Ever read a blog post that resonates with you through and through? One you keep thinking about, even after you’ve closed your browser?
If you’re working toward a big goal, don’t miss this piece from Josh Linkner on Fast Company: The Dirty Little Secret of Overnight Success. Here are the first few graphs:
Angry Birds, the incredibly popular game, was software maker Rovio's 52nd attempt. They spent eight years and nearly went bankrupt before finally creating their massive hit.
Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing websites in history, but struggled for a long time. Pinterest's CEO recently said that it had “catastrophically small numbers” in its first year after launch and that if he had listened to popular startup advice he probably would have quit.
James Dyson failed in 5,126 prototypes before perfecting his revolutionary vacuum cleaner. Groupon was put on life support and nearly shut down at one point in its meteoric rise.
When looking at the most successful people and organizations, we often imagine geniuses with a smooth journey straight to the promised land. But when you really examine nearly every success story, they are filled with crushing defeats, near-death experiences, and countless setbacks.
The post is short and succinct — and was exactly what I needed to read yesterday when my biz partner shared it on Facebook. I was having one of those days where I wondered why some writers’ online projects seem to take off so quickly, while I’ve been throwing myself into this blog for several years and haven’t quite hit 1,000 subscribers. Or why some writers can put out a manuscript that’s almost immediately swept up by a publisher, while my first book project is requiring far more patience. Why do some people just take off like the wind, while the rest of us labor?
(I’m not complaining, by the way; I see myself as lucky and making more luck every day. But I’d by lying to you if I said these thoughts didn’t go through my mind. And I don’t mind sharing that because I think they probably go through yours, too.)
Yet as this piece points out, in many cases, those people who look like they took off like the wind actually labored like the rest of us. Their success looks immediate, but it was actually gradual, with lots of little — and maybe even big — failures along the way.
Which brings Linkner to an inspiring conclusion: “So the next time you feel the sting of failure, just realize you’re likely one shot closer to hitting your target.”
Now doesn’t that make you want to go out and do something awesome today?