Recently, I was turned onto a book entitled The Compound Effect, written by Darren Hardy, the Founding editor and visionary force behind Success magazine. I love this book. Much of his content is not new to me, frankly, as most of it is a marvelous condensation of the words of wisdom my parent shared with me throughout my formative years. However, given my entrepreneurial journey over the past several years, this book is a tremendous reminder. My entrepreneurial experience has continued to expand and thrive through diversity in lines of business ranging from author of books, to speaking, to leadership development and consulting to my latest venture – and one of the most exciting – in partnering with the world’s leading dermatologists in their industry changing offerings. Thus, I am always looking for written materials which will support my clients, colleagues, and myself as we seek to become the best we can be.
This book is well worth reading. It is not just the nuggets of basic insights which are indeed relevant and salient; it is how he references the many interviews he has conducted over the years in writing Success magazine, which give applicable examples to our own lives. A few key takeaways to wet our whistle and offer a few tips to jumpstart our week and the final weeks of 2013.
Bookend our days. I loved this image. The suggestion is to start first thing each morning and end each day with rituals which help frame each day. This could be prayer, meditation, reading something inspirational, and just getting started with ‘good juju’ before we hit the world of challenge and difficulties. It could include breaking a sweat, through walking, Pilates, or yoga. It could be ending each day by writing in a gratitude journal, reading to your children, or reading a few verses of scripture or an inspirational story. As simple (and basic) as this sounds, I coach many clients who sleep with their Iphones and the very first thing they do to greet the day is to check email. They jump into the fray first thing. There is much wisdom is taking the first hour or at least 30 minutes to being thankful for the opportunities given to us, and then centering ourselves around how we want to contribute that day.
For me personally, I vary my ‘bookends’ depending on many things. When I have Cleo, my four-legged niece, I walk with her instead of Pilates. When I have Rotary, which is once a week, I have to alter my workouts as well. And, I will say every morning and night I am dedicated to my writing and reading something inspirational and faith-based. It is my grounding. Then, I go on from there. This is not a rule set in granite; yet, it is a mindset to adopt to start and end our days with a grateful, calm, and aligned state of mind.
Find our rhythm. This concept goes hand in hand with the ‘bookend’ philosophy. Frankly, over the past several weeks, my rhythm has been syncopated! And, I have felt it in my work and in the balance in my life. I have had several big events which have absorbed my writing time over the weekends, which has impacted the timing of my second book. I have let my consistency and discipline in one of my areas of business slip for a sundry of reasons. The only person who owns this is me. Yet, as a result, I am feeling pressured to meet deadlines, and disappointed as I have missed many other experiences which I typically enjoy this time of year. I miss seeing friends and being involved in many of the upcoming holiday festivities. What I know for sure, to steal a phrase from Oprah, is that when I find my rhythm, I am much more productive, at ease, happy, and ALIGNED. The wonderful thing about life, is we can start over each and every day, to create the rhythm and HABITS of our life.
Who are our Parties of Influence? This last suggestion is also very basic and obvious – and often not embraced. Coaching leaders regularly, I am amazed at how many surround themselves with ‘sappers’ not ‘zappers’. They are intent on helping others, which is admirable. However, they forget they need their own personal board of directors. They also need ongoing support, inspiration, sounding boards, and B12 shots – in all aspects in their lives. Without this, it is super easy to lose the plot of their life and keep their energy tanks full, motivated, and focused to achieve whatever they aim to achieve. We are never too old, or too successful, to alleviate the need for mentors and advisors; and they will come from diverse areas in our lives. Our pastors, our trainers, our friends, wives, business colleagues, personal attorneys – all can serve this role in our lives.
Again, as an entrepreneur, and having been used to having large circles of corporate friends and colleagues over the years, I had to work at developing and nurturing a new group of supporters and advisors. This group has evolved and changed over the years, and I am grateful to be able to count many of my role models from my initial years at Hewlett-Packard and my other corporate stints as integral to my life – and I am also grateful to have other new editors, smart colleagues, and diverse individuals also working with me and helping me raise my game.
That is what life is – a constant opportunity to learn (and teach) with others so that we serve the world with our “A” game.
What are your bookends? What wisdom can you share with us which helps you each and every day? Please share with us…and help us increase the compound effect!!