Have You Heard of The Snowball Effect?

The snowball effect was originally an analogy that was used to describe the Great War. It simply means something of little to no significance building up to become miraculous and great. Snowball, was also the title for a book written about Warren Buffet.  He started out as not a big deal and then worked his butt off to eventually become one of the most powerful men in the world (one the richest).

Like a snowball, most of you are starting you careers or experiences with small significance. By that I don’t mean what your doing has no value because obviously it does. What I mean is that you probably have little to no power right now and will continue to have no power for a while. To become the all mighty powerful snowball, you must go down the right path.

A small snowball which is placed on a steep hill will go down much faster and collect more snow and become much bigger a lot quicker than if it weren’t a steep hill. Basic laws of physics.  However, the faster the snowball goes down the hill, the harder it will be to control the snowball toward the end of the path thereby possibly being destructive.

If you get rich to quick or too fast, you might lose control and be headed down a path of utter disappointment. It’s interesting to see that many people who win the lotto end up going broke shortly after.  Everything happens so quickly that they almost instantly lose sight of how things work.  It’s always better to go down the not so steep hill of life so you can progressively:

  • Get rich slowly – learn amazing experiences that will help you to be better off for longer durations, compared to being rich quick, loosing quick, and then trying to be rich quick again.
  • Create powerful connections – powerful connections will be very useful in various stages of your life including times when you want to go to the next level.
  • Build creditability – Your creditably is important because it’s how the public or masses view you. Your credibility can also help take you to the next level or help you in time of crisis.

Would you agree the snowball effect theory being valid? Do you find yourself on a slope too steep?

33 thoughts on “Have You Heard of The Snowball Effect?

  1. Derek

    Actually, Warren Buffett probably lost the “richest man in the world” title due to his stock sinking considerably over the last year.

    But this doesn’t mean we can’t learn from him. Warren has always had a long-term perspective on both business and life. He was once quoted as saying, “our favorite holding time is forever” and his track record shows how great it works.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      According to Forbes.com, he still is numero uno. He’s about 2billion over Carlos. This can instantly change when they do their update on the list ;).

      And you’re right, his quote does make a lot of sense!

  2. Writomania

    I think the analogy here is to follow the traditional wisdom of generating wealth and prosperity with hard work and passage of time. But if we really talk of the current scenario, one really doesn’t have control over what comes his way. After all who does not want to be rich over night !
    But important thing should be the to prepare yourself to handle what may come your way sooner or later as that’s more important if you think you can make it big. Doesn’t matter even if you have hit the jackpot. Might be this is contradictory idea but learning can not just be through practicing, though it is the one of the best ways.
    What do you say AJ?

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      One does NOT have control over what comes his way, BUT, one does have control over how they react toward what comes in the way. Sure everyone wants to become rich over night (get rich quick schemes), but the fact of the matter is that even if you do, chances are you’ll lose that money fast, compared to if you were to gain that money over time. Does that make sense?

  3. tom

    Great article AJ.

    Your snowball effect example makes a lot of sense because at least, I see this as a two sided sword. Small significant things can make you big but if you don’t clear our the path in front, it can backfire and crash you on the way back.

    Just how I see it, I haven’t had my own business yet so I can’t really speak from experience, just my thoughts.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Well, what’s powerful is learning from other people’s experiences, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. Something I was ironically writing about for today’s post 😉

  4. Harnish

    I agree with the building for an edifice of success. Whether you get there by luck (wining a loto) or by selling a service for a windfall, you have to learn what made you get there, your positive attitude, your relationships with people and not burning bridges.

    1. AJ Kumar Post author

      Well put Harnish, knowing how you got there will also give you the recipe for success. Once you have that recipe, you can be successful over and over again.

      1. Article Spinning

        “Once you have that recipe, you can be successful over and over again” Well said, AJ. The most important thing is to get the RECIPE and the only way to get it is to actually DO it, even if we fail in the process but we will learn how to do it right. Well said all the way, AJ.

  5. Sushil Mayer

    Most people would never deny the opportunity to get rich over night. Though I believe its about the journey not the destination.

    1. tom

      Hey Sushil Mayer.

      Sure we all believe and say but really, how many of us actually do it? Very few.

      I am glad you brought this point up, and it is hard to sometimes think of the destination but I think we need to do less thinking and more doing.

      As Jack Canfield says
      READY FIRE AIM not

      1. Sushil Mayer

        Do First, Think After… interesting approach. This approach probably gets more done, whether it be good or bad.

    2. AJ Kumar Post author

      Oh yes, of course, anyone would be crazy to deny it. However, what’s significant, like you wrote is the journey. People should focus more on the learning experience and journey rather than getting rich over night. For one, most people will never get rich overnight, so why focus on something with such a low percentage. The guy from getrichslowly.com writes “very few people get rich quick, almost everyone can get rich slowly”

  6. Rat Race Trap

    I agree with most of your post. However you can’t point to one winner and say that is the way to do it. (As an aside I thought W.B. said he was very lazy and didn’t work hard.) Human beings want to see patterns and explanations in everything. I do it myself all the time. BUT, the simple fact is picking individual people and pointing to their method as the way to success is flawed. It ignores the luck factor. The people you are looking at are left standing and may have been the lucky ones. You are only talking about them because you don’t know the unlucky ones who might have done more things “right” or worked harder but simply failed. Get a bunch of people and have then flip a coin over a series of trials. The first time anyone flips a tail they are out. When you have one person left ask how many heads in a row were thrown. Could be a very big number. Warren Buffet might the guy left standing.

    1. AJ Kumar

      My use of Warren Buffet as an example wasn’t to show an example of a successful person, it was to show an example of ‘the snowballl effect’. He did work hard, especially considering his book was called SNOWBALL refering to the snowball effect.
      Your right on luck having a lot to do with many success stories, although hardwork is almost always a factor. My post was also to show that people are better off getting rich or successful slowly, compared to over night.

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  8. Article Spinning

    You are right, AJ… very well written. I particularly liked and agree 100% with the statement “If you get rich to quick or too fast, you might lose control and be headed down a path of utter disappointment.” Many people think getting rich quick will do it for them. When one gets rich quick without the wealth being built on solid foundation, that person is surely going to lose out at the end of the day. Getting rich isn’t just about getting rich, it’s about what we BECOME in the process… the knowledge we acquire, the skills we acquire and most importantly – the experience (which can all be repeated anytime to get more money).

    Lastly, this reminds me of the Chinese Bamboo tree. Anyone that wants to succeed should know that real success is somewhat akin to the Chinese Bamboo tree.

    Here goes…

    “The Chinese Bamboo tree starts from a tiny seed. You plant the seed in dirt, and you water the seed. The first year nothing seems to happen. So the second year you water and fertilize and you protect the seed. Nothing happens. The third year you water and fertilize and you protect the seed. Nothing happens. The fourth year you water and fertilize and you protect the seed. Nothing happens.

    The fifth year you water and fertilize and you protect the seed. Sometime during the fifth year, the Chinese Bamboo tree begins to grow. If grows 90 feet tall in just 6 weeks! Yes, that’s right, 90 feet in six weeks.

    The question is, did it grow 90 feet in six weeks or five years? The answer is simple, it grew 90 feet in five years. The moral of the story is also simple. IF, during that five years, SOMEONE would have GIVEN UP on the Chinese Bamboo tree, IF SOMEONE would have stopped watering, stopped fertilizing, stopped protecting the tree, there would be no tree to climb. “

  9. Hugo Frankford

    Now I am not positive I altogether concur with you on this article. However I am normally amenable to innovative options. Probably will have to think about it. Nice blog incidentally.

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