If you haven’t read The Compound Effect, pick up a copy. It’s great.
To put it simply, the compound effect is the idea that every little thing matters.
Start eating 100 extra calories a day? Those add up. In a bad way.
Write 100 words a day? That’s 36,500 words a year! That’s no joke.
This works for any metric. From how many times you tell your wife you love her to the number of cold emails you send out to prospects.
This is important to me because it’s something I’ve been very inconsistent with over the last 10 years or so. I can’t tell you how many projects I haven’t completed because I wasn’t putting in a little bit of time regularly.
Likewise, there are things I did complete. Like my MBA and PMP.
We all have successes from the last few years. But if you’re like me, you know you could’ve done better.
- Put in more time at the gym
- Given your significant other more kind words
- Wrote more for your blog/social media/book
- Invested more money instead of spending it on material things
That’s my goal from this point on. To do a little bit more every day.
That doesn’t mean I’ll have to neglect fun things, like reading or video games. But it does mean I’ll need to be very selective with my time. So instead of playing video games for an hour every day, maybe it’s just 30 minutes.
The same goes with writing. I’m a decent writer – mainly because I’ve done so much freelance writing work. But I’d like to be better. I’d like to publish more content.
That means showing up every day.
Which brings me to another point – the compound effect isn’t necessarily about doing what you want every second of every day. Nobody has that luxury.
Great writers will tell you there were many times they didn’t want to write. They would rather have worked on something else. But they did it anyway.
Whatever it is you’re working on doesn’t have to be your passion. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating a low carb diet and reducing calories don’t have to be your passion. But you still have to do a little bit of it every day.
Build a business? Same thing. Show up every day. Build assets. Build a brand.
So that’s what I’m laying the foundations for right now. This year, I’m slowly building momentum. Spending more time writing every day. More time reaching out to clients. More time with “just in time” learning (instead of “just in case” learning.)
Just because my last 10 years have gone one way doesn’t mean the next 10 years have to be the same.
This is my time. This is my year.
But not just me. It can be yours too! Whatever it is that you’re working on. Any type of project or task. Join me and commit to spending a little time and effort on it every day.
When we reach this point next year, we’ll be happy we did.
Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich has a quote often that he got from his parents. That is “A year from now you’ll be one year older. What are you going to do?”