A person I admire has a very successful business. He’s sharp, personable, funny, smart, and helpful. And, the products and services he provides are top-notch. He’s sold thousands of them, and his business is operating at a level much higher than mine.
Then he announced that he was celebrating three years in business. What! Only three years? How’d he get so far, so fast?
He’s created for himself an overnight success. I’m doing the same thing, following the same steps he did. And, you can, too.
Here’s the secret to his “overnight success”: He spent 15 years prior to starting his “overnight success” business in his industry, learning, growing, making mistakes.
Jim Collins, in his groundbreaking book Good to Great, wrote about “the Flywheel and the Doom Loop.” In the companies his team studied, the ones who had outstanding results just kept incrementally improving, learning, making mistakes, learning, continuing. These efforts created momentum on their “flywheel.”
The Flywheel is an analogy Collins used- a Flywheel is a huge, very heavy wheel that takes a tremendous amount of effort to get it to turn even a fraction of an inch in its rotation. However, by pushing steadily at it, it gradually picks up momentum. Then, you hit the moment when it’s moving so fast, nothing can stop it.
In contrast, companies who didn’t take the Flywheel approach were caught in the “Doom Loop.” Lurching around, trying a new thing every year or two (or month or two!), trying to hit the lottery. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.
In other words, “overnight success” only looks that way from the outside. When you finally hit your momentum, it won’t feel like overnight success to you. But it may look that way to others.
I have found this to be true without exception. EVERY “overnight success,” when I’ve looked at it closely, wasn’t really. My mentor coach looked like an overnight success, going from $0 to a full client load in 90 days… except that she had years of experience in running a different practice before, and had the internal confidence it takes to enroll clients.
There CAN be a sudden big jump in results, and this, no doubt, is what makes people think to call it an “overnight success.” But, it just ain’t so. The sudden big jump is because the slow, steady incremental pushing of the Flywheel suddenly hit the tipping point. You are inching up the see-saw, and, a little bit past the mid-way point, the see-saw tilts in the other direction.
The real question isn’t “Can you get the see-saw to tip?” The real question is: “Can you keep from getting thrown off when the see-saw does tip?” How many lottery winners hold on to their millions? How many sudden superstar athletes or musicians are overwhelmed by success, and fall into drugs and reckless spending?
It’s strange but true that many participants in my Heart of Money Transformational Journey have a bigger struggle appreciating assets they already own, than they do in facing their financial liabilities.
The real secrets to “overnight success” are:
1. It only looks like “overnight” from the outside – it took a lot of incremental work over years; 2. You have to prepare yourself internally; 3. You should look around and find contentment in your heart where you already are, so you can feel enlivened to continue the journey ahead. You don’t have to be afraid of success, but you do have to prepare yourself spiritually in the same incremental manner as you do your business. If you work on both the internal and the external parts of success, then you’ll be ready for the tipping point when it comes, inside and out.
More details on how to create your own “overnight success” below, in
Keys to Your Overnight Success
Comparison is an evil force. Seriously. Although it’s great to watch others in order to learn, if you are comparing yourself to someone else, when each of your situations is unique, you ignite havoc in your heart as you struggle to be someone you aren’t.
Stop comparing yourself to others. You don’t know their story. You don’t know how they did what they are doing. And, you probably don’t even know the full truth of how successful they really are. People can look successful, and still have their struggles.
Appreciate your assets. This is the third chapter of Section Five: The Heart of Money, in my book, and it is surprisingly challenging for most people. Try facing something you own, maybe a bigger ticket item, and notice how your heart feels as you face it. This item is yours, it’s been given to you, you have full responsibility over how to dispose of it.
Don’t be surprised if it’s an overwhelming feeling. But take time to accept what you already have into your heart. Digesting like this will help make room for more.
Don’t do more than one difficult thing at a time. Don’t raise your prices, start a new marketing campaign, and try to create your first DVD all at the same time. Pick one challenging area, and immerse yourself in it until you feel you “own” it. Then move on to the next. Don’t worry if you don’t have a blog, or a DVD, or whatever latest and newest thing everyone is touting. You’ll get to them, if it’s truly important.
Instead focus on the most challenging thing in your business that isn’t working to your satisfaction, and take it on. Learn about it, chew on it, integrate it into your heart, and then you can move on to the next.