THE BLOG

The Raw Truth About Overnight Success

05/14/2014 11:33 am ET | Updated Jul 14, 2014
  • Shannon Kaiser Best-selling author, teacher, life coach, travel writer.
Valeria Schettino via Getty Images

You've heard about them, seen them and you may even follow them -- the seemingly (bam) overnight success stories. They meet their Prince Charming in a surprising encounter, land their dream job or lose all the weight for good, forever. They make the rest of us feel like we are doing something wrong, and they drive us crazy with their feel-good mantras, you-can-do-it attitudes and, "Oh, it is so super-easy, I changed just one thing, and now my life rocks!"

Contrary to what most people, books and other experts tell you, there is no single stroke of genius that will catapult your dreams from no man's land to permanent profitability or success.

Both successful businesses and actually making your dreams come true takes action, dedication, focus and time. Yes, that's right: It takes time to learn from your mistakes, to become who you really need to be and to embrace the journey.

Only time can give you what you need. So roll up your sleeves and have fun on the adventure of life. Those who embrace the journey are the ones who see the huge results.

Watch out for the quick fix. We all crave results and secretly reach for the quick fix because we want to find meaning in the madness. But, there is a cost. For example:

• The latest diet trend -- which we try, and then gain back even more weight from.
• The happily ever after -- which we go into debt for in order to fund the wedding.
• The dream career -- for which we clear out our savings to fund.

The point is: There are two sides to every story. I call this the happiness trap, and it is eating all of us alive. Looking at others, seeing their successes and comparing it to yours is a dream killer; avoid it at all costs! It is daily dedication to your dream that creates giant results.

Persistence is the magic to overnight success stories. Every single person out there that you think is an overnight success is actually the result of years of trial, error and late night crying, combined with euphoric insights and discipline. There is no difference between them and you or me. They are just farther along in their journey of persistence. Keep going! You are closer than you realize.

Most people give up before their dreams, goals or businesses take off. The missing ingredient in each of those stories is time. It can take time to really see results when growing a new business, but if you are doing what you love and working towards your goal for the right reasons it is always worth it.

Most overnight success stories I heard of happened around the five to seven year mark. That is 2,555 days of working towards a goal. That is 84 months of finding out what doesn't work. Persistence pays off! Keep going and stop comparing yourself to others!

If you find yourself comparing your journey to someone else's, these steps can help:

1. Trust the universal buffer.
We think we want instant results, but the process is the really juicy stuff. It builds character; it helps us grow into who we really need to be. Allow time for your dream to unfold.

I call this the universal buffer and it is a beautiful ingredient to help you become all you want to be. The universal buffer actually protects us from unknown outcomes.

2. Throw out your back-up plan.
We think we want the overnight success, but what we really want is to know that our crazy ideas are worthwhile. We want to know that we aren't putting all this time, money and energy into something that will be pointless in the end.

The most successful people I know, and what I've seen in my own journey as well, threw out the back-up plan; failing was not an option. Persistence became my ally. Your dreams matter and seeing the results of your goals is the best universal reinforcement possible. Don't put an expiration date on your dreams and goals.

3. A Mentor is a must.
Do not go it alone. Finding a mentor to help you along your journey will help ease the unknowns of the journey. Find someone you relate to, someone you admire and respect. Align yourself with them, reach out, stay close and be amazed at how fast your dreams come true.

4. Build a bridge.
In all honesty, the journey is the reward. The time between where you are now and the place you want to be is full of life experiences, trials, errors, relationships, learning and juicy lessons that will equip you for success. Skipping the time in between will only ensure that you will land flat on your face!

The most successful people in the world build a strong foundation. The base you build with time and effort becomes a launching pad for success. When you build a bridge to success, you will have lasting result, and that overnight success you desire becomes an effortless outcome because you have done the groundwork.

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