One simple step at a time
The Compound Effect: Jump start Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy is, not only a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller, it is a straight-talking practical guide to setting clear goals and doing the “stuff” that needs to get done in order to achieve powerful results.
Readers may already be familiar with the mythical choice of taking a £3 million lump sum versus a single penny that doubles in value for 31 days. Which would you choose? If you recognise this scenario you know that the single doubling penny is the one to opt for, as it ultimately leads to greater wealth. However, this outcome requires patience rather than seeking instant reward. This example, along with anecdotes and case studies are used to illustrate the concept and power of the Compound Effect; the practice of repeating small smart choices consistently over a period of time in order to achieve radical results. By drawing on personal research and countless interviews with top performers from all walks of life and business, the author, who is described as the “visionary force behind SUCCESS magazine as its Publisher and Founding Editor” shares his “back to basics” approach to goal setting and achieving success.
Each chapter considers a different element of the formula for success, offering insight and examples and practical activities that demystify topics such choice, habits and momentum. Whilst many others have written books on these topics, here, readers are given some home truths about taking responsibility for their lives and their outcomes, the powerful impact of our daily influences and the fact that no life of business is going to be successful (whatever you deem success to mean for you) unless you put the time and commitment into doing what needs to be done. However, this book doesn’t fill you with ideas and leave you hanging with nowhere to go next. True to its message of doing the work and you’ll get the results; each chapter comes with a check list of questions and activities that put the key learning into action immediately. Alongside all of this, there are also additional material references throughout that direct readers to free online resources that encourages a deeper level of practical self-awareness and easy to use planning tools.
What I particularly liked about this book was its chatty, matter-of-fact writing style; akin to having a chat with a mentor or trusted friend. I find I can be quite a lazy reader and often catch myself skimming large chunks of text looking for the next nugget and missing things in the process. Here, the style and flow of the writing felt personal and I like the way that stories, research and experiences are layered into bite sized learning required little effort to digest and felt relevant. Some readers may find the style simplistic and the ideas obvious but that is exactly the point. There is no magic formula for instant success and it’s not about how academic or complex the theories and models you adopt are. Achieving results is about doing the small, obvious things, consistently over time. It’s about being consistent in your choices, surrounding yourself with the right influences, being actively aware of the small things before they mount up and cripple you, repeatedly investing time in the relationships that matter, consciously looking for the positive, being grateful and consistently preparing through practice so that when the opportunity to accelerate presents itself you are ready to step up and get the results you desire and deserve.
Is this a business book? Not in the traditional sense, but the ideas and concepts presented within it are as applicable and valuable to business as they are to the leadership of the self. The practical elements of self-reflection and the suggested actions offer leaders a valuable tool to aid them in their developmental journey. The value of becoming conscious of the little things that take place, across a business or within a team, and choosing differently and consistently has the power to over time, exponentially increase profits, productivity and engagement. Not to mention, it has the power to strengthen stakeholder relationships, increase customer satisfaction and enhance your value proposition all of which can lead to becoming best in class and a preferred partner.
For me, this book has given me a wake up call. It challenged me to ask myself the tough questions about how I’m choosing to run my life and business. It encouraged me to be honest with myself and to acknowledge who I need to become in order to achieve the aspirations I’ve set myself, my life and for my business. Is it an easy read? Yes. Is it an easy do? No, but I’m working on it every day and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
- Paperback:192 pages
- Publisher:Carroll & Graf; Csm edition (2 Oct. 2012)
Author: Kerry Bellamy