The Multiplier Effect:

multiplier | noun | a factor by which an increment exceeds the resulting increment

As simple multiplication has taught us, we can achieve exponential increases through previous, smaller factors.  Efforts compound to produce results that are more than simply addition.  It is an accumulation of what has preceded it.  Like a small snowball gains mass and momentum as it rolls down a hill, your efforts do the same thing.

However, this concept only describes the magnitude of the effect – NOT the direction. The Multiplier Effect can either promote the positive or intensify the negative.


Calvin understood the power of the Snowball or Multiplier Effect

The Positive Multiplier

8:58 am.

You’re cutting it close for work.  You self-proclaim that you’re not a “morning person.”

Your 9 – 5 has become a bit monotonous to say the least, but you can’t complain too much.  You just get the feeling you could handle more.

You hear word that a managerial position may be opening up in a few weeks.  You’re not sure if you’ll get the job but you ask yourself, “What do I have to lose?”

You sit down and consider what you have to do to make getting the position possible.

You realize that the manager shifts start an hour earlier and end an hour later. So it seems like that whole “rushing to get to work at 9 AM”  timeline isn’t going to cut it.

That night you go home and set your alarm for just 15 minutes earlier. Sure enough the next morning you’re in the office by 8:45 am. That wasn’t too painful, right?

With your 8:45 am arrivals your productivity has increased. 15 extra minutes each morning for the last several weeks have now equated to a nod and some small talk from your boss. Now you grin, knowing you’re on the radar.

A few days later, your boss approaches you and asks you to assist in a seminar series next week. The company will be hosting seminars beginning promptly at 9:00 am and the boss wants you to help out.  After all, you are considered one of the most reliable employees due to your recent early arrivals.

After your work on the seminar series, you start to receive more tasks from management that you would not have before.  Your work is receiving greater recognition and your opinion is considered more valuable.  The management knows your name and you are their go-to guy in the department.

Several weeks later your boss calls you into his office to inform you that he has submitted a recommendation to his supervisors. The recommendation highlights your timeliness, willingness to accept more responsibilities, and the high quality of your work.

Not long after you receive the news that you’ve received the promotion.

To celebrate, you take your significant other and parents out to dinner at one of the best restaurants in town.  They look at you approvingly – what a young go-getter.  Life just keeps better and better.

Your effects Positively Multiplied.

Multiplier effect as it relates to baltimore martial arts

Good things always seem to be happening to us!


The Negative Multiplier

The dreaded scale. You step on and look down. You roll your eyes and think, “That’s it. These extra 15 pounds HAVE to go.”  Your significant other has been mentioning, ever so casually, that maybe you two should start fitness classes together.

Your health is average. You know you don’t put in the effort to eat right and exercise, but you’ve made the decision to watch what you eat and exercise

You wake up each morning and complete some simple exercises. Nothing extreme, but that squats – jumping jacks – push ups – crunches – lunges – burpee routine definitely gets your heart pumping and the blood flowing. You make some easy swaps during the day like water for that soda and some fruit instead of that cupcake. It’s only day one, but you know if you keep this up those 15 pounds will say goodbye in no time. And you pack your lunch for work. No more take out mid day.

After a long day you receive a text from a friend whom you haven’t seen in what feels like forever. He moved out of town about a year ago and you two would always hang out. This is the friend that always has something to do and always knows what’s going on at all times. He has a favorite sports bar in town and asks if you can meet up along with some other people. You think, “Of course. Why not? It’s only once.”

After an order of chicken wings, some french fries, a handful of someone’s onion rings and a few too many celebratory beers, you head home. You realize you haven’t followed your newfound commitment to health, but that’s okay because you have tomorrow.

When morning comes, the beers from the night before don’t let you off so easy. You have to get to work on time so you skip your morning exercise routine.

You head to work and a few coworkers recognize you from the night before.  They didn’t realize that sports bars are “your thing” and invite you to come hang out with some people on Thursday. They insist if you liked that place from last night then you’ll “love” this place and have to go. You agree.  You tell yourself, “It’s okay. It’s only this one week. Next week I’ll get serious.”

In the coming weeks, you discover that your Monday crew has a once a week dinner and movie habit, while your Thursday crew has a whole tailgate thing.  Your two nights out routine start to become an obligation. Besides, your crew even has nickname for you now! You’re one of them. You have to go.  You can’t let them down.

After evenings out, you have a hard time waking up in the morning early enough to pack a healthy lunch.  You now have to start eating out for lunch, which leaves your bank account a little lighter.  And the morning exercise routine is definitely a no-go.

Work isn’t going so well.  You are considering switching companies.  After all, you’re not happy that another guy in the department received the promotion.  He’s a total brown-noser, and has been coming in early just so he could rub noses with the management.  But you know you’re more qualified than him.

One morning, you realize it’s time to meet your nemesis again. So there you are. Just you and the scale. You step on.

Looks like that desired 15 pound loss just increased to 25.  Your clothes no longer fit so now you have to spend an extra $300 dollars getting some that don’t fit like tights.  Your significant other doesn’t seem to be as affectionate as before.

You can’t figure out why bad things keep happening to you.

Your effects Negatively Multiplied.

Negative snowball effect in relation to baltimore martial arts

You don’t wake up one day 35 years old and living in Mom & Dad’s basement. You took a long journey down.


Wait, wait, wait… This is supposed to be about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai and MMA, right?


So let me tie this all together for you.

The Multiplier Effect is applicable to every facet of life. It can be social, personal, professional… anything. It Does Not Matter!

We exist on a continuum of constant change. At any given moment we can make a single decision that is apart of a series of decisions that will affect us either positively or negatively.

You had a long day and you’re tired; will you go to class or not?

When you arrive do you get there 15 minutes early and introduce yourself to your classmates or do you arrive 5 minutes late and be “that person”?

Do you only train certain classes with certain people or do you diversify your training partners?

Are you making healthy food decisions that fuel your workouts or are you not remaining mindful of food choices?

Are you treating class casually or are you asking questions in order to maximize your learning experience?

Are you prioritizing your training schedule in a manner that is conducive to your goals?

Do you make excuses for undesired outcomes or do you take action to change?

Copa Nova - Vannessa Griffin

World Champion Vannessa started as a Juniors Program student with regular attendance.

Let me use Vannessa Griffin as an example.  Vannessa had regular attendance from the beginning of her time at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts.  While other kids would regularly disappear for weeks, Vannessa was always in class.  Because of her regular attendance, she improved more quickly and became one of the first teens to receive a BJJ Yellow Belt (social recognition).  The staff began to see her as reliable and she was offered an instructor position (social recognition & financial support).  Now she took her tuition money and applied it towards competition travel and registration fees.  She was winning and with the endorsement of the coaches, she received financial sponsorship instead of just gear.  This allowed her to compete at the two biggest Jiu-Jitsu competitions in the World – the Pan Ams and the World Championships and she won both.  Because of her success at such a young age, she received the social support to continue her path.  This motivates her to continue improving her skills.  And the snowball effect continues.

My last blog post on the necessity of 10,000 hours of training can often be disheartening to up-and-coming competitors.  How can I ever be in a position where it’s even possible for me to train that much?  The answer is the Multiplier Effect.

The key to success in any life endeavor is aiming yourself in the right direction and then allowing your actions to snowball.  Whether its living a healthy lifestyle or becoming a World champion, make the right choices and you’ll be amazed at how much momentum you will develop with steady sustained effort.  So do the right thing.