Secret to overnight success

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Looking up at a tall building

This article is a trick, because the secret to becoming an overnight success actually involves many years of preparation.  For every story of “overnight success” the back story really involves years of preparation, dedication to craft and building a foundation for eventual success.

The problem with overnight success is if you don’t have any second act.  If you are simply a one hit wonder who rockets to the top of the charts only to become a trivia question a year later.  To sustain a long term career its much better to build a body of quality work and gradually build a following.  Then when the mainstream, network TV and People magazine types “discover” you, you’ll have a deep inventory of quality product.

You’ll also be better prepared for the spotlight that shines on celebrity.  How many stars seem to crash and burn under the pressure of their success?  Micheal Jackson with his zany Never-land world, Justin Bieber’s career killing antics or people like J.D. Salinger who simple cracked under the public spotlight and end up living like hermits.

Rather than focusing on becoming an overnight sensation, the wise artist seeks to develop a career and it all starts with laying out goals and plans to reach those goals.  Create goals for yourself on a timeline six months, one year, five years and ten years out.

Be very specific about the goals you want to achieve in the short term and make plans on how you mean to achieve these goals.  As you reach the end of each time period, reevaluate the goals and the plans.  Check off the ones you’ve achieved, pat yourself on the back and adjust your timeline, plans and goals.

Here are a couple of goal setting tips:

  1. Make sure the goal you are working for is something you really want, not just something that sounds good.
  2. A goal can not contradict any of your other goals.
  3. Write your goal in the positive instead of the negative.
  4. Write your goal out in complete detail.
  5. By all means, make sure your goal is high enough.
  6. Write down your goals.
  7. Revisit your goals in a timely manner – weekly, monthly, quarterly

Keep in mind that it takes at least three years to get any new business venture off the ground and conversely most people give up and move on to something else within the first year.  Make your goals three years out and stick with it knowing that you will be successful if you stay the course.

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