The Myth of an Overnight Success And How to Become One

The Myth of an Overnight Success And How to Become One

You’ve seen it before. Someone becomes an overnight success by winning a talent show, or breaking a new world record in sports, or publishing a best-seller book.

You may even have heard a professional speaker talking about how she built a million-dollar business in just one year, then went on to sell you a series of workshops and coaching sessions on how to do the same thing.

Upon further research, I discovered the real secret to becoming an overnight success.

The “overnight success” speaker in this story actually took 14 years to build a million-dollar company. The last stage of this journey involved starting a business with the perfect partner, about a year before I heard her speak.


First, as a caution, it’s best to question any pitches that make it sound too easy to make that first or next million. While it may motivate you at the time, it is likely to cost you much more than you planned on spending, and take years more time than you anticipated to implement those strategies. Meanwhile, there is a high likelihood that your “self-improvement” will become “shelf-improvement” because you find that the process is not one you care to incorporate into your business after all.


Passion. When you follow your passion, you have a vision and mission bigger than yourself. And that can get you out of bed in the morning, eager to get to work.

Stick With It. Persistence really does pay. It has been said that you can become a recognized genius in your chosen field with about ten years of steady practice. So don’t give up! When you love what you do, and you are determined to make a good living at it, you learn how to respond to your clients’ needs, recognize opportunities when those doors open to you, and of necessity, develop better and better systems for delivering your products and services profitably.

Take Advantage of Technology. But do your best to not be a beta tester for new technologies. Unless, of course, that is your field. Let the experts work out the bugs first, and make sure to speak with other users, check out consumer ratings, and tap into your professional networks before disrupting your existing technology base. Take training. Get professional help setting up new systems. And stay the course. It is possible to teach an old dog new tricks, whether “old” is just over thirty years old, or someone already in the third or fourth decade of business.

Commit Anew Every Single Day. Plan your day the night before. Use a month at a glance calendar to plot the paths to major project completions. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself how great it is to be doing what you do, with people you admire, for a vision you believe in.

Avoid the Gap. It’s easy to beat yourself up for falling short of a goal. That doesn’t accomplish anything except to weigh you down with feelings of guilt of inadequacy. Instead, review how far you’ve come from where you started on this latest goal journey. You’ll be amazed to see what you’ve achieved in a short period of time, and the process will energize you.

So off you go now, to become the next “overnight success”. And when you achieve that breakthrough, remember to write a book about it, create a webinar, set up a coaching program and share your knowledge for fun and profit.

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