartest and most successful business owners are the ones who have identified where this principle is true in their own business and have taken drastic measure to refocus their time, energy, creativity and resources into that powerful 20%.

Here’s what that looks like:

Sara has identified her top (20%) clients generating 80% of the sales and instead of trying to spread herself across all of her clients equally, she invests extra time and resources in these top clients with personal follow up phone calls, thank you notes and/or extra special client gifts.

Tory realized that there were only two activities that actually made her money during her work day, actually shooting newborn portraits and direct client communication that built the client relationship which generated 80% of her referrals.  Once she made that realization she hired an assistant to do all of the administrative tasks associated with her business, even blogging! Now she is not only freed up to spend her time doing what she loves but she has more than tripled her profit potential because she has substantially increased the number of shoots that she can take in a given work week.

Maria did an 80/20 assessment of her product sales and identified that 80% of her revenue the previous year came from only 20% of her product line.  She made the decision to drop the entire other 80% of her product line that was taking away her design time and increasing manufacturing and marketing costs and redirected all of her creativity and resources into expanding and improving that remaining 20% of her products that were her top sellers.  The following year her revenue more than doubled.

Hopefully your wheels are beginning to turn about how this principle could profoundly impact your business. Take some time this weekend to answer the following two questions:

1. What are the 20% of the activities that you do during the week that cause you the most (likely 80% of your) frustration or pain?

2. What are the 20% of your work day activities that generate 80% of the revenue/results/happiness.

I truly hope that you let this idea simmer. It doesn’t matter how many years you have been in business; A simple 80/20 assessment should be a regular part of your rhythm and will give helpful and powerful insight every time!

Do business beautifully friends!


**This post was originally part of the SC Insiders monthly newsletter. If you want to receive more posts like this and free monthly images directly to your inbox, subscribe to the newsletter today!**

In the shop: black, white and gold styled blogger desktop

Did you catch the release of our black and white desktops last week? While the black background styled stock images are quickly becoming a favorite over in the SC Stockshop, we knew we couldn’t leave out our faithful white background lovers!


Created with the classic SC style, these new black, white and gold desktops are sure to make your heart swoon! Like their black counterparts, these new desktops have a distinct editorial feel and we think they are just perfect for bloggers and fashion lovers.


Purchase the discounted Brand Builder Set or mix and match with individual images. These are sold in very limited quantities and won’t last long, so shop now!

How to make your passion profitable (free Ebook!)

If you subscribe to my newsletter, then you know how much I love talking about the business side of being a creative business owner. I really love sharing resources I find helpful and I am especially excited to share this one with you today! The sweet ladies from Creative at Heart have put together a wonderful ebook on How to Make Your Passion Profitable and the best part is, it’s 100% FREE! I was so honored to have been asked to contribute to this resource. I think working through how to turn your passion into a profitable, thriving business is a wonderful conversation to have and that it is something many are afraid to explore.


In my opinion, the key to a successful and profitable creative business is finding that thing that you are uniquely best at AND that solves a problem or fills a need for your potential client.  It is sort of a magic formula that takes trial and error and deep thinking to solve but when you do, the growth and success begins to happen organically.

Without any preconceived notions, ask yourself the following two sets of questions.

Set 1:

  • “ What do I LOVE doing that comes naturally to me? ”
  • “ What do I feel uniquely gifted at? ”
  • “ What could I do all day and never tire of ? ”

When you can answer these question you are halfway there. Then you have to do the hard work of answering the second set of questions:

  • “ What is my ideal client ’s biggest struggle and burning need? ”

Ask them what their biggest frustrations are and listen to what they say.  Ask yourself how you can create a product or service that solves a real problem in a way that is in line with what you enjoy and are gifted at.  Answering the first set of questions uncovers a life-giving hobby.  When you answer the second set of questions you have discovered a potential business!!

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To read more tips on how to make your passion profitable from several other inspiring boss ladies, download your free copy of this ebook today!

In the shop: Black and white styled desktops on black background!

I am insanely excited to finally launch something I have been scheming for awhile now! For the first time ever in the SC Stockshop we have created a styled black and white Brand Builder Set on all black backgrounds!


Blog4This styled stock photography set is perfection for bloggers and business owners with a distinctly fashion forward, editorial aesthetic. Get the discounted set of four or purchase individual downloads featuring black, white, and gold desk accents on all black backgrounds.

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Shop now to get these stunning styled black desktops before they are sold out!

Free Styled Stock Images For You!

Let me ask you a question friends, who here doesn’t love free stuff? I know I do! That is why each month it gives me so much joy to send out free styled stock images to everyone signed up for my SC Insiders Newsletter!

2013 Shay Cochrane

The free monthly download goes out around the first of each month and I also like to share what I am learning, struggling with, or working through in business at the time. So you get to hear more from me personally, receive any helpful business gems I have come across that month, and get your free monthly styled stock image download!

2013 Shay Cochrane

This month readers received several free image downloads and I really don’t want you to miss out! If you love these fun, tropical palm leaf images, then you will love getting free styled stock images straight to your inbox each month! Each month I send a different styled stock image that is available for immediate download to be used to promote your blog, business, shop products, workshop, and more. How fun is that?!

2013 Shay Cochrane

I really love connecting with readers each month through the newsletter and it’s not too late to sign up! And because I wouldn’t want you to miss out, I have included the Instagram square images from this month’s newsletter here in this post, yay! To download any of the palm styled stock images you see in this post, simply click the image and then right click and save to your computer. Be sure to tag the #scstockshop and @scstockshop when you use it so I can celebrate your business, blog, and products with you!

2013 Shay Cochrane

We would love to get your free monthly image downloads to you! Sign up to become an SC Insider today!



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