Overnight Success?

Written by Tammy Durden

Did you start your business thinking it would take off and you’d be a superstar in business overnight? I didn’t think it would be overnight but I certainly didn’t think it would take over a decade either. Overnight Success doesn’t happen to the average person like you and I.

Overnight Successes are a very rare thing. This is why we hear about them more often through media today because it is rare. When someone does become an overnight success everyone wants to know how.

“In many cases, what may seem an instant success out of nowhere is actually the result of years of hard work.”


How Long Does It Take

The truth is that most businesses, even once they begin to see success, have spent years getting to that point. Many take more than five years to see a profit but on average, online service businesses begin to see a profit after two to three years says this Freshbooks article:

“Two to three years is the standard estimation for how long it takes a business to be profitable. That said, each startup has different initial costs and ways of measuring business profitability. A business could have enough cash to become profitable immediately or take three years or longer to make money.”


Often we buy into the idea that if we follow someone else’s success plan or in other words, if we become a copycat to someone else’s success it will bring us success. Their millions will not, however, bring us millions.

Certainly, replicating the processes and systems of a truly successful entrepreneur can bring us some success. It will require much hard work and is not an easy path either. If their services can be replicated it will require doing all of the processes of the person whose program you bought into. This program likely took them years to hone.

Although, admittedly I’ve never spoken to or met anyone who has purchased one of those types of programs who believes they are exactly where they thought they would be or have earned all that was promised.

You will still have to do the multiple tasks you hate doing unless you outsource – oh, and if you decide to outsource you will need help doing that too, believe me. You will have to do the hard work, pay the dues, and learn the way to success.

It does not come by following this principle alone or by signing up for a guru’s workshop so you can gain all the secrets of the world. Although that would be nice, and I’d probably be first in line, alas, it does not exist but as long as we hope for it and believe it does someone somewhere will be selling it to someone else.

That’s not to say that there are not good, honest programs available that will teach you different aspects to reach a new level of success for you.

Educating ourselves is one of the most important ways we can stand out from others.

We are so bombarded with ads, direct messages, phone calls, and texts it’s no wonder we want to believe it is possible.

Don’t get me wrong, maybe you or I will invent the next great big thing-a-ma-jig but it’s unlikely. And that is from someone who loves to think up new creations or inventions of new products if only I could fabricate them <smile>.

This does not mean we should stop trying. It means you keep working hard and do what inspires you or helps others. If it is your passion then it doesn’t matter if it is a success because it is successful to the person you helped.

Sometimes, I believe we define success all wrong. That’s why I redefined success for myself. My success is not necessarily someone else’s success.

Success, for me, is being able to work from home, often from bed (due to my MS, Lupus, and others), and being able to earn money. That is a huge success for me and my family.

So, what does success mean to you?

Perhaps you need to let go of a few misconceptions yourself.

I think we try so hard to develop what we think should work but when it doesn’t we become discouraged. What if instead, you viewed it differently? What if you were to look at the clients you have and those you’ve already helped and say, wow, I had the opportunity at that time to _________________________(fill in the blank with how you helped or empowered those you met with).

Sometimes success takes a decade to achieve or longer. Other times it may only take six months after starting your business. Determine WHAT Success is for you first. Remind yourself WHY you started and WHO you wanted to help.

I remember hearing a speaker say she was a ‘7-year success story!  I walked away feeling so relieved that day.  A burden was lifted off of my shoulders. It was as if a new freedom came over me and the pressure was off. 

And THAT is when I finally began to experience a little success.

Not that I didn’t have clients before because I did, and I had experienced other forms of ‘success’ (in the world’s view). At that time, however, it did not reach my idea of the level of success I thought I should have.

Success is defined differently for everyone.  If you stopped five random people and asked them to define ‘success’ – some would give you an answer related to money, others time, and still others related to their business or job promotions, and I hope others would say family. 

I have been in business for over 16 years and I didn’t see real growth and ‘feel’ like I am successful until about 9 years into it.  Although, I did believe I was successful before this.  Am I making a Million in revenue – no, not yet.  I am making a profit AND able to employ a team of amazing contractors to help our clients. The reason I felt successful even before this year, however, is because of my Mission!

I was empowering other disabled professionals to work, as well as, Moms of disabled children.   You see, in case you did not already know this about me, I am running a business  – despite my disabilities (MS, Lupus & more).  This is why I consider our company a success already.

‘Yes, passion and a strong start are indispensable for getting into business, but it’s the long-term focus…’ Ciara Pressler of Huffington Post

Would I like to grow more? Of course, why? Because the more I grew the more disabled professionals and moms of disabled children would be able to work and provide amazing services for our clients.

It’s not about making more money or getting an executive position or even about the car we drive.  It is about Confidence You have to continue to build your dream, regardless of what the P & L says today. Success is about who you are and how you feel on the inside, not the outside.

So, how do you answer…

Are you a success?

Until Next Time, continue doing good and making a difference out there!

with love from Tammy Durden of Fearless Business Boss

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