Treat me like the Rock when you see me, I’m electrifying
The Only Talk I do is edifying
They say preach; they say church when I’m testifying
Hear you running at the mouth, that’s a lot of mileage
Grew up in the woods, 30 miles from the nearest college
Saw a pair of rebel flags, I’m not being parabolic
Parent-teacher conference they weren’t okay with my swag….
- Parabolic, nobigdyl.
nobigdyl, is a Christian rapper born in 1991 in Hayward, California. He was, as his name suggests, a no big deal. He started rapping professionally in 2015 when he got fired by his boss. Since then, he’s put out over six albums, but none of them gained much traction outside the occasional mention by hip hop magazine Rapzilla, whilst a couple of his tracks have had moderate Billboard Success.
Unperturbed, he continued to put out music, but he continued to be not that big of a deal, averaging just over 200,000 listeners on Spotify.
Until 20 July 2023.
That was the day President Barack Obama tweeted his regular annual summer playlist to his 37 million followers.
And guess who made the cut?
Yes, Parabolic, (the song quoted above) by – you guessed it Dylan Phillips, aka nobigdyl.
Within a day, nobigdyl had become a big deal. His following on Spotify skyrocketed to almost a million at last count.
Little did he know that all the time he was churning out his songs, year after year, the former President of the United States had been silently listening.
The Power of a Day.
All the time he was putting out music, performing to small audiences, improving his lyrics, he was activating what author Darren Hardy calls The Compound Effect, where the effects of little deliberate actions multiply and multiply exponentially until they suddenly reach a tipping point.
Which brings me to another date, 14 September 2017.
Another virtually unknown hip-hop artist was suddenly catapulted into the mainstream with his song ‘Let you down’. It zoomed to number 1 on the Billboard chart, with almost zero marketing or promotion or swearing or explicit content. His album, Perception even beat established and far better-known artist Chance the Rapper’s song that came out that same week.
Songwriter and rapper NF.
He had been putting music out since 2012, consistently. Every single year. And in 2017, the Compound Effect was finally activated.
NF is now in the top 400 artists worldwide, has 5 platinum awards, 14 Platinum plaques, 23 billion streams and has over 16.2 million listeners on Spotify. He was virtually unknown just a month earlier.
He’s been a hero of mine for the best part of a decade. I write about him extensively in my book Pay The Price.
The Power of a Day.
As I sit here writing this, it came to me, just a year ago, my life was completely different. But the Compound Effect was still working, even though I was unaware of it.
Ten years after I finished Business School and launched my own company, BlueCloud, in 2012, I had almost zero traction till 2022.
After a decade of trying.
Before this date, I had been rejected over 250, (yes, Two Hundred and Fifty!) times over 10 years. Over 15 publishers rejected my book proposal. I had slogged it with little reward, for a whole decade.
Until 17 August 2022, almost a year ago when Paper Raven Books in the US finally decided to give me a chance.
I still find in hard to believe it zoomed to #1 on Amazon in 18 different categories, has won four prestigious awards, and is in the running for two more. I have now become a UK government small business mentor, a business awards judge, a regular podcast guest, and have met many fascinating people.
How did I get here? I often wonder.
And the answer is the same.
The Compound effect.
Or as my vicar, Reverend Geoff Lee likes to say, slowly, steadily, suddenly.
The problem is, we only see the suddenly part, not the slowly.
It saddens me each time I go on social media, and I see the next program to lose weight, write a book, make a million dollars, or transform your life in ‘as little as 30 days’’.
Real success almost always happens after the hard slog.
So, if you’re there, slaving away to bring your dreams to life, where no-one seems to notice, the Compound effect will one daywork in your favour.
There will be the power of a day.
I know, like the picture above depicts, it’s hard not to fret. I fretted so much but gained nothing. I am convinced it prolonged my waiting time.
But it will happen, some way or the other if you keep at it.
I’m rooting for you,
NB: There is a time to give up, or to pivot if what you’re doing is not working. I write about this extensively in Pay The Price, or another book I would strongly recommend is Dorie Clark’s brilliant book, The Long Game.
I also talk about when it’s time to give up or pivot in The Unforget Yourself podcast, available here: