Does “overnight success,” really exist?
There seem to be people who make meteoric rises. One day they’re nobody. The next day they’re a household name.
It appears that way, but more often than not a lot of work went on behind the scenes.
Everyone wants to be successful, but few are willing to do what it takes to succeed. While it will take some time and effort to make major progress, it doesn’t have to take forever.
There are some ways to speed up the process and become successful quickly. You don’t have to toil away for 10,000 hours before you accomplish something significant. If you follow these strategies you’ll be well on your way to living a successful life in record time.
Success Is A Series Of Steps
“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Slug it out one inch at a time day by day. At the end of the day, if you live long enough, most people get what they deserve.” — Charlie Munger
Wait a minute — this article was supposed to be about how to achieve success quickly, what gives?
Taking things step by step will lead to massive success if you’re consistent. If you consciously spend each day trying to improve yourself and your craft you will take a massive leap at some point.
The problem most people have is inconsistency. If you aren’t consistent, you won’t build a solid foundation to be able to make giant leaps forward
Let’s say you want to be a writer. Many successful writers will tell you the key to being a great writer is building a consistent writing habit. But most people will attempt writing this way — they’ll try to “fit it in,” here and there. They’ll write non stop for a couple of days then take weeks off before they write again.
The same thought process can be used in any area. Inconsistency will kill your chances of being successful. Slow and steady and incessant wins the race.
Read 500 Books
“The key to reading lots of book begins with stop thinking of it as some activity that you do. Reading must become as natural as eating and breathing to you. It’s not something you do because you feel like it, but because it’s a reflex, a default.” — Ryan Holiday
Reading should be treated like a job, not a hobby. Gathering and applying knowledge speeds up the process of becoming successful.
You can read your way into becoming an expert at anything. There’s an eerily strong correlation between reading a lot and becoming successful. James Altucher says if you can’t read 500 books you should give up on becoming successful altogether.
What area are you seeking to become successful in? Read 250 books in that area to build a rock solid knowledge base. Read 250 books in areas unrelated to your subject so that you can form mental models to help you solve difficult problems.
This connection of ideas is known as the adjacent possible.
“The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore those boundaries. Each new combination ushers new combinations into the adjacent possible. Think of it as a house that magically expands with each door you open. Keep opening new doors and eventually you’ll have built a palace.” — Steven Johnson,Where Good Ideas Come From.
Reading tons of books expands your mind and continues to open more doors in the adjacent possible. Your knowledge base will grow until you explode with creativity and are able to make insightful connects between disparate ideas.
The speed of your success depends on the pace of your learning.
Research, Front Load Your Work, Iterate
Many make the mistake of falling in love with their idea and ignoring whether or not their product or service is something people actually want.
This is the type of person who comes up with a business idea and immediately buys business cards, throws up a website, and believes people will flock to it.
Rule number one for creating a successful business, getting your idea to spread, or building a following — nobody cares about you.
It’s great that you want to follow your passion, but you need to make sure what you’re offering fits a market need.
Yes, Steve Jobs had the magical ability to predict what consumer wanted before they knew it themselves. But you’re not Steve Jobs.
So where do you go to do research? Here are a few options:
- Quora — Quora is a platform where people ask questions publicly and anyone can answer them. It’s a gold mine for researching the hopes, fears, and dreams of your target audience. If you’re looking to position yourself as an expert, Quora is a great avenue to practice by answering people’s questions.
- Amazon — Go on amazon and look for books related to your subject or industry. Find the most popular books on that topic and read the reviews. Pay attention to the critical reviews — 3 stars or less. These will show you what people thought could be better about that book. You can use that knowledge to create something better to fill in the gaps left by others in your field.
- Niche Forums — Search for forums related to your field and read the comments and replies. Like Quora, forums are another resource to tap into the minds of potential customers or audience members. You can even participate in the conversation yourself to build your expertise.
The next step is front loading the work. Front loading means you do a large amount of work in the beginning that pays major dividends later on.
What do most people do? They rush. They putout inferior work that could have been improved.
Instead of writing ten blog posts that take an hour a piece. Write one blog post that takes ten hours to write. People can tell the difference between a methodical masterpiece and a cobbled together piece of shit.
You want to be word class in everything you do. It’s the only way to stand out in a sea of noise, charlatans, and average people.
Whatever you’re trying to create, spend 10x the time in the initial phases in order to achieve 100x the results.
The final step is to iterate. You’ve done your research, you’ve front loaded the work, and now it’s time to unveil your product, service, or piece of work. The caveat to this process is that it may not be as well received as you imagined it to be. That’s okay. Take the feedback you receive and use it to make your product even better.
He created a minimum viable product, also known as a beta version. He showed the product to a small group of business owners in his target market. They gave him feedback on what could be improved. He incorporated that feedback and created a new version. Again, they gave him more feedback. He went through several iterations until his product was top notch.
One of the major mistakes people make is failing to listen. They take things personally when their ideas aren’t well-received. They don’t learn from past mistakes to build a better future.
Paying attention to feedback and taking action to improve based on that feedback will make you succeed much quicker.
Find A Mentor or Hire A Coach
“Commit to an apprenticeship, in which you undergo years of humble observation, skill acquisition, and experimentation.” — Robert Greene, Mastery
Finding a mentor may be the best way to shorten your learning curve and make massive leaps in progress. If you learn from someone who has experience in your field you can avoid potential pitfalls you may have encountered had you not had a mentor guiding you.
The second option involves paying someone to teach you what they know. Many people scoff at the idea of paying for coaching, but those types of people aren’t high performers.
The best athletes in the world pay for top trainers and coaches during the off season. Your favorite singer has a vocal coach. Top leaders and CEOs of companies pay tens of thousands of dollars for consulting and coaching to take their businesses to the next level.
Ramit Sethi, personal finance, career, and behavioral change expert wrote an article about how he paid $25,000 for personal coaching. He said he would have paid 10x the price for the value he received.
Successful people invest in themselves and their future. Unsuccessful people are cynical and worried about getting “scammed,” even though the society they live in has been pulling the wool over their eyes for years.
You could spend hours on end searching for free information on the internet, but you’re actually spending something more valuable than money — your time. Smart people seek out even smarter people to help them.
The Truth About Becoming Successful Quickly
There is no “magic bullet,” solution to becoming successful. You can, however, become successful in a relatively short amount of time. When I use the word quickly I’m comparing a couple of years to a lifetime of mediocrity and lack of achievement.
3 to 5 years isn’t a long time. If you knew that your success was guaranteed if you put in 3 to 5 years of work would you follow through? I’m sure you would. It’s the uncertainty that holds you back.
The best solution to curing self-doubt and wondering “what if,” is to work. If you want to be successful twice as fast, work twice as hard and twice as smart.
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” — Earl Nightingale
You might be worried about wasting time, but ironically, if you’re not working towards something your time’s already being wasted.
You’ll start getting traction if you put your head down and work. I started writing a year ago with no experience whatsoever. I wrote more than 100 blog posts. I self-published a book that hit the #1 spot in multiple categories on Amazon and have had my work featured on large publications and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
I still have my 2 to 4 years left, but by that time no one will be able to ignore me.
The same progress can happen for you if you would only get started.
Is today your day?
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