How to be an Overnight Success

Once upon a time, I bought a book with this exact same title, and with each chapter I read, I kept thinking “so what’s the secret? Get to the point already!!” And then I realized after finishing the book that the point was this: there is no such thing as an overnight success. Depending on what your definition of “success” is (assuming it has a lot to do with financial freedom) the only ways to achieve it overnight are to be born into wealth or to win the lottery. Chances are, you don’t fall into either category, which means your success will not happen overnight….it will happen over nights, days, weeks, months, and yes, probably years.

What is Success?

I want to back pedal a little and discuss this idea of what it means to be a success. I think a lot of us are raised to believe that you’ve only achieved success if you’re making a ton of money. And while I don’t necessarily believe this, I do think that money is an important tool that allows us freedom to live life on our terms. I’m not talking about someone who makes $500k a year only to be working 14+ hour days doing something they despise for boss they despise even more. To me, that is the antithesis of success. At the height of my fashion career, I had a high-paying job which was great in the beginning, but it turned out to be horribly toxic and emotionally damaging. Financially, I was a “success”, but I was also completely miserable. It’s important to figure out what truly makes you happy and what success means to YOU- not your parents, friends, or society.

Don’t Believe the Hype

If someone is trying to sell you a shortcut to success and the promise of “easy” money, it’s either a scam or illegal. These companies or individuals are masters at making money off people desperate to fix their problems as fast as possible. Whether it’s losing weight or making more money, if it looks too easy or too good to be true, it is. Success at anything comes with A LOT of work and failures along the way. Even being naturally talented at something doesn’t guarantee you success unless you are using that talent on a consistent and purposeful basis. You can pay thousands of dollars for services or products to help you achieve your goals, but in the end, you still must be the one to implement those tools and do the grueling work, oftentimes outside of your comfort zone.

My Path to Success

To be perfectly transparent, I don’t consider myself to be a success yet for what my definition of success is- to be my own boss and make a living as a fulltime artist. I only recently started my art and artwear business within the last 3 years (just before the pandemic) and I’ve had countless setbacks and failures along the way. As an entrepreneur, I know this is par for the course, but if there’s one thing I keep hearing from other entrepreneurs that have achieved success, it’s that you can’t give up. Most people don’t achieve success, not because they aren’t smart enough or talented enough, but because they give up too early. The purpose of why you do what you do must transcend all the pain and suffering you’re likely to experience to make your dreams a reality, otherwise you’re doomed to fail. Patience really is a virtue and is one of the main characteristics you need to possess to be successful. You must resist the allure of instant gratification and realize that this means foregoing short-term comfort for long-term gains.

Your Path to Success

If you’ve been feeling stuck and questioning your efforts in whatever it is your trying to achieve towards your own personal success, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It’s totally normal to feel this way, and I don’t just mean occasionally, but all the time. It’s especially difficult if you’re going at it alone and don’t have a support network to lean on when times get tough. It really boils down to continuing to show up every day, even when you’d rather just crawl into a hole and never come out. Here are some things you can do if you feel stuck and need a motivation boost to keep going:

  • Take a break. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from what we’re doing, whether it be for a few hours or maybe even a few days. This is why vacations exist! This will allow you to come back re-energized with a fresh perspective. Albert Einstein was known for having many of his "Aha!" moments when he was out on nature walks, not when he was actually working.
  • Reward yourself for achieving milestones. For example, “I’m going to treat myself to an iced latte after working on my website SEO for 3 hours.”
  • Keep a journal and write down all the good things that happened to you that day, no matter how small they might be. We tend to always focus on the negative, so this is a good way to remind yourself that good things are always happening and to be grateful for them.

It’s also important to pause and look back at how far you’ve come because oftentimes, we are so focused on achieving the end goal that we don’t recognize all the little wins we’ve had along the way.  

So, there you have it, the secret to success is: identify what success means to you, work your ass off on a consistent basis, take a break every now and then, reevaluate/change directions when necessary, and above all else…KEEP GOING! 

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