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Using the "Compound Efect" to Change and Improve Your Life.

This blog post isn't directly related to the REO business, but it is related to better business and life practices to increase your productivity and inhance your business and life - which is related to the REO business.

I am a hugh fan of Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine and author of The Compound Effect (on recommended reading list). The great thing about Darren (who started out in Real Estate), and why I gravitate to him, is that his story, as exceptional as it is, could be your story. There is nothing spectacular about him that sets him apart from the rest of us (outside of his work ethic, drive and determination). But it is no secret that if you have good work ethic, drive and determination that you can also have success.

He didn’t inherit a trust fund or was given the keys to a family empire. He earned what he has. But he wasn’t a success overnight either. It was the little things that he did that compounded over time into success. And this is an easy principle that you can practice in your own life.

Main Points
1) Success is not derived for single herculean point-in-time efforts, but rather consistently doing 5-6 key practices over and over and over for a long period of time. Over night success doesn’t happen.
2) Darren’s primary thesis is that to build success you need to identify and eliminate bad habits and replace them with good habits. His definition of a bad habit is quite broad. For example, watching TV is a bad habit because it takes away your precious time that could be spent on a good habit that could make you successful (such as learning a new skill).
3) Consistency is the key to success.
4) His formula for success: Success = Preparation + Personal Growth + Attitude + Opportunity + Action
5) You must constantly monitor habits and mold them. A bad habit that has been around a long time is very hard to eliminate.
6) The way to instill new good habits is to rigorously practice them for 3-4 weeks. The repetition of 3-4 weeks is usually enough to instill the habit. Employ a “success buddy” or “accountability buddy” if you need additional help.
7) Over the course of a few weeks you should catalog your bad habits. To do this, it might be helpful to write down where you spend your time on a daily basis (e.g. 50 minutes watching CSI, etc…)
8) Once you are fully self aware of all of your bad habits, determine what the triggers are. For example, if you eat too many potato chips, do you primarily do this while you are watching late night TV, then TV watching late at night is the trigger.
9) Once you know your triggers make a plan to get rid of them.
10) Once you identify a habit you are trying to instill in you life commit to a PDA - a Public Display of Accountability. Tell the dream team, tell you wife, tell you family and have them keep you true to your commitment.
11) The key to goal setting and goal achievement is Focus! Focus your attention on what you want and it will begin to appear. (I also recommend the book Focus by Al Reis - Nicks side note.)
12) In working to achieve your goals, think more about who you “have to become” to attain your goal rather than about the material goal. For example, if I want to be a successful investment manager what type of person must I be. Once you figure out who you have to become, it will be much much easier to attain your goal. Also, if you can really understand the “why” behind your goal, you are much more likely to attain that goal.
13) Here are a couple of tactics to use to get rid of bad habits:
A) Find the triggers,
B) eliminate the triggers
C) swap the trigger and the habit for something else - something positive
D) Ease in to eliminate the habit - for example set a plan to eliminate the habit over the next 2-3 months
E) for some habits just quit cold turkey.
14) Here are a couple of tactics for instilling good habits
A) Plan for a 3-4 week period to consciously think about forming the good habit so it will become memorized and instinctive
B) Set your self up to succeed (for example, if your goal is to get in shape, make sure your gym is 10 minutes from your house not 45 minutes from your house)
C) Frame the good habit your are trying to form positively in your mind (do not think of it as a burden)
D) Make a PDA (public display of accountability)
E) Find a success buddy that will help with accountability
F) If possible, work in some component of competition or comradeship. For example, if you are trying to get in shape join a jogging club.
G) Celebrate you incremental accomplishments as you move along
15) If you want to be successful you need to be a positive person (not delusional … just positive). To do this, you must go on a media diet. Today’s media perverts our view of the world. Therefore, filter it down to good things. For example, set up a RSS feed and don’t watch local or national cable news.

Other Good Ideas:
1) Keep an “Ah-ha” journal with you at all times and record your key thoughts. Capture these thoughts and reflect on them regularly. They can be the building blocks of great things in the future.
2) Being grateful for what you have is the key component to being truly happy. To really be grateful you need to express it to those around you that you are greatful to. When you express it you will receive it back.
3) Vice fasting. If you have a practice that is not really a bad habit but could be, it is a good idea to do a “vice fast” one or two times a year to make sure you are fully in control. For example, I drink coffee. I should probably take one week every 2-3 months and drink no coffee to ensure I am in control
4) Success Buddy - Similar to our Dream Team you should think about having a “Success Buddy”. Someone you can discuss things with and help hold you accountable to your goals.
5) Good Habit - Make your car a traveling success library. You should never listen to the radio again. Listen to instructional CDs, learn a new language, etc… (Nicks side-note - subscribe to and download audio books. Great way to learn and work at the same time.)
6) Upgrade Your Associations - We are who we associate with. If someone is dragging you down, then cut them off. If someone is successful and positive, then increase the time you spend with them. You want “engines” not “anchors”. Some ways to expand/upgrade your associations are: A) via books - have a virtual relationship with someone that is a positive influence B) hire a Coach C) Personal BOA
7) Bust Your Environment - Is the dream in your head bigger than your environment. If so, change your environment. If you are surrounded by small thinking, then find a way to be around bigger thinkers. Also, don’t let your small thinking bring others down.

These notes are no comparison to the book “The Compound Effect.” I would recommend you buy it (which comes in an audio format so you can listen to it in your car) as well as subscribe to Success Magazine.


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