Overnight Success? What a Load of Crap.

The media is obsessed with the notion of an overnight success. In all areas of life. Sporting “heros”, entrepreneurs who sprung up outta nowhere (newsflash, they didn’t!) and clever folks who crack codes and use science to make our lives better.

Noone wants to write about the real story, which usually looks a little something like this….

  • Decide you want to achieve something.
  • Work at it. Work at it. Work at it.
  • Make some mistakes.
  • Retreat.
  • Learn from those mistakes and push on.
  • Work at it. Work at it. Work at it.
  • Doubt yourself and every decision you’ve made.
  • Finesse. Improve. Work at it.
  • Do something that gets you noticed. Kick a goal, solve a medical problem or do a successful capital raise. Overnight success, they’ll cheer!
  • Work at it. Work at it. Work at it.
  • Keep improving, re-engineering and re-thinking how you do things.
  • Keep doing.

On Success

Being successful at anything in life takes drive. Determination. And ACTION.

If you’re not willing to put in the work, make sacrifices and miss out occasionally on other things happening in life you may not get to where you’d like. Or it may take a bit longer. Going slow is a viable option, and could even result in a healthier business.

Whether you’re doing your thing the fast or the slower way, you need to take action.

The Little Things

I don’t think enough focus is put on the little things. Taking those small steps towards your goals. Taking action. DOING something. Anything. Everyone’s path is different, and rarely requires the same steps in the same order. The only way to know which steps are the right ones for you to take is to take them. For yourself.

I often say that good businesses are created by licking the envelopes (We don’t send much post any more, but you catch my drift). The small actions that you take that noone knows you’re doing, but they make your clients happy and your business better. Those actions all add up to create a healthy, sustainable business.

I had a memorable conversation with the owners of an iconic Melbourne craft brewery. They’d already had their company for TEN years when I was working with them. One of the founders told me he’d started getting loads of phone calls from journalists wanting to run stories about their overnight success.

Oh, we laughed.

Sure, the publicity and attention was wonderful. But there was nothing overnight about it. That company was forged on the back of two incredible humans who employed a talented, passionate team to live out their vision. It took time (it had already been ten freaken years). Dedication. Set backs. But they kept going, taking action and making mistakes. The small wins all started to add up over time.

And they were/are very successful, because they kept going.

Overcoming Decision Fatigue

It’s never been easier to start a business. Technology, media and skill sharing is more affordable and accessible than it’s ever been. But inaction and ambivalence work against that ease. Decision fatigue and information overload are hard to push through.  

The best way to beat uncertainty is to take action. Any action. Do something, anything.

Taking Action

If you’re planning to start your own business and you’re not sure what next, you could…

  • Talk to someone about your idea
  • Write about your idea and keep going till it makes sense
  • Test your idea by building a website yourself and see if you can get traffic there
  • Create an instagram handle and start posting about your passions
  • Describe your ideal customer and then contact one

If you’re an established business owner and you’re not sure what comes next, you could…

  • Invite one of your old clients for coffee or lunch, just ‘cause you can
  • Dig around your Xero file and see what you find (it’s not as scary as you think)
  • Record your social stats in a spreadsheet and commit to recording it monthly
  • Do some journaling about what you want from your business for the next year
  • Review and update the words on your website to talk to the right people

Or anything at all that means you’re taking a step closer to where you’re trying to get to.

Overnight success is a load of crap

Taking small, consistent actions every week to build the healthy, sustainable business that you want is definitely not a load of crap though. Keep licking those envelopes. Making tweaks. Building strong relationships with your customers. Improving your service. Changing your products. All the small wins do add up, and before long your company will be the kick ass business you always dreamed of. Because you made it that way.

Work with me

If you think that talking to me about your idea could help keep you moving take a look at my mentoring options for business newbies.

Or if you're beyond the newbie stage and getting serious about making a profit, I could help you map out your next few years.

You’ll be an overnight success before you know it :)

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