The Ten Most Important Things We’ve Done In Our Business: #1 Apply The Compound Effect

blue stat business background

I’m starting a new blog post series today.  We’ve been fortunate in our Scentsy business to grow substantially over the last several months, and expand into various international markets.

I want to give away everything that has allowed us to take a business (which some people consider to be a hobby), and grow it into a major enterprise, where we earn an income comparable to top professionals.

So I am going to share the “The Ten Most Important Things We’ve Done In Our Business”, starting with #1:  Applying The Compound Effect.

What is the Compound Effect?

My first formal introduction to this principle was when I read the book (of the same title) by Darren Hardy, editor of Success magazine.  I was familiar in practice with this principle, but reading the book 4 years ago, sunk home its importance.  Since the day both Meghann and I read the book, we have instituted its principles daily into our business.  Here is the essence of “The Compound Effect”

Success is merely the daily execution of small actions, that when built into a routine, and consistently repeated, yield compounding results over a long period of time

That was, and continues to be, the most important discovery that we’ve made in our business.  It is principle number one for a reason.  It is absolutely why we’ve been able to grow our business the way that we have.  Consistency, habit and routine have been far more important than anything else to our success.  Success doesn’t come overnight. Rather, it cumulates as the product of many, many compounding actions consistently applied over time.

We’ve unfortunately seen this scenario play out far too often over the past several years:

  • A new person joins our organization.  They love the product and are excited about the chance to grow a business from home.
  • They jump into the business with both feet.  They spend a lot of time in the first two months  learning about the business and products, and marketing themselves.  They quickly hold a party, or do a show. They get some good results, make some sales, and maybe even get a recruit or two.
  • They’ve got momentum, and that momentum carries them forward for a few months.  Then after all their friends and family, who are interested, have purchased products from them, their sales start to taper off.
  • They continue to take action but not with the same intensity, and definitely not with the same time commitment as their first several months.  Where they used to put in 20 hours in a week, they are now doing ten.  Ten turns to seven.  Seven turns to five. Then a week off.  Then a couple hours here and there. Then a couple weeks off. Then a couple Facebook posts.  You get the point.
  • By this time their sales have fallen off completely.  Their team isn’t growing. They are left scratching their heads wondering what is wrong.  That is when self doubt creeps in.  They question their ability to be successful in the business.
  • Then they have a decision to make:  they can either basically start over again and try and get the momentum back, or they can quit.  I’m happy to say that quite a few people chose the former.  Unfortunately a good number also choose the latter.

You see, the problem was never them.  The problem was never the product or the opportunity.  The whole time their sales were falling off, someone else’s sales were holding steady, perhaps even increasing.

The problem was in their method.  Success in direct sales is a marathon, not a sprint.

There is a much better method to take.  It is the consistent application of action method. It is the compound effect.  It is the method that we have engaged for years, and it is the method that is at the heart of any success we’ve had.

We know that in a successful business there are a number of “actions” that must be taken.  Failure to perform these actions on a consistent basis will ultimately lead to critical failure of the business. Here is a snapshot of a few of the important actions that must take place consistently in our business (each business will have its own set of unique actions):

  • Lead generation for sales (new customers);
  • Lead generation for recruits (team growth);
  • Organic sales efforts (parties, fairs, shows, etc);
  • Online marketing efforts;
  • Social media marketing and website maintenance;
  • Customer service for prior customers (organic);
  • Customer service and engagement for online customers;
  • New recruit training;
  • Team training and downline promotion (in person);
  • Team training online
  • Building a community of support within our team;
  • New market and international expansion efforts;
  • Leadership development;
  • Working with existing leaders in organization;
  • Continually educating ourselves on our products and markets

I could go on.  There are many actions that are needed to run a successful business.  The secret however is that you can’t do them all in a sprint.  A better approach is to break down each action into various sub-actions and then schedule the sub actions into your schedule so that they get done.  Working 4 hours a day, every day, for a year, beats all night weekenders every month hands down. This is the essence of the compound effect.  You figure out what the 50 or so actions in your business are that are necessary to be successful. Then you plan them into your schedule. Then you commit to that schedule and then stick with it long enough to see results.  Over time the results come.

Consistency, routine, habit.  All the “boring” stuff is BY FAR the most important stuff for your business.  It is what has made the difference for us.  We know that every single working day there are going to be 10-15 routine things that we must do.  So we do them and then detach from the immediate results.  We trust the system.  We know that by performing consistent effective actions, over a long period of time, that results will follow.  We don’t get worked up if we have one bad party or someone rejects us.  We know that the system won’t fail us, and because we are doing more of the same actions next week we’ll get another chance.

No matter what business you are in I know that this concept can help you.  It has done absolute wonders for us.  Try it!  Make a list of the 50 most important actions that you can take in your business, then build your schedule so that these get performed at least once a month.  Then stick with the business for at least a year.  I can promise that you will get results.  Don’t be like the many people who fail.  The people who “sprint” a couple months and then become inconsistent.  The people who succeed are the ones who understand and apply the compound effect.  They are the ones who know that little actions, consistently carried out in a routine fashion over time, yield compounding results.

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