I read a terrific book recently called the Compound Effect written by Darren Hardy the editor of Success Magazine. I love his wisdom.
The premise of this book summed up in one short paragraph would be,
“Success is often built by taking small consistent steps over time. While these steps in the moment don’t feel significant, the results over time are massive.”
Most real estate investors that I know are constantly multi-tasking – we have more jobs than hours in the day. And it’s pretty common for these investors like most entrepreneurs to get side tracked by shiny objects. The other problem is that so many folks don’t actually write their goals down. They simply fail to plan for success.
So how can we change that? How can we become more consistent?
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Darren Hardy often says that he isn’t the smartest person. But he says that given enough time he will beat anyone in just about anything, because he takes those small consistent steps needed EVERY day. You’ll notice he doesn’t say some days or most every day; he says every day.
The Compound Effect in Action
There are 5 parts to making these permanent changes for massive results over time.
- Momentum or “Big Mo”
There are some things in life we have no choice over such as illness, but by and large we are completely responsible for the life we create. We all come into the world the same; naked, scared and ignorant. When it’s all said and done, the life we end up with is almost entirely an accumulation of the choices we make.
The first step is to become aware of our choices. Choosing well takes you down a much different path than not choosing at all.
Don’t live your life on autopilot.
We are all creatures of habit; some habits are good and some bad, but habits are necessary to get through life.
Stop and think about this; what if you had to think of every tiny step necessary for brushing your teeth, mowing the lawn and a whole host of other things we just do without thinking about all of those individual steps. The problem is that by definition a habit is something we do without really thinking about it. Sitting down with a bag of potato chips or a whole can of nuts when we are watching TV then realizing that you have eaten the entire amount is nothing more than a bad habit.
So how do we stop living life on autopilot and create better habits? You need a big enough “why” to change bad habits and create new ones.
Habits influence goals. If you’re not making the progress that you would like to be making, it’s simply because your goals are not well defined and you don’t have the right habits. In his book Darren goes over 5 strategies for eliminating bad habits.
Momentum or “Big Mo”
This was one of my favorite chapters. I wrote an entire blog post on “Big Mo”. When you are trying to get momentum in your real estate business the first steps are always the hardest. But when you get it, momentum is almost impossible to stop. So how do you get it?
Here are the 4 steps:
- Make new choices based on your goals and core values
- Create new positive behaviors by putting good choices to work
- Create new habits to replace your current bad habits
- Build routines and stay consistent over a long period of time
These 4 steps are pretty simple at their core, but they are anything but easy to implement when you are first trying to make these changes. The first step to making these changes are to identify those things that you need to change.
His advice is to start small; just pick one thing and create a new habit. For me it was getting up earlier each day. I’m still not where I want to be, but I have been getting up earlier for several months now. I think it’s time to go all the way and finally set that clock back another 30 minutes each morning. Remember, “Small consistent steps over time”.
You don’t have to jump right into a new habit requiring massive changes that you know deep down you won’t be able to keep. It’s OK to ease into it so that it sticks.
Even though everyone is 100% responsible for their life and their choices they make, there are subtle influences or external forces that you need to be aware of that will put you off track.
Here are the 3 kinds of influences:
- Environment or your surroundings
So let’s break them down a little bit.
Influences. These are things like the news. Did you ever notice how your mood and your confidence take a dive when you listen to a steady stream of bad news on the TV? I’m talking about things like:
- The economy is tanking
- Real estate sales are at their lowest in almost a decade
- Unemployment is its highest in almost 15 years
Your mind is like an empty glass, so be careful what you put into it. Or as Darren says, “Don’t drink dirty water”.
Associations. You have all heard the saying that, “You become the average of the 5 people you hang out with”. Seek out positive people; those that share your vision. Look for mentors that are already where you want to be, join a mastermind and get an accountability partner that will kick your butt when you need it. Find a way to spend most of your time with people that that are “already sitting at the table you want to pull your chair up to”.
Environment. Sometimes your vision for your business or the dream in your heart may be bigger than your environment. I’m not only talking about where you currently live or other limiting personal situations. I’m also talking about physical and mental clutter that may be getting in the way. These things drain your energy. So finish your “incompletes”. Clean up your workspace or even your garage if that’s weighing you down.
Get all those unfinished projects done once and for all so that you can create an environment for success. Your physical environment has a direct correlation to your eventual success.
Acceleration. When things get tough, our minds create all sorts of reasons or “alibis” for why it’s OK to stop or to throw in the towel. Your subconscious is more than willing to give up on this current new habit or the new choice we need to make in order to put the compound effect into place in our life. After all, change is hard! When tough times come our way and we hit those emotional and mental walls don’t be the one that quits.
Just do a little more each day so you can see those massive results – the compound effect over time. Take some time today and look down the road. Are you headed where you want to end up? If not, what changes do you need to make? Here’s the real question you need to ask yourself:
“Who do you have to become? If you want more, you have to become more. Success is something you attract by the person you become”.
Photo Credit: Kris Krug