Decade-Long “Overnight” Success

I spent time talking with an acquaintance about his career. He’s not in technology or start-ups, so I was interested to learn about an industry I don’t have exposure to. During our conversation, it hit me that he’s accomplished a lot and has the accolades to back it up. He’s super successful, and this got me wondering: what did his path look like before he had success? I learned that he was exposed to his industry as a child. His father worked in it and made him aware of the possible paths he could pursue. He decided on one of them straight out of high school.

He’s had outsize success, for sure. He told me most people think it happened overnight. It annoys him that people don’t realize he spent over a decade learning and fine-tuning his approach before it started to pay off.

His story is similar to that of other successful people I know. None of them had overnight success. To the contrary: they spent years working and learning before things came together for them.

There’s no shortcut to success. You must be committed, and you must put in the work, even when others aren’t paying attention. If you aspire to be successful, settle in—it’s going to be a long ride!