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I was intending to review The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, as a whole, but my friend, Chad Eaves of ChadEaves.com, convinced me to review it one chapter at a time as that may make for better blogging.  Let’s see if it works.

The thesis of the book is stated as the lone entry on the first page:

“No matter what you learn, what strategy or tactic you employ, success comes a result of the Compound Effect.”

The Compound Effect proposes that “Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE”.  In other words, if you make a few simple, intelligent changes in your life and stick to those changes, over time, the result of those changes will be dramatic.  It sounds simple enough and Mr. Hardy tells us a few stories to help illustrate the concept.  The stories may seem simplistic, but don’t let that deter you as they are written to be understood by as wide an audience as possible.  The goal here is to spread his message and sell books, not to stretch the bounds of sentence structure and vocabulary.

Even though Mr. Hardy presents his method as a simple exercise that is easy to do, he reminds us that the path to success is not a short, easy road to tread.  The chapter begins with him exclaiming that he is the tortoise in the race with the hare.  Slow and steady wins the race, he says.  Mr. Hardy then tells the story of his childhood, where his football coach dad raised him in an environment of “No Pain, No Gain”.  The secret here is to work intelligently and diligently over time to achieve success.  Do not let petty excuses derail your long term efforts.  The example from Mr. Hardy’s childhood is to not quit unless you’re “showing bone”.  The term originally applied to football players not leaving a game unless they had a compound fracture, but applied here means not letting small excuses prevent you from succeeding.

Another point that Mr. Hardy stresses is the importance of saying “No”.  Not being side-tracked is an important part of long term success.  The main point of the Compound Effect is that small, positive changes, applied consistently, produce great results.  If small, positive changes can produce great results, then preventing those changes from being consistently applied can have the opposite effect.

This chapter, and all chapters, ends with several exercises designed to emphasize and put into effect concepts and suggestions in the chapter.  There are also more resources available at http://www.thecompoundeffect.com.  This is a nice touch and provides pdf versions of the worksheets in the book.  Be prepared, however, that the “Free Resources” are surrounded by advertisements for more products by Mr. Hardy.

Chapter 2 is “Choices” and I’ll be discussing it next week.

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