There is no such thing as an overnight success.

I think a lot of people, but especially entrepreneurs get so hung up on rapid growth and sales, that they miss the critical story behind every single one of these seemingly “overnight successes”. The truth is that almost all successful enterprises experience hockey stick growth — meaning progress is level or barely increasing over time, until a critical breaking point is reached where sales start pouring in and the company starts growing exponentially.

hockey-stick-graph

Unfortunately, there is no “behind the scenes” look at these businesses, so we just see the media coverage from after they are already a success, and it appears that they achieved this massive growth overnight.

Uber was nowhere and suddenly it was everywhere. Same with Facebook, Snapchat, and the popularity of food trucks.

We miss out on the months or years of effort, failure, determination, fear, calibrating, recalibrating, and frustration that marrs both successful and unsuccessful enterprises. But just because we in the public don’t see what goes on behind the scenes doesn’t mean that these struggles don’t happen.

When you aren’t locked into a single job like me, you will inevitably suffer from at least some form of analysis paralysis — that is, not being able to make a choice and stick with it because your options are really limitless. If I had to narrow it down to one thing that I learned in 2016, it would be the importance of patience. This year I jumped around from job to job, project to project, and all I succeeded in doing was frustrating myself with the pace of progress. It was only after I calmed down, picked 1 or 2 things to focus on, and started hammering away at them that I started to see results pay off.

Like relationships that grow stale and boring over time, It’s tough sometimes pushing through those periods and resisting the urge to quit — but if you can dig deep and focus on growing personally and learning as much as you can, even if you fail you will come out on the other end of your trials feeling accomplished and ready for round 2 (or 3 or 7 — wherever you happen to be).

Consistency and persistence. That’s how you get what you want. So whether 2017 is a fresh start or a continuation for you, try picking something and sticking to it. See it through to the end, even if it’s uncomfortable and difficult. 

Happy New Years Everybody! 2017 is looking good.
Eric

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