In this special interview, Overdrive sits down with Darren Hardy, founder of SUCCESS Magazine and author of the transformational new book, The Compound Effect. This is part one of a two-part Q&A.
- Why did you write THE COMPOUND EFFECT? And why now?
I think that many of us have lost sight of the simple but profound fundamentals of what it takes to be successful. We are constantly bombarded with increasingly sensational claims to get rich, get fit, get younger, get sexier … all overnight and with little effort for only three easy payments of $39.95. These repetitive marketing messages have distorted our sense of what it really takes to succeed. I wrote THE COMPOUND EFFECT to return people to the basics—the truth and the core fundamentals of what it really takes to succeed. I wanted to clear the clutter, demystify the truth and tell it straight—with no fat or fluff included.
- How did the ideas in THE COMPOUND EFFECT evolve?
Some of the ideas are based directly on my own experiences as a successful entrepreneur. Before I turned nineteen, I was earning a six-figure income operating my own company doing $5 million a year. I grew that to an income of more than $1 million a year by age twenty-four and a compay generating $50 million in revenue by age 27. Over the last two decades, I have built, bought, and sold several other companies.. Today, I am publisher of SUCCESS magazine. In that role, I have interviewed dozens of the world’s top business people, athletes, celebrities, and Olympic champions. People like Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, Colin Powell, Charles Schwab, Michael Dell, Suze Orman, Serena Williams, Steve Martin, Leonardo diCaprio, and many more. I started to see what all successful people have in common. They all implement some form of the Compound Effect.
- How do you define THE COMPOUND EFFECT?
The Compound Effect is essentially an operating system. It is the underlying foundation upon which all success is built. It is based on the principle that you can reap huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. In other words, your present reality is the outcome of the little, seemingly innocuous decisions that have added up to your current bank balance, waist line, business success, or relationship status. Wherever you are at today, you chose to be there through all the choices you have made along the way. And they aren’t necessarily the big choices or decisions that make the big difference. Success or failure is earned through the pesky little ones – do I have the cake or grab a piece of fruit, do I go to happy hour or go to the gym, do I make three more prospecting calls or just call it a day, do I say I love you to my wife or shrug it off for another day, do I listen to the news or to an instructional CD.
- You say that the fundamentals of success are simple. If that is true, then why doesn’t everyone have the wealth, health and relationships they desire?
What is easy to do is also easy not to do. The one thing successful people have in common with unsuccessful people is—they both hate to do what it takes to be successful. The difference is, successful people do it anyway. Here is the conundrum: What gives you short-term pleasure – the hamburger instead of the salad, the chocolate cake, cigarette, the additional drink, the “innocent” flirtation outside your marriage – creates long-term pain. And what gives you short-term pain – getting out of bed to go for a run, making those prospecting calls, skipping dessert, even sticking to your date night – creates lon- term pleasure.The trickiest part about this is that those small choices don’t look like a big deal. The reason is that the consequences or results are invisible. You don’t notice any difference whatsoever regardless of what choice you make. That’s where people get faked out… but unknowingly the compound effect has been ignited and all those seemingly small, innocuous choices that have produced invisible results add up to cardiac arrest, lung cancer, divorce and bankruptcy, disappointment, loneliness and despondency.The same is true on the positive side. If one learns and focuses on the core fundamentals of success and repeats them with discipline consistently, they will eventually incite the magic of the Compound Effect to positively catapult them into the stratosphere of extraordinary success.
- Why is consistency so critical for the Compound Effect to work.
If I were to boil down the number one trait responsible for all of my success in life I think it would be this—my unyielding and relentless commitment to consistency. It is also the same principle for why the tortoise always beats the hare. It’s not how fast you start, it’s how long you can remain consistent.This is the biggest reason why people don’t end up with the results they want and the life they seek. Most people operate in fits and starts—a great flurry of activity that then flames out. Every body easily gets excited, joins, signs-up, starts and begins. Millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, start diet programs, join gyms, buy personal development books, go to seminars, hire coaches, even read SUCCESS magazine, but their life doesn’t change. Why? That is because success is not defined by how you start, but by how you continue… over a long period of time.
Check back in tomorrow to read the rest of this interview!