“Overnight success” is a cliché we all are familiar with. But in the real world most overnight successes have put in their time and you don’t even realize it. For instance, most people look at the Beatles as an overnight success. Actually their rise to the top took approximately five years, thousands of hours of practice and hundreds of live performances. To think they didn’t put in the time and sacrifice to get to the top is shortsighted and wrong.
Their first UK number 1 was in May 1963 and their first US number 1 was in January 1964, but John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met in 1957. Thereafter, Lennon asked McCartney to join the Quarrymen, who, other than Lennon, were not very good musicians. In 1958, after lots of practice and many shows, George Harrison joined the group. By 1959, only the three future Beatles remained in the band.
In 1960 they renamed themselves the Beatles. After that they went to Hamburg, Germany for a good amount of the time between August 1960 through December 1962. During that time they lived in one cramped room with a bathroom down the hall and practiced for endless hours each day, while playing clubs at night. They put in hard work and sacrificed to improve their skills. Obviously it worked for them.
You are asking yourself, “okay, but what does this mean to me?” It is this type of investment in and commitment to whatever you are doing, whether alone or in a group, that gives you the best chance to succeed in any field. I could have told you the same story about entrepreneurs, professionals, etc. from every industry, but the Beatles work because everyone thinks their success was immediate when it wasn’t, and don’t realize the time and energy they invested in themselves leading to that success.
And that is the usual route. Hard work doesn’t guaranty success, but it gives you a much better shot. So plan your strategies for your business, career, networking, marketing, whatever you are doing, regularly and think long term. Ask most successful people you know and you will get a good story about what it took to reach where they are and that they continue to try to improve, because staying on top of the mountain is as hard as reaching the summit.