The Truth About Creating Overnight Success

Originally Published in ForbesAshley Stahl

Running sports. Man runner and red tape

The clients who make my life easy are the ones willing to put hard work into their job search, just needing some direction and guidance. The tough ones are those who expect to find their dream job and triple their salary with little to no effort.

Fortunately, I see more of the former than the latter—and I’m no wizard. Unfortunately, we do live in a society that is so obsessed with instant gratification that our focus is shifting away from hard work. What is up with this whole image of success being quick and easy? I’ve helped tons of clients increase their salaries, land their dream jobs, and jump-start their careers, but not a single one of them succeeded without putting in the work I challenged them to do.

Hard work is so underrated these days. There are no shortcuts for genuine success, because here’s the reality: The image of success being quick and easy is an illusion. “Get rich quick” schemes lure people in because they seem so appealing, but the only people making money off them are the crooks behind them.

And as someone who sells programs online with integrity, I can tell you the average consumer has their guard up; they’re tired of being scammed and I get it.

Take a look around at the people in your life. Of those you consider to be “successful,” did any of them achieve success because it fell out of the sky into their laps? Or because they clicked on a Facebook FB -0.25% ad and became a billionaire overnight? Doubtful.

Want harder proof than that? How about this: Studies show that intelligence and talent do matter when it comes to success, but hard work and grit are just as important, if not more so. Another study demonstrates that practice and hard work at basically any human endeavor will lead to constant improvement and, eventually, if you stick with it, success.

It’s simple math… Input creates output.

Sure, you can probably job-hop and get a raise—in fact, I recommend that strategy to many clients depending on their situation. (Sorry employers, I’m all for the employee.) And yes, sometimes mega promotions come along, and they can change the course of your life.

But what I’m talking about is entitlement. Expecting something without having to put in much (or any) effort. Entitlement won’t lead you to the path of success. To the contrary, it can give you a skewed perception of reality that will actually impede your ability to succeed.

So what does all this mean? It means that if you’re willing to go to lengths that others simply are not, you have your edge over them. Guaranteed. It levels the playing field and enables anyone who is willing to work their butt off to achieve success. Einstein got it right when he said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

When I started my business, I knew it would be hard. I put blood, sweat, and tears into building it into a success, to the point that I burnt out and had a full-blown meltdown. And no, I don’t recommend working yourself into a meltdown.

But then I took a step back, regrouped, and learned to delegate and prioritize. It was worth every ounce of effort. All that hard work makes it so much more fulfilling. Without all those hours of failure, tears, debt, and worry, I wouldn’t fully be able to experience the hours of success and joy in the same way.

So get to work. Start doing instead of just dreaming. Figure out where you want to be, develop a plan to get there, and get to work.

And check your ego at the door while you’re at it.

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