How can we Compound our Contribution?
Over these past pandemic-ridden several months, I have been revisiting many books in my ‘at home’ library. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy (the founding editor of Success magazine) is one such book. I love it. It’s not necessarily revolutionary. To be honest, much of his content is not new to me; most of it is a marvelous condensation of the words of wisdom my parents shared with me throughout my formative years.
However, given my entrepreneurial journey over the past two decades, and the collective pandemic experience of the past several months, this book is a tremendous reminder. My entrepreneurial experience has continued to expand and thrive through diversity in lines of business ranging from book author, to speaker, to leadership consultant/coach, and most recently to building and launching online courses. 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 offers nuggets of basic insights which are indeed relevant and salient; and it is also keen in how he references the many interviews he has conducted over the years while writing Success magazine. Here are a few key takeaways which I believe will help us stay focused and centered through this last quarter or 2020, which has arguably been one of our hardest years while contributing at our highest level.
We need to Bookend our days. I love 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 in taking the first hour or at least 30 minutes to be 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 it is not too hot, I will take a walk instead of doing ‘online’ yoga inside. 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.
We need to find our rhythm. This concept goes hand in hand with the ‘bookend’ philosophy. Frankly, over the past several months, my rhythm has been syncopated! I have felt it in my work and in the balance in my life. I have let the consistency and discipline in several areas of my life slip for a sundry of reasons. The only person who owns this is me. Yet, as a result, I am feeling pressured to get back into a regime…and re-invent key businesses to meet the ‘new world order’.
I miss seeing friends and being involved in many of the upcoming fall – and soon to be – 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.
We need to choose parties of influence. This last suggestion is also very basic and obvious – yet not always embraced. Coaching leaders regularly 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 difficult to 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 have 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 and CONTRIBUTE to and 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 day? I am a believer that these 3 tips will absolutely help us stay focused, centered and ALIGNED and help us increase our compound effect!!