I've read hundreds (potentially thousands) of self-help and business books over the past decade. Very few have the it-factor. Some of them do, though. Some books absolutely have the power to transform your mindset, motivation, dreams, and behavior.

Darren Hardy's "The Compound Effect," is one such book. It came out nearly 10 years ago. I read it about 7-10 times several years ago and it completely changed my life. 

Recently, I started reading it again. Immediately, my workouts got more intense. I began thinking bigger about my goals and my vision for my future. I was reminded of the good habits I've developed and good choices I've been making.

It's a killer, killer book. If you feel like you're in a slump or need a boost, read this book. You won't regret it. 

I'll just share two concepts from the book that I feel are highly useful:

1. Willpower is weak. Instead, you want to have "why-power."

When the why is strong enough, you'll figure out how. When your why is strong enough, you'll do whatever it takes. 

Hardy gives an example of a scenario where you have to risk your life for 20 bucks. Would you do it? Probably not.

But would you risk your life in the same scenario if instead of 20 bucks, your child was in danger? Of course you would!

What's the difference? The difference is WHY-power! And why is often based on situational factors. Said historian Will Durant, "think the ability of the average man could be doubled if it were demanded, if the situation demanded."

If you want more motivation, you generally need a situation that calls upon you to rise above where you currently are. You also need a compelling vision that really really matters to you. The more clear you get on that vision, the more WHY will be behind it.

2. "Success is not what you pursue. Success is what you attract by who you become."--Jim Rohn

In The Compound Effect, Hardy makes a powerful observation. He said, "When people set a goal, they generally say, 'Okay, I have my goal. Now what do I need to do to get it?'"

According to Hardy, that's not the ideal question you should be asking. Instead of "how?" you should be asking yourself, "who?" In this case, you want to ask yourself WHO you need to become in order to have the life you want.

Who is a much more powerful question than How. If you already knew how, you'd be doing it. Who provides far more flexibility. When you re-frame your identity based on your highest vision, you can then operate and act from that vision. You can act in alignment with your vision because you are now operating from WHO rather than HOW. According to Zig Ziglar, "You've got to be before you can do, and do before you can have."

Strategic Coach founder and entrepreneurial coach, Dan Sullivan, takes the WHO not HOW idea even further. According to Sullivan (who by the way has coached more successful entrepreneurs than anyone on the planet), when most entrepreneurs have a goal or vision they want to pursue, the first question they usually ask themselves is, "How?" This question leads the entrepreneur to procrastinate because they don't know how. 

The worst thing an entrepreneur can do is try to do the HOW. Instead, they should focus on only those things which truly fascinate them. They should then find WHO's who can take care of the HOW and get out of the way! To quote Theodore Roosevelt, "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it."

If an entrepreneur stays stuck in HOW, they will be doing a great many things they hate, and that will only hamper their success. As famed YouTuber Casey Neistat has said, "What is the ultimate quantification of success? For me, it's not how much time you spend doing what you love. It's how little time you spend doing what you hate." 

In order to maximize their potential and joy, Dan Sullivan recommends entrepreneurs shift from being extreme individualists to developing a team. When they do this, they can then focus on what excites and inspires them. In order for them to do this, they need to shift from HOW to WHO. This is how you can take your life and business 10X bigger. You go from me to we to they.

Sullivan actually takes the idea one step further and explains that when an entrepreneur has begun maximizing their company's potential, they should ask themselves how they could take their success 100 times bigger. If a successful entrepreneur that has created what Sullivan calls a "self-managing company" really imagines going 100 times bigger in income and impact, they'd quickly realize that they couldn't go that big within the constraints of their organization.

In order to go 100 times, they'd need to collaborate with other organizations. They'd need to combine with their competition. They'd need to see their organization as a specific and specialized capability, and determine which other organization(s) has a specialized capability that when combined, could take both 100 times bigger. This is perhaps the highest level of WHO-thinking. 


Have you read The Compound Effect? If not, then do it! Read the book. Change your life. 

Maybe go to the gym and do the best workout you've ever done. Then take a cold shower and write all of your goals down in your journal. Then be positive all day and make killer choices.

Stop relying on willpower. Instead, rely on WHY-power. Build an environment filled with amazing WHO's that help you transform and create at your highest level.