I get it. I, too, have dreamed about becoming an overnight success. Still do, in fact.
But, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to believe that NOT becoming an overnight success may be the best thing to happen to you.
To illustrate, let me start with a story.
Over twenty years ago, a freelance writer wrote a book called Simple Abundance. This book ended up catching fire. Oprah had the author on her show a few times, the book was on the New York Times bestselling list for over two years, and by the time all was said and done, the author ended up selling over 7 million copies (5 million in the US and 2 million oversees).
Fast forward to today. While you might have heard of the book Simple Abundance, you likely haven’t heard of any of the author’s other titles. You might not know that she ended up losing all the money she made from Simple Abundance, and even declared bankruptcy.
She’s far from the only one. How many singers in the 80s had a massive hit, only to sink into oblivion? It was so common we even had a name for it: One-hit wonders.
How about people who win the lottery only to lose everything they won (and more) a few years later?
What do all of these stories have in common?
In my opinion? Success happened too fast for them.
Too fast? How can that be?
You see, every time you reach a big milestone, maybe it’s breaking the 6-figure mark or quitting your job to start your business or finally publishing your book, something shifts inside you.
The bigger the milestone, the bigger the shift.
And, if we’re not emotionally ready to accept the shift, we’ll unconsciously sabotage ourselves. Hence all the one-hit wonders.
Gay Hendricks has a name for it in his book, The Big Leap. He calls it an “upper limit problem.” We all have unconscious limits to how much success or happiness or money or joy we can accept. When we get more than what we can tolerate, we do things to bring ourselves down. That’s why after a particularly close moment with our spouse, we may start a fight or after we experience a big windfall of money, an equally big expense rolls in.
It takes both time and work to raise our upper limits and expand our capacity to receive. Which is why the journey to success is just as important as the success itself. What we end up learning on that journey is what helps us mentally and emotionally accept our success when good fortune does decide to smile down on us.
Look, I get how difficult and discouraging and frustrating the process can be. Waking up every morning and taking action even when you’re not seeing results yet, and worse, not having ANY idea when or IF you’ll see results is tough.
But, here’s the thing. The discipline and perseverance you develop during that process will serve you well when success finally does comes knocking on your door.
(And yes, it WILL come — maybe not how you thought it would arrive or when, but it will come.)
(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)
If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.