Overnight Success

Most overnight successes are built on top of years of effort. I’m certain this is an old idea, but I’ll credit my first encounter with it to the wonderful Seth Godin.

It’s almost always a matter of exponential growth, the hockey stick suddenly tipping upwards. You won’t have heard of them when they are known by ten people, or a hundred, or a thousand, but when it’s tens or hundreds of thousands and doubling all the time, then it seems like they’ve come out of nowhere.

Getting through the early stages is the grind. It’s where you need to keep on pushing to put energy in the flywheel. For the longest time, you’ll feel little impact, just getting a few views, a couple of clients or selling something every so often.

To build to that overnight success, you need to keep pushing. Figure out what is working, what actions get you just a few more of what you want, and do more of it. To gain that learning, you’ll need to throw a lot of things out into the wind, and most of them will not stick.

That can be pretty demoralising, the ones you get wrong always feel a bit painful. When you hit this, don’t dwell on it. Look instead to what you’ve learnt, try again with that new information and keep building momentum.

Put in the effort and time, and you can become an overnight success.

Coaching Leadership

Flywheel of Change

Flywheels store up mechanical energy, and let you use it in a different way. They are big and heavy, and hard to get going. Once up and spinning, they’ll keep going with only small and regular top-ups.

If you are attempting to drive change, either personal, organisational or societal, then much like a flywheel, starting will be the hardest thing.

A great and tumultuous effort might just be enough to nudge the wheel forwards a tiny bit, but if left there it will quickly settle down to stillness once more.

One large effort is not enough. Nor will sporadic and unplanned pushes, too much will go into getting the turning started, rather then speeding it up.

The large push will be exhausting, but sometimes that’s worth doing to get going. To then drive the change to completion, use a strategy that builds momentum.

Find the repeatable efforts that you can maintain over the long run. Engage daily or weekly, make it a routine part of your schedule. Get to the point where it’s something you miss if you don’t do it. Setup some larger efforts, with time to plan before and recover after.

Change is hard, so be smart about building up that energy, and use it for good!