In The Compound Effect, author Darren Hardy shares the core principles that drive success. These are simple principles that lead to extraordinary results when consistently put into action.
This book can act as a manual to teach you how to own the system, master it, and shape it to your needs. The book discusses:
- The Compound Effect in action
- How your choices influence your life
- Why the little things matter
- How to eliminate bad habits and initiate beneficial habits
- The power of momentum and how to build it
- Why you need to be aware of what’s influencing you
- The benefits of a morning and night routine
Darren Hardy grew up in a household that preached hard work and discipline.
That upbringing paid off and Darren achieved a high level of success at a young age. He earned more than $1 million at age 24 and built a company to over $50 million by age 27.
Darren has used himself as a guinea pig to experiment on what works and what doesn’t. He has studied and spoken with some of the most successful individuals in the world. The Compound Effect is a common thread they all utilize and benefit from.
This book can benefit anyone interested in personal development. You can take the information in The Compound Effect and use it to make changes to your health, finances, relationships, or any other areas of your life.
Darren Hardy offers a guide to help readers make sustainable change through small and consistent actions. For a book that only takes a few days to read, you can get life-changing value out of it.
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Top 20 Takeaways
* In no particular order
1. The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. The choices you make—even small, everyday decisions—will take you to the life you long for or to regrettable results. It’s those little decisions that set your life’s course.
2. Success isn’t about doing five thousand different things well. Success is doing the right things well five thousand times over.
3. You already know what you need to succeed. You don’t need to learn anything more. If all we needed was more information, everyone with an internet connection would live in a mansion, have abs of steel, and be blissfully happy.
4. Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE
5. As a nation, our entire populace seems to have lost appreciation for the value of a strong work ethic. Our expectations of what it really takes to create lasting success—things like grit, hard work, and fortitude—aren’t alluring, and thus have been mostly forgotten.
6. 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
7. The first step toward change is awareness. If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be, you have to start by becoming aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired destination.
8. The difference between the No. 1–ranked golfer and the No. 10 golfer is an average of 0.32 strokes, but the difference in prize money is more than double ($9.6 million versus $4.6 million)! The No. 1 golfer isn’t five times better. That’s the power of little things adding up and making all the difference.
9. The earlier you start making small changes, the more powerfully the Compound Effect works in your favor. The key is to start NOW. Every great act, every fantastic adventure, starts with small steps. The first step always looks harder than it actually is.
10. A daily routine built on good habits is the difference that separates the most successful amongst us from everyone else.
11. So why are we so irrationally enslaved by so many bad habits? It’s because our need for immediate gratification turns us reactive. Indulging in our bad habits doesn’t seem to have any negative effects at all in the moment. But that doesn’t mean you haven’t activated the Compound Effect. Think of smoking one cigarette. One won’t kill you in the moment so you keep doing it. However, thousands of cigarettes down the line add up and can cause serious health issues.
12. The power of your why is what gets you to stick through the grueling, mundane, and laborious. All of the hows will be meaningless until your whys are powerful enough.
13. The one skill most responsible for the abundance in my life is learning how to effectively set and achieve goals. Something almost magical happens when you organize and focus your creative power on a well-defined target. The highest achievers in the world have all succeeded because they mapped out their visions.
14. The question we should be asking ourselves when it comes to goal setting is: “Who do I need to become?”
15. Adopting any change is the same way. You get started by taking one small step, one action at a time. Progress is slow, but once a newly formed habit has kicked in, Big Mo (momentum) joins the party. The space shuttle uses more fuel during the first few minutes of its flight than it does the rest of the entire trip. This represents the hardest part of building momentum is the beginning.
16. Routines ease life’s stresses by making our actions automatic and effective. To reach new goals and develop new habits, it’s necessary to create new routines to support your objectives.
17. When people get started in a new endeavor, they almost always overdo it. You need to find a program that you can absolutely, positively do in the long term without renegotiation.
18. You must also realize your choices, behaviors, and habits are influenced by very powerful external forces. They are input (what you feed your mind), associations (the people you spend time with), and environment (your surroundings).
19. Invest in mentorship. You will be amazed how successful businesspeople are willing to be mentors to people when it’s not taking a lot of time.
20. Multiply results by doing extra. Go above and beyond when you hit a wall. Take weight training for example. Hitting your max amount of reps and doing a few extra after that max will bring results. The little extra will multiply your results many times over.
What I Liked
Straightforward and simple advice
The Compound Effect is straightforward and doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Darren Hardy is one who emphasizes that there are no shortcuts or hacks. Hard work and grit are necessary for success. What he shares are simple concepts:
- Making small incremental changes
- Becoming aware
- Doing a little extra
- Building a routine
None of these are particularly complex, but just because these ideas are simple does not mean that they are simply executed. That is the hard part for most people. The fact of the matter is that the average person will not implement the advice shared in The Compound Effect. If you are one of the few who will, you’ll likely experience significant change.
Provides a path for the reader to make changes
The book will tell you why certain things are beneficial and why other things are detrimental. It doesn’t stop there. The author provides a path for the reader to take what they have learned and implement it in their life. These actionable steps provide help to get the ball rolling.
Benefits To Your Life and Career
Compounding and rippling effect
The effects of building positive habits and eliminating negative habits will compound and ripple through your life and career. Small changes that are consistently implemented will yield drastic results. The changes may be imperceivable in the moment, but the effects will snowball and accelerate over time through the power of compounding.
The effects in one area in your life will affect other areas as well. This is the rippling effect. Imagine you build good habits and discipline related to your diet and health. Building discipline in that area may give you the confidence and reassurance that you can be disciplined with your finances too.
Create sustainable processes for goals
A big focus of The Compound Effect is that it’s the little things that add up and make a big difference. No single piece of advice in the book requires anything extreme. It actually requires the opposite.
A fulfilling life and career will be filled with goals you set for yourself. It’s easier to reach your goals when the steps along the way are easy. The Compound Effect will teach you how you can make changes that you can sustain for the long-term. You don’t want to go 110% on something and burn out in a few months. You want a plan that you can stick to for years.
10 Actions You Should Take
1. Write down several small things you can do every day to move your life in a positive direction. Also, write down several small things you can stop doing that might be compounding your results downward.
2. Track your behaviors to build awareness. Track one behavior at a time and look for ways to improve.
3. Implement a “vice fast” to prove to yourself that you are in control and your vices do not control you. Pick a vice of yours. Maybe it’s eating dessert every dinner. Go for a month without that vice and notice how difficult it is or isn’t. If you can’t follow through on the 30 days, your vice is controlling you.
4. Make up with hard work what you lack in experience, skill, intelligence, or innate ability.
5. Avoid the urge for instant gratification. Think long-term. As an example, eating one donut today seems harmless in the moment. You don’t immediately become obese with diabetes. However, if you eat donuts consistently each day, you may find yourself with health issues in 5-10 years.
6. When goal setting, list out the traits of who you need to become to reach your goals. You need to become someone new in order to achieve new things your current self has not achieved.
7. Identify your core motivation. Discover what gets you fired up and keeps you fired up to achieve big results. Find your why-power. Design your concise, compelling, and awe-inspiring goals.
8. Build a solid morning and night routine. Think of them as two bookends for your day. Design a predictable and fail-safe world-class routine schedule for your life. Even if your day ends up being chaotic, a routine can provide structure to the start and end of your days.
9. Monitor what you are intaking. Garbage in will equal garbage out. This includes media, your environment, and the people you surround yourself with. Be conscious of what you are allowing to enter your head.
10. Whenever you think you are at your limit, always do extra. When weight lifting, do a few extra reps than you planned on. At work, you can add a few extra finishing touches once a presentation is complete. In a meeting with a client on the cusp of closing a deal, go the extra mile to wow them. Doing extra will multiply your results.