Michael Jackson did the elementary school talent show. Judy Garland sang with her sisters in her folks’ theater. And dozens of celebs and would-be celebs talk about how they are an “overnight success ten years in the making.”
An overnight success rarely is. And the ones that are work like hell to make it happen. In a recent post by Chris Brogan, he demonstrates just what kind of sacrifice it takes to achieve that level of status.
Most of us just don’t have the gumption to go there. And in truth, most of us don’t NEED to go there to be successful.
Part of the issue is that so many of us get wrapped up in the comparison game – the “keeping up with the Joneses” kind of bull-hockey that puts us on a hamster wheel from which we’ll never retire.
I maintain that success holds a personal definition for each of us, and under no circumstances should we allow ourselves to be taken prisoner by someone else’s success.
I love the idea of 1,000 true fans that Seth Godin shares in his book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.
(Full disclosure: that’s my amazon affiliate link. Buy the book from my link and I might make twelve whole cents, woo hoo! Don’t get me started on the FTC again.)
Seth talks about how we really only need 1,000 true fans to attain a quality of life that most people would consider successful – not multi-millionaire successful necessarily, but happy, sufficient, and comfortably sated in our life. It’s not his original idea, but that’s where I first discovered it.
One of the planks of my “platform” – if you call it that – is that success has to be defined on your terms, not mine or anyone else’s. I can’t want something more for you than you do.
And along with that is the level of investment you’re willing to make to achieve that level of success. Investment of your time, energy and money. It’s not jsut abuot the money you throw at a problem to “make it go away”. There are no ruby slippers when it comes to creating success: just investment and a return on that investment.
Have you defined your success? Do you have a plan in place for it? What are you willing to commit to in an effort to attain those things?
That’s the difference between the “overnighters” and the rest of the world.
Overnight success is more a reflection of the amount of time one spends dedicated to their mission/passion – i.e. they stayed up OVERNIGHT (repeatedly) to complete everything already on their to-do list so that they could then devote additional resources to the attainment of their success plan.
I can’t count the number of people I’ve talked to who’ve said that they jsut don’t have the time to make something work – or they don’t have the money to invest – or they don’t have the energy because they’re not as spry as they once were.
It’s as if they’re looking for someone to tell them that it’s okay and they can still achieve success even if they’re not willing to make the investment. Or worse, that there’s a “magic pill” that will solve all their ills.
They COULD still attain success – but something has to give:
* it will take longer
* it won’t be at the same level
* it will be short-lived
Most people on the front end don’t want to compromise their vision of success. They want the best of the best and nothing less – until they see what kind of investment is involved.
My mom used to paraphrase Robin Leach: “Champagne wishes, and Kool-Aid money.”
Let’s be realistic. If you’re not willing to invest in your business (time, energy or money), you need to be willing to accept whatever you’ve already got going for you as your personal level of success.
If that’s NOT good enough for you, then something has to change. That change requires an investment – either time to analyze the situation and implement new changes, effort in throwing mud on the wall to see what will stick, or money to get expert help to improve the situation.
Usually, it’s a combination of the above.
The “magic pill” is called investment. Time. Energy. Money or some combination of the three. You can’t achieve anything in life without some level of investment/effort.
Chris is part of an army of entrepreneurs that get it. And people respect him for it. He’s bustin’ hs butt on the front end to enjoy the fruits of his labors on the back end. That’s the only known magic formula that gets results every time.
And with apologies to The Princess Bride: “Anyone who says differently is selling something.”