Overnight success or just an illusion?

Updated: Jan 13

Not many businesses are an overnight success, if any at all, yet this is what social media leads us to believe.



Running a business and achieving success, no matter what that looks like for you, takes hard work, determination and time to build up solid foundations. These foundations will support you throughout the startup phase, and will help to propel you forward, growing and scaling your business at a rate that is aligned with your dreams and aspirations.


Some people however, have a perception that doing this is easy; seeing business owners raving about their success on social media, judging success by the number of followers on Instagram, looking at manicured social media feeds and more.


This perception can cast doubt in your mind about how you will ever reach that level of success in such a short space of time. That alone can result in procrastination, a fear of failure and in some cases, making a decision to ditch the business idea before it’s even got off the ground.


Now, I’m not saying that there are no overnight successes in the business world, after all you do hear of businesses that supposedly have seen those results, but who knows really without being in the business yourself, or at least researching a little into the background of it.



Setting yourself up for success


I strongly believe that success in business takes work. Building the solid foundations that I mention above yourself enables you to set yourself up for success from the very beginning, which will in turn support you and the business to develop.


You can start to build your audience, to learn, adapt and pivot as you build on those foundations, but the foundations themselves are the most important element.


Your foundations will make sure that whatever you do in business is done with purpose, passion and intent, and is aligned to your overall vision for the business and life that you desire. They will help you to learn when things don’t go to plan and to celebrate your success journey as you move forward.


The big influencers and highly successful business owners will have no doubt gone through a lot of work, sweat and in some cases, tears to get them to where they are right now.


They no doubt also have teams of people supporting their business from graphic designers, web designers, UX and UI experts, marketing professionals, and more. As an outsider however, you wouldn’t see all of that, you just see the finished product.


Thinking about your own business, really how often do you share the internal workings of your business, the stresses, the challenges and the frustrations?


Now I assume that this is very rarely, if at all. It’s just in our human nature to keep that type of insight to ourselves, instead opting to only share the positive news stories and successes.


This can also be seen when looking at reviews, but in reverse. The majority of people will only bother to leave a positive review if asked directly by a business owner or their staff. In most instances, reviews are only left in negative situations as we voice our displeasure of a product or service.




So with all of this, when it comes to comparing your own business performance with others, which no surprise we all do from time to time, there are a few key things to remember.

You are unique.

You’re on your own unique journey and your message and approach is unique to you.


Even if you’re selling exactly the same product or service as someone else, or target the same customer base, your customers are waiting to hear your message.


Even saying the same thing as someone else in a different way can attract a different customers. Here’s an example talking about Edam cheese:


Company A — A cheese originally introduced in the Netherlands and now sold around the world. With a semi-firm texture which is smooth and provides a light-nutty flavour, this cheese is the perfect accompaniment to cherries, peaches and apricots.


Company B— A smooth, taste of luxury that cannot be missed on a platter of rich fruits. Think apricots, peach and cherries, paired with a selection of cheeses, including our melt in the mouth Edam, your taste buds will be going into overdrive.


As you can see company A have written in very factual form whereas company B have gone for a more personal approach, targeting your senses which brings to life the product.


Personally, I’d go more for company B as it makes me think about how I would feel eating it. What about you?

You will encounter things that you didn’t expect to.

Life isn’t plain sailing and your business journey won’t be either. Sometimes your journey may take twists and turns that you didn’t expect, or you may find roadblocks that prevent you from moving forward as quickly as you’d expected to.


This doesn’t however meant that you’re not moving forward. Keep tweaking and changing things, looking at how you can approach things a little differently and you can overcome any blockers.


Each day is a new opportunity.

Each day you have a brand new opportunity to make moves forward towards where you want to be. Stay positive, go back to basics if you need to but whatever you do, keep moving forward step by step.


Keep your chin up.

Try and not get too disheartened if you’re not currently where you want to be.


Things may not be where you want them to be but remember that you wouldn’t have got as far as you have if you hadn’t have taken steps to move forward.


Be patient and plan out effectively where you want to be and how you’re going to get there and you will start to see progress happen.


Looking at things from different perspectives is going to help guide you in a direction which is unique to your dreams and your desires for your business.