You are asking the million-dollar question. All the blood, sweat, tears, doubts, and tons of time and money—and for what? It took me 13 years to become “an overnight success” but when I finally did, the rewards were extraordinary. The popular TV show Shark Tank gives entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their business ideas, and one of the sharks said it generally takes 10 to 15 years to turn the corner! In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 Hour Rule, proposing it takes 10,000 hours of practice before one can master a task. For most of us, it’s more realistic to expect to spend 7-10 years achieving a level of mastery.
Look at Apple. It took Steve Jobs two decades to become an overnight dot-com billionaire. Established in Cupertino, California in 1976, Apple really didn’t get on the map until the advent of the Macintosh in 1984, eight years later. Even then, it struggled through the 80’s and 90’s, until the advent of the iMac and other consumer products.
Same with Angry Birds. Rovio Entertainment created the hit video game, but developed several other games for 8 years before they hit it big with Angry Birds. In most cases, the years are spent fine-tuning, listening, and adjusting a business until it’s just right.
People I know who became successful say the same thing: The odds were stacked against them and it was hard work. Doing something new is hard as is creating something out of nothing. Rejection, fear, financial worries—you name it; this is not a pursuit for the softhearted. As for me, I love being a career coach and entrepreneur. I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I do: turning my dreams—and those of my clients—into successful businesses. I think it helps that I’m German because tough love and high expectations seem to be in my DNA.
Now the question is: are you ready to dedicate yourself to a certain role or idea for years? That is the price of success but the secret is to do something that you’re passionate about.
And look at your business like it’s a newborn. Is it growing? What does it need now? Has it outgrown its current environment, what else does it need?
What Successful People Share
- They believe in themselves, no matter what
- They never give up
- They keep growing little by little until their ship comes in
- They have doubts, questions, down days and are broke for a while, but they keep going
- They are willing to work hard, for years, if that’s what it takes
Right now, think about why you wanted to start your business in the first place and get back to that feeling. Find the magic again in what you do—here’s how. And remember there are good days and bad days. And that’s ok. Circumstances don’t define you – you define your circumstances. Success and forward motion is hard work and only those with the most determination will succeed. Be that person. Always return to being that person.