The Freelance Issue No. 11 // Overnight Success
Do you believe there exists anything like overnight success? Well, for my part, I don't think the so-called overnight success exists, not even close...even though this is what the world of online business owners, digital nomads, online marketers and influencers often want to sell us. Truth is, they worked really hard to get there and it took most of them quite a few years to become successful, but not many of them are so transparent about how long their journey was until they were finally an 'overnight success'. Another quote to throw in might be 'nothing worth having comes easy' - so they pretty much go hand in hand I'd say. But why is it that most people won't share what it really took to become successful? Are they afraid of competition? Maybe that is one reason, I don't know. Or maybe because the whole success story does not sound anymore as glamorous then as it should?
First of all we should stop comparison altogether and should not compare ourselves to someone who started the journey much earlier than we did and therefore apparently also is a lot more successful than we are at our current point. But of course I know how hard it is to not compare yourself with others in your industry, age or whatever lets you step into the comparison trap and freak out about yourself. That is one thing we want to get away from for sure. Just a waste of time.
First of all let's talk about what we define as success. It is different for everyone I'd say. Some people understand success as a career in the corporate world. For others success means having a big family, a nice house and owning a nice car (very German view of success by the way). For some people success means wealth and luxury. Then there are the folks who define success as freedom, not being tied to a job in the corporate world or being tied to paying down the mortgage of a house that was purchased. Success is how you define it which also gives you quite a lot of freedom. But of course that kind of success, whatever that means to you, won't come overnight. Here we are being told a big lie in the world of successful online and offline entrepreneurs, bloggers etc. And it is important to realise that in order not to see yourself as y loser if you can't make it within let's say 6 months to create an 6-figure income (just an example since this apparently is the biggest success according to some bloggers and entrepreneurs).
If you want to become successful, first of all define what success means to you. I for myself define success as whenever I can make it to work for myself independently because I established myself as an independent graphic designer who can work from any place of the world, as long as I have internet and the tools that I need for my job as a graphic designer. Not being forced anymore to walk into another company and to work there under their conditions and their rates. As soon as I don't have to do that anymore, when I am financially stable, have enough client work coming in and have the freedom to only work for myself from all over the world (without constantly worrying about finances), then I'd say I am successful. Not being tied to one place, one company, whatever gives me personal and financial freedom is what I define as success.
But of course getting there takes a lot of time, commitment, persistence and also times that are financially quite a burden. But I think it is absolutely worth it. The important thing is just to not give up. Today I was just reading a blog post by Jasmine Dowling where she also said that for about two years she pretty much gave up most of her social life, just working and slowly getting to the point where she is now. She's very honest and transparent here, admitting how much time it takes, and that is something I really appreciate when people who have made it to be successful and have reached the point in life, where they planned to be one day, are so honest with us newbies who just started out or are at the point of just taking into consideration to start out.
So the idea of an overnight success is quite far from reality in my opinion. Some people will buy into it but I certainly won't. I decided to write this blog post because so often I was at the point of just thinking to give up, feeling like a complete loser who will never make it. But then I decided not to give up and just to continue doing what I have been doing ever since I started about a year ago. One day it will pay off for sure and the success that I defined for myself will follow, but certainly not overnight. Keep that in mind when you just get started or you also reached the point of considering to give up. Don't give up, be persistent, visualise your goals and your definition of success and keep on working hard.
images via Pinterest -- all images used are for inspirational purposes only - graphic design by phylleli