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on February 8, 2011
The Compound Effect will likely not go down as the next Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, but it is worth a quick read. I certainly question the reviewers who say they've read and have a library of hundreds of self-help books and this one replaces them all. Darren grew up with a Dad that pushed him, he succeeded and now runs a successful company that puts out loads of mostly helpful tidbits. This is written in a direct style. It is not elegant (like CS Lewis Mere Christianity, which is about values/paths/focus). This is more like reading...well...his magazine. Keep in mind that we humans have plenty of information (do you really not know that pizza and beer makes you fat and veggies make you thin yet?), but we need constant reminders. This book is a reminder.

I'm in finance and have read maybe 25 similar books (from Dalai Lama to Anthony Robbins)and I do give credit to the book for enlightening me on one thing. I knew that a penny compounded daily for a month was much more valuable than being given $10k. I did not ever apply the principle to my behaviour. I was always putting a marathon on the calendar and failing. Since reading the boook, I do yoga, weights, run--but just a little of one or the other each day. I made simple positive changes and am seeing them slowly but surely compound.

So, thanks Darren. Your book made a difference and I and my wife, 3 kids and others around me are better for it.
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on June 12, 2010
This book by Darren Hardy, publisher of Success magazine, shows you how seemingly insignificant changes can create huge differences in outcomes. That's what makes the strategies in his book so doable. 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.

As Darren so clearly demonstrates, it's your habits and choices that make the difference. And, he shows you how understanding your "why-power" enables you to make the daily changes that yield massive results. Personally, I enjoyed learning about his own success habits too. Very impressive. I have a lot to learn from him!

To sum it all up: The little things you do add up to success - so do them. This easy-to-read book is motivational, filled with lots of "how to" advice and definitely worthwhile.
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on November 16, 2014
It's easy for us to think of small decisions as irrelevant to our long-term success. But, these little decisions really do add up over time. This is the basis of Darren Hardy's The Compound Effect, and it's just as simple as it sounds. It's important to start taking stock of your small decisions because they all lead to something much larger. This is, in essence, the compound effect that Hardy's talking about. It's very similar to making small financial decisions that ultimately add up. For instance, if you buy a $5 coffee every day or even just once a week, you might not think about the added compound effect of that purchase. Five dollars may not seem like a lot, but the compound effect is hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year spent on coffee. Now, imagine if you made equally foolhardy small decisions on a regular basis in your work and personal life.

The result wouldn't be positive. One small decision that I made recently was to pick up a book by the name of 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. This book is filled with numerous "small decisions" that you can make every day to make your life much happier and healthier. Deciding not to care about pleasing everyone you come into contact with is one of those small decisions that can improve your happiness. I have been using the philosophies in this book and in The Compound Effect over the last few months and I've been able to achieve actionable changes in my day-to-day life. I'm happier and more motivated than ever before. I really focus on the decisions I'm making each and every day, so that I can have net positive compound effect overall. I think a lot of people would certainly benefit from taking on a similar action plan.

The Compound Effect also lays out various action plans that you can utilize to improve your work and personal life. Making the right small decisions can ultimately lead to you making much better and more thoughtful big decisions when the time comes. If you're looking for a great way to improve your self-help, this book and 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy are great selections.
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on April 23, 2011
If you are brand new to any self help, success oriented books or audio then this might be eye opening to you.

However, if you are an avid reader of such topics then you will find that this book/audio is basically a greatest hits of other people's work, some credited, but much plagiarized without acknowledgment. Now, most if not all self help gurus share similar concepts and information usually by putting their own spin on it so it can be more easily understood or create a light going off in your head but The Slight Edge (where the entire premise is the compound effect) by Jeff Olsen, 212, The Extra Degree and Pump Handles by Zig Ziglar are quoted verbatim (or extremely close to it) without credit to the authors, and they were all published first.

If you read Success Magazine (and you should) then you'll also hear a lot of references from past articles you may have already read. This along with motivational quotes and stories (Jim Rohn, Jack Canfield, etc.) make this book an excellent read. Original and groundbreaking? No. Will it get you headed in the right direction? Only if you apply it. Would I recommend it first? No, pick up The Slight Edge or subscribe to Jim Rohn's newsletter (it's free) and start there, this book is more of a refresher course rather than one of the Masters.

I could also do without the bragging about Mr. Hardy's accomplishments throughout, John Maxwell, Earl Nightingale, Earl Schaoff, Jim Rohn and all the greats don't do that stuff, they let their teachings speak for themselves or use examples of how other people succeeded from their guidance (which Hardy does at times) but Mr Hardy, repeatedly saying he became a millionaire in his early 20's adding in that he found the perfect wife (based on a 40 page list of requirements) can come across as immature, insecure and a bit anal.

Again, this book has merit just don't get turned off by the ego, maybe it's excitement.
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VINE VOICEon October 22, 2011
Hardy's advice works. I know, because I have been doing the same things for a long time. For example, I listen to nonfiction audiobooks instead of mindless music produced by some semi-literate drug addict. As I went through each point, I saw my own life philosophy kicked back at me.

But one difference that jumped out at me is I'm not filthy rich. And I can tell you why that is. Hardy actively applied the compounding effect to relationships with successful people. I did this for a while and got astounding results, then stopped doing it. And the results also stopped. So I can testify that his formula works and I can also testify that you get the lack of results he predicts when you just don't apply it to a given area.

An amazing area where this plays out in my life is that, despite a serious immune deficiency, I have not been sick since 1971. That isn't because of luck, it's because of discipline. I made a conscious decision to drop out of the American disease culture and instead practice health care. By consistently doing behaviors that promote health and consistently not doing behaviors that promote disease, I have stayed healthy.

In addition to personal experience, I have seen this habit thing play out time and time again for other people. When they tell me their problems, I ask them what habits they have that either contribute to this kind of problem or that prevent this kind of problem. These are problems ranging from frequently not being able to find the car keys to having a string of failed marriages.

If you haven't read success books and are wanting to turn your life around, this book can help you get started. But I would recommend reading other, meatier books so that you can develop and maintain the momentum Mr. Hardy talks about. The title of the book reflects its contents. It's about the compound effect. And it's about jumpstarting, especially from a dead stop. If you are already mostly doing the right things and doing them right, this book would serve more as a means of reviewing where you are with things.

There is a bit of a disconnect between what Mr. Hardy talks about (his own successes and millions of dollars of wealth) versus the idea of jumpstarting a person's stalled personal growth. I doubt most readers can relate to being anywhere near that wealthy, and I doubt most readers would consider it a practical personal goal. It would have been nice to see more "reachable" examples.

Just to illustrate what I mean, Bill Phillips is a fitness guru who held a contest for physical self-improvement. It was called Body For Life. There were 10 finalists, and Bill ended up changing the rules to call all of them winners. Now, you might think it would have been really inspiring to see 10 Mr. Universe types named as winners. But that wasn't what happened.

The winners were ordinary people who looked nothing like muscle magazine models after completing the contest. What was inspiring was their grit in applying the compounding effect for 90 days. Because ordinary people could see the results and relate to them, they also wanted to do the Body For Life program even though the contest was over.

I read some of the other reviews on this book, and found the criticisms largely valid. The content doesn't contain original ideas or a new breakthrough. Does that mean the book is junk? Maybe. Warren Buffet says his investing style isn't something he thought of, but he is instead using the ideas of Benjamin Graham. Suppose Buffet wanted something new and original, so he rejected Benjamin Graham's ideas as not being original or breakthrough.

OK, so the book is not ground-breaking. But if you apply its core principle to a stressful life, it will be rut-breaking.

Good information is good information, whether it's original or not. Going back to the Bill Phillips thing, the core idea is one I first came across while watching Jack LaLanne on a black and white television. That same core idea, of developing and maintaining good habits, was around before Jack LaLanne (Ben Franklin is famous for espousing this idea). I like the way Mr. Hardy presents his spin on it from his own experiences. Seeing this idea presented in many different ways helps me keep applying it regularly.

This book consists of six chapters, a conclusion, and a resource guide in 172 pages.
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on July 27, 2010
I'm embarrassed that I bought this book based on the other reviews. First note the book dimensions 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches. They made the book small to hide the lack of content. The first page has a place to add a name "This book is given to ________ because I care about you and your greater success". The last thing he writes on the last page is: "Write down five people you will give a copy of this book to" and then space for five names. Yes. it is that kind of book. In between the suggestions to buy more copies of the book is treacle borrowed from other "success" books. I don't think there is an original thought in the entire book. It all comes down to pay attention to what you are doing and make sure it furthers your goals. He didn't succeed in writing a very good book. Perhaps he will succeed in selling it. "Who Moved the Cheese" sold a lot of copies.
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on October 1, 2010
I enjoyed the little book. A very easy read in less than 2 hours. Nothing original. However, it not "How To Win Friends & Influence People" or "Think and Grow Rich," as promoted. Dale Carnegie and Jim Rohn had a wisdom from their long life of experience that Darren Hardy doesn't exude quite yet simply because he is very young and writes with more of a shallowness. For example, the 40 plus "qualities" he listed and wanted in his future wife - even down to the texture of her hair (is hair texture a QUALITY?) and he got it all...just sounds superficial to me. It's a linear way of thinking that limits a persons relationship to a checklist. I'm happy he got all 40 qualities that he wanted in his woman though! Just remember, that women change, their bodies change, and I hope his "list" can become flexible.
Also, there is a lot of self promoting throughout the book that gets rather annoying. "Buy at least five of these books for your friends if you really want to be successful," etc. I am already very successful and I didn't buy FIVE of his books. I have a wonderful husband who has really thin hair - oh no! That wasn't on my list!, 6 awesome children, a challenging job that I love, and am involved in many charitable organizations. But FIVE books? Who's success is he really wanting? That's a very clever manipulation to "ensure MY success" and for more than quadrupling his book sales.
And the statement he made, "all the essentials to living a successful life condensed into one book." Really, Darren? Is God mentioned in your book? Or can we get EVERYTHING from YOU? Wow! Amazing!!!
Just something to think about.
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on October 18, 2013
I heard Darren Hardy at the Young Living Essential Oils Grand Convention in Utah, June 2013. I was so inspired that I immediately ordered this book and audio book for myself and my two sons. Darren is easy to listen to, informative and walks his talk. The audio book gives extra material that was deleted in the book format. The examples given are clear and insightful. I felt encouraged and was guided to create my own outline for my life goals with real direction of how to get there. Darren narrates/reads his own book on this audio for which I am grateful; I like the cadence of his speech and appreciate his personal enthusiasm which is palpable in the recording.
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on January 27, 2011
I am a physician that leads a large organization of more than 500 people and I absolutely love this book. It was simple to read and understand and has applicable content that can be used immediately. As I applied the specific principles and routines in this book, my effectiveness and productivity improved drastically. I am more focused and balanced than I have ever been and I am moving closer to all my goals with absolute clarity and certainty. My new morning and evening routines have removed most of the stress and anxiety that I felt from being pulled in so many different directions throughout the day. I am happier and my wife if too. My life is in sync and it feels great. Thank you Darren for this amazing book.
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on October 12, 2010
First you make your habits, then your habits make you. This program will help you to become a better you by creating better habits and eliminating bad ones.
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