Why the Overnight Success We Wish For May Not
Be So Great After All
“Success” is a goal most of us have for our lives. In today’s social media culture, we see images of people who seem to have figured it out overnight. There are people everywhere you turn who ‘guarantee’ to show you how to become an overnight success! Please don’t believe the hype! Success doesn’t happen overnight and here are a couple of reasons it probably wouldn’t be a good idea anyway:
1.) Don’t believe the hype – Overnight success is very rare! Even the stories we seem to think about as overnight successes are not really so. Facebook seemed to become part of popular culture over night, but a little research into its history tells a very different story. Facebook today looks nothing like it did when it first started by a Harvard College student. It has taken time to evolve into what it is today.
2.) Too much success and attention before you’re ready can actually be detrimental, especially if you are not prepared. We see way too many young actors and actresses get cast into the limelight before they are really ready for all the fame, attention and criticism. Many of them don’t handle this “overnight success” well and end up with substance abuse issue, run-ins with the law, troublesome family relationships, etc. Part of the hardships that are encountered along the road to success is humbling and offers a more realistic perspective on what success really is. This leads me to the 3rd point………
3.) It’s the small things that matter – The small things you learn on your journey to achieving that personal level of success, however you choose to define it, will probably help you appreciate the success more once you’ve achieved the goal(s). You don’t acquire critical skill sets overnight. This comes through a process of trying new things, testing, failing, succeeding, then trying again.
4.) Anything worth having is worth working for. Not many people are simply handed everything they want on a silver platter. Dedication to your goals and hard work is admirable. It is in this preparation that you really learn how to be a master of your craft and deliver what your customers, clients and teams need and want!
5.) Wisdom develops with time. Just as it takes time to bake a cake from simple ingredients to a finished product, it takes time to produce a great finished project in your career! Think about what happened the last time you tried to skip over some steps when baking your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. When you leave out ingredients and steps in the process, the end product turns out to be a mess! Part of what makes Grandma’s famous cookies famous, is the attention to detail and care she puts into creating the finished product!
Remember – there is really no such thing as Overnight Success. It’s ok to look to others for inspiration, but Never Compare Your Beginning to Someone Else’s Middle!
Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship for College Students and Young Professionals.