The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy: Summary and Notes

The Compound Effect summary

“It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.”

Rating: 8/10

Related Books: The Slight Edge, The Compound Effect FormulaAtomic Habits, Think and Grow Rich, The Power of Habit

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The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy: Summary and Notes

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is a book on the immense power of the compound effect. The central message is that small changes applied consistently lead to massive results over time. The compound effect works both ways, it can also lead to ruin if the habits are bad. Darren chooses to focus on how you can use the compound effect to your advantage. A must-read book for anyone struggling to make necessary changes in their life.

The Compound Effect In Action

the compound effect summary - Compound effect

The compound effect is the principle of reaping great rewards from a series of small, but smart choices.

While the benefits of the compound effect are massive, the steps taken feel insignificant. They offer little to no immediate results.

Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE

For example:

A penny that doubles in value every day for 31 days is worth more than $ 10 million in cash. At 20 days, it is still worth a paltry $5, 243 but at day 31, it’s a whopping $10,737,418.24.

Most of the gain happens almost at once. That’s the magic of the compound effect.

“The difference between people who employ the Compound Effect for their benefit compared to their peers who allow the same effect to work against them is almost inconceivable. It looks miraculous! Like magic or quantum leaps. After thirty-one months (or thirty-one years), the person who uses the positive nature of the Compound Effect appears to be an “overnight success.” In reality, his or her profound success was the result of small, smart choices, completed consistently over time.”

The compound effect is predictable and measurable. All you need to take are a series of tiny steps and consistency in doing so.

By understanding the compound effect, you will rid yourself of instant results expectations.

To make use of the power of compound effect, write down all the half dozen seemingly inconsequential steps that you do every day that could take your life in a new direction.


the compound effect summary - Choices

The life that we end up with is an accumulation of all the choices that we make.

“Choices are at the root of our every result. Each choice starts as a behaviour that overtime  becomes a habit.” 

In other words, you make choices and the choices make you. You need to start making choices that support your expansion through life.

If you take 100% responsibility for everything that happens to you, by completely owning all your choices, you will reclaim power over your life.

The (Complete) Formula for Getting Lucky:

Preparation (personal growth) + Attitude (belief/mindset) + Opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + Action (doing something about it) = Luck

To get to where you want to be in life, you have to start becoming aware of the choices that lead you away from your desired results. Create a destination in mind and ask yourself if your choices lead you there.

Keep in mind that the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not.

Winners are trackers. What can’t be tracked can’t be managed. Bring your goals within sight by tracking your decisions.

The earlier you start making changes, the more powerfully the compound effect will favor you.


“We are what we repeatedly do” – Aristotle

95% of what we feel, think, and do is a result of learned habits. A daily routine of good habits is what separates the most successful from everyone else.

Many people try to form new habits and fail because they engage their willpower and not their why-power. Willpower is exhaustible while you can always expect to act based on your WHY.

To access your WHY, consider your core motivations. Identify your values and align them with the choices that you make.

“People are either motivated by something they want or something they don’t want.”

Once you find your why, create very clear goals and pursue them relentlessly. Take time and list all the goals that are important for you and follow through on achieving them.

“If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue will elude you; it can be like trying to chase butterflies. Success is something you attract by the person you become.” – Jim Rohn

Strategies to eliminate bad habits:

  1. Identify the trigger. Find the cue that makes you active a habit. If you are more aware, you can control it
  2. Clean house.  Get rid of whatever enables your habits
  3. Swap it. See what bad behaviors can be deleted, swapped, or replaced
  4. Ease in. Take small steps if the habit is deep-rooted
  5. Jump in.  Change as many habits as possible at once

Techniques for installing good habits:

  1. Set yourself up to succeed. Stay aware of the habit that you are trying to change and you will likely succeed
  2. Think addition, not subtraction. Instead of focusing on what you have to sacrifice, focus on what you are adding in
  3. Go Public. Involve others in shaping your new behaviors
  4. Find a success buddy.  Find someone else who wants to achieve the same goals
  5. Competition and camaraderie. Engage in a friendly competition with others
  6. Celebrate. Celebrate your small wins


When adopting a new change, things start slowly but momentum takes over and your results compound rapidly.

Momentum works both ways. Negative habits, if left unchecked can also send you into a tailspin of unlucky circumstance, and consequence.

“Some of our best intentions fail because we don’t have a system of execution. When it comes down to it, your new attitudes and behaviors must be incorporated into your monthly, weekly, and daily routines to affect any real, positive change.”

When you think of going off on your routines, and daily rhythms, consider the massive costs of inconsistency.

“Miss only a couple weeks of anything—workouts at the gym, affectionate gestures toward your spouse, or the phone calls that are part of your prospecting routine – and you don’t just lose the results those two weeks would have produced”


For your body to be at peak performance, you have to be vigilant about what you consume.

              “You get in life what you create. Expectation drives the creative process”

To move in a positive direction, you must flush out the bad and feel it with the good.

You can tell a lot about the quality of your health, wealth, and attitude by looking at the people around us.

Create a positive environment to support your success by clearing all the clutter in your life. Remember in life you get what you tolerate.


“ When you’ve prepared, practiced, studied, and consistently put in the required effort, sooner or later you’ll be presented with your own moment of truth. In that moment, you will define who you are and who you are becoming.”

To multiply your results, view yourself as the toughest competitor. Go above and beyond when you hit the wall.

When you do the unexpected, you gain an advantage over others because most people are not ready to do the same.

Find the line of expectation and exceed it.