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Why Truly Successful People Never Look For Overnight Success

Why Truly Successful People Never Look For Overnight Success

Years ago as I was really trying to become a great WordPress developer and thought leader. I worked hard and wrote about development a lot and tried to connect with others and share my knowledge. Then someone ‘new’ came along and seemingly overnight created a business that supported his family and a few employees. This all happened while I slaved away with a bunch of ideas that had a bit of traction but not enough money to really live on.

It felt like he had an overnight success, but what I didn’t know at the time was Pippin had at least 30 other projects under his belt. He had tried and not quite monetized a bunch of them. It was only after all that work that he finally hit on a winning formula. All that work I never saw. There is great danger in waiting and wishing for overnight success. Lets look at the stories of 12 successful people to see how desiring overnight success is really just setting yourself up for failure.

1. You missed the years of work

Gary Vanerchuk took his family wine business from $3 million to $60 million in 3 years and then used that success to build a great consulting company and write a few best selling books. Sure, his original success was in different areas than he’s currently focusing on but he still spent years working long days we didn’t see. Only after original success was he able to change fields and gain success.

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2. First run success is often a trick

Looking at Dave Ramsey now you may be surprised to find that he went bankrupt before he built the business he has now. He tricked himself in to thinking his debt-ridden, leveraged life was a success. To many on the outside a 20-something millionaire does seem like a success. Only with that bankruptcy experience was he able to build the business he has today helping millions get out of debt and stay there.

3. They felt trapped just like you and that inspired them

John Lee Dumas spent years feeling trapped in a commute running on the same hamster wheel that never allowed him a break. All he wanted was to do work that inspired him and others. It was this trapped feeling without a podcast to listen to that inspired John to start his daily show interviewing amazing business owners.

4. It’s not about the ‘right’ person just discovering you

Before Kimanzi Constable became the successful speaker, writer, and coach he is today, he ran a bread truck delivery business that was just barely scraping by. He didn’t like it and didn’t just wait for someone to notice him. He worked hard and pitched publications and conferences. His actions brought about the success we see today. He learned that “don’t wait for anyone” attitude when he started his bread business.

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5. Failing gets you a step closer to success

Thomas Edison never believed that an attempt at the light bulb was a failure, it was just a new way he learned not to make a light bulb. It was this view that each failure was just a step towards success that was getting him closer to his goal.

6. You’re experience bank account isn’t full yet

Mikael and Niklas, the founders of Angry Birds, have experience building games and not just the one they’re best know for. Before Angry Birds, they developed 52 other games that never quite hit the same level of appeal. They were only able to create Angry Birds because they had so much experience in the field to draw on as they built a hit.

7. Instant brilliance is not a trait they value

Sir James Dyson didn’t hit vacuum success 5,126 times before he finally found the iconic Dyson design we know today. During this process, he continued to remember that he didn’t value instant success. He knew that effortless success was a sham and that it was going to take significant hard work doing things the wrong way before he built what he wanted.

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8. Success isn’t their measure for happiness

Dan Miller, the host of a popular podcast on doing work you love and former car salesman, regularly says that he could be happy on one of many careers, including going back to selling cars. He didn’t say ‘if only X then I’d be happy’ he set about doing something that made him happy and turned it in to a highly profitable business. All of this occured as he recovered from huge debt from a failed fitness facility.

9. When others throw bricks you build a foundation

When Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, he took that situation and built NeXT and Pixar. NeXT was bought by Apple when Jobs came back and we all know Pixar films are hugely successful. He took that rough situation and used it to build a foundation that brought him even bigger success when he came back to Apple.

10. You haven’t grown enough to wield succes yet

While it’s an amazing story that Amanda Lockwood (now Hegarty) gained instant fame by appearing on Ellen, a quick search for her now really just shows a Twitter profile. This quick jump to fame didn’t give her any of the skills that failure would in handling a large media following. Without the knowledge to leverage it all that reach is wasted.

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11. You haven’t learned to avoid the pain

Despite already being a successful actress, Blake Lively’s latest fashion endeavor failed. In the midst of this “failure”, we get to watch someone gracefully close a company. She says that she didn’t want to build something that provided little value and is now more prepared to find that value in her next project.

12. Dreaming of it means you just don’t take action

The biggest problem with the myth of overnight success is that you think it actually exists. Sitting there waiting to be discovered by the “right person” takes you out of the driver’s seat in your life and business and you end up just waiting for something good to happen. Don’t just sit back and wait for that overnight success.

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. Jim Rohn

Get those disciplines in your life and practice them daily on your way to success. If you’re not sure where to start with your disciplines then check out these things that successful people do at the end of the day and pick a few up.

Featured photo credit: Andresr via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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