Richard Koch: Rejoice For Setbacks!

Richard Koch on setbacks

If I could attribute the success of my business to one particular insight, it was from Richard Koch’s 80/20 Principle, also known as the Pareto’s Rule.

Of course, Koch didn’t come up with idea, but he had arguably done more to popularize it in the business world than anyone else.

Here’s the remarkable thing about the 80/20 Principle – its universality. I have used it not only to build my business, but also to improve across all areas of my life.

Yesterday, I had heard Koch talking about his new book (“Unreasonable Success And How To Achieve It”) on the Aviation Innovation Podcast (hear it here), and this quote piqued my interest greatly (edited for brevity):

I remember someone said to me in my mid 20’s, “The problem with you, Richard, is that you never suffered. You never had a serious setback in your career. And unless you have a serious setback, you’re not going to be really successful.”

Then, two or three years later, I was working for the Boston Consulting Group, and I virtually got fired. So, that was the setback, but it was enormously helpful.

I would say to anyone who is suffering from a serious setback, whether it’s personal, psychological, business-related or whatever… rejoice! It might be deeply unpleasant, but it’s a springboard for the future.

Like everyone else, I have had my share of setbacks, but I was glad that they happened, because each of those setbacks had taught me precious lessons that I wouldn’t have learnt otherwise.