80 20 Success Tools that I use are listed here. Tools to help me run my business, blogs, and technology products. For each product listed, you will find:
- An outline
- why I use it and recommend it
- A possible affiliate link if available, otherwise a standard link
My 80 20 Success Tools List is broken down this way:
- Business Tools
- Nutrition & Diet
- Business Coaching, Advice, & Strategy
1. 80 20 Success Tools: Business
a. Website Related Products
Inmotion Hosting – website hosting
I was previously using BlueHost. They did a decent job. Their service was very helpful and they always solved my problems quickly. But even with VPS, my site speed was moderately good.
I then consulted with Brian Jackson. A young up and coming wordpress expert. (By the way, having a “board” of smart people advising you should be part of your 80 20 success tools list). And I followed his recommendations and got huge site speed increases and efficiencies from his ideas. One of them was using Inmotion which has 24/7 service via phone/chat/email which is insane, awesome and necessary today. I took the massive discount they offered, which you can get currently (January 2016) at this link, to give it a try.
Transferring to Inmotion was pretty easy. It did take a little time as a few kinks had to be worked out. they offer a web transfer service. Free for most people. But since my blog has 2,000 pages, they charged me $29.99 for expedited transfer services. Worth it to me.
After moving over fully I then achieved site speeds (the time it takes to load up my websites from your browser) with their standard plan that was equivalent to my former host’s VPS service. VPS = virtual private server. And unlike shared hosting, it’s supposed to be faster. Because “virtually” you are not sharing a server with anyone else. So that was an improvement. With Inmotion getting me the same speed at regular prices, I was impressed. (disclosure: affiliate link)
My Theme Shop – WordPress Themes
Another recommendation from Brian was to use My Theme Shop (MTS). Prior to 2013, I had used a wordpress theme that was customized by a SEO/marketing friend of mine. Then I decided in 2013 that I wanted a cool custom site. So I outsourced site construction to some cool guys in Nepal.
But having a WordPress theme without updates and support means your site starts breaking with WordPress updates. I also had a few features I could not adjust. Like the email signup on the home page that led to 1,000’s of Russians signing up for my list. By using MTS I bought a super crisp site theme, with clean minimalist coding.
This further sped up my site. I could see the difference immediately. But I could still do better. Hence some key plugins. (disclosure: affiliate link)
This free tool speeds up your site. By “caching” some data, site speed is enhanced. Another Brian Jackson recommendation. (No affiliate link)
When I ran webtests on my page speed, images were the largest drag on site performance. For example, by going to tools.pingdom.com, you can test your site speed. You also get a breakdown of what takes time. I could see the monster time eaten by my images. Enter Optimus. Optimus crunches images to smaller sizes making your site load faster.
It also tells you how much it reduces each image. And there’s a handy tool to click once and have all of your existing images compressed. This probably knocked 0.5 seconds off my load times. Huge these days. (No affiliate link)
b. Online Tools & Software
I’ve used Cloak (www.getcloak.com) since I got my Mac in January of 2013. I needed a VPN because I am in the financial field and want to (and need to) keep data from my contacts private.
I was super excited to find out that Cloak offered me the opportunity to get one subscription that covered all of my Apple devices. So my one account, with one fee. The super cheap plan starts at 2.99 for the base plan of 5GB/mo. By downloading the app for your Mac, iPad, and iPhone, you are covered with that one account.
Lets talk about that data limit for a second. First of all, their unlimited plan is $100/year. So if you’re online all the time at Starbucks, maybe that’s what you need. But as an insider tip, the Cloak team has a nice habit of boosting your data limit when you say nice things about them on Twitter. So if you’re on a budget, and need more than 5GB/month, try this idea. Sign up for the basic plan, then drop a nice tweet via @getcloak on Twitter, and they may just boost your limit.
For many people, who do some work at a coffee shop but may do most of their work on a safe network, the 5GB should be enough. But drop a nice tweet anyway. I did because their product does what I wish every product did. You set it up. And then it just works, automatically. (No an affiliate link)
Base CRM (www.getbase.com) was chosen after I scored 11 CRM’s on 10 different points. Disclosure – I was scoring these CRM’s based on usage for a financial planning firm, SO it was interesting when 2 of the CRM’s which were financial advisor specific were NOT chosen. Granted one of them may have installed the features I desired since I made the choice.
I wanted full Google integration first and foremost. I didn’t want a calendar on a closed system and I didn’t want email connected in a second hand way. I wanted a full Google partner. Base and 2 other CRM’s, Solve CRM and Prosperworks offered full Google Apps integration.
Solve seemed the most appealing for a Google tech geek that would want total data from Google customized. Prosperworks was cleaner than Solve and had full Google integration.
But Base had the cleanest interface and some integrations like Mailchimp and other Zapier connections that are helpful. (Disclosure: Affiliate Link)
Setmore is an online appointment booking too. There are a number of these out there and many are good. I tested about 8 of them before deciding on Setmore. Setmore is clean. They offer WordPress plugins. They also have buttons for Facebook, Zendesk and a number of other services.
You can also send new appointment contact information to your Mailchimp mailing list. There are a numbre of other features including the ability to embed the software into your webpage (WordPress via plugin non-wordpress with their code) or sending appointment inquiries to a separate page. (No affiliate link)
MileIQ is a textbook 80/20 tool as it basically does all of the tracking for you. You simply at the end of the week or month designate each drive you took as personal or business, add a note or two and you’re good!
it not only saves you time, but logs trips you might forget to log. For busy people, this app could put money back in your pocket as well as cut down the time to track mileage tremendously.
Watch the video above with Denise Yelvington CPA for more information and if interested, use Denise’s CPA discount code to get 20% off: DYEL587A
See full blog post here: http://chrisgrande.com/2017/01/20/fantastic-8020-tool-mile-iq-discussion-cpa-denise-yelvington/
2. 80 20 Success Tools – Nutrition and Diet
My family health history is terrible. Name the issue and it’s in there somewhere. Cholesterol? Yes. Cancer? Yes. Genetic disorder? Yes. So with that kind of history, I wasn’t interested in a way to keep trim/lose weight. I wanted a healthy way of eating.
Enter John McDougall. back in 1998, a friend lent me a copy of the 1991 book The McDougall Program. Which focuses on a low fat starch-based diet. Yes you read it right. A starch-based diet. His primary premise is that humans do best when a majority of their calories come from starch. He follows this up with his recent book The Starch Solution.
He cites early influences such as Dr Walter Kempner and his rice/sugar diet for curing type 2 diabetes. And his own early experience working on Hawaii. He noticed that first generation Asian immigrants had much better health profiles than their kids and grandkids who were born on Hawaii. And came to attribute that to diet differences. Immigrants were primarily rice eaters who had vegetables and some meat to flavor. Their kids were primarily meat eaters with other stuff secondary.
At the time I got the book, I had gained a bit of weight after college. I followed the McDougall program rather strictly, with moderate exercise and hit a weight that I had not been my entire adult life. I was thin, and my vitals were pretty good.
I’m someone whose dad has 300+ cholesterol with pills. So I wasn’t interested in following the heavily medicated approach. Sorry I just don’t believe in taking medications for a problem that could be fixed via diet. Many people don’t agree with me on this but my opinion is that they really don’t want to do what is required.
Now I live with no medications at a healthy weight (I am not super thin because I eat tremendous volume and do enjoy some high fat foods. But I can dial my weight down or up simply by adjusting my dessert-type food intake. Consider adding a proper meal plan to your 80 20 success tools list and 80/20 your health. Meaning you will save a lot of time not going to doctors and tests!. Not to mention $$$. (Amazon affiliate link for his books).
P90X 1-3 (~$120-140 but can often find on Craigslist for cheaper)
I did the first P90X program in 2013 and it worked great. My strength and endurance levels were way up. It is pretty intense so if you’re looking for a light workout, I think some of Tony Horton’s later stuff would suit better (P90x 2 and 3). But overall, the program delivers on fitness. (Disclosure: Amazon affiliate link)
3. 80 20 Success Tools – Business Coaching, Advice & Strategy
a. Perry Marshall ($99/month or email newsletter free with lots of promos)
If you are in a business that needs to market, you need to be plugged into Perry. There are a lot of “gurus” out there but I credit Perry with helping me think right about building a business and about how to make marketing decisions. Perry is also the one that got me laser focused on 80/20.
Example – Perry and the resources he provides are a major reason I do not spend much money or effort on Facebook marketing. I was intent on FB marketing but in one of Perry’s monthly mastermind calls, I learned that it was likely not the best place for me. I learned that doing what I was doing was best. That being referrals and working closely with complementary professionals who can cross refer. And also if I wanted to add something, add hyperlocal marketing.
A $99/month subscription to Perry Marshall provides monthly mastermind calls/webinars, a great monthly newsletter, tons of free resources that you might pay for and more. Free resources include things like his Definitive Guide to Google Adwords. And many other valuable resources like the awesome 80/20 stuff. (Amazon affiliate link for his book)
b. Paul Kingsman (free or buy his book)
Granted Paul focuses on the financial advisor field. And if that’s your field then great. If not, Paul’s mantra of “NO Distractions” applies to any endeavor. As a Bronze Medalist in the 1988 Summer Olympics, Paul knows full well how to set a long term goal and achieve it. I recommend his articles and his book the Distraction Proof Advisor to anyone. (Amazon affiliate link for his book)
c. Living the 80/20 Way by Richard Koch
How can I forget this one. The book that launched me toward this attitude that everything can be 80/20! I had originally limited my narrow focus to macro economic topics when thinking of 80/20. For example, 20% of people pay 80% of taxes and 20% of people do 80% of the work. This is mostly true by the way.
These stats are roughly true but the point is that there is so much more in life that can be affected by 80/20. (Amazon affiliate link for book)
Summary and Disclaimer
These are the 80 20 Success Tools and resources I am using as of January 2016. If anything changes, I will write about it and update this page. I do use and pay for (if applicable) all of the resources on this page. So even though some of the links are affiliates, I personally use everything here and recommend them.
They may not be the best for you – I don’t know. But nothing here involves a long term lockup. Most services here offer free trials or are free. Give these a try and let me know how it works out in the comments below. And if you have questions, drop those below too or on my contact page.
Thanks for dropping by!
Chris Grande is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.