How To Be An ‘Overnight Success’

I’m going to let you in on a little not-so-secret: Most so-called overnight successes you see are actually years in the making.

Sure, it may seem like the band no one ever heard of before last week became superstars overnight, or that the entrepreneur who made a cool mil last year working from her home just “lucked out” by having the right idea at the right time.

But luck is only one small part of the story. Most of the time it’s more like a footnote.

What you don’t see is what it took to get to that point of success. You don’t see the years of practicing, trying, and most importantly failing. You don’t see the hundreds or thousands of times they had to go back to the drawing board, pick themselves up, start over, or start again. You don’t see all the money invested and lost before the final win. You don’t see all the sweat, tears, and disappointment that the successful person had to push through to reach the other side.

I think the real reason we like to think that successful people got where they are because of luck or by starting with an unfair advantage is because it lets us off the hook. If success is all about luck then we can make excuses for NOT doing the hard work of following our dreams. Then, a year or five years from now when our life is still stuck we can just chalk it up to bad luck.

How convenient!

Or we can copy successful people who know that success really boils down to just two things: Hard work and not giving up.

Hard Work

Waiting to get lucky is the strategy of unsuccessful (and lazy) people. Successful people know that the bigger the goal, the harder you need to work for it.

They know that if you stick with something long enough, and work for it hard enough, you WILL get “lucky” and be successful. It’s just a matter of time.

It’s like this quote by Armand Hammer:

When I work fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, I get lucky.“

Or this one by Thomas Jefferson:

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”

We have to work for it.

Not Giving Up

Another thing that not-so-overnight successes know is that you can’t let failure stop you. When you screw up, when people let you down, when things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, you don’t use that as an excuse to stop. You just don’t give up. No matter what.

Instead, you get up, you dust yourself off, and you try again. You gain experience, you learn from each failure, each mistake, and each disappointment. You get back to work.

Use failure to your advantage by embracing it. The faster you fail, the faster you’ll learn and improve. And that, of course, means that the faster you fail, the faster you’ll reach your goals in the end.

Your Overnight Success

So next time you hear that someone was an “overnight success,” or wonder why someone else got so lucky, check yourself and think again. Remind yourself that they made their luck, and you can make your luck too.

Just work hard for it, and don’t give up.

If you do these two things, then eventually you will succeed. Then one day someone may look at you and your life and wonder how you got so lucky to become an overnight success!

Your Turn

What are your thoughts about luck, hard work, and “overnight success”? Share in the comment section below!


While expecting to be an overnight success is unrealistic, there are ways to succeed faster than you might otherwise. Creating a fantastic goal plan and equipping yourself with the tools you need to work that plan is one of those ways. And I got you covered! My new book is all about that and is now available on Amazon.com. Breakthrough Goals: A Complete System For Setting And Achieving Your Goals. Get your copy now!


Originally published on GoalRebel.com.

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