Book Review: The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success

Mar 14, 2012

Published 2010
Vanguard Press
E-Reader and Audio Editions Available

If you attended last week’s MFG (Manufacturing For Growth) Meeting in Orlando, Fla., last week, you probably heard Darren Hardy talk about the productivity strategies of superachievers.  After the Saturday keynote session at the meeting, the buzz was all about his message:  small changes can create huge differences in outcomes.  His presentation was based on his 2010 book, The Compound Effect, in which he asserts it's your habits and choices that make the difference. Even if you didn’t get fired up over the topic at the MFG Meeting, reading or listening to his book will certainly motivate you to make changes in habits that are sure to make you happier.

Some of Hardy’s critics say the content doesn't contain original ideas or a new breakthrough. In reading the book it’s apparent that a breakthrough may not be necessary. His strategies are doable.  He teaches that you don't have to set an unreachable goal to be successful. Instead, you just need to keep doing the little things — even when the immediate results aren't apparent. One of his analogies is this: Far too many people try exercise or self-improvement for a short period of time and then give up because they are not seeing instant results.

He is clear that it is not the big breakthroughs that are the hallmark of highly successful people. It is the constant, steady striving towards their goals — the ability to go on when others have dropped out — which brings the ultimate success.

This easy-to-read book is motivational, loaded with how-to’s and worthwhile, especially if you are one who reaches the end of the day frustrated because you didn’t accomplish what you set out to.

Hardy lays out a simple formula in the first chapter:  [small, smart choices + consistency + time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE].

The next five chapters of The Compound Effect are dedicated to five simple success strategies:
choices, habits, momentum, influences, acceleration.

He covers each of these strategies in depth and then provides several action steps at the end of each chapter.  He includes exercises to help each individual reader identify appropriate actions. 

For example, in the first chapter centering on choices, he talks about taking 100% responsibility for the success or failure of your present condition and tells you to write down three things you have done in the past that have derailed you. Then list three things you should have done, but didn't.  Identify three things that happened, but to which you responded poorly. And lastly write three things you can start doing right now to take back responsibility for the outcomes of your life.

He methodically walks the reader through habits, momentum, influences, acceleration using the same kind of exercises.  The result can be liberating.

About The Author

The chair once occupied by Orison Swett Marden, W. Clement Stone, Napoleon Hill, and Og Mandino is where SUCCESS publisher and editorial director Darren Hardy now sits.  Hardy has been a leader in the personal development industry for 16 years, having led two personal development-based television networks — The People's Network (TPN), and The Success Training Network (TSTN) — producing and launching more than a thousand TV shows, live events, and products and programs with many of the world's top experts.

Hardy is a product of the principles he reveals in The Compound Effect.  As an entrepreneur, Hardy was earning a six-figure income by age eighteen, more than a million dollars a year by age 24, and he owned a company producing $50 million a year in revenue by age 27.  He has mentored thousands of entrepreneurs, advised many large corporations, and serves on the board of several companies and nonprofit organizations.

As publisher and editorial director of SUCCESS magazine, Hardy is in a unique position to interview leading experts on human performance and achievement, as well as many of today’s top CEOs, revolutionary entrepreneurs, superstar athletes, entertainers, and Olympic champions, to uncover and share the success secrets behind their extraordinary success.

Each month in the pages of SUCCESS magazine, on his blog (, on Twitter (@DarrenHardy), on Facebook (DarrenHardyFan), and before live audiences of entrepreneurs across the country, Hardy distills the best of the best information and strategies available, mixing in his own street-tested principles of success.  Hardy’s passion for personal development is at the core of his business and life philosophy.  He is committed to helping others achieve their potential in order to live richer, more fulfilling lives.

Hardy is a popular keynote speaker and appears regularly on national radio and TV shows for CNBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX.