Today is Sunday. It’s 4 pm and it’s raining and overcast outside. I am sitting here writing an email to the growing audience of Hell Yes Coaching. I could be doing other things. My mind is telling me the 1,000 chores and to-do’s that hold more importance right now. When I first started writing these emails last year, no one was really reading them. We have come a long way since then. I remember when people didn’t necessarily jump out of their seats when I talked about coaching.
But now my friends, I find myself here, being considered a “success story,” with such a large audience and following…and I know deep down exactly how I have created this effect. It is not because of an instantly gratifying event that launched me into fame. It is quite the opposite…it is because I make the choice every single week to sit down and write an email…even on rainy Sundays at 4 pm when my to-do list is calling my name and when I could be curled under a blanket with my husband.
My growth and success is because I say yes to each of the networking events, and each of the podcast interviews, whether that podcast had an audience of 20 people or 10,000. It is because I choose to say yes to the big picture even if it is hard to say yes to the day-to-day. The compound effect is a bunch of little decisions adding up to very large success (or failure) and I have earned this audience through the compounding effect.
The way we create success in our life is not always some massive instant bout of fame, but it is by showing up over and over again…on a rainy Sunday, or on a random Tuesday when no one is around to thank us and on days that no one will necessarily care or provide us with a pat on the back. When someone shows up over and over and over again, traction ensues.
“I often remind myself that the big wins are made up of the little wins. And the big quits are made up of the little quits.”_Brooke Castillo
If you have a beer every day, that will add up. If you have a salad every day, that will add up. With both of these examples, will you notice immediately? Absolutely not, and that is why this is a slippery slope. It is hard to realize that the compound effect is happening when it is gaining traction and momentum because these successes and failures aren’t going to be satisfying or joyful in the moment. The salad everyday may not bring you a strong sense of satisfaction and pride when you make it and eat it. Yes, you may enjoy each sliced almond, the crisp of the romaine lettuce, and the taste of the simple dressing…but, you will not feel the true exhilaration and pride of what will happen to your body when you compound eating a salad every day for 1 year. Choosing to eat a salad each day is like giving a gift to your future self and trusting that your future self will appreciate it. (Disclaimer: she will.)
When I receive an email from one of my entrepreneur clients who says something along the lines of, “You have absolutely changed my life. My business is completely unrecognizable since I started coaching with you.” That compliment and that feeling my client is giving me, is not because of one coaching call. It is not always because of one massive breakthrough. It is because I showed up for them over and over and over again. Because I showed them their mindset over and over and over again. Because I helped them see their self limiting beliefs over and over and over again. It is the compound effect of the phone calls that didn’t seem super significant at the time, but added up to a breakthrough.
This same principle goes for everything else in your busy life. There will be lots of things that do not seem or feel significant. Looking back, the small risks I took when building my first business didn’t seem super significant. Each and every connection I made in my early career days didn’t necessarily seem significant to my business. Each referral I received didn’t seem huge…until now. Now I look backwards and see the spider web of referrals, the massive and intricate way that people referred more and more friends and family to my business and what a huge impact it has had now. (For those of you who do not know, I was a massage therapist with 5 clients in 2013. By 2019, my massage studio is near one million in revenue.) The compound effect is a roaring lion in my life.
The day I decided to start walking my dog 1 block farther did not seem super significant.
The day I decided to join carve out one hour for influential podcasts each day did not seem super significant.
Carving out hours here and there to spend completely uninterrupted with my toddlers each day did not seem significant. But looking back now, I can see the massive impact each of these have made.
So, why do we make all of these small but significant changes seem so insignificant in our minds? It is because we are so hungry for that gratification that we have been trained to feel INSTANTLY. We WANT to decide to join a yoga studio and immediately be the best version of our yogi selves. We want to add a salad into our diet every day and slim down to our leanest selves instantly.
I tend to have an all or nothing mindset with many things. I think this can be a strength of mine in some ways, and my kryptonite in others. I told my husband last month that I shouldn’t sign up for yoga again because right now I would only be able to commit to going to class 2x per week. As I said this out loud, I realized how my mind had been tricking me to believe that since I couldn’t commit to at least 5 days per week, it wouldn’t be worth it to commit at all. But guys, two days per week would be 104 classes in one year. Next year, will I be a more positively impacted person mentally and physically if I chose to take 104 yoga classes? Absolutely. I signed up last night.
The compound effect is beautifully fascinating.
In order to change the big picture, we have to be willing to change the small picture.
So, let me ask you:
Today, what did you feed your body? What did you feed your mind? What intention did you put towards the ones you love? If you chose to live this day on repeat, where would you be in 20 years?
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.