Please help me find myself,

I say please lemme get to know myself,

Help me help you, help! Help!

Please lemme find myself,

Baby help me help you.


Society has messed up big time,

This time it has chosen wrong,

Society has messed up big time,

This time it chose a boy,

Baby help me help you,

Baby help me understand myself.


Identity, clarity, oh identity,

Baby I was given the flag,

Yet I got no hands,

How am I to raise it up high,

Without your help,

Baby help me help you,

Baby help me understand myself.


Boy child doesn’t know a thing,

In this messed up world he lost,

Boy child doesn’t know shit,

He doesn’t know what he wants,

Help him help you,

Boy got no shit on you.


Oh boy child! Oh boy child!

On a battle to help one,

The other is left dead,

Oh boy child! Oh boy child!


Baby girl, help me help you!




I am blind, I can’t see

Be my eyes and guide me

Oh you such a steering wheel

To my stiff, all over the place car


Baby guide me

Baby guide me


Niende wapi sa

While you my eyes?


Baby guide me

Protect me


Now you think I am all mad

Writing you songs/poems

While we haven’t even met


But, baby please guide Me



“Too good for a first timer”

[CEM 18/01/2019 UDSM]

She said I was her first.

I want to believe her, but I can’t. I know for a fact that she is too good for a first timer, and knows her way through my body like a mechanic does to car. So it really can’t be her very first.

But she said I was her first.

I mean I really should not be asking questions, cause this is already good for my ego. But truth is a bitch, and bites where it hurts. So this is really like licking an old wound.

But she said I was her first.

Would it hurt if I wasn’t. I mean would it really matter if I wasn’t her first.

Of course it would. She will have broken the trust, as she told me I was her first. And she lied!

The Flawed Prophet PART I

CEM 18/01/2018, DSM


This is a story of that guy that we all adore and despise at the same time. A story ya yule msee who is so good that whatever he touches turns into gold. A guy that will make you wanna kill yourself, for you ain’t doing none with your life.

From a really young age, you could tell that Habib was special. Some called him weird, some a genius; but in all sense, Habib found it so hard to find friends – be it at school or in the neighbourhood at home. He spent most of his childhood locked up in his room playing with his toys and his imaginary friends. To his mother, this was a perfect situation as she never wanted him to play and hang around with the future convicts in the area. This neighbourhood in Msasani was and still is notorious for producing the best crooks in the whole bay area and the city at large.

Standing at around four feet tall, Habib looked like your average eight years old boy. Having a very fashionable and stylish young mother meant this skinny lad was always looking sharp, and since he never played outside his tan wasn’t as noticeable as most kids around.

Habib had these razor sharp eyes that did not match his always cheerful and happy demeanour. If you looked closely, you could literally tell that he was longing for the day when he would be able to take care of his loving mother. His mother was all he had, and she meant the world to him. He would literally die for her, for all he knows Sandra would do the same.

At school, Habib was a really smart kid. From the very first day, he enrolled at Oysterbay primary school, he became every teacher’s pet. Everything came so effortlessly to him that every kid his age was jealous of him. His skinny looks meant he was always a target to the young bullies from his neighbourhood who claimed that Habib thought he was better than everyone for not going to play with them. Poor child! Little did they know that the kid had an old soul in young flesh.

Although he really excelled academically, Habib never really liked the prospects of him working for some corporate company in the future; and seeing his single mother’s daily informal hustles did not help the cause. You really can’t blame him though. Having never seen his father nor had any relatives in the city, the boy did not really have too much to aspire to on the typical professional careers front of things, but that did not stop him from dreaming about other ways of making it in life.

From around the age of ten, Habib started developing a passion for singing. I guess listening to all those Bibi Kidude, Lucky Dube and Remmy Ongala’s hits that his mother always played on her very rusty and dusty vinyl player left an impression on the kid. He had now found these three idols to look up to – he literally got himself two fathers and a nana he never had.

When his mother was at work, Habib would sneak into her room, carry the vinyl to the common room, and played one of his three favourite records in a never-ending loop until he would fall asleep. Most times than not, after coming back, Sandra would let Habib take his nap while she prepares dinner. And when Habib would wake up, Sandra always made the same comment.

‘One of these days I will use your pocket money for the whole month to buy LUKU [power]. Unadhani TANESCO baba yako? Mxieew!’

Habib would always bust into singing whenever he was doing his chores. At first, his mother really liked the idea of his son venturing into a hobby that will keep him away from the streets, but it got old real quick since the kid did not have the sound to match it and did not hit the notes well enough. Sandra took it upon herself to send Habib to after-school music program with the little she could afford. As long as Habib was out of the streets, her soul was at peace – even if that meant doing it at the expense of them having to eat ugali maharagwe every single day.


It was Habib’s last chance to prove to the judges that he had what it takes.

Kudos to him for reaching the semi-finals on his very first talent show competition. I guess the pouring of his heart on stage and Mr Mbuko’s unorthodox pitch training at the music program really set him apart. One judge was heard saying, ‘I really don’t like his voice, but his singing really moves my spirit’.

It was true in fact. The kid could really sing his heart out. The emotions present in his voice was as if he had been doing it for centuries, and he was just getting started. Being at the tender age of fourteen meant that he was only going to improve and he was going to take the world by storm when no one was ready for this boy’s talent. Who knew that in as early as 2020 the whole world was gonna turn their eyes to the East African music industry that Habib single-handedly paved the way for it.

Early that morning, Sandra went all out. I guess she was a lot more nervous than Habib himself. She served him chapati, two Samosas and scrambled eggs; and boy did he go all nuts on the plate. Habib even offered to wash the plates after, something you would never see him do. Not in a million years! You can’t really blame him though. For someone who is used to drinking tea with yesterday’s leftovers, that was one hell of a meal.

Before taking off to Coco Beach for the talent show, Habib promised himself that he was going to win that damn competition for her mother’s sake. She was all he had and cared for. Sandra was literally an angel in Habib’s eyes. Even at his tender age, he understood that his music lessons were straining their piggy bank at home, and their financial situation was not looking good; so the least he could do was to win that one thousand US Dollar prize at the competition.

Although Sandra could never afford to take a sick day, she came through for her prince that day. Even her manager at Mbuni soap factory was shook to hear her take a day off on a weekday. A freaking weekday! Everyone at the factory knows that Sandra never takes sick days let alone off days. She is your twelve times employer of the month before the year even begins. So her manager really had to ask twice.

‘Sandra mamaa! You know you can ask for raise if you wanted to?’…’How much did the Omo guys offer you? We will match it!’

‘I will see you tomorrow Mr Mligo! I just have some errands to run today.’



Talent appreciation

Earlier this summer I had a pleasure to work with a very promising participant in the youth entrepreneurship summit that my friends and I organized in Dar es Salaam (check here His love for social entrepreneurship is invigorating and super contagious.

Presenting the one and only Aloyce Mkwizu!!!


Dear readers welcome to 2017 the only year which you can correct all mistakes of 2016 and make sure you complete all that you have planned for this year. Since it is January I am well sure that most of us are thinking of what business to start with so I have decided to summarize at least 50 business ideas to make money in this year.

Before analyzing these business ideas, I would like to offer a block of advice that before deciding to start any business outlined below you have to conduct a good research about the business, look if there is sufficient market for that business and make sure that it is very unique and offering the best services so as to have a great chance of being at the top of competition.

The business ideas have been grouped into 3 types; large capital, Medium capital and small or no capital at all. So, that anyone either financially good or bad can prosper in the respective business. So let’s go and take a look at those business ideas.

  1. Manufacturing (type 1)

When you are a manufacturer of a product or products, you are the ultimate boss. You are the origin. You determine the price. Many rich people in the world like Bill Gates of USA and Mohammed Dewji of Tanzania are manufactures.

  1. Fast food (type 2)

Nowadays people are very busy that they don’t have the time to cook and we need to eat every day of the week. Just find the right location and start your business.

  1. Real estate (type 1)

This is the most profitable business in today’s world since everybody needs home and farms and related stuffs. Read real estate books of Robert Kiyosaki author of rich dad poor dad and start your business.

  1. Multi-level marketing (type 3)

This is the best business you can do on earth with very small capital depending on the company you’re working with. It is a revolutionary way of marketing products giving you an opportunity to raise residual income. Residual income means you supply goods on repeated basis and earn a percentage income from them for life. I recommend you to join forever living products because I trust this company. You can also read the book of Robert Kiyosaki (business of 21st century)

  1. Pharmacy (type 2)

We all need medicine at one point or another. Whether manufacturing or sales this is by far one of the fastest growing business in the world. Every week as new diseases crop up, medicine must be found to treat it.

  1. Electronics (type 1)

We all need to be entertained. All source of gadgets are needed to achieve this end. Can you imagine life without electric kettle, cooker, or refrigerator? How about iron, tv’s, radios, phones and all source of gadgets we seem unable to live without.

  1. Hospitality industry (type 1)

Hotels, lodges, resorts and restaurants are part of our everyday life. All these don’t bring first money but it is some sort of investment which will flow you with money for all your life time

  1. Logo design (type 1)

You just need an office and some knowledge about logo design which is free at the internet, that’s it. Many companies and groups need logos for their products and related so if you can make the most of it, 2017 will become the best year of your life.

  1. Career counselling (type 3)

You just need an office and the best knowledge about many careers you will capture. Many people don’t know which career to be in so just brand your name and tell them what to do. Please you have to be very good in this so as to excel in this business.

  1. Translator /linguistics (type 3)

Everybody can be a translator, either educated or not you have to learn at least 3 official languages since translators are needed in today’s world especially in business. Linguistics also play a very big role in education sector.

  1. Whole sale (type 2)

If you are able to get into wholesale business, it is often better than retail. If you have what retailers want at competitive prices, then you will sell goods in greater volumes.

  1. Used cars (type 1)

Selling quality used cars is a great business. Not all humanity can afford new cars. Give your customers a good deal and they will tell all your friends about you.

  1. Computer services (type 2)

Almost anything with in the world of computer is paying. Either computer software, programing, providing internet services, website designing, computer spare parts or sales and accessories can be paying. Ask bill gates

  1. Office supplies and stationary (type 2)

The world lives on stationary. books, newspaper, magazines are needed every day of the week. Where could you possibly go wrong in this business?

  1. Counselling services (type 3)

The world is full of all sort of problems. Both in personal life and in general. Also, writing a book on that subject will set you a part from others. You just need an office and branding your name.

  1. Master of ceremonies and public speaking (type 3)

If you’re crazy enough with the gift that GOD gave you, you will be very busy on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons. The pay isn’t too bad especially after making a name for yourself. Read dale Carnegies (how to develop self-confidence and influencing people in public speaking)

  1. Writing (type 3)

Well what can I say about writing!!!I live by it. If you take writing away from me I will is the oxygen that keeps me going. You may choose to write books, newspaper and magazines. There is also a lucrative area in ghost writing. Some people have story to tell but can’t write them, so be the expert to do it for them

  1. Cleaning services (type 3)

You can do it yourself or set up an office offering cleaning services and offer reasonable rates and efficient services. You will never be out of work.


  1. Herbal medicine (type 2)

A growing market as Chinese herbal medicine has demonstrated. People are turning to herbal medicine in large numbers due to less toxicity and side effects.

  1. Gardening services (type 3)

Most people dream of having heavenly garden to relax in. With a bit of creativity and innovation you can design unique gardens that will advertise themselves and your services as well to passersby free of charge.

  1. Printing and publishing (type 2)

Whether magazines, books, newspaper, office stationary, business cards, t-shirts all need to be printed. Seek to have long term contracts printing of schoolbooks and exams papers is particularly lucrative

  1. Disposable cutlery (type 3)

Passing through homes and offices taking un wanted materials like waste materials and left overs either yourself or by organizing others will bring you a lot of income this year.

  1. Nursing services (type 3)

You just need a certificate, diploma or degree in the related field. Since hospitals can’t always cope with every demand. Start your journey of being a flying nurse. The age and invalid need specialized attention. The very rich need personalized attention when sick.

  1. Saloon (type 2)

Both hair cutting and hair dressing saloons are very good profit making business depending on the location of your services, its uniqueness and the services offer includes hospitality to the customers will make your business be flooded with customers

  1. Football viewing center (type 3)

Find a large place which can accommodate a large number of people. Find a large tv screen. Register yourself with DSTV and have small additional free services. The business is fun

  1. Homemade soaps (type 3)

A lot of lessons are taught every day on the internet on how to make soaps. Buy the ingredients and start your business. marketing of your products will follow later.

  1. Laundry/ironing services. (type 3)

People are very busy nowadays if you decided to offer the above services effectively I’m sure you will be in good shape in 2017.

  1. Investing on the stock. (type 1)

Easily one of the smart ways of multiplying your money (risks notwithstanding. Consult with the renowned stock broker before you take the plunge)

  1. Buying shares in companies. (type 1)

First investigate the soundness and the viability of the company. How long has it been in business? Who do you know has bought shares in that company? How do they fare in that company? Everything being equal you should yield great returns from buying shares I highly recommend it.

  1. Supplying raw materials to manufactures (type 2)

Identify several factories and supply them with raw material at a good price. If this factory produce an everyday item like cereals then you are into big, big money.

  1. Room and boarding (type 2)

If you have a large a house and don’t mind strangers trudging through it, this is one way to supplement your income. There are people who rather stay in homely environment rather than hotels. A good example are day scholar students who live in far places they would really love the services.

  1. Daycare services (type 3)

As more and more young mothers feel the need to go out for work. So, there is increasing need for this services. The beauty of it also is that you can do it within the confines of your home. Sometimes you have to register with relevant authorities for the safety of your business.

  1. Funeral services (type 2)

Often ignored by people because of its macabre nature but highly lucrative. People die, funeral services are needed every either you offer mortuary services or making coffins or just general funeral services. You will be in demand 365 days a year.

  1. Freighting kids to and from school (type 3)

Most people hate waking up early taking kids to school. Take advantage of this need. Another business idea for which you do not need business premises all you need Is reliable means of transport.

  1. Healthy club/gym (type 2)

Many people believe in the proverb saying healthy is wealthy. Hence, they take very good care of their healthy for the daily work out they prepare to go to the gym or health clubs. Starting a health club in a good area will always make you successful

  1. Social media service. (type 3)

Today social media play a big role in business many companies look for specialist and social media providers. You can be that expert doing ghost writing for business, posting on blogs, Facebook, twitter and linked Facebook pages

  1. Mobile garage services (type 2)

opening mobile garage by keeping mobile man power is a good business idea. Because usually car breakdown take places where there are no garage services available. You just need good mechanics to start a business.

  1. Rain water harvest (type 2)

Rain water harvest means storing water for future uses. People often look for help to understand about rain water harvesting consultancy business or harvest rain water and selling it

  1. Used products buy sales9type 2)

This is a business idea for those who have the ability to find beauty in all this business you buy and sell all used products.

  1. Photographer (type 2)

If you are good in taking photos, think of becoming a photographer. Becoming a photographer is a business itself. On every individual business occasion people call for photographers.


Take my email and let us finish the other 10 business ideas. Good luck and let me know how you get on in whatever business you choose to get into.


Aloyce .G. Mkwizu

Facebook: The living people





Let’s call her Queen Hatshepsut… PART THREE


‘Wapi kaka?!’…‘Mikocheni KFC pale.Wait…Yeah! around that place…Ummm! Wait! No, wait -God damn it! Make up your mind already – Don’t go yet, bro!…Ummm to hell with it! Take me to Elements!’…’Poapoa’.

We cruised like a Venom GT, and before I knew it I was standing before a club bouncer. Damn this guy was big. Big, tall, buff, and dark skinned. Looked scary too, but still, big! He must have been from Mara, he looked like one – not shade aimed at my Mara people. Y’all are awesome – So I intimidatedly started approaching him while pumping up myself that I at least look like somebody to this gigantic buff black piece of a man. ‘Shingapi bob?’ I inquired…‘Twenty k’…‘Acha hizo man. It’s ten. It’s always ten k. I know it, and everyone here knows it’…‘Sasa, why would you ask me if you know the price already?’…‘Si uhakika bob! Ikishuka je nitajuaje?’…‘Ebu pita kule’…SMH! 😤 So this is how you talk to a customer. What is this that I’m made a victim of? This man should have been fired already. Imma report his ass to the manager. Worse still, Imma file a lawsuit on his ass – shit you tell yourself when intoxicated-…Lord save me!

Elements was different on that day. It was kinda lit but not entirely. Was packed too, just like any other Saturday, but in my eyes, it wasn’t. Well, it always does seem like that when you go alone, something I overlooked that day. SHAME!🙄 Lads just a piece of advice. Don’t you ever go to a nightclub alone! It is boring and such a struggle. It is the very definition of social suicide.

Don’t torture yourself like my crazy did. Please don’t! Always back yourself up with your squad. Otherwise, no one will want to talk or dance with you for the first impression always matters, and people will judge you based on the people you surround yourself with. ‘But Clev what if I got no friends free on that day and I really wanna turn up’ you ask? Or ‘what if I got no friends at all for that matter?’ Exactly my point, who would wanna dance with a stand alone creep with no friends.

Truth is there’s power in numbers’; Your pals will boost your confidence, will dance with you and most importantly take care of your drunk ass. God knows the kind of shit you could get yourself into when intoxicated…If you in VIP section, however, then yeah. They will follow you and beg to dance with you. But if you are a broke college student like myself, don’t play yourself.

So what’s the ideal number of a squad? Well, it doesn’t really matter -coming from an incompetent person in this specific area- just make sure you have at least two people with you. One who could also serve as your very personal Uber driver is the one who doesn’t drink. This one will take care of your ass before the masses. Another one is a drinking buddy and a personalised wingman. Well or wing woman for that matter. This one will have your back when you both embarrass yourselves before your potential suitors for the day and have all the drinking games with, something you will obviously regret about on the next day when your dead-ass hungover.

Speaking of hangovers, damn! Lord knows how hard they can hit you. They will sometimes hit you so hard that you will be praying to your God -whoever that is- and giving all sorta fake promises if he or she (maybe it) were to get rid of it for you. Kids don’t drink beyond your limits! Don’t play drinking games having had a pre-game before hitting the club. Just don’t! 😞…SAD LIFE! THHAAAD LIF’…

Mr Edward Christopher Sheeran tells us the club isn’t a better place to find a lover, a bar is. But here I was immersing myself in this group of the most deprived and stressed youth who now hate themselves for they hate their jobs and their lives, and all they wanna do is blow some steam. Well that, and the fact that in this degenerate generation of ours one is only considered woke and lit if you do exactly what am about to. The world we live in, SMH!.🤦🏽‍♂️

Where do I even start? A club like this can look like a football arena if one is alone. So I agitatedly move around trying to have a conversation with different people, most of whom cannot hear a thing from my mouth, for reasons I still don’t know. Is it that the music was too loud or I was too drunk to speak articulately? Either way, I will blame my loner ass for not bringing a wingman. Or woman for that matter.

‘Hey, I know you!’ she said excitedly. ‘You’re Clevance right?’…I was so shook but didn’t want her to notice. So I scuffled my way near her and stood still while looking straight in her eyes, and then replied ‘Oh yeah! Yes, I am. And what’s your supposedly beautiful name, my lady?’…Lord! Save me now. What is this that am saying? Touché Clev! Touché!…’Bruh! How much have you had for a drink? It’s me, Brian. I was a year ahead of you at Feza Boys’…At this point, I will just leave it like that. Like what the hell was I thinking. Imma just stop. 🤦🏽‍♂️

‘Ooh yeah. Of course! Brian. How are you doing my brother? Really sorry about that’…’You good. Stick with me, before you cause more trouble’…Thank God that this guy was here. I don’t know what I would have done.

A little while after, the mood just changed. Every other song was more lit than the previous. Jidenna’s Classic man! Justin’s Sorry! I don’t wanna live forever! Wizkid’s Daddy Yo! Skin Tight! Mad over you! Davido’s fall! Damn this Disc Jockey was on a roll.

To my surprise, I managed to dance with quite a number. Well, thanks to my crazy dance moves; the one that gets activated when my crazy ass gets wasted. Crazy moves bless up! VODKA bless up! WHISKEY bless up! TEQUILA bless up! And lastly and most importantly NYAGI bless up! Would also say wine, but Tanzanian (from Dodoma) wine sucks balls.

Landed me a dime even. Well, was too drunk to realise, but I bet she was the one who approached me. Who cares though?…So here we were, one leg in and I follow. Leg out and I am onto it. I gotta give it to her, this lady could dance! She was always almost a step ahead. I couldn’t keep up. It went like so until Vybz Kartel’s Fever was played. I couldn’t lose to this one. All those Afro-parties in the US had prepared me for this very moment.

We were so in sync as though we had danced as a duo for two years now. Every minute detail was right on. Right on track to the very end. She was smiling her ass off after the song that I could see all her thirty-two teeth. Gosh! She had a beautiful smile. Well good but not as good as Queen Hatshepsut’s. That Goddess was blessed in each and every way.

‘Hey, when are we going?’…Utterly confused about what she was just talking about, I inquired for more…’I mean when are you taking me home?’…’Oh! Really?! I mean you should have said so’…🤦🏽‍♂️ I was so disappointed with her taste in men. I mean why would you go for me? A girl that beautiful should be going home with Idris Elba and the like. Not me. Like, why would you go with me? Why? You should have seen the girl. She was the very definition of out of this world. The only person more attractive than her would be Queen Hatshepsut. But who knows, beauty lies in the eyes of a beholder.

Queen Hatshepsut though! Oh Lord Queen Hatshepsut! Don’t even get me started here. Bless the progenitors that engendered this Goddess! Her touch! OMG, those hands! The bliss of her touch defies every adjective, and it is very unfortunate that I cannot explain well enough how good the feeling was.

So we hit the Bajaj and made a remarkably swift drive to my place. Well, it might not have been as fast, it’s just we kissed our way back and was too busy to realise. Before I knew it we were in my room. She wanted to get down to business right away. I don’t know when was the last time this girl engaged. I mean she all over my business, but I just wanted to sleep. I was too tired after spending the day with Queen Hatshepsut. All I wanted to see and could think at that very moment and time was Queen Hatshepsut.

She pushed me on the bed and aggressively started kissing me. Well, more like licking my face like all drunk people would, and I did not like it at all. It was not the kissing or licking that I did not like. It’s just that my mind was somewhere else. My mind was just thinking of Queen Hatshepsut.‘Wait! STOP!… I am sorry I can’t do this.’ … ‘The hell? You think you too good for me?

‘Wait! STOP!… I am sorry I can’t do this.’ I told her…‘The hell? You think you too good for me? Boy, I just ended up with you out of pity’…‘It ain’t like that jamani! It’s just that I can’t do this because I like someone else. I am really sorry for your time’…She hurriedly picked up her stuff and showed herself out. She did all those without saying a word. I get the feeling though, and I really respect the fact that she was deeply understanding about this.


Now that she was gone I didn’t know what to do. With my mind hopelessly roaming about the last day’s events, I was taken away and started reminiscing about all the things I did or could do with Queen Hatshepsut. Oh, Queen Hatshepsut! At the event! And the bar! Her room. Until she decided to cut it short. Why did she pull out real quick though? I mean, what was it exactly? Did I do something wrong? What is my kiss that she didn’t like? Or was it the fact that she realised that I was a mistake, that I didn’t deserve to slide in? It can’t be though. I mean she was laughing at my jokes. Laughed at my knock knock jokes even. The ones hated by everyone. Yeah, those ones. Wait chill! What if she was fake-laughing? Or laughing at my stupid ass and how stupid I looked telling the jokes rather than my jokes? What if that? What if this?…I really didn’t like where this was going. I still don’t.😕

Queen Hatshepsut! I hope we meet again sometime. I  JUST HOPE.



The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards – James Clear

This one is from the insirational author, photographer, and weightlifter James Clear. Most people know him for his impressive writing about habits and human potential. I had to re-post it. It doesn’t get clearer than this.

The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards – James Clear

Sometime in the late 1800s—nobody is quite sure exactly when—a man named Vilfredo Pareto was fussing about in his garden when he made a small but interesting discovery.

Pareto noticed that a tiny number of pea pods in his garden produced the majority of the peas.

Now, Pareto was a very mathematical fellow. He worked as an economist and one of his lasting legacies was turning economics into a science rooted in hard numbers and facts. Unlike many economists of the time, Pareto’s papers and books were filled with equations. And the peas in his garden had set his mathematical brain in motion.

What if this unequal distribution was present in other areas of life as well?

Vilfredo Pareto
Vilfredo Pareto in the 1870s. Photographer unknown.

The Pareto Principle

At the time, Pareto was studying wealth in various nations. As he was Italian, he began by analyzing the distribution of wealth in Italy. To his surprise, he discovered that approximately 80 percent of the land in Italy was owned by just 20 percent of the people. Similar to the pea pods in his garden, most of the resources were controlled by a minority of the players.

Pareto continued his analysis in other nations and a pattern began to emerge. For instance, after poring through the British income tax records, he noticed that approximately 30 percent of the population in Great Britain earned about 70 percent of the total income.

As he continued researching, Pareto found that the numbers were never quite the same, but the trend was remarkably consistent. The majority of rewards always seemed to accrue to a small percentage of people. This idea that a small number of things account for the majority of the results became known as the Pareto Principle or, more commonly, the 80/20 Rule.

Inequality, Everywhere

In the decades that followed, Pareto’s work practically became gospel for economists. Once he opened the world’s eyes to this idea, people started seeing it everywhere. And the 80/20 Rule is more prevalent now than ever before.

For example, through the 2015-2016 season in the National Basketball Association, 20 percent of franchises have won 75.3 percent of the championships. Furthermore, just two franchises—the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers—have won nearly half of all the championships in NBA history. Like Pareto’s pea pods, a few teams account for the majority of the rewards.

The numbers are even more extreme in soccer. While 77 different nations have competed in the World Cup, just three countries—Brazil, Germany, and Italy—have won 13 of the first 20 World Cup tournaments.

Examples of the Pareto Principle exist in everything from real estate to income inequality to tech startups. In the 1950s, three percent of Guatemalans owned 70 percent of the land in Guatemala. In 2013, 8.4 percent of the world population controlled 83.3 percent of the world’s wealth. In 2015, one search engine, Google, received 64 percent of search queries.

Why does this happen? Why do a few people, teams, and organizations enjoy the bulk of the rewards in life? To answer this question, let’s consider an example from nature.

The Power of Accumulative Advantage

The Amazon rainforest is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Scientists have cataloged approximately 16,000 different tree species in the Amazon. But despite this remarkable level of diversity, researchers have discovered that there are approximately 227 “hyperdominant” tree species that make up nearly half of the rainforest. Just 1.4 percent of tree species account for 50 percent of the trees in the Amazon.

But why?

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.

Winner-Take-All Effects

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.

Situations in which small differences in performance lead to outsized rewards are known as Winner-Take-All Effects.

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-Take-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 one percent or one second or one dollar, but you capture one hundred 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.

Winner Take All Effects

Winner-Take-All Leads to Winner-Take-Most

Winner-Take-All Effects in individual competitions can lead to Winner-Take-Most Effects in the larger game of life.

From this advantageous position—with the gold medal in hand or with cash in the bank or from the chair of the Oval Office—the winner begins the process of accumulating advantages that make it easier for them to win the next time around. What began as a small margin is starting to trend toward the 80/20 Rule.

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. Soon you end up with a saying like, “20 percent of the roads receive 80 percent of the 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.

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.

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.”

Now, let’s come back to the question I posed near the beginning of this article. Why do a few people, teams, and organizations enjoy the bulk of the rewards in life?

The 1 Percent Rule

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 one percent better rule their respective fields and industries. Thus, the process of accumulative advantage is the hidden engine that drives the 80/20 Rule.