Have you heard of Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect? If not, don’t fret because I’ll be explaining in this article. Here, you’ll see why I think it’s an antedote to the many businesses that never have the chance at taking off. I’m hoping this article will inspire the courage in your to keep putting forth effort towards positive habits: in your business and in your life.
Often times, we don’t realize how fragile our daily decisions may be. We don’t see the connection with cause and effect, so we make decisions in a frivolous way.
In his book, Compound Effect, Darren Hardy talks about how each decision you make can incrementally draw you closer or further away from your definition of success. As insignificant as your daily decisions may seem, when you compound them, they can catapult into something completely unexpected.
You want the snowball of decisions to result in something you can be proud of, which is why I’m writing this article to extract some of the great advice from Darren Hardy’s bestselling book, so you can use it in your favor.
To view this content in video, check it out here:
Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect Story
When you hear Darren Hardy’s story, you can see he’s an example of the compound effect at work. When he was 18 months of age, his parents divorced. When his mom found she was pregnant, she was angry because she didn’t want to be a mom.
When Darren was born, his mom handed him over to his dad who was 23 years old. He admits, his childhood sucked.
As a single parent, his dad struggled trying to care for the emotional and financial needs of Darren, which sometimes left him neglected with headphones on, being told to be quiet for prolonged periods.
His dad was a sports coach, and didn’t have a cutoff or a way to balance his emotional needs with instruction. When he was 4, his dad married a woman who saw him as “the other woman’s child”, and he was ostrasized heavily. Darren didn’t grow up wealthy or with a “silver spoon”.
As a result, he says his broken past was used as fuel for his success. He made incremental decisions: day by day, week by week, and month by month. For a long time, his incremental decisions didn’t seem to pay off, but because he maintained continual effort, he’s become a multimillionaire, owner of the Success Magazine, a New York Bestselling author, and sought after speaker.
When The Compound Effect Works For Bad
If you go to most people who struggle with obesity and ask them whether they wanted to be overweight, most of them would quickly say, “No”. If you go to people who live paycheck to paycheck, or who are always behind financially, and ask them if they wanted to live in that financial situation, they’d quickly tell you “absolutely not”.
If you talk to someone who’s addicted to sex and ask if they intentionally decided to be addicted to sex, they’d probably say “no”. and, if you go to people who are addicted to drugs and ask if they set a goal to become a regular user of the drug, they’d say “no”. All of these situations are examples of the compound effect at work in a negative way. Rather than setting a goal to become obese, to struggle financially, or to become addicted to drugs, what usually happens is the people make one small, seemingly insignificant decision over and over again. The first time they:
- Choose not to exercise
- Eat unhealthy foods
- Get a loan
- Spend more than they made
- Quit a good job at a bad time
- Decided to be lazy
- Had sex
- or tried a drug…
It didn’t seem like it would hurt anything. They indulged in a seemingly insignificant action and probably enjoyed it the first time. Then, they tried it again and again, and the results were so unnoticeable at first, they continued to pursue their bad decisions. By the time, they noticed the bad decisions were bringing negative consequences, they’d created a habit that’s hard to break. The compound effect can work for bad or for good.
When the Compound Effect Works for Good
On the contrary, when the compound effect works for good, you might have a person that decides to try a new habit like:
- Becoming more organized
- Scheduling their time
- Making new connections
- Creating helpful content
- Being involved with their family
- Meditating or Praying
They may try once and regress. It might be difficult to acquire the new habit, but if they continue to put effort towards attempting at accommodating a new habit, over time, they’ll experience the compounding of their efforts.
There are some extremely powerful and motivating quotes in the Compound Effect that can serve as reminders every day when you’re experiencing the challenges of making good or bad decisions. Here are just a few:
“It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.” “Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE”
“In essence, you make your choices, and then your choices make you.”
“The (Complete) Formula for Getting Lucky: Preparation (personal growth) + Attitude (belief/mindset) + Opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + Action (doing something about it) = Luck”
“A daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separates the most successful among us from everyone else. A routine is exceptionally powerful.”
“Your biggest challenge isn’t that you’ve intentionally been making bad choices. Heck, that would be easy to fix. Your biggest challenge is that you’ve been sleepwalking through your choices.”
“We can all make powerful choices. We can all take back control by not blaming chance, fate, or anyone else for our outcomes. It’s within our ability to cause everything to change. Rather than letting past hurtful experiences sap our energy and sabotage our success, we can use them to fuel positive, constructive change.”
9 Ways To Use The Compound Effect in Your Favor
There’s so much great advice and information in the compound effect, I’d definitely recommend listening to the audiobook or sitting down and reading it. In summary, these are 9 Ways I’ve extracted from the book for how you can use the compound effect in your favor:
1. Work Towards The Ripple Effect
(Image Source: Medium)
“You can never own success, you can only rent it, and the rent is due every single day”. – Darren Hardy Have you watched the ocean ripples before? If not, I’ll explain…
When you watch an ocean, you’ll see that before a large wave, there are small ripples. The wind blows and the ripples begin to gain momentum and size until there’s a large wave, or even a storm.
Similarly, the beginning of the things we want to do start as small ripples. When you commit to an action, in the beginning, there are small results that can go unnoticed, but if you continue, the ripple effect will compound into a huge wave.
The ripple effect can turn into a large problem. You could lose an income and begin ignoring bill collectors until the negative ripple effect turns in to repossession or foreclosure.
You could also begin making sales calls or inquiries, and let the ripple effect begin working in your favor resulting in business deals and increased income. You choose. Darren Hardy says 0-6 months is too short to begin seeing massive results. Instead, you have to commit to continuous action for 2 years, then you’ll see the waves and the momentum build.
2. Get Rid of the Microwave Mentality
A few decades ago, people relied mostly on the oven, and before that, the fire. Consumers wanted more efficiency. They wanted to be able to prepare meals in less time, so babystep by babystep, inventions have risen up that make cooking increasingly more efficient.
Now, after centuries of inefficient cooking, we have microwaves that can prepare meals in minutes. Many people desire the same efficiency from the path to success. They want a way around the sacrifice, sweat, hard knock lessons, heartache, and mistakes, but success isn’t like cooking.
There’s mentorship and education that can accelerate the path to success, but the path to success is not easy. The Darren Hardy Compound Effect describes success as the continual increase in discipline. He talks about transforming habits and doing things that you don’t enjoy to reach a goal you will. Advertisers prey on people’s inner desire to want a shortcut, but there’s no microwave to success. Hard work is the path to success.
3. Understand The Power of Choices
Often times, you might feel like the victim of circumstance. You might be provoked, wronged, tempted, or even sabotaged, but you still have a circle of influence. When you surrender the power of your choice and don’t take responsibility, you allow life to spiral out of control. Instead, you need to understand that your life is the result of many choices you’ve made.
Even though, you may have made many decisions in ignorance, there’s still ownership of the outcome that you have to take. When you own your responsibility for your present circumstances, and maintain the responsibility to make choices that guide your future, you’re more careful because you understand the power of your choices. Each choice you make has a consequence: good or bad. Make your choices carefully.
4. Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones
Everyone has bad habits. Some people have more bad habits than others, and some have more good habits than others, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
You decide what habits you keep. After you understand the power of your choices, you can comprehend better why it’s importance to invest time in habit change.
If you’ve shaped the habit to ignore bill collector’s phone calls, you can decide to change the habit. If you have a habit of being disorganized, you can change it. All bad habits can change with repetition, and you control that.
5. Setting Goals
The first step in changing a habit is to set a quantifiable goal. Any bad pattern can be turned into a good one. Any mediocre pattern can be improved with repetition. First, identify the area you want to change, and decide on a small step towards changing the situation.
For example, if you want to make more money, you could decide to help one person every day using your greatest skill. Over time, you would build a demand for your skill and service, and the demand can catapult into a steady stream of income. Set a quantifiable goal.
6. Tracking and Keeping a Scorecard
If you set the goal, but you don’t track your results, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Often times, when a bad habit is cemented, it’s difficult to quantify the seriousness of the habit in order to transform. For example, a person who struggles with obesity may underestimate how much their eating, how often they miss exercising, how often they should be eating, how many food groups they’ve been eating, and if they set a goal without tracking their progress, they’re likely to continue in a very similar pattern.
Athletes are good examples of positively using a scorecard. Even the best athletes keep track of their best and worst performances. They’re always trying to outdo their prior performances. As an entrepreneur, you’re a professional. You have to set goals and track your milestones. Try to beat your prior performances. It’s helpful to set a quantifiable goal and create a daily process for tracking your progress: a chart, a planner, a goal setting log, or a tracking phone app.
7. Maintaining Momentum
“Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.” – Darren Hardy
The first few days of replacing a bad habit or implementing a good habit are always a challenge. If you say you’re going to start a business, save money, run a marathon, wake up earlier in the morning, stay up later at night, or whatever the goal may be, it’s tough to get started. Once you’ve started, it’s easier to keep going.
Going back to the ripple effect, it’s easier for small tides to collect and form larger and larger ones. When you have momentum towards your goals, you want to keep protective measures in place to maintain the momentum. Protective measures could include:
- Buffers of time or money
- Giving more than the minimum when you’re implementing
- or, adding accountability, mentorship, or reminders
8. Control Influences
Controlling your influences is a significant countermeasure that will help you build and maintain momentum, and according to the Compound Effect, you should implement this in 3 ways:
The television shows you watch, people you listen to, books you read, and other influences can motivate or discourage you from pursuing your goals. If you’re hearing advice that contradicts what you want to do, you can try counteracting it, but over the long haul, the advice can have a negative ripple effect towards your momentum.
On the contrary, advice the is in line with your goal can propel your momentum, so control the input you’re receiving. Even seemingly non-influential input can build and snowball.
Some associations will inch you closer and closer to where you want to go while others will pull you further and further away. You have to carefully choose your associations. It’s not necessary to have alot of friends, but it is important to have quality ones.
Some environments will spark creativity and others will make you feel immense bondage. Switching your environment can help you learn what surroundings you work in best, which is why many people enjoy vacation and travel. Sometimes, it’s necessary to step away form normalcy to identify environmental issues or areas where your patterns are keeping you in cycles of stagnancy.
9. Accelerating Results
When you compile everything we’ve discussed:
- Continual effort
- Consistency and focus
- Goal setting
- Habit change
- Keeping a scorecard
- Understanding the power of your choices
- Controlling your influences
- and maintaining momentum…
You have a recipe for using the compound effect in your favor and accelerating your results.
Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect | A Video Playlist
In this playlist I’ve compiled, you can see some of the powerful live speeches of Darren Hardy on The Compound Effect. Check them out!
Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect | Buy Your Copy
Final Words on Darren Hardy’s compound effect
The goal of this article was to show tips from Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect. If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section. I’d love to help you out!
If you would like to start or scale your business, check out my free e-course! It’s a business growth framework to help you grow your business from idea to enterprise. Check out my free e-course here.
Now, it’s Your Turn…
Have you read the Compound Effect? Do you have nuggets from the book you’d like to add? What tips from what I’ve extracted most resonate with you? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.