I was reading a post written by Seth Godin where he mentions that “it takes about six years of hard work to become an overnight success”. I’ve never quantified the amount of time it takes to become successful but Seth has a very good point.
We often look at companies and people and say “wow, that guy made millions overnight”. There are plenty of companies who were not heard of for years and then all of a sudden, they are the talk of the town. They are in the news, at the top of digg.com and somehow connected to everyone’s facebook profile. We look at these people, get inspired and decide that we are going to be the next overnight success. We think of an idea, put it to work and hope for the best. The unlucky person has little success and after a while gives up. The lucky person has very little success but continues to push through and work harder at every stage of the game. It can take years but in the end hard work pays off and if you give up too early, you will never know the meaning of success.
I don’t know if six years is an accurate amount of time or if it is some sort of average but the number does make a lot of sense. If you want proof that it takes years to become an overnight success, just do a little research. Go to Google and search for all of the overnight successes you can think of and you will learn the truth about how long it takes for overnight success. It doesn’t have to be a company, it could be actors too. Jim Carry was an overnight success but it took years of failed stand-up comedy and living in his car to finally achieve his “overnight success”. Now getting over $20 million per movie for playing with his rubber face is natural.
I decided in July 2007, almost exactly a year ago that I want to be successful. I’m not exactly there yet but I am an infinite times closer that I was back then. Now I have ideas that I am putting into place, I have goals that I am working toward and I have a drive to get there. I don’t know if it will take another 5 years but I am most definitely willing to put in the time.
Are you willing to put in 6 years of hard work to be successful or make it big?
After posting this, i read Brian Armstrong’s most recent post on Startbreakingfree where he talked about Ronald Jenkees, “an “average” guy in small town America who happened to really enjoy playing music” and started posting his songs to Youtube and then selling his cds. Brian mentions that it takes 7 years to become an “overnight success” but more importantly, the only reason that Ronald stuck it out was because he enjoyed doing it.
Find something you enjoy and stick to it for your 6-7 years. Best case, you will be the next overnight success and worst case, you will have spent 6-7 years doing something that you love.
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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