One of the most common things we hear about businesses that make it big and have a significant impact on their industry is that they “made it overnight” – that after putting together a few people and a plan, they were suddenly a multimillion dollar success story that had risen to the top in the blink of an eye.
As business owners, we know that this is rarely ever the case; we know what it takes to take something from a simple idea and turn it into a fully functioning, well-organized and value-contributing company that’s make a consistent profit. Naturally, when we hear of businesses becoming big “overnight”, we get a little bit suspicious.
So is it true? Can a company go from an unheard of entity to a household name in a manner of days or weeks? As with most issues of this sort, there’s a wide range of diverse opinions on this, and a good deal of them are reviewed in an article at the Intuit Small Business Blog entitled The Truth About Overnight Success. It shares some viewpoints from those who think it’s possible and those who think it’s a myth as well as whether or not business owners should strive to achieve it and the pitfalls of achieving it too quickly. Overall, the article appears to focus on the idea that instant success, while not 100% myth, is not always a surefire path to lasting success, nor is it necessarily or an indication of a good product or service.
Here’s a look at one intriguing part from the article:
Instead of trying to make it big in a small amount of time, all three experts say you should spend your energy elsewhere. “Chasing overnight success is like saying your business plan is to buy lottery tickets,” [Chris] Brogan [President and CEO of Human Business Works], says. It’s a lot more about luck than strategy. As a business owner, it makes much more sense to devote your time and resources to what you can control. “Small business owners should work on pleasing clients and growing that customer base,” he says.
We can get so caught up in the idea of becoming as successful as possible as quickly as possible that we might forget the core of running our businesses: to service our clients and ensure they’re kept happy while maintaining a steady stream of leads. It may take a lot longer to achieve what we define as success, but it’s a much more surefire way of gaining a foothold once we get there.
If you’re concerned that you haven’t “made it big” overnight, give this article a read. It does a good job at making the point that even though some businesses have managed to make their way to the top in what seems like no time, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to stay there, or that what they have to offer is revolutionary. Remember that there’s still no substitution for hard work and persistence, and even though they take the greatest amount of patience, they often pay off the most.
What do you think? Do you have any examples of overnight success, either your own or someone you know? Do you believe it’s possible to get to the top and stay there extremely quickly? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!