On Compounding

It takes patience and consistency.

If you want to grow and making meaningful changes in your consulting business, remember this: Before something can compound, it must be sustained.

  • Money compounding in your portfolio
  • Productivity compounding in your business
  • Trust compounding in your relationships

Most improvements are too small to be noticed until time allows them to compound into something significant. When we adopt a short-sighted perspective the lack of visible results generates frustration. And we give up before reaping the rewards.

Keep in touch, and the people who are saying no today will eventually contact you in a couple of months or a year from now and ask to work with you. A piece of content you created ages ago can still generate opportunities for your business now. A published book sharing your expertise will pay for itself for decades to come.

Your reputation also compounds: be known for doing a very specific thing, very well, and you will never run out of opportunities. The people you meet and work with will trust you and your judgment by following your career through the years.

"Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn't, pays it.” - Albert Einstein

But it takes time. Lots of time. And as Morgan Housel said, "Compounding is hard because a bad month can feel longer than a good decade."

I asked older peers and mentors for advice on compounding, and could only find one recurring point: Don't start something if you're not willing to be patient and consistent. No matter how hard you try, you can’t compound a zero.

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