4 reasons why overnight success is overrated

‘Actually, I’m an overnight success. But it took twenty years.’  Monty Hall

Creating legacy is about organic growth

When creating legacy, it is sometimes tempting to look for shortcuts. We all hear of ‘overnight success’ stories, people who have made their mark through one massive PR stunt or something similar, and were remembered for it for ages.

I would like to warn you against ditching the slow process of creating legacy in favour of ‘overnight success’. First of all, people rarely become overnight successes, even if it looks like that from the outside sometimes. Before doing the one thing that made them a big hit seemingly overnight, many of these people have been slowly building up a loyal following, that at one point became a critical mass. In other words, they are legacy creators like the rest of us, who exited out of the Dip with a bang.

Why true ‘overnight successes’ do not create legacy

In the case of those that do become an overnight success without the very long organic growth phase, here are four reasons why you should not be too envious:

 1. Overnight successes have nothing else to keep the attention on them. So once the buzz about their success vanes, they are likely to get forgotten by the general public.

 2. Overnight successes do not have the chance to get used to the pressure gradually. They therefore have not developed good legacy habits and are likely to succumb to temptations.

 3. Overnight successes have run out of time. They now have some level of fame, but no resources to set up something durable. They are therefore less likely to develop a second hit in the short time they have.

 4. Overnight successes can’t make low-profile mistakes. They therefore make lots more costly mistakes than if they had built things up gradually and had time to experiment.

I hope this helps. Go for slow growth, not overnight success. Creating legacy is for the long-distance runner, not the short sprint. Just trust in the path and keep going.

What are your thoughts?

What’s your take on ‘overnight success’? Do you agree with this post? I’d love to ‘hear’ your thoughts in the comments section.

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at www.alexaispas.com