How to Become an Overnight Success

Overnight success doesn’t happen overnight. When it comes to business, what’s often left out of the...

Overnight success doesn’t happen overnight. When it comes to business, what’s often left out of the story- with a handful of exceptions -- is that the overnight success was decades in the making.
The business marketplace is filled with so-called “overnight success” stories. Because we live in a microwave society, we want everything fast.
We want to lose weight in a weekend by taking a pill. We want to download everything in a blink of an eye. And we certainly don’t want to wait for success.
How to Become an Overnight Success
Here are some truths about the overnight success phenomenon that you should think about the next time you hear one of these stories.

It is the exception, not the rule.

Do you seethe with envy every time you read about an overnight success story? One of the most popular is how Roxio, the makers of the app sensation Angry Birds went from zero to hero overnight.

Yes, it was a great success story and they probably never have to develop another game (but they will). However, the truth is Angry Birds was the 53rd game that this company created. That would be 52 other games that went through development, testing, marketing, implementation and lackluster sales.

Overnight success? Hardly.

Sure, a company can get fast results and see their profits soar in a short amount of time, but for the majority of businesses success can’t be rushed.

You’re hearing the hype.

It looks good for a company to promote themselves as an overnight sensation because we all like a winning story. It also makes for good press to have the Cinderella syndrome play out of someone being plucked from obscurity and plopped down in their dream life.
However, a little digging will reveal the truth behind the hype. Even the simple act of filing corporation papers takes time.

The reality is that a company’s success is often built on a lot of past failures. Those failures might not all be related to that company but you can bet the board of director, the developers and the sales staff have had years of experience in the business world that lead them to this point in their careers.
In fact, if someone has worked for just five years prior to starting that company, they are bringing close to 10,000 hours of experience. So, any time you hear a story about an overnight success just ask yourself, “What are they leaving out?”

Being number one could blow up your company.

Under the heading “be careful what you wish for” comes the notion that a true overnight success might actually blow up your company. Imagine the potential success of a Super Bowl commercial.

Not only will literally a hundred million people see that spot play out but it could also go viral, bringing in millions of more viewers. If that business isn’t ready for the onslaught of potential customers then their website could crash, their staff will revolt and they’ll lose a lot of business.
Planning for success is just that: “planning.” That should mean being ready when it finally arrives.

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