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The 3 Secrets to Achieving Overnight Success

The 3 Secrets to Achieving Overnight Success


    How’d you like to hear about the one way to achieve success faster? Perhaps even overnight.

    In a world filled with on-demand, instant-view, right now results … it’s easy to become impatient and want success today. Of course, most of the suggestions for instant stardom are hype and fluff. But there is actually a simple formula for achieving rapid success.

    Let’s talk about that 3-part formula now.

    First, know where you’re going.

    Before you can have any amount of success, you need to know why you are doing what you’re doing. Only once you have a clear vision of where you’re going and why you’re going there will you understand the best (and fastest) way to get there.

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    I can’t tell you the best way to get to your specific goal, but I can tell you that the fastest way to go nowhere is by not having somewhere in mind.

    Furthermore, when you have a destination that you are moving towards, it becomes easier to embrace the process of getting there. With each step you can see how you’re getting closer and closer to the end goal.

    Second, connect with people who can help you get there.

    When we hear the term “overnight success” we often associate that with someone who has very quickly become an authority or a celebrity in a particular industry or sector.

    But here’s a nifty little secret about success: it’s much easier to connect with authorities and celebrities than it is to become one.

    And when you connect with them, you automatically set yourself up for rapid success because you now have direct access to someone who can help you get to the top. They know the roadmap because they already walked it. Now all you have to do is ask questions about their success and listen carefully.

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    Third, it’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you.

    It’s easy to think that if you just knew the “right” person or if you just get a recommendation from a key influencer, then the doors would burst open and success would come pouring through.

    And while it is critical to connect with influencers and decision makers (see point 2), the reason why it’s important is because they can show you where to go and what to do. In other words, they don’t do it for you, they simply show you how to do it.

    Given that, you may be wondering, if success is not about who I know, then what’s the key?

    The key is who knows you.

    Connection is what gives meaning to our work. If you want to be successful and if you want your work to matter, then connection is the key.

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    Connections are the foundation of any meaningful work. It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, how groundbreaking your work is, or how useful your discoveries are … if you don’t connect with someone else, then nobody knows about it. And if nobody knows about what you do, then you can’t make a difference or be successful or change the world.

    This means that, if you’re truly serious about becoming an overnight success (or about achieving any type of success), then you need to commit to learning how to spread your message and your work. In an age where anyone can create content with publishing, writing, videos, podcasts, blogs, social media, and more, it has become critical to develop the skill of capturing attention.

    What you should do now…

    If you’re ready to be successful, then the time is now. There is no need to wait.

    Start by getting very clear about why you do what you do. Know the direction and why you’re going that way.

    Once you know where you want to go, start seeking out people who are already there. The influencers, decision makers, and connectors. Get to know them and they will kindly show you the way to go.

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    Once you know the path, start walking it. And as you do so, realize that your work will only have meaning if others know about it. Become an evangelist for your own goals. No matter what work you do, learn how to share it with others and capture their attention.

    This simple path is the fastest way to overnight success.

    (Photo credit: Man in Wheat Field via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on October 15, 2019

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

    Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

    There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

    Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

    Why we procrastinate after all

    We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

    Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

    Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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    To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

    If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

    So, is procrastination bad?

    Yes it is.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

    Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

    Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

    It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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    The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

    Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

    For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

    A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

    Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

    Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

    How bad procrastination can be

    Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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    After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

    One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

    That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

    Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

    In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

    You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

    More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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    8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

    Procrastination, a technical failure

    Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

    It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

    It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

    Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

    Reference

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