Whether you like it or not, the compound effect is at work on your life at all times. You simply have the choice of whether you profit from it or use it to destroy your health, wealth, and relationships.

The compound effect is the idea that small actions build up over time. Imagine you had the choice of taking $1 million dollars right now or a single penny that doubled in value every day for 31 days. If you picked the penny, you’d have $10,737,418.24 on day 31… not a bad return.

However, the compound effect has much more far-reaching consequences than a nice story. It’s the fact that your daily habits add up to an amazing difference over time. And that’s the trap we have to avoid… and make the most of at the same time.

The Fast Food Generation

We live in a world where most people expect instant gratification. That’s why there are so many diet books claiming you’ll lose ten pounds in just 3 minutes, and get rich quick schemes that promise you can push a button and make thousands of dollars a day.

They exist because we’ve been trained to want everything instantly. Why develop healthy eating and exercise habits when we can use a fad diet or just get the fat sucked out of us? Why work to build your wealth when you get become an instant millionaire buying a lottery ticket?

The reason is that instant gratification approach doesn’t work 99 times out of 100… or in the case of the lottery ticket a couple of million to one.

The Real Way To Make More Money

If you want a proven formula for making more money it’s called the compound effect (also known as patience). It’s the fact that all the little actions we take will add up to big results over time.

Success is not actually about a herculean effort over a couple of months or a year. Every “overnight success” story you hear fails to mention the years spent preparing for the overnight success. The basketball player who practiced every day, the business owner who worked on their idea for years, or the property investor who spent their weekends looking for deals.

Make More Money With Very Little Effort

Results come from the small changes we make in our lives. If you want to make some extra money by starting a business, then you can quit your job, invest your life savings, and put everything on the line. Another option is to keep your job and build your business part-time until it replaces your income.

Imagine if you decided to start a new business, invest in real estate, or invest in the stock market. If you dedicated just 1 hour a day to this new pursuit you would have invested 365 hours after a year and be well on your way. After 5 years that would be 1,825 hours that you’ve put towards building your extra income source.

Don’t think you have an hour? You can try learning on the commute to work instead of listening to the radio or cutting out an hour of TV/Internet a day. Everyone has the same 24 hours, and it’s up to you to choose where they get spent or invested.

How Your Results Compound

The time you invest in making more money will also compound. For the first couple of months with your new business, you’re not going to know anything and your results will probably reflect that. Yet, over time, you will work out which skills you need to improve and be able to focus on those.

When Richard Branson invests an hour into his businesses, it is very different to the hour you invest. This is because he’s built years of experience and just understands business at a much higher level. However, he got there by doing his first business calls from a payphone, working from a basement, and figuring things out as he went along too.

Everyone Has To Start Somewhere

If you want to make more money, quit your job, or build a passive income, you need to start somewhere. The good news is that, with the internet, it’s very easy to get access to the information that you need and even start an online business in your spare time. All you have to do is put in your time, learn, and take action.

By deciding to start today, you will start to build up the compound effect for yourself. But don’t start chasing after get rich quick schemes or push-button solutions. Every time you change your strategy, you give up the momentum you’ve built with the compound effect.

Do your research and choose a path… then stick to it. Have patience, as you won’t start making huge amounts of money overnight (that’s just promised to sell you the get rich quick scheme). But with time and effort you can create an income that many people dream about and few people achieve.

If you think that budgeting and saving money is hard, think again!: 50 Quick & Easy Ways to Save Money

Featured photo credit: Fisheye view of giant umbrellas at Masjid Nabawi (Mosque) compound in Medina, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Nabawi mosque is the second holiest mosque in Islam. via Shutterstock

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