In the rain forest, imagine two plants growing side by side. Each day they will compete for sunlight and soil. If one plant can grow just a little bit faster than the other, then it can stretch taller, catch more sunlight, and soak up more rain. The next day, this additional energy allows the plant to grow even more. This pattern continues until the stronger plant crowds the other out and takes the lion’s share of sunlight, soil, and nutrients.
From this advantageous position, the winning plant has a better ability to spread seeds and reproduce, which gives the species an even bigger footprint in the next generation. This process gets repeated again and again until the plants that are slightly better than the competition dominate the entire forest.
Scientists refer to this effect as “accumulative advantage.” What begins as a small advantage gets bigger over time. One plant only needs a slight edge in the beginning to crowd out the competition and take over the entire forest.
Something similar happens in our lives. Like plants in the rainforest, humans are often competing for the same resources. Politicians compete for the same votes. Authors compete for the same spot at the top of the best-seller list. Athletes compete for the same gold medal. Companies compete for the same potential client. Television shows compete for the same hour of your attention.
The difference between these options can be razor thin, but the winners enjoy massively outsized rewards.
Imagine two women swimming in the Olympics. One of them might be 1/100th of a second faster than the other, but she gets all of the gold medal. Ten companies might pitch a potential client, but only one of them will win the project. You only need to be a little bit better than the competition to secure all of the reward. Or, perhaps you are applying for a new job. Two hundred candidates might compete for the same role, but being just slightly better than other candidates earns you the entire position.
These situations in which small differences in performance lead to outsized rewards are known as Winner-Take-All Effects. They typically occur in situations that involve relative comparison, where your performance relative to those around you is the determining factor in your success.
Not everything in life is a Winner-Takes-All competition, but nearly every area of life is at least partially affected by limited resources. Any decision that involves using a limited resource like time or money will naturally result in a winner-take-all situation.
In situations like these, being just a little bit better than the competition can lead to outsized rewards because the winner takes all. You only win by 1 percent or 1 second or 1 dollar, but you capture 100 percent of the victory. The advantage of being a little bit better is not a little bit more reward, but the entire reward. The winner gets one and the rest get zero.
From this advantageous position, the winner begins the process of accumulating advantages that make it easier for them to win the next time around.
If one road is slightly more convenient than the other, then more people travel down it and more businesses are likely to build alongside it. As more businesses are built, people have additional reasons for using the road and so it gets even more traffic.
If one business has a technology that is more innovative than another, then more people will buy their products. As the business makes more money, they can invest in additional technology, pay higher salaries, and hire better people. By the time the competition catches up, there are other reasons for customers to stick with the first business. Soon, one company dominates the industry.
If one author hits the best-seller list, then publishers will be more interested in their next book. When the second book comes out, the publisher will put more resources and marketing power behind it, which makes it easier to hit the best-seller list for a second time. Soon, you begin to understand why a few books sell millions of copies while the majority struggle to sell a few thousand copies.
If one person employ the 1-Minute Messenger slightly more than everyone else, that individual will obtain financial freedom much faster and outpaced everyone else. He or she will reach a mental state of happiness and joy from eliminating less stress and anxiety at a much faster pace, he or she will more get to engage in many more activities to improve their health and physical well-being, and he or she will reach a level of time freedom at a much shorter time period. He or she will achieve their goal and destination at a phenomenal level compared to everyone else.
The margin between good and great is narrower than it seems. What begins as a slight edge over the competition compounds with each additional contest. Winning one competition improves your odds of winning the next. Each additional cycle further cements the status of those at the top.
Over time, those that are slightly better end up with the majority of the rewards. Those that are slightly worse end up with next to nothing. This idea is sometimes referred to as The Matthew Effect, which references a passage in The Bible that says, “For all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”
In essence, small differences in performance can lead to very unequal distributions when repeated over time. This is yet another reason why habits are so important. The people and organizations that can do the right things, more consistently are more likely to maintain a slight edge and accumulate disproportionate rewards over time.
You only need to be slightly better than your competition, but if you are able to maintain a slight edge today and tomorrow and the day after that, then you can repeat the process of winning by just a little bit over and over again. And thanks to Winner-Take-All Effects, each win delivers outsized rewards.
We can call this The 1 Percent Rule. The 1 Percent Rule states that over time the majority of the rewards in a given field will accumulate to the people, teams, and organizations that maintain a 1 percent advantage over the alternatives. You don’t need to be twice as good to get twice the results. You just need to be slightly better.
The 1 Percent Rule is not merely a reference to the fact that small differences accumulate into significant advantages, but also to the idea that those who are 1 percent better rule their respective fields and industries.
It is now 4 week and 5 days since you began your quest to eliminate your $300 to $500 monthly debt.
With the 1 Percent Rule you can maintain a 1 percent advantage over everyone else if you work just a little bit harder. Take advantage of your God given ability to be all you can be. Continue The 1-Minute Messenger as your keystone habit.
Make it a habit to use your setting to make it easy to invite others by making copies of your bill, along with your daily affirmation, and tape it to a table where you like to sit and drink coffee in the morning or a room you like to hangout in daily. This habit will enable you to gain that 1 percent advantage.
And to take it to the next level, continue to be the type of person who can achieve the things you want to achieve with identity-based habits.
Perform not just 60, but 120 to 240 1-minute invites weekly using the 1 Minute Messenger to grow your wealth-building network of partners.
In the next lesson, I’m going to show you a few ways on how to automate a habit and never think about it again.
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