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Why Overnight Success Never Is: The Truth

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


There is a myth out there that some businesses are an overnight success. You know, they suddenly become legends in their own time. A few I can think of are Periscope, Facebook, Google, and Apple. Yes. They are fantastically successful companies now, but they were tiny companies at one point. 

It took years for each of those companies to achieve anywhere near the level of success that they are at now. It took years. In fact, I am an entrepreneur with several businesses, and I will tell you that we are two years in on two of them. 

Both of those businesses are successful – for businesses that are two years old. It has taken time to learn what matters in each business, what our clients want and don’t want. We’ve had to refine our product offering, pricing, service, follow-up and more. 

I can honestly say that the first year, we were still in diapers, and crawling, learning the business, and what it was going to take to really be successful. We had to establish payroll, branding, website, blog, relationships with referral sources, learn the community, and the people in our area. We had to also build trust.

Baby with diapers - No overnight success

The first year in business is like being a baby in diapers. The second year is more like being a toddler.

The second year was more like being a toddler. We were just starting to learn to walk, after crawling the first year. As with any toddler, by the time we were getting to the end of the second year, we were also learning to run. Of course, we fall over occasionally, because that’s what happens when you’re learning to walk and run. 

Every time we fall over, we have to pick ourselves up, learn from the incident, and figure out how to go forward. Incidents are things like not following up on a phone call, or dropping calls, or having phone calls not connect at all. We have had so many issues with phones!

We had to learn that we do much better in an office. In the first year, we did about 100K in revenue. The second year was more like 220K in revenue, so we are absolutely growing, and learning to walk. It probably feels to our friends and casual observers that we just started this business, and that things are rocking and rolling along, and we are magically successful.

The reality is that it has been two years of near constant work to get the businesses to this state. As the business owner, I’ve done nearly every job in the company, from caregiver, to placement specialist, paying bills, taking out trash, and scrubbing toilets. It has involved working lots of hours to get to this point, and a tremendous amount of creativity, resilience and persistence. 

Success is about that determination and persistence to ensure the success of the business. There’s really not much accidental about it, and certainly nothing “overnight” to it.
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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley-Lynn-Gray__IMG_2025-compressorHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:



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