The Compound Effect – Part 2

This post is Part 2 in my review and notes for Darren Hardy’s, The Compound Effect.  For Part 1 – click here.

Habits

The next section of this book (chapter 3) is all about habits.  This chapter is probably the best section in this book, and could be a standalone book itself.  The best way to start this section is with a quote:  

Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do.”  The dictionary defines habit this way: “An acquired mode of behavior that is become nearly or completely involuntary.” 

There have been many books on habits.  Everyone has their own take on how to form habits, which habits to form, and the best formula for maintaining those habits. After reading multiple authors’ takes on habits, it all starts running together.  

But what really struck a chord with me in The Compound Effect was Hardy’s focus on 2 aspects: 1) How Small Changes Can Make Big Differences, and 2) Your Reason Why.

How Small Changes Can Make Big Differences

“The slightest adjustments to your daily routines can dramatically alter the outcomes in your life. Super-small, seemingly inconsequential adjustments can and will revolutionize everything.”

In general I think people psyche themselves out way too often, myself included.  We tend to over analyze things to the point instead of doing something, we do nothing.  Here is an example that most people can relate to:  Current situation = You are overweight, out of shape, or both. Solution = eat healthy & exercise.  Sounds simple right?  Yes, it actually is simple, but our minds tend to operate in extremes… so instead of eating heating food and exercising – we tell ourselves we must only eat 500 calories a day and do crossfit 10 times a week.  First, that is a recipe for disaster. Second, it is unrealistic.  But your mind thinks that is what you have to do – so its all or nothing… If you don’t follow that regime, you decide to not do anything.

But what if you simply cut something from your diet? Or limited yourself to consuming it only once per week?  That is feasible, right? And instead of trying to be a gym rat, only to get burnt out after a month – what if you tried doing a simple 5 or 10 minute exercise at home?  These are easy solutions to get you the results you want…. But the key is CONSISTENCY!  Make it a habit to do pushups when you wake up or drink 2 liters of water, or whatever else is appropriate – but don’t overwhelm yourself to the point that you do nothing.  Develop a personal daily routine that you can stick with and it will change everything.

Your Reason Why

Many people believe that if they just have enough will-power they can muster there way through anything.  While that is a nice thought, it isn’t true.  Everyone has at one time in their life has set New Year’s Resolutions that you have every intention of carrying throughout the year – only to “give up” by mid February. Setting goals and trying to form new habits or coming up with ways kick old ones is a great.  But sheer willpower can’t carry you the distance.  You must have a solid reason WHY behind each of those habits and goals.

“Until you set your desire and motivation in place, you’ll abandon any new path you seek to better your life if you’re why-power – your desire – isn’t great enough, if the fortitude of your commitment isn’t powerful enough, you’ll end up like every other person who makes a New Year’s resolution and gives up early.” 

In the book, Hardy illustrates this concept with an analogy.  It goes something like this:

If I put a 10 inch wide 30 foot-long plank on the ground and said if you walked the length of the plank, I’ll give you $20, would you do it? Of course you would. But what if I took the same plank and made a rooftop bridge between two 100 story buildings? That same $20 for walking the 30 foot plank no longer looks desirable or even possible does it?

TCE-whyHowever if your child was on the opposite building and that building was on fire would you walked the length of plank to save him? Without question and immediately – you do it. $20 or not. 

 Why is it that the first time I asked you to cross that skyhigh plank, you said no way, yet the second time you wouldn’t hesitate? The risk and the dangers are the same. What changed? Your why changed – your reason for wanting to do it.

“You see, when the reason why is big enough, you will be willing to perform almost any how.”

Game Changers: Five Strategies for Eliminating Bad Habits

Your habits are learned; therefore, they can be unlearned.

  1. Identify Your Triggers for Bad Habits – Who, What, Where, When
  2. Clean House – get rid of whatever enables your bad habits
  3. Swap It – replace with good habits, or delete
  4. Ease In – gradual changes
  5. Or Jump In – sudden changes

Run a Vice Check – From pg. 83

“Every so often I go on a “vice fast.” I pick one vice, and check to be sure I’m still the alpha dog in our relationship. About every three months I pick one vice and abstain for 30 days. I love proving to myself but I’m still in charge. If you find it seriously difficult to abstain for 30 days, you may have found a habit worth cutting out of your life.”

Game Changers: Six Techniques for Installing Good Habits

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” 
– John C Maxwell

  1. Set yourself up to succeed. Any new habit has to work inside your life and lifestyle. One strategy I use is to have protein on hand. I cook up a bunch of chicken on Sunday, and package it and have it ready for the week.
  2. Think addition, not subtraction. – what can you add in to your life?
  3. Go for a PDA: Public display of accountability.
  4. Find a success buddy.
  5. Competition and camaraderie.
  6. Celebrate.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge.” 
– Dr. MLK Jr.

When you press on despite difficulty, tedium, and hardship, that’s when you earn your improvement and gain strides on the competition. If it’s hard, awkward or tedious, so be it. Just do it. And keep doing it, and the magic of the compound effect will reward you handsomely. 

 Continue to Part 3 – On Momentum, Influences, and Acceleration

The Compound Effect – Part 3

This post is Part 3 in my review and notes for Darren Hardy’s, The Compound Effect.  Click here for Part 1, and Part 2.

Momentum

Here is an except from the book where Hardy summarizes the main point:

You get into the groove, the “zone,” by doing the things we’ve covered so far:

  1. Making new choices based on your goals and core values
  2. Putting those choices to work through new positive behaviors
  3. Repeating those healthy actions long enough to establish new habits
  4. Building routines and rhythms into your daily disciplines
  5. Staying consistent over a long enough period of time

Then Momentum Kicks In. 

Number 4 & 5 are the steps the really start to propel your momentum.  First, putting together a daily routine that incorporates your new habits is essential.  Don’t try to just rely on hoping that you will remember to do something – make it part of a routine.  Then after you’ve nailed down a routine that works for you – BE CONSISTENT.  Its one thing to stick to a routine for a week or two, but if you can really stick with it for 3 weeks, you’ve officially created a habit.  So be consistent for the long haul and then you will start to see how the compound effect can take what you are doing and create exponential results.

“A daily routine built on good habits and discipline separates the most successful among us from everyone else. A routine is exceptionally powerful.”

 

Influences

For the last two sections – Influences and Acceleration,  I have kept it brief and just written my notes from when first reading the book.

Everyone is affected by three kinds of influences: input (what you feed your mind), associations (the people with whom you spend time), and environment (your surroundings).

1. INPUT: Garbage In, Garbage Out

  • Don’t drink “dirty water”
  • Stand Guard
  • Go on a media diet
  • Audiobooks, podcasts in the Car

2. ASSOCIATIONS: Who’s Influencing You

  • Dissociations
  • Limited Associations
  • Expanded Associations
  • Find a Peak-Performance Partner
  • Invest in Mentorship
  • Develop own Personal Board of Advisors

Never ask advice of someone with whom you wouldn’t want to trade places.

3. ENVIRONMENT: Changing Your View Changes Your Perspective 

  • Each and every incomplete thing in your life exerts a draining force on you, sucking the energy of accomplishment and success out of you as surely as a vampire stealing your blood. Think about what you can complete today.

 

Acceleration

Do The Unexpected:
If you have a cause or ideal worthy of attention, do what it takes, even the unexpected, to make your case heard. Add a little audacity to your repertoire.

Do Better Than Expected:
Find the line of expectation and then exceed it.

Know Your Moments of Truth – and then persevere and move forward.

 

Summary

The Compound Effect is a great book that provides a roadmap for creating success in whatever area of life you are wanting.  It provides concrete steps to make small changes in your everyday life that will alter your trajectory.  So instead of being overwhelmed by all the things you “should be doing” – just focus on the small changes that you can make and over time, you’ll see a huge difference in your results.

As I mentioned previously in Part 1, this quote from Hardy sum’s it all up nicely:

“Your only path to success is through a continuum of mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time. Know, too, that the results, the life, and the lifestyle of your dreams can be yours when you put the Compound Effect to work for you.”

 

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Rich Dad, Poor DadWhen someone asks me, ” What is 1 book that has changed your life” – the first book that comes to mind (besides the Bible) is Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  I have read this book at least 5 times.  The first time I read it, I was a young 17 year old high school student curious about personal finance and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with me life. 

To give you a quick overview, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a story about Robert Kiyosaki growing up with two “dads”–and two very different perspectives on money, finance and investing. His biological father – who he refers to as his poor dad, was a super-intendent of education in Hawaii. He was a hardworking, educated man, who tried playing it safe, but ultimately died broke because of it. He taught Robert that the key to success was to get a good education, find a good job that provided good benefits, work 45 years, and then let the government take care of you during retirement.

At the same time, Robert was being influenced on the opposite spectrum by his best friend’s father — who he referred to as his “Rich Dad.”  This man was not formally educated, but possessed the entrepreneurial spirit, and became one of the richest men in Hawaii. He taught Robert to think differently and challenge conventional wisdom. He emphasized valuing freedom over security and wouldn’t let the boys say “I can’t do it” – but rather “How can I do it?”  

The book explores a variety of themes and is bonded together through a great narrative.  It reads very fast – and I didn’t want to put it down. I’m pretty sure I first discovered the book at Barnes and Noble one night – and then came back the next day and found a comfy chair inside the store and read the whole book straight.

So, how did this book change my life?

While writing this post, I decided to read through the book again. It was interesting reading the book at this point in my life – around 10 years after I read the book for the first time.  The concepts are still solid and are ultimately what laid the foundation for a good portion of my financial literacy.  

Rich Dad, Poor Dad began my journey into learning more about how life really works. In today’s world, it is common for people to spend at least 40-60 hours a week for 45 years working.  This book combined with Cashflow Quandrant  (a must read) really challenged the conventional wisdom that is quoted by everyone, “Get a good education, find a good secure job with good benefits, and work for 45 years etc…”  Coming from an entrepreneurial family, I wasn’t blinded by this conventional wisdom, but at the same time I never completely questioned it.  This book caused me to really question taking the “safe route.”

This book really helped change my perspective on what is “Safe” and “Secure”… I now value my freedom and time much more than security and “safe” options.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying if I hadn’t read this book, I would be an employee working for some corporation, but I can definitely say – I would not have learned the pivotal lessons from this book at such a young age.  This book taught me to question the status quo, really investigate what path makes the most sense, and value freedom over security.

To really get the most out of the book, and to get more in depth on the themes discusses, I would highly suggest reading through this book first and then following it up with other books in the series — Cashflow Quandrant is another favorite, as well as Retire Young, Retire Rich.

There are some great lessons and concepts in Cashflow Quandrant that I would say had a equal if not greater impact on my life.  But, both of the books are a quick read and flow seamlessly together, so it is recommended to read them back to back for maximum impact.

 

 

 

What I Do For a Living – Then & Now

Throughout my adult life, my line of work has centered around 4 main industries:

1) Commercial Real Estate

2) Online Marketing

3) Web Design

4) Printing

Short Version: I run a Web Design & Printing business.

Background

From the time I was in middle school, I knew I wanted to be a “Businessman.”  What I thought that would look like versus how it looks now is completely different – but overall, I knew I would be involved in business in some capacity.  When I was 12 years old I was mowing lawns on the weekends for people in my neighborhood as a small business/summer job – At the time, I didn’t think about it in terms of being a business, but rather a jpb – but looking back on it, it certainly could have turned into one if I pursed it.

Throughout high school I thought I would go to college and get a degree in Finance so I could become a stock broker.  Then during my senior year of high school, I read a book that completely changed the way I thought about business & my career path.  That book was Rich Dad, Poor Dad – by Robert Kiyosaki.  That book lead me down the path to entrepreneurship & real estate. My dad suggested I should sit for the Real Estate Sales Associate Exam – and so at 18, I had my real estate license.

After high school I went to Oklahoma State University and enrolled in the School of Business. During my sophomore year in college, I learned my university was going to start an Entrepreneurship Program the following year.  I was very excited and scared at the same time.  At that time, I was still pursuing a degree in Finance – I saw that as the safe option, where I could graduate, get a nice 8-5 job and collect my checks every 2 weeks.  So, the thought of an switching my degree to Entrepreneurship was slightly unsettling, but very intriguing and exciting at the same time.  I knew their would be an unlimited amount of opportunities down the road as an entrepreneur.

After College

So after 4 years of college, 2.5 which were completely unnecessary, I received my diploma and degree in entrepreneurship.  Less than a week after graduating, I took the Real Estate Brokers Exam and received my brokers license.  At this point, my plan was to learn the ins and outs of commercial real estate from my father, who had over 35 years experience in the industry.

Do to the nature of the commercial real estate business, there were many days where I was playing the waiting game, and I had lots of time to spare.  During this time, I continued to read more books about entrepreneurship. I would read blogs and do further research online to learn everything I could.

While reading online, I learned about online marketing.  I saw there was a huge opportunity there to create a business based on marketing other people’s products as an affiliate.  The thought of working completely from my computer and receiving commission checks in the mail sounded too good to be true.  And while there were plenty of too good to be true scenarios that existed at that time (and still today) I fortunately did not get caught up in one.   In fact, things started going very well with my new found hobby – Online Marketing, that I quickly turned it into a full time business.  In December 2010, I was able to cross an item of My Impossible List – Make $10,000+ in 1 week (not from Real Estate). I thought this was the perfect scenario…while many of our real estate deals were at a standstill,  I could spend 80+ hours a week growing the marketing business.  I had never been so excited about working before…some days I found myself working in front of the computer for 16 hours straight, without more than a 5-10 minute break to eat every 6 hours. There was a whole world of online business that I never knew even existed….they definitely didn’t teach you this in business school.

etrepreneur

Transition

So after a few years growing the online marketing business, I had acquired a lot of new skills that ultimately would alter the path of my business.  I learned more about how the business world actually works during the first year of my marketing business than I did in 4 years of business school.  Experience trumps education.  One of the new skills I learned was how to put together a website.  I would put together campaigns to market products online – and the focal point of the marketing campaigns were the websites I created. With this new skill I had learned, I saw an opportunity to create websites for other businesses and not just mine.  So after some research, I put together a list of potential clients I could help by designing or redesigning their websites & putting in place marketing strategies for their online presence.

Today

After creating a few websites for clients, I decided to move away from just doing online marketing for myself, and I formed Kinetic Media LLC – a web design, printing and marketing consulting business.  Over the past few years we have continued to grow the business by working with high ticket businesses and non profit clients providing a variety of services.  Whether its designing a new website, creating & printing marketing collateral such as brochures, flyers & business cards etc., or even developing marketing campaigns or sales funnels for our clients – we have a wide range of experience and get the job done – the right way, the first time. After working with many different clients, I found that I really enjoy working with businesses and non-profits to find the solution to their problems and delivering the finished product. 

So there it is – my journey to become an entrepreneur and business owner. While this was a long post, this is definitely the abridged version of my story.  Throughout my journey, there have been many ups and downs, some of which will be covered in future posts.  I learned a lot during each stage of my life, and changed courses a few times, but everything I have been exposed to has lead me to make the decisions & take actions that brought me to where I am today.

My Impossible List

Is this a bucket list post?

No. This is not a bucket list.

This is my impossible list – A list of things I think / or at one time thought were impossible to achieve, plus a few fun random items.  I’ve also included places I want to see and things I want to do. This list is not static and will evolve over time. It exists to provide me a challenge to constantly evaluate my life and what I am doing & where I am going.  I’m not going to fill this list with things just so I can check them off. Life is a journey, not a destination – this is purely about the journey & making it awesome.

To make this journey even more fun and to continue motivating myself to cross items off the lists, I’m incorporating some gamification mechanisms such as levels.  Every time I complete 5 items on my list, I’ll move up a level.  If I go over 6 months without crossing anything off my list, I move down a level.  

 

Currently at: Level 4

 

Level 4 Achievements

Level 3 Achievements

  • Go on an African Safari [March 2015 – Massai Mara, Kenya]
  • Live abroad for 1 month [Kenya, 2015]
  • Complete a Warrior Dash [April 2016]
  • Swim with Sharks [July 2016]
  • See lava flow from a volcano [July 2016]

Level 2 Achievements

  • Do a Jungle Canopy Zipline Tour [May 2013 – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico]
  • Take the Road to Hana (Maui, Hawaii) [July 2011]
  • Complete a 14 day juice fast [February 2011]
  • Help 100 Entrepreneurs Better Their Lives and Lift Themselves Out of Poverty Through Micro-Loans at Kiva.org [358/100 – 42 countries December 2010]
  • Make $10,000 in 1 week [12/2010]

Level 1 Achievements

  • Start & Own a Business [2010 – Kinetic Media LLC]
  • Participate in a Side-hacking Race [2008 – Red Bull Side Hack Race at Ok State! – This was too much fun]
  • 50,000 pushups in 1 year [2007]
  • Visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain [December 2005]
  • Live abroad for 10 days [Spain, 2005]

 

 

Life

  • Help 100 Entrepreneurs Better Their Lives and Lift Themselves Out of Poverty Through Micro-Loans at Kiva.org [358/100 – 42 countries December 2010]
  • Start a Non-Profit
  • Leave a $500 tip at a restaurant
  • Meet Someone New Every Day for 7 Days Straight | 20 days | 30 days | 90 days | 180 Days
  • Give away $1 million
  • Mentor someone
  • Live abroad for 10 days [Spain, 2005] | 1 Month [Kenya, 2015] | 3 months | 6 months | 1 year
  • Create a documentary

Health

  • Complete a 14 day juice fast [February 2011] | 30 day | 60 day
  • No Soda/Tea for 1 year
  • Body Fat below 8%

Fitness

Business

  • Start a SaaS Business
  • Start & Own a Business [2010 – Kinetic Media LLC]
  • Make $10,000 in 1 week [12/2010]
  • Create a multi-million dollar company
  • Write a book

Random [fun]

  • Become Fluent in Spanish | A Third Language
  • Become a Grandmaster of Memory
  • Learn to Backflip
  • Become an Expert Marksmen
  • Participate in a Side-hacking Race [2008 – Red Bull Side Hack Race at Ok State! – This was too much fun]
  • Swim with Sharks [July 2016]
  • See lava flow from a volcano [July 2016]

Exploring The World

  • Go to Every Continent [Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America]
  • Visit All 50 States in the USA [22/50]
  • Visit Every Place on This List
  • Visit 20 Countries | 50 Countries | 100 Countries | 150 Countries
  • Take the Road to Hana (Maui, Hawaii) [July 2011]
  • Do a Jungle Canopy Zipline Tour [May 2013 – Playa Del Carmen, Mexico]
  • Go on an African Safari [March 2015 – Massai Mara, Kenya]
  • Go to Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Visit Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Visit the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain [December 2005]

 visited_countries

So there is it.  My Impossible I will come back to this list and continue to add items. Thank you to Joel over at Impossible HQ for the inspiration.