I’m sure you have watched the news before and heard them refer to a business or and individual as an “overnight success”, or seen a business explode with growth after being on Oprah. Well, I’m here to tell you that overnight success stories only exist in an imaginary world.
True success comes with hard work, long work weeks, sleepless nights, and genuine passion for what you do. To some degree my company Bearded Brothers has experienced success, but I wouldn’t by any means say we have arrived, in fact we still have crap-tons of work to do. After being in business we have managed to get our product into 250 stores across the US, but that leaves thousands of retail locations untapped. We still have our work cut out for us.
One of my favorite stories of overnight success is the game Angry Birds, by Rovio. When I first purchased this addictive game for .99 in the App Store I seriously thought to myself that they were an overnight success. Just because I had never heard of Rovio before didn’t mean they were not hard at work cranking out game after game for eight years! In fact they created 52 games in eight years before creating the game Angry Birds.Every company has a story of their journey. Nobody woke up one day and decided it was time to make it big. For Bearded Brothers our story starts off with a 14 Cup Cuisinart Food Processor that overheated constantly when we made our energy bars. We also had a wooden mold that we used to form and cut the bars that eventually fell apart from washing it in hot water every day. It was also a beast to clean and was perhaps the most arduous part of our production process.
Even though we have always had a great product, we have had to work hard to get the product into peoples mouths. We continually send out free product for events such as races, rock climbing events and disc golf events. We attend demos regularly in the stores that sell our product. Success is coming at the cost of hustling every day!
So, forget the romanticized notion of overnight success. If overnight success existed I would have become a star photographer years ago, but photography was something I didn’t stick with. Even Ansel Adams’ career spanned five decades; over that time he continually perfected his craft. Adams never felt like he arrived either, he continued to work hard at what he did because he was passionate about it.
If success is something you truly desire, my advice to you is find something you are passionate about and pursue it, because your overnight success journey is going to take years and is going to be full of trials. Even if you do “arrive” you are going to work harder than you ever have before.
If overnight success meant we all got to live lush easy lives, Entrepreneur wouldn’t have published an article on how to cope with “overnight success.” Even success itself hosts a myriad of challenges.