The Path to Success The Compound Effect

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Darren Hardy 250x250
Darren Hardy, Publisher & Editorial Director, SUCCESS Magazine






Whether you're trying to get a promotion, improve a relationship or shed a few pounds, Darren Hardy can show you how. The author of the recently released book The Compound Effect, Darren was an entrepreneur earning a six-figure income at age 18, and by age 27 he was a self-made millionaire. Here he shares his secrets on how to achieve success -- whether in your professional or personal life. (It turns out it's not as difficult as it might seem.)

What is the “Compound Effect”?

The compound effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. Do I have the cake, or grab a piece of fruit? Do I make 3 more prospecting calls, or call it a day? Do I say I love you to my wife/husband or shrug it off for another day?

What is the greatest challenge we face in making the Compound Effect work?

The choices and disciplines we need to stay consistent with are simple, but not easy. If we say no to the chocolate cake, there is no reward. If we say, yes, we get a mouthful of joy and are satiated. Meanwhile the results from our new positive choices, disciplines and habits are invisible -- for a long time, so we can start to think it’s not working at all.
Can we ever splurge? Can we ever live a little?

You can’t be dogmatic. Your grandmother was right – everything in moderation is okay. One of my heroes – Arnold Schwarzenegger – had the principle of a cheat day. He would be incredibly disciplined 6 days a week – but have a cheat day so as not to break. The problem is the day after day blur – where what don’t seem like consequential choices actually stack up.

What’s the best way to stay focused and consistent in our efforts?

At SUCCESS Magazine we’re planning the issue that features Maria Shriver – its theme is It’s Time for Action. We’ve been talking about what stops people from taking action – and I think a big hurdle is follow-through. In my book I offer seven real-life and practical ways to help you stay focused, committed and consistent with your efforts.  Here are three:

  1. Perform a PDA – Public Display of Accountability. Put yourself in a fish bowl for the whole world to watch. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Find a Success Buddy. Get a success buddy, someone who’ll keep you accountable as you cement your new habit while you return the favor. I, for example, have what I call a “Peak-Performance Partner.” Every Friday at 11 a.m., we have a thirty-minute call during which we trade our wins, losses, ah-has, and solicit the needed feedback and hold each other accountable. You might seek out a success buddy for regular walks, runs, or dates at the gym.
  3. Competition & Camaraderie There’s nothing like a friendly contest to whet your competitive spirit and immerse yourself in a new habit with a bang. My office held a step competition using shoe pedometers to count steps. People’s step tallies increased every day. All it took was a little competition to keep people’s engines revved—and they got a wonderful sense of community in the bargain.

You write about the importance of having a mentor. Why is it so important?

The fastest way to become the best at anything is to find the person who has what you want – the leader in your field – learn what they know and do what they do. Ultimately you will duplicate their results.

What should we look for in a mentor, and how can we go about finding one?

First of all – you can have a variety of mentors for various areas of your life – for public speaking, golf, marriage, humor, etc. 

Secondly, you don't need much of their time. As Ken Blanchard told me in an interview, “The best advice I’ve ever gotten is in short clips, having lunch or breakfast with somebody... You will be amazed how successful businesspeople are willing to be mentors to people when it’s not taking a lot of time.”
Beyond individuals, books, seminars, magazines and biographies can all act as mentors -- incredibly inexpensively. My mentor has been Jim Rohm for 15 years. I probably spent 1000 hours in direct instruction with Jim – but I only met with him 3 or 4 times. The rest of that time I learned through his books, DVDs, seminars and CDs.

Darren Hardy is the publisher and editorial director of SUCCESS magazine. Through SUCCESS magazine, and his blog, Darren’s influence reaches millions of people each month.  Darren is also the author of the best-selling book Design Your Best Year Ever and of The Compound Effect.

Darren Hardy will be speaking at The Women's Conference 2010.

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  • Darren's idea for success--that keeping the little decision in your life in check ultimately will lead to great rewards--reminds me a lot of John Wooden's beliefs. In fact, his quote that "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen" is a great summary of what Darren seems to be saying. I would definitely recommend his book, Wooden, for anyone that enjoyed this blog post.

    Posted by mbeardsl, 1 August 2010.