We all love the idea of an overnight success story. When we start out in business, it’s often these we keep in mind. Forget hours of slogging in the office; overnight success would see you walking a clear path to the top of the table. This kind of success is the holy grail.
Sadly, overnight success is a myth of epic proportions. And, if you start a business with this in mind, you’ll struggle to make a go of things. The fact is, any overnight success story misses out a few crucial details, namely how difficult it is to get to that stage.
If you don’t believe that, consider some of the iconic overnight success stories of our time. In the majority of cases, any company you name has unlikely origins you weren’t even aware of. You certainly couldn’t consider them overnight successes. YouTube, for instance, started out as a failed video dating sight called ‘Tune In Hook Up’. Even Pinterest evolved from the failure of a mobile selling app called ‘Tote’.
As you can see from these stories, some of the largest names struggled to get where they are. Their founders certainly didn’t wake up and smell the money. And, to further debunk the overnight myth, we’re going to look at three of the things no one will ever tell you about seemingly sudden success.
Real success often involves sidelines
As you can see from these examples, success is rarely a straight line to one golden idea. In fact, you’d struggle to find an entrepreneur in this world who hasn’t tried several ventures. The fact is, an idea can be fantastic, but it still won’t lead to the sudden success you’re looking for. Business is all about trial and error. That’s how you find success. What’s more, even when you’re developing that ‘big idea’, you may find that you need to make money on the side at the same time. If you’re developing a hot new app, for instance, you may want to blog about the journey to fund your enterprise. If you’re looking at trading for a living, you may want to sell courses or advice on the side. We know this isn’t the glitz and glam big business you imagined, but overnight successes often involve a lot of sidelines. And, you won’t be any different.
Overnight is an objective term
Overnight is one of those misleading terms we’re all too willing to fall for. The fact is, overnight doesn’t literally mean overnight. Just because a company seems to come to our attention fast doesn’t mean everything’s come easy. In fact, a company may have been established for years before making it to the mainstream. Undeniably, their popularity may have happened fast once they gained notice. But, the overnight label doesn’t cover the years the developers put in beforehand. Even if you do reach ‘overnight’ levels, then, you’re looking at a fair amount of groundwork beforehand. Do you think you’ve got what it takes?