Is there such a thing as an overnight success? To be honest, I don’t think there is. It may appear that way but usually, there’s a lot more to it.

I thought about this topic as I received an Audible (1) newsletter saying that they were 14 years old. I started using Audible just a couple of years ago so was surprised to see that it had been going for so long. It made me wonder how old some of the other famous companies we use are; Google is 20 years old, Apple 43 years, Uber 10 years old, Netflix….21 years old.

People often become disillusioned when they see others seemingly be successful in a short space of time. But what they don’t see is what it has taken to get there.  It’s usually involved some pivots (2), some disappointments, effort and long hours. We love reading about the success stories but just think about the many thousands that don’t make it. 

I particularly like how Gary Vaynerchuk put it (3). He hates it when people said he got lucky. He said he’s not lucky and that he worked. He worked every weekend and holiday since he was 15 years old. 

So if you think you’re looking at an overnight success, just think about what it has taken for them to get there. It is their path with all their ups and downs and you are on your own path – keep going.


  1. Audible 
  2. Pivot definition– structured course correction to test a new hypothesis in a product, business model and engine of growth (from Lean Startup by Eric Ries)
  3. https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/how-to-be-an-overnight-success/