"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, that's the Compound Effect"

That is some thought to have bouncing around inside your head, for a lot of people as far as it goes is trying to decide what to have for dinner later. That quote however, goes some way to show the grandiose level of expectation that Elon Musk has for himself.

This is my review of ‘The Compound Effect, Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success’ by Darren Hardy.

Most people by now will probably have heard of the compound effect in some degree, the most commonly quoted variation is the old question of would you rather have £1,000,000 right now, or a penny that doubles every day for a month? If you picked the £1 million, then maybe you should do the math and re-consider! That is where the compound effect comes in, small marginal gains compounded over time aggregate into a significant outcome or advantage. I’m going to put this out there before I even carry on writing, this is one of the most thought provoking books I’ve read and I 100% recommend it, I’ll come on to explain why but it’s one of the few books that has made me think, and then act immediately.

It’s no secret that the world is currently full of what you could call ‘self help’ books, or books that focus on entrepreneurship, or books to focus on your career, actually pretty much everything and anything in between as well. The Compound Effect however is different.

“You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you"

Hardy shifts the focus, the outside factors aren’t as important and neither are the current factors that might be contributing to your current situation, what is important is the choices that you make. The minutiae day to day decisions that seem almost irrelevant or unimportant suddenly become an opportunity to make continuous decisions and steps towards your goals or improving yourself, let’s take an example.

There are two friends. One starts making a couple of healthy changes. He cut out only 125 calories a day from his diet (like switching from mayo to mustard on a sandwich). He also started walking about a mile a day. Nothing crazy, but just a few small changes that he knew he could stick with. Meanwhile, his friend started cooking a little bit richer foods at dinner time and added a cocktail to his daily after dinner routine. Nothing crazy, but it just helped him relax. For the first year even the differences were so small they weren’t measurable. After 2 years, however, those small changes really started to add up! The first guy ended up losing just over 30lbs, while the second guy ended up GAINING just over 30lbs. Do you see how that works?

The whole point IS that making small commitments every single day, over a long enough period of time begin to compound. You start to form habits, those habits eventually go into auto-pilot, you start to improve other choices and areas of your life, this snowballs and you are away.

The Small Choices, Have Massive Impact

To wrap this brief review up, simply put this book is fantastic. Yes it comes with financial connotations but it’s more than that, I love the idea that you can, and should, be accountable for every single choice that you make daily. Once you really start to think about it, you’ll be amazed how many decisions you make on complete auto pilot. They are seemingly harmless, but once you become aware of them you can start to really take control and take steps every day towards your goal, no matter how small.