At some point, you will be an overnight success. But the work it takes to position yourself to be an overnight success may take a little longer. Between the day when you are successful and today, there are some things that you need to do to position yourself and make success possible.
First, you have to do the quiet work, the work you do when everyone else is asleep. The work you do when there is no immediate reward for having done so; the work that no one recognizes and very few will ever see. This is the work that builds your skill set and sets you up to produce better work over time. It is the foundational work that all success is built on.
The second part of your plan is to persist over time. This is one part pigheadedness, one part intestinal fortitude, one part ignorance, and one part a love for what it is that you do. The pigheadedness is what allows you to be stubborn enough to keep moving towards success. The intestinal fortitude is the willingness to persist when almost anything else would be easier. The ignorance is there to prevent you from recognizing that you have no business doing what you are doing or believing that you will succeed (a highly underrated attribute of the successful). The love for what you do is there to sustain you while you do the work.
The third part of your plan is to be extraordinarily lucky. Luck is a big part of the formula, but it doesn’t work unless you are doing the quiet work and persisting. If you are doing these things, from time to time, luck will smile upon you and provide you with some opportunity. That opportunity won’t be overnight success, but it will move you one step closer. The next opportunity won’t be what brings you the success you need either, moving you only slightly closer. Between the opportunities that show up through serendipity and chance, there are long periods on the plateau.
These are the rules for becoming an overnight success, a process that takes decades. If you don’t follow the rules, success will not find you, it being a shrewd auditor, always making sure you pay in full before giving you the reward you seek. If you try to short success so much as one thin dime, you will find it to be infinitely elusive.
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