I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but amidst all the “get rich quick” schemes and celebs who appear to blow up with one mediocre hit, I really thought this was worth addressing.
The inspired little child in all of us thinks it’s still possible to decide what we want to do on Monday, start working on Tuesday and have massive success by Wednesday. Unfortunately, my friends…this simply isn’t true. Even apparent “overnight” successes have usually put in YEARS (sometimes decades) of work before you even became aware of their existence.
There still IS a way to success…the pathway is just slightly longer (and more convoluted).
One of my favorite writers, Cal Newport, discusses the phenomenon of the Big Break myth here:
J.D. Roth of the popular Get Rich Slowly blog recalls a conversation he had with a friend who had just started his own web site. As J.D. recalls, after the friend posted an introductory article he asked: “Can you point people to the site?”
“Not yet,” J. D. replied. “You don’t have any content.”
Instead of writing, the friend tweaked the layout and introduced advertisements. Several weeks passed.
“Nobody’s coming to my site,” the friend complained. “Not a single person has clicked on an ad.”
“That’s because there’s nothing there…you need to focus on content,” J.D. replied.
The friend posted a new article, then let the site lay fallow for another month. Finally, he wrote J.D. again, this time pleading: “Can’t you please point people to my site?”
“Maybe in a couple months,” J.D. replied. “Maybe once you have some content.”
What are your thoughts on big breaks and consistency over time? Leave me a comment or shoot me an email.