The Last 10%

Welcome to this month’s newsletter. I would like to talk about why it seems 90% of people quit when they are 90% of their way towards reaching a goal and why that last 10% of any goal is so hard to crack. The main reason we do this is actually not because the last 10% is too hard to crack, it is because we simply don’t know when we are 90% of our way there. Let me explain.

Over the years I have observed that this phenomenom tends to take place when someone embarks on some serious undertaking, such as:

  • Building a Property Portfolio;
  • Growing a Business;
  • Launching a Product into the Market;
  • Maintaining a Personal or Business Relationship;
  • Building a Working Career;

Whatever activity it is that we are undertaking, we often find at some point that we meet with stiff resistance towards what we are trying to achieve. This is usually when we start to doubt that we will ever achieve our goal, and quite interestingly it is usually around this time that we will find other “easier” and “better” ideas to start focusing our attention on and so gradually we start reducing the efforts we are expending towards our original goal. Using the above list as examples we can see how this would affect the following activities:

  • Building a Property Portfolio: you may reach a point where you feel your portfolio is “stuck”. About this time some “exotic” investment idea, that seems to be able to make a lot more money more quickly, will suddenly come to you and divert your attention and focus.
  • Growing a Business: you may reach a point where you do not see much future in your business. Suddenly some other “easier” and “better” business opportunity will appear to make your original business seem even worse.
  • Launching a Product into the Market: you may reach a point where it seems not many people want your product, then along will come some other “easier” and “better” products to convince you that you must have the wrong product.
  • Maintaining a Personal or Business Relationship: you may reach a point where you don’t think the relationship is working any more, then some other party or parties will appear who look much better than the ones you are in a relationship with.
  • Building a Working Career: you may reach a point where you think you are in a dead end job, then a “better” job comes along to convince you to quit this one, then the cycle sets itself up to repeat not long after that.

All of this can occur because our mind is very powerful. It can bring to us what we really want to see. In the above examples, the way I interpret them all is that when a person is actually 90% “there”, they usually meet with stiff resistance from the world around them as that last 10% tends to require a lot more focus than the previous 90% just to get the job done. In these situations, our mind starts looking for an easier way out instead of striving to crack that last 10%.

While you are in this “selective” looking mode, you will tend to only be able to see how easy it is for other people to achieve a better outcome by not doing what you’re doing. You can end up completely ignoring the fact that there are people who have cracked that last 10% and are doing well in what you’re doing.

People often spend a long time and a lot of effort to get to that 90% point. Then suddenly they quit and go for something else as it seems to be easier to start another thing and do the first 90% for that new activity. So they end up never confronting that last 10%. The irony is, that without them achieving that last 10%, they often end up achieving nothing.

The outcome is simply not there. This is evidenced by the fact we all know people who seem to have done a lot and know a lot, but have never achieved the desired outcome they originally intended to achieve in the first place. They just never got there, because they never did that final 10% that will breakthrough for them.

This is how you can crack the last 10% of whatever you’re doing so that you can achieve the intended outcome:

  • Do not give or allow yourself to consider any alternatives until you get this last 10% done, as we can all become extremely determined when there are no other alternatives ☺
  • Face the issues and confront any past failures as if these were your best chance to make a breakthrough, because the odds are that most people in a similar position would be unwilling to do this. This provides you with a better chance to make it happen for you.

Finally, if do you find yourself starting to disperse your energy into other potentially “easier” activities, remind yourself that this is probably a strong sign that you may be at the 90% point of whatever it is you are currently doing. Try to remember that the other apparently “easier” activities will eventually reach the same 90% point when they become difficult, so you might as well just keep going and crack that last 10% of what you’re doing right now, as it is probably quicker in the end, to get you to your desired goal.

Until next month, happy investing.


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