Everybody wants to become successful. While some are content to wait and work, others want success to come as rapidly as possible. But is that how success works? Can one truly become an overnight success?
If you define success as popularity and fame, you will say overnight success is possible. You can move to the top of the Billboards in one night from being a little-known musician. You can become the internet rave for posting a single picture. All of this can happen in one night. But does that mean the success occurred overnight? Not really.
Nothing happens ‘suddenly’. Certainly not success. What we call ‘overnight success’ is often the product of consistent effort applied over time. Biz Stone said, “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” Tom Clancy and Jeff Bezos also agree that it takes ten years to become an overnight success.
Why Overnight Success is a Farce
Maybe you can win a lottery and hit it big once. It still doesn’t make you an overnight success, as you will squander the money, not knowing what to do with it. Sure, there are stories where people may seem to have achieved success overnight, but it’s more than that. Here’s what you may not know about those cases.
- Fast success is the outlier, not the norm. It’s extremely rare for people to achieve overnight success. While possible, the norm requires consistent hard work over a long time. You will need to put in the effort even without acknowledgment, recognition, or appreciation. So, never take the exception as the rule.
- There’s a bigger picture. When someone tells a story of moving from zero to hero, don’t forget to find out what they did behind the scene. When an entrepreneur makes a killing, don’t assume it just happened suddenly. Look into how many hours they used to master their craft, become an expert, and network with people of similar minds.
- Overnight success can spell disaster. If you’re not prepared for success, it may throw you off balance. Your business website can crash due to an influx of new customers. Your staff may become frustrated by the volume of work. Your brand reputation could be destroyed before you get to build it properly.
How to Achieve Overnight Success
So overnight success may be impossible, but it is possible to achieve rapid success. Here are three ways for you to do that;
- Have a Clear Goal: The fastest way to go nowhere is to have no goal in mind. Having a clear goal is more than knowing where you are going. It’s also about knowing what you need to get there and planning the same in your daily life
- Do the work: It’s not enough to have a clear goal and plan to achieve the goal, you must get your hands dirty and do the work. It won’t get itself done. Accept responsibility. Pick up habits that will push you closer to your goals. Learn as much as you can, and don’t stop learning. Use what you’re learning to keep improving yourself. And step out. In the end, if you don’t do the work, no one will do it for you.
- Networking: Who you know matters. Those who know you also matter. If these dynamics are not in your favour, change them by networking with the right people. Connect with people that can help you get to your goals. Don’t be a leech who seeks to benefit alone. Become a person of value to them, and they’ll be quick to help you when the need arises.
Time to Act
Overall, you must understand that there is no fast approach to success. Real-life success takes hard work, perseverance, time, and maybe some luck. Your true path to success lies in making the right choices today and then every day after now.