The Secret to Overnight Success

Written by Paul Angone I have the secret to becoming an overnight success that I am going to share with you.

Honestly, I probably should be selling you this formula for overnight success for $29.99 and a free set of steak knives (plus $69.99 shipping and handling), but just as long as you send 10% my way from your overnight financial bonanza, this success-secret is yours. (Just kidding about the 10% thing. 3-5% would be just fine).

Overnight success is like Jack and the Giant Bean Stock, one night you throw a couple magic beans in the ground and the next day you’re holding a goose that can’t help but poop golden nuggets. What could be better?

My golden goose came by the way of an article I wrote called 21 Secrets for your 20s, which became an overnight hit having now been read nearly a million times in 190 countries, and leading to a book deal for 101 Secrets for your Twenties that releases this July 1st.

And I have the patented secret on how you can do the same.

You ready?

The Secret to Becoming an Overnight Success

Overnight Success Secret: Work with such a passionate, tenacious consistency at something that you cannot NOT do that you lose all interest, anxiety, and desire of becoming an overnight success.

“It takes 20 years to become an overnight success.” Eddie Cantor

The idea of overnight success is a seductive lie. Success doesn’t happen in a night, it happens in the thousands of nights that no one will ever write a song about.

There are overnight sensations, sure. Take a crazy fall off a ledge while crushing grapes or have someone auto-tune your interview, and millions of people might come across you. Overnight phenomenon’s are an everyday thing now in the Land of the Internet.

However, just as a lottery winner ends up bankrupt in less than a year, an overnight sensation goes up quick and then falls back down at the same speed because there was no platform supporting it. An overnight sensation is like a shooting star – a brief blaze that quickly burns out.

"I worked half my life to be an overnight success, and still it took me by surprise." - Jessica Savitch

The moment you’ll be ready for success is the exact moment you stop obsessing about why you’re not more successful. 

The Secret to Overnight SuccessThe moment you’ll get your first piece of fan mail is when you stop checking the mailbox hoping to find it.

Musicians, actors, artists, writers, comedians, and entrepreneurs that we claim as an “overnight success” might have experienced some sort of tipping point moment, but they’ve been tirelessly and quietly building the base to sustain that "overnight success" their entire lives. They’ve been honing their craft, building their network, and pushing themselves way beyond the label of “successful”.

A true overnight success is someone who has carried bucket after bucket of water to fill up a well. People celebrate you the moment it all spills over, without realizing the 10,000 buckets you carried to make it happen.

As I wrote in “Your Twenties Not Going as Planned? You’re in Famous Company,” actor Morgan Freeman became an overnight success after movies like Driving Miss Daisy and Glory, well except he was nearly fifty years old and had played in countless acting roles since he was nine-years-old.

Abraham Lincoln came out of nowhere to lead the nation, well except he spent his entire twenties being defeated for political positions with striking regularity as he continued to grow as a lawyer, thinker, writer, and speaker.

I started writing my first book on a motel room floor at 22 years old.

I’m now 29 years old and come July 1st you’ll be able to read 101 Secrets for your Twenties – my first book.

It took me seven years to find overnight success.

Those seven years are strewn with hundreds of memories of running full speed, thinking I could see the finish line, thinking I’d finally made it, only to run head first into a brick wall, knocking me unconscious. Every time, it took me months and a few stiff drinks to stand back up.

I compiled 21 Secrets for your 20s on a Sunday afternoon. It took my entire twenties to learn how and what to write.

A true overnight success has simply mastered the art of staying in the game, no matter how lopsided the score. An overnight success has stayed present so that success can be a possibility, but a long time ago success stopped being the whole point.

An overnight success learned to do good work even when there was no one there to affirm it.

The greatest people who do the greatest things don’t care one lick about being called great.

Will you have the perseverance and passion to become an overnight success?

We'd love to hear from you in the comments below:

What is something that you cannot NOT do that you are striving to make an "overnight success"?


About Paul

Paul Angone is the creator of All Groan Up, a community for twentysomethings searching for self, faith, and a freaking job. Snag a free copy of his ebook 21 Secrets for your 20’s and follow him at @PaulAngone.