The Compound Effect
Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
By Darren Hardy
Reviewed by Jamey Schrier, PT, DPT, OCS
Why are some businesses more successful than others? According to Darren Hardy, the differences are much smaller than one might think. Earlier this year, a friend of mine suggested that I read Hardy’s The Compound Effect. He said the book is a must-read for every entrepreneur, and he was right! As owners of physical therapy practices, we are constantly searching for an edge; a competitive advantage in the marketplace, something we can do to make us stand out from the crowd. Understanding the concepts this book lays out is a great way to begin transforming your practice.
For me, the biggest take-away I got from reading The Compound Effect was the concept of personal responsibility. According to the author, nothing will change in our practice or our lives unless we move away from the victimization mindset. Furthermore, he says we must start putting 100 percent into everything we do and expect nothing in return. Hardy explains something will work only when you are willing to take 100 percent of the responsibility for making it work. He emphasizes that great change in one’s business starts with a shift in thinking and believes that if one’s thinking changes, actions will follow. Over time, these actions will turn into habits.
Darren Hardy’s formula for achieving goals:
Goals = Choices + Behaviors + Habits + Compounded
I had another big “a-ha” moment reading The Compound Effect, when Hardy discusses the importance of momentum in a business. Darren credits momentum, more than anything else, as the key for huge successes in business. He goes on to say that in order to build momentum in your business, you should start small, but be very consistent. Initially, to get a new project moving or to set a course for a bigger company vision may require a lot of effort, but once momentum kicks in, it will become hard to stop. However, Hardy cautions, slacking off just a little can kill momentum and cause the project to stall.
This insight on momentum resonated with me. After reading this chapter, I found some time the next day to reflect on my own business. How many times have I started a marketing project, for example, only to see my momentum wane weeks or months later? It dawned on me that as I gained more and more momentum, I began to stop doing the activities that caused the momentum in the first place. I began to realize that I actually stopped doing what led to me being busy in the first place, and that reason alone was why I was not busy anymore—not some mysterious outside factor that I originally had blamed as the reason. I simply stopped doing what was working. Darren Hardy has a great saying in his book: Nothing fails like success—people have a tendency to stop doing what is working. They get lazy and fail. One must always have a fire lit and big future ahead of them.
The Compound Effect goes on to talk about the importance of creating habits and being “aware” of the little decisions we all make every day. Hardy states that the big decisions are not as problematic as the little, seemingly inconsequential decisions that we make daily. He writes, “Everything in your life exists because you first made a choice about something. Each choice started a behavior that became a habit. Even the choices you do not make, is considered ‘making a choice.’” As an owner of a physical therapy practice for more than 13 years and a business coach, I felt the powerful impact of this statement. Each of us, whether we like it or not, are exactly where we should be based on the thinking, decisions, behaviors, and habits we “chose.” However, the good news is that if you are not happy with the results so far, just change your thinking and create new behaviors that will turn into habits. Over time, you will have exactly what you want!
I highly recommend this book to every business owner, whether you are just starting out or a seasoned veteran, interested in growing your practice and building the life you want and deserve.
Jamey Schrier, PT, DPT, OCS, is a PPS member and owner of Schrier Physical Therapy and Elite Coaching in Rockville, Maryland. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hardy D. The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success. Philadelphia, PA: Vanguard Press, 2010.