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No. 140 / An overnight success, 20 years later

There are two ways to get to the top of a tall mountain:

1) Learn how to climb. Train your body and mind to cope with the elements. Be committed to daily progress. Have friends who are interested in the same thing (even better, who have been there). Learn what equipment you’ll need and invest in the right tools. Don’t try to climb the tall mountain before you’re ready. Begin with smaller mountains first—earning the trust of your climbing friends and gaining confidence along the way. Don’t give up. Then climb to the top.

2) Have someone fly you to the top.

The first way is a strategy. It requires planning, persistence, and patience. It might take some time before anyone even notices what you have been doing. But when they do notice, they’ll call you an overnight success.

The second course of action is a tactic. It’s listening to the wrong people. It’s falling in love with instant results. It’s sprinting .2 miles and running out of energy only to find out that the important stuff happens at mile 26.

Tactics fade. They come and go through waves of popular opinion. There is a time and place for proper implementation of tactics, but only if they are built on the foundation of a solid strategy.

Listen to people who have been there before. Listen to your customers. Trust your vision. Stick with it. It’s going to take a while. And then, it will all finally come together.

We have been conditioned to believe that the only kind of success worth having is overnight success. Nothing worth having happens overnight. Ignore the media when they sell you on get-rich-quick tactics. Ignore the critics. Ignore the shareholders who want immediate results. Trust the process. You’re in this for the long haul.