Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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“If they can all get results that fast — what the heck is MY problem?”

“Jeez, I’m such a loser. Look at how much they accomplished in such a short time — and they’re half my age!”

“I might as well give up because, at this pace, I’m never gonna get there…”

If you want to be an overnight success, you need to be an everyday hustler. Click To Tweet

Be honest now.

Have YOU ever had these thoughts when you’ve heard about someone else’s fast success?

Unless you’re Buddha, Jesus or any other enlightened soul, the answer is likely yes.

Because it seems like everywhere you turn these days there’s a small army of people who’ve snagged a fast pass to fame and fortune.

Understandably, it can leave the rest of us feeling like failures — until you really stop to investigate the truth about overnight success.

On today’s new episode of MarieTV you’ll learn:

  • My take on whether or not these zero to hero stories are actually true (because I’ve heard and seen a lot of them)
  • The inconvenient media truth about story spinning you may not have considered
  • Why overnight success can actually be the worst thing that can happen to you!

So here are my two questions for you.

1. Have YOU had overnight (or relatively fast) success in any endeavor? What was that experience like for you?

2. Do you personally know anyone who truly had a meteoric rise to success? What universal lessons, if any, did you take away from witnessing it?

Please leave a comment below with your answers.

As always — thank you in advance for reading, watching and sharing!

I’m continuously fascinated with and in awe of your shares and the rich conversations that unfold each week.


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  1. Thank u, thank u, thank u for this video…and I haven’t even watched it yet…

    • This is so timely. It’s a constant challenge. Logically and spiritually, I know that continued (and directed) effort is necessary along any meaningful pathway. Then, every so often, that human BS gets in the way and starts looking at the “success stories” and anxiety settles upon me.
      Thank you for the reminder that every thing is not as it seems and that too much too fast can be harmful. As I always say, when you’re running towards the finish line, looking left and right only slows you down…not that we ever really reach a “finish” 😉

      • Emilia, I agree with you TOTALLY! Its so true that you start pushing forward and seeing what others are doing sometimes makes you feel like you’re not doing enough or you can’t make it because “maybe” you don’t have what it takes. So glad that Marie created this video. We just have to believe, trust God to see us through and keep moving our feet towards our goals!

        • Completely, Summer. Moving forward in faith. 🙂

          • I love what you wrote Emelia!! Looking to either side will waste energy and time. We all battle the inner voice enough without looking for the megaphone that brings that voice up a notch.

      • Emelia, I totally hear you! Consciously, I know the truth. But my consumer-happy monkey brain always gets tempted to believe the next success story it stumbles upon. It leads to laziness, longing, and a sad me. I’m much better off when I remind myself of the truth – that overnight successes always come on a foundation of hard work, and that the best way to achieve success is to work your buns off in the direction your inner wisdom takes you to. But before that kicks in, the monkey brain always longs for that get-it-all-really-fast story.

        • Good ol’ monkey brain…

        • As someone who is just getting their business up and running, it can be so intimidating to hear of others who seemed to make it all happen over night. I love hearing success stories but I also really value hearing the truth. I have to constantly remind myself that slow and steady wins the race 🙂 and a good foundation and tons of hard work!

          • Remember, that things seemingly appear overnight but they’re often years (and many tears) in the making!

          • Great insight Amanda. And yes it is good to have a healthy diet of the successes, plus the reality. I like the term ‘realistic optimist’ as a reminder too. All the best with the new business and enjoy the ride (and adventure).

      • Hey Marie, I loved this video. This is such a great topic. I started my business over three years ago and I am just starting to see it becoming successful. It has been a lot of hard work developing my company brand, policy, procedures, inventory sources etc., I agree that “slow and steady wins the race”. I feel that I am more prepared to handle customer support, inventory and marketing because I really took the time develop my companies processes. The result being my company offers superior customer support. It is as if, it has finally become an intinity of it’s own which runs smoothly. Oh I still have to work hard, but it has transitioned into adding new layers of marketing allowing me to really focus on branding and not so much the day in day out processes.

        Thanks Marie, I love watching all the inspirational advice you provide.

        Debra Jauregui

        • Debra, I love your biz name!! So cute!

          • Hi Tonya. Tried to reply to you up top but for some reason the “reply” button was absent. Anyway…so true about battling that inner voice. It’s challenging enough without voluntarily bringing in the external pressures.

      • Emelia – So true! “When you’re running towards the finish line, looking left and right only slow you down.”

        It’s really easy to get discouraged when you see the progress and success of others, especially with all the overnight success stories. At the end of the day and when I’m feeling discouraged I pause and reflect on where I’m at, what I’ve been doing, and where I’m headed. Taking some time to acknowledge and congratulate myself for the progress I’m making really helps to keep me on track, focused and happy with my business

        • Good idea, Carolyn. Celebrating every step of the way. 🙂

        • Such an important point Carolyn. You’ve got to celebrate your progress and successes no matter how small.

          Mike Dooley has a great quote that says something like, “The one thing all famous authors, athletes and singers have in common is that they were none of these things when they started.”

          Everyone who is great was a beginner who didn’t give up.

      • Emelia, I hear you. Just yesterday I came across yet another marketer who claims to turn you into a success story and within a few months. They are advising you to raise your prices to attract ‘high quality’ clients – like from $50 or $500 to $5000 or $10,000. Yup, you read that right. And of course, their own prices reflect their own ‘expertise’. This video is what I needed, for sure. Thanks, Marie!

        • We’re bombarded with people who “have the answers” to our success. Raising prices is appropriate in certain circumstances, but some of these people prescribe the same remedies to people in very different situations. We have to be extremely discerning about the advice we accept…especially when it’s packaged so dramatically. Thanks for your reply, Marya. 🙂

        • Oh man! I increased my own prices quite rapidly in my first three years but I had to “anchor” each pay increase in the real world – what I felt confident and qualified to charge.

          You HAVE to start where you are. If you don’t, you’re going to energetically FREAK out!

      • Joanee

        I am thankful for this video about the reality of success. YES reality, people want to be like the successful person or think the successful person doesn’t deserve their success but don’t know what folk do research wise and working another job even to stay financially afloat. I am talking about myself; the biggest point I am making is dealing with my inner stuff means my success is for keeps and I rid myself of it when or if I choose and not a whirlwind takes it because I have laid insufficient foundations.

    • Emelia…. I totally agree! Marie, thanks for addressing this topic. Although inspirational, you can really start to develop a complex when you hear stories about others who rise to fame in a very short period. But you’ve previously advised on this idea of the “competition hangover”…. and I loved your advice then! Concentrate your energy on doing the best you can and really giving from your heart. We wall have something unique we bring to the table… so have faith in that.

  2. Loved that you mentioned it’s boring, Marie! Because some days, it certainly can be ;-). Thanks for sharing these tips! I agree there are those breakthru moments for some people, but that they require the foundation first.

    • Not only is it boring, it’s grueling, and often we don’t get ANY credit for all the hustle unless we’ve “made it big”. Anyone who’s trying to help/serve millions of people needs to recognize that there’s a lot of “grunt work” involved LONG before the flashy cars and fancy parties with big wigs.

      • Haha, love the reference to the “grunt work” Lisa! It can often look glamorous when you’re peering through someone else’s window but the nuts and bolts are the same…. and they are work, work and more work!
        p.s. What parties are you talking about? 😉

    • Yes indeed, and building that foundation is where you learn your craft, develop your own perspective, style or niche and gain your credibility and integrity – so is worth the work – and it always beats working for someone else (which has boring bits plus a lack of control)!

      • You’re right on Kathryn! It makes a huge difference when you’re hustling and putting in long hours for something that is yours and that you truly believe in, rather than working for somebody else.

        With that said, It can definitely be challenging in the beginning financially, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with keeping your “side-gig” until you know you can at least pay your bills. Nothing trumps creativity more than when you’re worried about whether or not you can pay your rent!

        • I absolutely agree, Elaine! It’s wonderful to not have to work for someone else, but sometimes that’s just what you have to do until you get your own gig running. Creativity works much better when you’re not crying over where the next bit of food will come from.

          • Migdalia

            Reading all these comments have helped me even more than the videos. Thanks for sharing!

        • I absolutely agree, Elaine. Money worries can really get you down. Then as things go well, it can be equally difficult to leave the “security” of the side-gig. Burning the ships so you can keep plowing ahead is a major (scary) turning point that leads to seemingly overnight success.

        • Well said!

          I agree, it can be seriously detrimental to your fledging business when you put so much pressure on yourself to make money.

          I thought it would be motivating but it had the opposite effect!

      • Yes, I think this was one of the biggest takeaways from this video! Attaining success over time allows one to learn valuable skills and lessons that will serve you well when your business does expand. This reminds me of a quote in one of my favorite books by Ernie Zelinski ‘101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting’: “Pray that success will not come any faster than you can endure it.” – Elbert Hubbard
        “Success takes staying power and longevity. The fact that success takes so long is a good thing, however. Most people can’t handle success especially if it comes too quickly.”

    • mmm. I loved the episode… but it can and should be fun! There’s different types of fun and they are a great motivation drive!

      • Kathryn

        Hey Maria,

        Thanks for sharing your positive spin on completing hard work to get to the ultimate goal of success. I think you pointed out two really imporatnt things which where
        *Work should be fun because it will keep you motivated
        *Always keep the long term goal in mind

        Thank you again!

      • Maria, I was just thinking this same thing as I was reading down the posts!! Not that fun happens every minute as you build your empire or as you claw your way through a “lesson” but overall when you look back on the business you built, if you don’t truly feel you had fun doing it then you are fighting for the wrong cause!

    • It’s so comforting to hear from you ladies that everyday operations are boring. I started thinking what if it’s not ok to feel that way when you work on something you love and believe in.

      • Joanee

        It’s true it is good to hear that the day-to-day stuff can be and is boring at times; these comments make me feel normal and that it’s OK to feel these feelings as they truly pass. And to question what is going on underneath these feelings sometimes, and even more, surrender these feelings to higher self and trust that universal source of infinite wisdom helps transforms these feelings to get us through each day!

    • I also resonated with the foundation comment. As a life coach myself, I preach preach preach foundation building and aligning yourself with positive habits to prepare. And the same applies to business. Even if not literally building a foundation, we have often been preparing for this journey every single year prior to the one we are living.

    • Yep – the every day hustle CAN be boring, but for most of us, we’d rather be doing that than working for someone else!

      I love how Marie says it takes time, because OMG – it really does!

  3. Because it LOOKS like overnight success doesn’t mean it is…
    There’s a lot of work that goes on backstage and we tend to over look all the “hard” work.

    It’s important not to feel discouraged when we look at another’s “meteoric rise to success” (it’s most likely an illusion) and instead focus on our own playful, pleasurable journey to success.

    • Totally agree – and even the work that’s not directly related to your project now will all have been threads gently weaving you to your destination over time.

    • You are EXACTLY right!! There is always a back story that a lot of people never really see.

      I intend to be an “overnight success”. People may not know me now, but when they do, (and they will), they may think that I went viral, when in actuality I’ve been preparing and working my ass off for it all of my life.

      Every single thing that we’ve all learned from life experience, every class we took, every tough situation we’ve faced, and every job that we’ve done will lead “overnight successes” to success. That’s a journey that was years in the making! But isn’t that what makes success so sweet??

    • YES! I remember reading the story of Angry Birds one time and realizing they were barely making profits for, oh, I don’t know, 5-7 years? Nothing happens without the work. I think Marie said this earlier, don’t compare your step 1 to someone else’s step 20. You never know what they did before, and what kind of relatable experience they have from their life before the “great success”.

      • J

        Love it Laura!!! Great Advice!!! : )

    • Not only do we overlook other people’s hard work, we often downplay the hard work that we endured! I find that I do that a lot with the success of my own business. Thanks Marie and Caroline for the reminder to emphasize how hard it was sometimes!

  4. A great example that I use with my clients is Steven Tyler. He put about 10 years of work in before catching a break. “Dream On” was written as a teenager, and is almost 50 years old, but Steven spent years at the feet of his Julliard-trained Dad (literally) listening to him play piano, and learning himself.

    What is it that they say? Luck is where opportunity and preparation meet. The 10,000 hours rule really does apply. If you’re not willing to put MANY hours of deliberate practice into your work – why bother?

  5. This is SO good.. and SO needed.

    In fact I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit as I know pp get discouraged.

    I’m actually starting a new section on my blog called the “Grand Blogger Showcase” where I’m featuring bloggers who are making $1000 (or more) per month.

    It should be super it’ll give an inside look into how bloggers are making their money with different niches!

    Hey, if anyone is interested in being featured (FREE).. go to:

    ~darlene 🙂

    • Sounds like a great idea Darlene … I love to peek behind the scenes of “how they do it”! I’ve thoroughly loved some of the contributor posts on my site that share top tips, as well as how they manage to squeeze in a lunch-break! 😉

    • I love that idea, Darlene! Can’t wait to take a peak when you start it.

  6. My favourite vid of yours Marie was the one that showed that your huge success has been the result of grit and determination. This one:

    It’s a great reminder to my inner perfectionist to keep putting my work out there and evolve it over time…

    While the shiny penny of overnight success definitely appeals, I know I’ve felt most rewarded when I’ve seen the fruits of my non-overnight labour!! Slow and steady wins the race…!

  7. So true that there is almost no such thing as an overnight success. Even when it appears like there is, what you don’t see is all the years of work and gaining skills that goes into making that person what they are. Even in these days of instant communication and youtube there may be fluke overnight sensations, but that’s not the same as a business success. So there are no shortcuts but the one thing I’m sure of is the sooner you start the sooner you’re be a success.

    • So when my new program is a huge success, people will think I’m an overnight success. What they wont know about is the year I’ve spent developing and creating the products and writing the book, or the hundreds of books I’ve read over the years, or the 20 years of working in education and training learning to put across complex ideas in simple ways, or the research and writing skills developed while getting my first class degree and further honed with my masters, or the people skills in managing teams over the years and so on and so forth. I could go on but I think you’ve got the idea!

  8. This is so timely. It’s a constant challenge. Logically and spiritually, I know that continued (and directed) effort is necessary along any meaningful pathway. Then, every so often, that human BS gets in the way and starts looking at the “success stories” and anxiety settles upon me.

    Thank you for the reminder that every thing is not as it seems and that too much too fast can be harmful. As I always say, when you’re running towards the finish line, looking left and right only slows you down…not that we ever really reach a “finish” 😉

  9. Just thought I’d add a fave quote that’s so relevant to this:
    “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu

  10. Great Q and awesome A! I just started my business this year and knew that monetizing it would be difficult (but I’m up to the challenge!).

    So I saved like a little squirrel to make sure I had enough savings to back me up for a FULL YEAR!!! I’m glad I did because this being-your-own-boss thing is hard work, takes a lot of time and sometimes the boss can be a jerk…did I just say that?!?!?!?!

    I just took a contract job for some extra income and still work my business by getting up at 5:00 am…I’m tired, but so committed that it’s worth it to keep my fledgling alive while the contract is in progress.

    Can’t wait to get back on the slow-growth road full time again!

    • I hear you Ree – wow, 5 am! That’s some commitment right there. I personally have a full-time job and running Link to Yourself on the side. It’s not easy at all, every single evening is dedicated to that and many weekends. But it’s going to be worth it. Applauding you for doing that! Wow.

  11. Hey Marie, great vid today – probably one of your better messages in a while because just about EVERYONE can benefit/relate. You offer hope, a path, and re-energize us to keep at it and never give up. It is all about the journey, isn’t it! Thanks.

  12. My life is just now coming together in all spheres – I’m writing, teaching, and taking positions on committees that all focus on purposeful work and living. This has been my passion for about fifteen years, but when I first formed an interest in the topic, it was horribly out-of-touch with the norms of psychology (my field). Guess what? The field caught up. Now it seems like I’m in the right place at the right time, but I was talking/thinking about all of this WAY before it was popular!

  13. The classic Picasso story sums it up best, Marie.

    Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.

    “It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”

    So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

    “It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”
    “Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.

    “B-b-but, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”

    To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”

  14. This has been my favourite MarieTV of recent months because I feel like everyone starting an online business these days has swallowed the blue pill so-to-speak and thinks they’ll be rocking with money rolling in the door in a few short months. It’s about time we had more straight-talkin’ from online business leaders like you! One of the first things I do when I work with clients is try to set their expectations – it’s not always what they want to hear, but it’s REALITY. Foundations take time to build. And it can actually be a really rewarding process if you take the time to be present for it and lean in to all that you can learn instead of obsessing about the future of desired wealth and fame.

    • I agree with Heather and I also want to add that sometimes it is not just the aspiring business owner having unrealistic expectations, it’s also his friends and family. They expect that success should come quickly, otherwise why does their friend work so hard without any return?

      There are so many skills to master to get online success, skills that at first appear unrelated to one’s work: from networking to marketing to pitching the media. Yet you cannot avoid learning those skills if you truly want success!

      • Maria – I agree. I’ve had more challenges with family questioning my progress and practices then my own inner critic. They see the media spun overnight success stories too and don’t understand why my business isn’t moving as fast as that. They don’t understand or are aware of all the work and time it takes to become a real success. Having a clear marketing plan, believing in myself, and understanding the steps it takes to build a strong foundation and pathway to success helps to keep me on track. 🙂

    • I am also in a space where the little blue pill syndrome is swallowing me up. I find it difficult to trudge through the facade’s that people have online. It’s easy to be fake.

  15. Marie, I’m so passionate about this subject, I’m writing a book about it!

    I love that you told the story behind the hype. So true! I’d add that achievement does NOT equal success, at least not for the enlightened! When we talk about success, so often we focus on those measurables: money made, followers gained, number of TED talks delivered!

    Those are great, but if you talk to many of the “successful,” many will admit that the feelings of success lag far behind the picture of success. Sometimes the two never meet up. So I tell my clients to define success on their own terms, and to align their life and work to that definition. When that happens, you set the stage not only for making those measurables, but feeling great about them too.

    So I like to say you really can be an overnight success–in your own heart and mind. What comes after that, and the speed at which it’s delivered, is just icing on the cake.

    • Love this, Jen. So true that outside measures of success don’t always equal an internal FEELING of success. I’ve seen it with super-successful entrepreneur friends and can definitely see it creeping into my own experience on occasion.

      Thanks so much for this, Marie…especially the reminder that some days can be a total bore as you’re building your “overnight success.” I really needed to hear every word of this video today.

      And thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts here. Not feeling so alone anymore. 🙂

      Much love,


      • Thanks, Lara. Having been one of those classic over achievers where the picture of success doesn’t match the inside feelings, I really do speak from experience! LOL. And it’s important to know that I’m not talking about impostor syndrome. It’s not that I didn’t credit myself for my successes, it’s that I wasn’t pursuing a success that was meaningful to me. And I think new entrepreneurs are especially in danger of that (again, from experience!). 🙂

    • Jen, can’t wait for your book to come out. It will be a breath of fresh air for sure ..

  16. Thank you so much for this advice. I just keep on truckin’ and don’t ever give up. But I have to thank you Marie, because you got me really clear on my main focus in my business and that has helped a lot. Once I got clear, I found my business really propelled forward! Keep doing what you’re doing. You rock!

  17. I actually did have an “overnight” success. I started a box company (similar to Birchbox) for handmade/small business goods. I really only meant it as a hobby, and was only planning on selling 10-25 boxes a month. Within two months it seemed like everyone heard about it, and on the third month the rush to grab a box (I didn’t do subscriptions) crashed the website and resulted in tons of back orders because the shopping cart couldn’t keep up with the inventory.
    It was a nightmare. I had to rush to get replacement items and create boxes to fill the back orders, customers were furious, and I was stressed to the point of tears. It was just me running the business, so I had to deal with everything (while also keeping up with my web design business, which was my full-time job).
    I ended up growing the company to the point where I was curating/packing/mailing 100 boxes a month while running the website, social media, and customer service. I recently sold the company because it just got to be too much!

    Now, even though this business was an “overnight success” it was a ton of stress and work that I wasn’t prepared for, and I did have years of experience managing websites, running an online consignment store, and a network of artists in the handmade community. I just didn’t anticipate word spreading so rapidly!

    It was a great learning experience, but I think I’ll pass on having any similar “success” stories. =]

    • Thanks for sharing, Erin. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

    • Thanks for sharing your journey Erin! After years of struggles I’ve had a few lucky breaks that make me realize how success is difficult to handle.

    • Wow what a good example of how overnight success can really stress you to the point of no return! Thanks for your courage in sharing!

  18. I particularly enjoyed this week’s episode, Marie.

    In fact, I think you should consider expanding it out into a bonus content video for B-School. It’d be nice to hear a handful of stories about the TRUTH behind various people’s success. Yes! It can be ‘pain-staking, tedious and boring’ – just like you said. Thank you!

    I’ll be spreading this one around on social media. Love your work, as always.

  19. Thanks Marie. I have been thinking about doing a seminar and recruiting a small “beta” group for my first online course and this video convinced me. My biggest fear is that this will be overwhelming when it’s my first experience and haven’t had a chance to iron out the kinks yet. Great “kick in the butt.” You are awesomeness personified!

  20. david

    Great message.Marie and hey, you were having a great hair day!!

  21. Yes! I think it’s fascinating to hear about the backstory of everyone who “becomes an overnight success”… and speaking of which, why is it always over night? We can’t see them turn into a success during the day? Oh, the English language amuses me.

    It’s so true that when you see someone hit six figures or make a big splash, what you see on the outside of their business is not the whole story. The inside of their business can look quite different, either they aren’t keeping that whole six figures, they have been working really hard for 5 years to get there, etc.

    I’m all for thinking big and living in a world of possibility, but I also think it’s important not to compare the inside of our businesses with the outside of someone else’s business.

    • Ha! Love it. 🙂 “Overnight success” – it’s like finding a shiny new present on Christmas morning, when all the magic happened under cover of darkness. Imagine coming downstairs to a sweet new, thriving business under the tree! Thank you, Santa of Business!

      • Sarah, you are hilarious. Is that something I can put on my Christmas wish list?

        • You and me both, Laura! 😀 It’ll be the only thing on my list this year!

    • Kristina Brzezinski

      Nathalie, I love your last statement, “It’s important not to compare the inside of our businesses with the outside of someone else’s business.” So true!

  22. I SO needed to hear this today. I’m only a few months into my business and try to stay positive, but every once in a while those sneaky gremlins of “why don’t you have more clients” and “is this really going to work” sneak in. I have to remember than for just starting my business three months ago, I’m doing pretty damn good. And I’m flying to Paris to work there for two weeks, because I can – something I thought was years away from happening (and didn’t used to think was possible).

  23. Hi Marie – Thank you. Such a timely video!

    I’ve never had overnight success with anything – I’ve always worked very hard for everything, and such is the case in my new entrepreneurial venture, my clothing line for women. I feel like every sale is a hustle. I’ve faced so much rejection but also so much acceptance at the same time. And yes, most of my days are filled with the ‘boring’ stuff (shipping packages, writing content, updating websites, pitching). I spend about 2% of my time actually designing. Some days it’s easier than others. I’ve been at it for 8 months and I wonder when I’ll have my “Toms shoes” moment.. and dream of some celebrity picking up my designs and tweeting them out, but at the same time, I have to live in realityville is keep hustling to pay the bills and chase my dreams.

    I have witnessed several others have meteoric rise to success – mainly tech start ups. One of the biggest challenges with my business is cash flow, and securing funding. However, for tech start-ups, it’s much easier to get as there are incubators popping up everywhere! I’ve seen tech businesses with almost zero revenue get millions in funding ‘on a hunch’.

    Thank you for continuing to be a cheerleader for Entrepreneurs! I love your videos!

    • OMG KRISTI !!!

      i know exactly what you are talking about . i am in the same line of business and cash flow and funding are the main challenges of this type of business. If you are doing wholesale, try to do deliver every month to get steady cash flow and you can also do pop up sales to help with that !!!
      I feel that every sale is a hustle too !!!
      When i read stories like Alexander Wang , where they say that he didnt go to fashion school, and in a year he went from zero to a rock star , you can easily self doubt yourself. But then when you read more of the backstory then you learn that he did work as an intern with some designers , that he selt thought himself since his teenager years, that he connected with key influencers in the industry, that his parents had a manufacturing business in taiwan and his sister in law, his business parter , has money and an accounting degree, then you are like…. i understand now !!!

      Fashion techs are the one making the money , certainly because they easily have huge funding but i believe that with steady hard work within three years , a regular fashion start up should see the light of day, the hardest part is to not give up !!!

      keep it up

  24. Thanks again Marie for your awesome A. I started feeling like a failure listening all these amazing stories for overnight success around me and sometimes I even thing to give up everything I made, with lots of work.

    You inspired me and you gave me the strength to continue. Thanks again!!!

  25. Yes! YES! I think this is maybe the #1 issue new entrepreneurs struggle with. Especially those of us who are in B-School. The B-School Facebook group, although awesome, can sometimes be discouraging. It’s a great place for people to share about their success, but it can remind us newbies how far we have to go.

    I think Marie said it best (I’m not sure where or when) when she said: “Don’t compare someone else’s highlight reel to your behind-the-scenes.”

    Also, I need to remind myself to not compare someone else’s middle to my beginning. It’s all a process and I’m excited and grateful to be doing what I do.

  26. Rami Kim

    Hi Marie,
    Your Q&A Tuesday has become my weekly ritual!

    I can’t wait to join your B-School and want to plan my next quarter business activities and budget accordingly.

    Could you give me an indication when a registration opens up again?

  27. Great discussion about this Marie!

    I’m about 8 months into my business and it has evolved massively. However, it is discouraging seeing and hearing of people who I simply assume started earning 6 figures overnight in their business. I compare myself to them and wonder if I’m doing something wrong. Usually, from a little more investigation I find that they started out exactly like me! Plugging away day to day and slowly working on gaining clients and exposure.


  28. Marie! Thanks for the little reminder we all need.

    I have had ‘overnight’ success in one area – public speaking. It took SEVEN months of intense training, development, and many failures, and I still practice all the time.

    And, there hasn’t been any media acknowledgement or hype – I call it a success because I feel different when I speak and my audience does, too!

    What I’ve taken away from true meteoric success is this: It takes a LOT of hustle. More than I’m willing to commit – constantly being on facebook to check messages and comments.

    That’s just not part of my business model and in fact I suggest to clients that they NOT do anything they can’t keep up long-term.

    Lovin’ that dress… we need a MarieTV on video fashion!

  29. Finally… someone is telling it like it is.

    While I have not been that overnight success story… I have not expected it either! I have seen those people come and go too many times to think that overnight success is the norm.

    Thanks Marie for your candid look at the real truth about overnight success.

  30. Call out: I am NOT a Belieber … but when I’m struggling with my picture book series take-over of the literary world … I remind myself of the behind the scenes show I saw a long time ago.

    Probably we all think of Bieber as an overnight success. It DID happen fast. But, the show mentioned how he did a tour across the US stopping and every possible radio station (all of which had never heard of him.) At these stops, he’d sing his lil heart out. One by one he basically won over these stations. Later, I’m sure that helped drive their enthusiasm to share his songs on the air.

    So yeah, his success was fast, but when I feel like whining, I have to ask myself, “am I doing the equivalent of singing my lil heart out in front of the folks who’ve never heard of me and might either applaud or laugh?”

  31. To answer your questions:
    1. No
    2. No

    When I think of overnight success (without the journey), reminds me of a quote about shortcuts – “The problem with shortcuts is that you arrive prematurely and unprepared”. Alfred Edmonds, Jr (Black Enterprise Magazine). I have always known that a slow and steady organic growth was far more healthy for a company. Instant success is a recipe for painful quick growth.

  32. The best overnight success I had was the day I got married.

  33. Thank you, Marie ! some great reminders in this video… it is hard to be consistent and disciplined at building my business when progress seems to be slow…I have to remind myself that even slow progress is PROGRESS ! On a similar vein , I thought I’d share one of my favourite quotes from Jim Rohn…”We’ve all heard the expression, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Well, I’ve got a question for you: What if it’s true? Wouldn’t that be easy to do– to eat an apple a day? Here’s the problem: It’s also easy not to do.”

    • Timo, how true that is. It’s so easy when running a business to think “oh, skipping this today won’t matter”. But it’s a building block, and every building block you don’t lay down is a building block that’s not going into your house (or business) that day. “Overnight success” is what happens when you eat 10 apples and 5 oranges a day… but you really only “had” to eat one.

  34. Love this one!

    People often tell me that I’ve done so well in such a short time, or when students interview me- ask when my business really started working. When I look at my business and what I’m doing, I still feel like I am only getting started five years in, and continue to work every day as hard as I did on day one- though hopefully a little smarter.

  35. Oh Marie, this is such a refreshing thing to hear, and a good reminder to be patient with myself and my biz.

    The ups and downs and slow growth of being an entrepreneur can make you feel like a psycho: one day you’re flipping out and smiling like a mental patient because of a new client or sale, and the next you want to crawl back into bed with a bucket of ice cream and cry.

    This is my second business. I learned SO much from the first, only ever having been an employee before, and I learned massive amounts of new stuff starting the second. Keeping the faith is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I keep reminding myself that good things take time. Like those Trader Joe’s chocolate croissants that you have to leave out overnight to rise. It’s worth the wait! 🙂

    • Sarah I can totally relate to the ups and the downs… that was me all last week. One had I would be on top of the world life it perfect, the next day I wanted to crawl into bed with a pint of ice cream!

      But yes it totally worth it:)

      • Me too, Sarah! I go through periods of super enthusiasm when I feel like I still have ideas, and then once I’ve done them all, I feel like a deflated tire…with a mouth full of mint chocolate chip ice cream. 😉

  36. YES! This happens to everyone.
    the truth is, there is no “there” there…. it’s only here and now.
    So be here and now, welcome your fear as information – maybe it’s actually transformation masquerading as fear anyway.
    Wishing you all here a beautiful day,

  37. For the last 10 years I’ve had a business that was very difficult to grow. Recently I pivoted and experienced small bouts of success with greater ease. I can see doors wide open but videos like these have been reminding me that slow and steady wins the race. Fast success can be an absolute threat to your business and mental health

  38. Rachel

    Wow, this was exactly what I needed to hear! So — I’ve had “semi over-night success” but really, have been working 4+ years on my coaching biz 10+ years on my own growth, and along the way, have had amazing coverage, press and viral action on my work.

    But Marie you’re right — each time you hit a high, the next one needs to be even HIGHER. For me, growing my practice isn’t even work – it’s 100% who I am, what I think about, what I do and share every-single-day. I do not take weekends off, I do not take days off — every single day, even in some small way, I am working on my passion. I’m lucky that my passion IS something fun and woven into my life!

    THE TRAP OF GOING VIRAL — I’ve had many articles I’ve written go viral, which you think YAY! — But really…..the people on me site were essentially dead-weight. No engagement, no action, didn’t hang around. Going VIRAL really just made be be able to say I WENT viral….as far as business growth, nothing. And going through that three times now, I know it’s fun, but not the measure of my success — I don’t get all bought into the “I’m a big deal now!” Because the wave levels off, the clicks slow down and you’re back to day-to-day.

  39. Wow, this was exactly what I needed to hear! So — I’ve had “semi over-night success” but really, have been working 4+ years on my coaching biz 10+ years on my own growth, and along the way, have had amazing coverage, press and viral action on my work.
    But Marie you’re right — each time you hit a high, the next one needs to be even HIGHER. For me, growing my practice isn’t even work – it’s 100% who I am, what I think about, what I do and share every-single-day. I do not take weekends off, I do not take days off — every single day, even in some small way, I am working on my passion. I’m lucky that my passion IS something fun and woven into my life!
    THE TRAP OF GOING VIRAL — I’ve had many articles I’ve written go viral, which you think YAY! — But really…..the people on me site were essentially dead-weight. No engagement, no action, didn’t hang around. Going VIRAL really just made be be able to say I WENT viral….as far as business growth, nothing. And going through that three times now, I know it’s fun, but not the measure of my success — I don’t get all bought into the “I’m a big deal now!” Because the wave levels off, the clicks slow down and you’re back to day-to-day.

  40. Anne

    Hahahahahahaha! Thanks for this one, Marie. As a writer of novels and screenplays, I’ve nearly been an “overnight success” a few times, but somehow the clock always stopped around 4 AM!! That hasn’t hobbled me, and I continue to write and get my work out to the appropriate peeps… but I swear, if anybody ever calls me an “overnight success”, I might just smack them upside the head with a cast-iron skillet! LOL, just teasing, but so glad you are addressing all the backstory behind “meteoric” rises to fame and fortune. 🙂

  41. Noel

    Depends how you define success?

    Is success spending most of your time on your business to make more money?

    Or spending time on self knowledge, with your spouse and children?

  42. Great video as always, Marie ! Like many people who commented, I am also just starting my online business and it’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint. But you have to keep the faith, believe in yourself ! Whatever the outcome of our business will be, we should be proud of ourselves, trying to reach our dreams takes courage and determination.

  43. Marie –

    Love this video & needed to hear this this morning. My answers to your questions are “no” and “no.”

    I just came back from an intensive food blogger retreat/workshop weekend where several presenters spoke about their paths to success and how they made their dreams happen. It was not overnight!

  44. Thanks for this awesome video Marie. Even for those of us who do deep healing work and know the time and investment it takes it’s easy to get overrun by the peer pressure. Everywhere you turn there is another “expert” promising instant success in three easy steps. It can make you feel like you’re doing something wrong if you don’t stay really centered.

    A follow-up question: As a business who doesn’t promise world domination in 15 minutes or less, how can you effectively market the “long and difficult way” when everyone else seems to be promising instant results? It’s not very appealing in contrast.


  45. Hmm, I can’t think of any examples of overnight success off of the top of my head.

    The one thing that the video did make me think of was what happened to all those people who were once overnight successes? Sure, they were here one moment, but then they were quickly gone the next. Yikes!

    Thinking about overnight success that way makes working slow and steady look so much more appealing.

    Thanks again for a great video Marie!

  46. Gah. So good, I love to hear this. My business isn’t even making any $$$ yet, so this is a beautiful reminder for me. I’ve been quietly plugging away, watching my B school vids and scouring all kinds of free info on the web and I must say, I am amazed to see what can be built with just a little bit of work and dedication each day.

    A’s to YOUR Q’s: No, I’ve never been an overnight success at anything, and I’ve never known anyone to be one either. The only ones I’ve heard of are those mythical, unicorn-like ones out there on the web.

    Your videos are totally inspiring me to keep at it, thanks Marie!

  47. This video was right on time and right on point. I am just starting to reap the fruits of my hard work.

    With homeschooling my autistic son and working to 4am, I was ddetermined to turn my 12 hour days (no days off) to 4 hour says (1 day off) before the next school year began.

    And I am excited to say that as of July 14 (my son’s bday), I actually did it!! Now if I work over 4 hours, it’s because I have extra time or its the fun part of working (being creative or just hanging out ( socializing on the social media platforms).

    Thanks Marie!

  48. If it is going to take me 20 years to be viewed as an overnight success, then I might as well begin right now. 🙂

    Being an actual overnight success doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. I’ll be 100% honest: I’ve tried to start and grow an online business for the past 5 or 6 years! WOW! That’s a long time. I haven’t been completely consistent, mind you, but I have been trying for that amount of time. I got completely brainwashed by the idea that I could be an overnight success and when I wasn’t, I felt like a failure.

    Now I know that what I am truly looking for will take hard work and dedication….and I really don’t mind! I am also multi-passionate…meaning I like and am good at lots of different things. So, I’m exploring different things. I am 100% committed to being ME. That means I have my day job right now: selling insurance (the cool thing is that I am self-employed).

    But I also write screenplays. And I blog about pursuing your dreams. I believe that what I have to say has value and I am actually starting to believe that I will “make it” someday. To me that means making movies and inspiring others to pursue their own dreams!

    To anyone who is reading this who thinks they have lots of different dreams and that means they can’t be successful…I urge you to question that. Because we are the ones who decide our own destinies….so commit to being yourself, even if that means you like more than one thing. Just don’t do nothing because you can’t decide.


  49. I love this article. Right now I am at the point where I am building my company from scratch. It is a lot of hard work and no recognition. But I will keep working on it hope it happens soon. Thank you Marie

  50. Anja

    Thanks so much Marie! I found your youtube channel last week and have been hooked, you have already inspired me sooo much! And yeah, today I am having one of those boring-just-working-my-ass-off-and-not-seeing-results-yet days….wondering if things are going to work out. But they will. Thanks again.

  51. Such a great video. I find myself thinking that a lot, but like you said I never know the entire story! And most of the time these overnight successes have been working pretty hard under the radar and have had their share of struggles. Slow and steady wins the race!

  52. Wow Marie! This video is a great compliment to a post that I just wrote on my blog last night, interviewing my dad about business advice, specifically, quitting! I think we all need to remember that success takes time. I’ll put the link to my dad’s story here, just because I know it’s resonating with a lot of people today. Thank you, as always!

  53. Thank u a million times. Best Marie tv for me in a long time. Building a business can be tedious, boring and grueling. Definitely not glamorous. I love that you tell the truth! As much as I want my business to boom like yesterday, I have to remember I just started and it takes time. I definitely wouldn’t want to have a huge influx of clients and then be like “oh S#%t what now”. Slow and steady wins the race. By the way love Jeremy Renner!!! And love you!

  54. #1 I was thrust into a specialty retail management position expected to orchestrate a turn around just a couple months ahead of peak season. We captured a 500% return through long, hard days and nights, cramming educational sessions, training and delegating responsibilities, tears, sweat, and prayers!
    #2 Those I have personally observed attain rocketing success had an unshakable commitment, abundant enthusiasm, and a strong work ethic.

  55. Thanks for an AWESOME truth telling video. I am DISGUSTED with business mentors that hype the “I went from 0 to 6 figures in 10 months” and not sharing the backend of all the details of the hard work and failures and circumstances that got them there. And, when did they really start the clock ticking on “Day 0”? After they have spent $50K on mentors and spent 2 years learning the steps? Start telling the truth people!

    I know how HARD it is to put the infrastructure in place, been working 12 hours a day for the last year to do so and “testing” out my signature steps on clients. And, I have 27 years of business experience in corporate America to boot… and it’s still the hardest thing I have ever done. I stopped subscribing to mentors that claim it’s easy work to make money because they are FULL of baloney and they make people feel bad about themselves if they don’t achieve instant success!

  56. Thanks for the reminders and pick-me-ups, Marie! Our instant gratification and “paper plate/disposable” culture has us warped. We must be careful not to set ourselves up for a “crash and burn.” Gotta learn to love the process as well as the product! Dance/sing/smile your way through it! Stay inspired folks!

  57. Jo

    Aaaaah! That feels better. Being reminded that it does take time AND yes, some of the more mundane stuff can be boring. I feel for more settle and grounded now. Thanks Marie!

    • I agree with Jo. That does feel better. It’s been 7 months (nearly 8) since I started my biz and success is slow-coming. I launched with a bang but it’s hard to keep it going and more importantly to grow. Hearing this is a good reminder to take it easy and keep hustling! thanks Marie!

  58. Love this video Thanks ! This is it..

  59. Roshini

    THANK YOU Marie for this amazingly timely video!
    My answers to your questions are:

    It’s just such a relief to know I’m not the only one who’s not an overnight success! Gonna keep pluggin away 🙂

  60. Hi Marie – I don’t comment very often, but I watch every week and consistently love & appreciate your ability to give spot-on, practical & actionable advice, always with a dose of fun & humour :). I love what you’re doing here…so thank you!!!!

  61. Thank you! Thank you! I love that you said that most of what is takes to be a success is tedious, painstaking and the day to day is b-o-r-i-n-g! This reality can be discouraging since many of us started businesses to do what we love and we want to really enjoy our work but the truth is it’s not always fun especially the parts we don’t like but have to do. So you really have to have a passion for what you do and a lot of patience. You also have to trust that the grueling work will indeed pay off one day. And finally you just have to trust in your own brilliance and stop comparing yourself to others. I just wrote a post about this which seems to be timely and quite relevant to this topic. Please check is out here if you’re doubting yourself a bit:

  62. Awesome video Marie!

    I was just having this discussion with a friend and fellow entrepreneur this morning. I’ve discovered that the “started from nothing” and “overnight success” stories usually have an untold background story (ie. I started from nothing because I launched three business that failed miserably before I launched this one and became an overnight sensation!).

    I’ve always appreciated that you are straight up honest about tending bar and hustling for years to get your business off the ground. That’s reality and we need to hear more true stories from entrepreneurs like you!


  63. Like always great video!

    I say there’s no overnight success for anyone, whatever is overnight it’s just pure luck and more often than not that “success” goes away as overnight as it came. Believe me I KNOW 😉

    True success is not as sexy as it seems but it is much more satisfying.

  64. Thank you! I’ve put in two years of hard work and I’m finally feeling positive that it’s starting to pay off….but still very hard at times to stay motivated…really wouldn’t mind being an overnight (two year) success right now:)

  65. No overnight success here, I bust my tail day in and day out. Just like with weightloss I tell my clients if it seems too good to be true it probably is. So those diet pills and quick cleanses where folks are losing 20 lbs in a month, they gain it back just as quickly as they out it on. So if you’re getting major publicity overnight, chances are you’ll be more of a one hit wonder and vanish just as quickly as you came.

  66. Chisa Yamaguchi

    This video is one the best you have ever done Marie! As a working artist this speaks so true to the business savvy and dedication required to persevere in this field and you truly could not have said it any better! Thank you!

  67. Elizabeth

    Fantastic topic today, Marie – thank you. What struck a chord for me was when you said the words “lasting success.” I recall seeing one of the major delivery services run a commercial (I think it was UPS) about a business whose online orders exploded within hours of product lanch and the team was caught with no means of delivery. With great success comes careful, strategic planning and creating scalability – just as you suggested – along with diligence, focus, AND the ability and willingness to redirect/adjust to market changes or if you’re finding no market at all.

  68. Hi Marie!
    Thank you so much for this video!
    I literally have been feeling AWFUL about myself for the past few months, having not had the success in my new event design business (launched 8 mo’s ago) I thought I not only earned but deserved. AWFUL to the point of “what’s the point?–maybe I should read The Cutting Edge again, move to Tibet, and resign myself to sitting in the lotus position for the rest of the my life.” It’s doubly tough because so many of us have been brainwashed into thinking overnight success IS the RULE (me included). And even if it is not THE rule, We often believe we ARE THE EXCEPtION to the rule (oops that’s me). So the questions of “Have you made your fortune yet? What magazines are you in? When you can give me a job? Your idea is ground breaking and brilliant, why don’t you have any clients?” God! The pressure is incredible. The desire is consuming. And the expectations from self and surroundings are deafening.

    So it’s great to hear from a trusted source that has fought the good fight that it can take several years to show real success. And that HARD WORK and PERSEVERANCE aren’t just dated old words that my parents used to repeat over and over when talking about how they rose from the ashes to earn a living for the family.

    Thanks again…seeing the light once more.

  69. Anna

    No, never knew or heard about anybody (in my circle or town) who would be n overnight success. My dad who built a small but stable company always says that nothings comes fast or easy – hard, long term work does pay off: you simply build your reputation and people trust you for years.

  70. Wow I really needed this today! I have been putting in 14 hours days this week to finish up my new free offer and website changes… not even working on ‘paid work’! But even though some of it has been booooorrrriiiing I have loved it because I know it’s getting me closer to my goals.

    For me, the concept of swift success quickly went out of my office window when I realised I needed time just to work out my ultimate goals for my business. I am actually glad I wasn’t an overnight success, because my business has evolved into something I enjoy much more.
    If I had become successful earlier on, I think I would have been sucked into doing work that ultimately didn’t enrich me.

  71. Hey Marie,
    I don’t typically post on videos, even though all of them are awesome!! Thank you for that:) But, I had to on this one.

    I agree that there is no over night success AND it does take consistent action to achieve goals without a doubt, AND when you work with the Universal energy, there can be explosive or exponential success.

    So, I totally agree and loved everything you said, and then go beyond and do the inner/energy work and it will appear or feel to the person as an over night success.

    Thanks so much, Marie:)

  72. Robyn

    I have been chasing that overnight success for 25 years and haven’t caught it yet. I do know a bunch of people that have had that overnight success once they switched companies, but with their previous companies it wasn’t as good.

  73. Loved the video, but LOVE the dress! Who are you wearing?!

  74. Thank you, I needed this. My need for speed often makes me get ahead of myself. When you are doing something new and learning as you go you don’t know what to expect. Are you on the right track or not? This is my biggest business question. Am I growing like I am supposed to or am I missing something important that is slowing down my business growth? I am in it for the long haul despite this uncertainty. I think success is inevitable with persistence. As long as you truly let yourself be mentored by the universe (paying attention to feedback and adjusting).

  75. Hi Marie,

    Awesome, honest, full-with-smart advice video Marie, thank you!

    Another “myth” I often see in the internet sphere is the “I made my first million in X many days!” claim. Like the “overnight-success” – with the backstory of possibly being decades in the making – the making-millions-hype is also often not what it looks like from the outside (if the claim is even true). With claims like this I believe, but am not sure, they are talking revenue not profit. A million in revenue can dwindle down to very little after the affiliate partners are paid, the marketing costs subtracted, the VA(s) or employees paid, taxes considered etc. A million dollars in profit would be whole different ball game though.

    Marie, maybe you could do a show on the “real figures” made on the internet and put these figures for us into perspective? Thanks and I’ll be watching you! 😉

  76. Marie this is so timely. We all work sooooo hard producing content to share with our market. Then after months, and months, and maybe even years our list grows by leaps of 1 or 2 a month boy are we ready for
    “instant success”.

    Prior to developing my website I was an instant success in real estate, it only took 10 years to get within the top 10% in my company. That is a lesson I bring with me.

    Even though today, I sit and watch my cursor blink, wondering….who’s going to read this?

    I’m waiting for the instant success bus to come pick me up! Come on baby, come to papa!

    • TM

      Steve did you take the b-school course?

  77. Super timely, Marie, as always! I’ve been deep in contemplation with observing this phenomenon, and two things come up for me in regard to creating booming success…

    1. Surrender- Certainly there’s lots of work (in some cases the hard, nasty, grueling kind of work), that needs completion in order to find yourself sitting at the top. But in my experience there is also a quality of surrender, of being okay with things just as they are. Content with the process, content with yourself and your work, and content with the journey itself, as the learning curve of life. (Even when it strands you in a small village without a phone, internet or knowing the native language).

    2. Willingness to forgive and adapt. Along with surrender (and that hard-core work!), there must be willingness to forgive any mistakes you’ve made. These can be marketing oversights, lapses in consistency, or even the huge a-ha that the business you started might not be “the one”. The point is, with a willingness to be fluid, adaptable and flexible you can put all that hard work, to work, in a way that will allow your business to organically unfold, rather than push, shove or force results (which are, in many cases, one-hit wonders anyways).

    As you always point out so well, the point is service and the question to spark any conscious-business reframe is: “How can I best serve?”

    When you add the second arrow of, “How can I best serve the most people?” you discover your natural reach.

    With an intention of service, we become un-stopable (despite having only a few twitter followers)..

    Thanks so much, Marie. You’ve made so many of my days 🙂

    With Love,
    Ina (ee-na)

    • Loved this Ina…. <3

      Surrender and be willing. How can I best serve the most people?
      This speaks to me so well…. So perfect… Thank YOU! <3

  78. I enjoyed watching this video. I’ve heard a lot of overnight success stories and I’m still hearing about them today. They’re inspiring in a way to help me keep in track with what I want to achieve in my business goals but definitely, it takes time to build a momentum where everything goes exactly how you want them to.

    All I can say is to just enjoy the journey of your calling.

  79. Hi Marie & Team Forleo,

    Winston Churchill said, “Courage is going form failure to failure without losing enthusiasm”, and we can add, “then, if you didn’t lose your courage, overnight success will come”.

    This is a great reminder! Thank you for it 🙂


  80. This topic really hit home for me. I am an impatient person by nature and want instant results all the time, and get frustrated when things don’t happen right away. But I’ve created a timeline for 24 months that slowly and methodically push me in the direction of growth I want to achieve, with manageable but exciting steps to take every week and reward myself accordingly when I reach a goal. I’ve found in this way that I can feel accomplished even without being on Oprah lol. Great things take time.

  81. I love you Marie & love your videos but I have to disagree with you on this one! You need to check out It Works Global, the fastest growing company in the world right now. Yes, it takes a LOT of hard work, but at least 5 of my personal friends are making 6-figure incomes (not per year but per month!) and some of them got there in as little as 9 -10 months! I am doing it a little more slowly than that by choice, but in another year (3 total years) I will be there too! I am the biggest skeptic in the world, but doing this business for 2 1/2 years, and watching my friends get to the top so fast, I have to be a believer as I know them! You can’t argue with the facts in our case and I know we and our success are unusual but we are for real! Our company already laid the groundwork so we don’t have to which makes it easy for us!

  82. What’s the opposite of overnight success? Long tail legacy…. Like Van Gogh, who never knew success in his lifetime and yet his commitment to his vision and crafting paintings of nature – lasting worldwide impact. My hero… I’ve already seen more success and made more painting sales than him but I’m not at his level yet… It’s not how I measure success as an artist!!

  83. Sandy

    Thank you for this reminder. I am having a hard time staying focused because I am just starting out. But you remind me that I need to play like I’m in the big leagues – creating and maintaining the schedule I’ll need to kick butt when I arrive where I’m going. You’ve got to BE it before you can really RECEIVE it.

  84. Sooooo true! I work with entrepreneurs and I have seen this happen. I’d like to add that many people I have worked with get to 6 figures and have major breakdowns because of two things you mentioned:

    1. Not having structures/systems or their businesses automated properly in place to handle the additional business.

    2. Personal breakdowns because they have been working so hard and not keeping a balance between work and personal. Working at a breakneck speed is not sustainable.

    Thanks for a great video!

  85. Hi Marie: I enjoy your videos every week but this one really hit home. I’m in the early stages of launching a new consumer product business and it’s good for me to take a deep breathe and be reminded that success doesn’t (and like you said, probably shouldn’t) come overnight!

  86. Marie,

    This is so timely! Even though I just shared my story about failing last week, I saw someone else’s success and let it get me down although I know it’s a big no-no.

    This was a breath of fresh air.


  87. Scarlet Faith

    I am a grandma from the Atari age.
    I am being the turtle. No Lie.
    I had a dream about a turtle, went out the next day and found a turtle stone. Ok , this has to be a sign right? I looked it up Animal totems and it said that to be visited with the turtle energy is to stay your course, set your goals and take your time getting to them and enjoy the trip. Like the turtle when you reach your destination you can set another and go further than where you have come to now.
    Sometimes with all the studying, implementing what I learn, and then creating my Haute’ Handbag collections I can get a lot overwhelmed!!!!
    This video is one I will watch more than once to keep me from screaming and running down the road “I am loosing my mind.” Thanks for the save today:)

    • Just gotta say that I am a sucker for signs and metaphor! I love the turtle thing! Blessings to you! Stay inspired!

  88. Lovely as always Marie 😉 Thank YOU! 😉

    That’s why it all comes to PASSION – from beginning to the very end!
    “Find something you love and let it kill you”! is a darker version of what I mean by Bukowski.

    If you don’t have that drive, that fire to deal with ALL of it! yes, even the boring stuff – this is NOT for you!

    It’s hard because entrepreneurs are sprouting up left right and centre lately – but all glamour aside to work from your laptop from your patio (which I happily get to do) it isn’t always fun! It is still work and could be boring and unappreciated for a long time. Overnight success is a rare exception. Hard work and real passion is what will make you stay true to your business help you focus on what it is that you really want!

    One more thing – YOU need to adapt! If for a few months or even years, something is not fuelling you anymore or you realize it’s not what you thought it was (personally or financially) – move on – or Adapt to something new. You don’t have to start from scratch but testing yourself, your market and your limits at all times is really important during your wild ride of a business life.

    I’ve been self-empoyed for 10 years and even dragged my husband into my gig a while ago – – all amazing stuff! (w/ hard work) but definitely rewarding. But I continued to adapt to new things and new projects and clients and now I no longer fear Change. I am open and excited about always pushing myself to do something I’m very Passionate about!
    And now, it happens to be Health & Food!
    Wish me luck guys! 😉
    *hugs* 😉

  89. Thank you Marie for bringing up this topic! I’ve been following you for a while among a few other blogs and I’ve heard some people talk about their overnight success…. and it seems so frustrating. Immediately I think “What am I doing wrong?” You’ve just reminded me that I’m not necessarily doing something wrong, I’m just pving the way for my success. And, to be honest, I’m probably as busy as I can handle right now anyways. I’m a full time working mommy of two girls (6 and 4) and my hubby is a stay at home dad right now. I’m juggling my own business in there as weel on the evenings and I really cannot complain how things have been going. My business has been increasing steadily and thanks to tips and reminders (like todays post) I have been tweaking my business to make it comparable to having a part time job outside of my home. I’m loving the fact I can make my own hours and still work in my PJs if need be. Like you said, if my business took off overnight, I definately could not handle the extreme increase as my employees are me, myself and I. Thank you for reminding us that most of those stories we hear are most likely not telling us about the hard work like we have been doing. Makes me not feel so bad. Thank you again!

  90. Hi Marie,
    Perfect timing as always 🙂 A breath of fresh air as I just launched my health + wellness company. Slow + steady wins the race… love it.
    xo Sarah Anne

  91. So glad you shared the truth about this, Marie. There’s nothing wrong with hard work. It does pay off. But patience is a key virtue for successful entrepreneurs.

  92. Howdy Marie, Great video, as always.
    I’m still working on the everyday hustle but that”overnight” success is on it’s way.
    Your videos have taught me so many things from simple to complex. I was thinking today how engaging the content always is but that even when you finish, I don’t want to close the window till I see your little bloopers and funnies at the very end. Just a little bit o’ knowledge but…thanks.

  93. Yay, it’s Q & A Tuesday!

    Thanks for brightening my day, i often feel that my business is floundering and you have just reaffirmed it takes time.

    You are a real inspiration!


  94. Dionne Barrett

    If I am told that it took two days for only a single person to build a house, no matter what the size, then I know it was a lie. No one person can do that with his limited strength, no matter what; something would be wrong. If I were told that it took two days for a crew size of forty people plus additional indirect help then I would believe. If someone’s business quickly arises on his own strength, without the input of others, wow!

  95. Great question this week.

    I highly recommend reading Malcolm Gladwell´s book Outliers as it shows succinctly through the trajectory of one´s life how chance, extroardinary opportunity, hard work (10,000 hours plus practice/experience that Marie also mentioned), help from others can lead people along their journey to success.

    I´m sure if we all look at our own lives, we can see times when failings were blessings in disguise, opportunities and good luck seemingly arose out of no where and sprung us forward with our dreams, and times when our hard work and perseverance paid off and times when for whatever reasons that hard work didn´t get us what we wanted or expected.

    The media does seem to depict everyone´s story as overnight stardom and riches or overcame impossible adversity to live their dreams where you get a really depressing beginning to their story, skip the middle bit of all their hard work or lucky circumstances that came their way etc., and it quickly moves to the success part. It inspires people instantaneously but within a few days people are back to feeling demotivated as they don´t know the tools or skills in which to create from where they are to where they want to go.

    All success we are experiencing right now in our lives, whether that be in love, in finance, in business, in education, in our family or friendships, is all built on our previous experiences and skills, including our seeming failures.

    Keeping faith and believing in divine timing and also knowing that our external circumstances doesn´t determine our happiness or our self-esteem is important to remember. One of the best books to read on happiness with practical tools to live it and train yourself to be happy is The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubormisky.

    Have an inspiring and productive week all 🙂

  96. Actually, the 10,000 hours is a myth.

    You’ll find that 10,000 hours is about 9,000 hours too many. You can get there a lot quicker with a focused group and changing system. The 10,000 hour rule only applies because people worked alone and made tons of mistakes and didn’t know they were mistakes.

    There is no such thing as overnight success, and usually when it does show up, it’s hard, if not impossible to manage. But even so, the struggle has been overrated in some cases. e.g. in the case of the Malcolm Gladwell story.

    We teach people to write, to draw cartoons etc. People who’ve never drawn for 30 years and in six months, they are exceptional. But there are parameters in place that cause people to learn faster or slower. There isn’t overnight success, but you don’t need to slog either.

  97. You rock and you’re so real! My skin crawls every time I see the “Secret to…” or “Get the formula for…” Blah, blah, blah. That’s why I follow you. You’re raw, your real and you’re inspiring!

    Thanks Marie!

  98. Udo

    I had a friend who went viral overnight (Mami Chula). It was awesome! She got to dance on stage with Pit Bull! And she’s used it to leverage a few things, but she didn’t maintain a fan base. :/

  99. Jennifer

    This is so timely given we are in the middle of convention season for all those party planning businesses. That industry is made with stories of those who rose to the top making it looks so easy along the way. It may be inspirational at the surface but it is also discouraging when you follow those same “simple steps” and don’t have that success.

  100. Thanks Marie this is very timely and supportive. 🙂

    I’ve also found that oftentimes these overnight success stories are spinned so that you will buy the product or service they’re promoting

  101. Coach Linda

    I began a real estate career at the same time as another agent in our office. She had a great demeanor, good looks, polished appearance, and she took off like a rocket, while nerdy little me floundered and wondered what I was doing wrong. She was the star and the darling of the brokerage. –Six months later, she was working every moment to keep her transactions alive; slashing her commissions to the bone to keep getting new clients and to retain her existing clients; and paying an assistant to help her keep up. She had lost her smooth appearance, and became haggard and snappish. She could not afford to let other agents bring her Buyers for her listings, because she was slashing her commissions so extremely. She began to get a reputation among the local agents for being hostile and difficult to work with…that’s a big nail in the coffin for an RE agent!

    Meanwhile, I had picked up a few clients and made a few sales, charged a reasonable commission–reasonable to the client, and to myself, so I could stay in business–and gotten referrals from the clients I had. I knocked on doors and did open houses; I gave presentations at home shows, I volunteered in elderly communities…and I talked and talked and talked to people. By my sixth month, I was making a steady and modest income, had figured out some marketing systems that worked for me, was saving my money by learning to be my own admin assistant. I built a reputation with other agents for being easy to approach and work with–a great thing for a listing agent who wants multiple buyers for her properties! I also built a reputation as a firm but calm negotiator.

    Pam had bought a brand new car for her daughter when she got her first commission. She bought herself an SUV. She leased a gorgeous huge house on the waterfront. She worked herself into exhaustion to try to keep up her payments,and her marriage broke up in her first year. She moved into a small home in a very modest part of downtown.

    I bought a 10yr old Cadillac 4-door sedan…gorgeous leather interior, very well maintained–so comfy for older clients and folks with oxygen, or a seeing eye dog, or a big family, or a walker. I kept living in my mobile home, kept doing as much of my own work as possible, with an occasional assistant, and put my money aside for a rainy day.

    5 years later, when the market fell, I was able to leave RE, take care of my elderly father for 2 yrs until his passing, and then move to Hawaii. I still have to work part time, but I have no debt, and I’m SO able to enjoy life!

    • TM

      Coach Linda, did you participate in the b-school course? Was your success related to following MF’s advice?

  102. Hey Marie!

    Love, love LOVE this!

    I have NOT had overnight success (ever.) I’ve been in business for 8 years (going on 9!) The first 4 years I was working 12-hour days, 7 days per week. I didn’t have much of a life at all. When I took B-School the first time you taught it, my business did really start to take off and it maybe “seemed” I had overnight success, but realize that I put in 4 years of hard work on my own (plus worked 5 years in a corporate job doing PR before that) so I came into this with 9 years of experience and lots of painstaking hard work!)

    In PR, I see this happen A LOT. Many people will seek that “one big mention” that will catapult them to fame. I witness business owners who get a big media mention (hello Oprah!) and while it may bring a flurry of business, it’s not enough to sustain them for the long term. Then they spend all their time trying to replicate that one media placement and spiral into a vicious cycle. One of the reasons I started my business was to teach people how to avoid this “one big thing” conundrum.

    My favorite actor Kevin Spacey has some brilliant advice on this topic too if anyone is interested:

    Can’t wait for your announcement!! xxoxoxo

  103. I wouldn’t want to be an overnight success! As Marie said, it would be tough on the business. I’d rather continue to treat my customers the way they deserve to be treated – like entrepreneurial rockstars – and build momentum sustainably. I’m really impatient…but the hard work is worth it and I can feel something big building 🙂

  104. April

    Unrealistic expectations!!! Mine came from desperation. It wasn’t that I felt that I should “take off”, it was just that my financial and career issues were consuming me. I wanted them gone. Point blank: I wanted to make money and I wanted to do something that I love doing. Not unrealistic at all. However, I am like that jumbo jet on the runway with no fuel. I don’t like where I am, I wanna go but I think its because I don’t have any fuel. As a matter of fact, I have convinced myself that its that there is no fuel in all the world for my special jet!!! It’s not the fuel. My issue is not being able to fly a jumbo jet. I spent so much time complaining about my lack of resources (fuel) that I forgot that I have not spent enough time learning all that I could about the business that I want to build (flying the jet). And you know why? Because I am afraid to fly the jet!!!!!!! A-ha!

  105. Hey Marie your video about overnight success was so true. You know about 10 months ago i retired from the Army and i’m finally starting a music production company here in oklahoma and you are so right about what you said in reference to overnight success. I actually have been preparing for this moment for the last 20 years giving as much free time as i could when i wasn’t serving our country, i would dedicate my time to my dream. I see now my dream is within reach but i have to retool myself and gain more skill sets to stay current and competitive. I am mainly a songwriter and music producer and i find myself learning more than recording but i know it will be worth it in the long run. I know when success finally comes maybe some people will say that it was all a overnight success story, but i would know the real truth; work work and more work in order to make my dreams come true. (Marie thanks again for the info and keep doing what you do) Don H.

  106. Terra

    I SO needed this reminder today! Thanks, Marie!

  107. Ah, this is such wishful thinking hyped by media and the explosion of the new online marketing wave!

    What I discovered is that it takes lots of daily habit building with a clear view of the goal (a fixation in a good way, as Napoleon Hill would say) and that brings bursts of success when the quantity of practice reaches a certain critical mass.

    I love it, it actually strengthens the entire body and mind, and it makes the journey so enjoyable.

    Every little win becomes a good reason for a glass of champagne or a treat with the best tiramisu in town 😉

    Thank you, Marie, awesome tweet-able too!


  108. Thanks so much for this video, it was fabulous and very true. In the beginning of my business I kept running into all of these over night successes and thought things would fall into place within the next few months, but as the months passed and nothing poofed into a business for me I started getting discouraged. Then I realized after talking to a few people and delving deeper that they really weren’t overnight successes and that there was a lot more to their stories!

  109. Thank you for another fabulous video! I am working on what I need to do to make my business a success. I feel like I’ve put in the hours, right now it’s all about focusing and building a network. Blessings to you and all the awesome people who comment here!

  110. Curlene

    Hi Marie,

    I so appreciate you and your messages. This one about overnight successes certainly takes some of the pressure off. Thank you.

  111. Some people also have the benefit of a mentor to show them the ropes and give them contacts. (Smile)

    Fab -u – lous video. Thank you Marie!


  112. Perfect timing, Marie! I almost can’t help but feel like a failure with my business at times because things aren’t just falling into place overnight (isn’t that when the business gnomes are supposed to swoop in and do everything for you?? lol). So many people make it sound so much easier than it is – I just have to remember that success should be built upon a good foundation and it may take time. Thanks for the good heaping dose of reality!

  113. I love this. I always wonder if I’ve wasted time when I see younger people jetblasting ahead. I keep reminding myself that I’m in my process, my process is OK, and that I’m purrfect (that’s right, purrfect) where I am right now. Thanks, Marie.

  114. Thank you Marie for keeping it real. For many years I would think, how did that person do that and what’s wrong with me? Then (just like you said) I realized that most of the time, you don’t know the whole story, but nobody tells you that. Unfortunately most hype-based marketing and success gurus, prey on the fact that everyone wants overnight success and the silver bullet. Thanks for being real in a sea of hype.

  115. Noel

    Awesome video Marie – this is something that always bugs me when I ask my super high end research assistant to find entrepreneurial tips for me.

    Last year I went from running 3-4km to running a full marathon in just over 3 months. And while my time was slow, I finished, and did not injure myself (much)

    For me it was an amazing experience in seeing how much I can actually accomplish and how I can push myself. I also learned that, aside from those who love you, most people don’t think you can do it – until you’ve actually gone and done it.

    There are four “behind the scenes” things that I think really helped.

    – I was running every third day (including through a storm) and having an awesome diet.
    – I really really really love running
    – I spent a whole lot of money on the ticket
    – What I think got me through was that I had a training buddy who does ULTRA-MARATHONS. So every time I wanted to b*tch and moan I just had to look over to him not even breaking a sweat. So not only did my end goal look achievable – it looked easy. In fact the first thing my buddy asked me afterwards was “So when are we doing the next one?”

  116. Hey Marie

    Another perfectly timed video! It’s like you could read my thoughts – LOL.
    Glad I am not alone in occasionally getting caught up in the BS of overnight success stories. Years ago, I used to believe all the hype and it would cause me act in ways that actually sabotaged my success through “urgency”. No more. Thank you so much for addressing the truth and giving us all gentle reminders.

  117. Maddie

    First of all Marie, your hair is lookin’ fabulous!

    This message was what I needed to hear right now in my business. I’m in the very early stages and all I’m dreaming of is major success happening very very fast. I’ve been feeling anxious to see results, but everything is taking a lot of careful planning & time to deliver. I was beginning to think something was wrong with me because I’m so slow. After watching your video I feel a lot more calm and secure about just going with the flow and not rushing into things.

    Thank you for the reassurance!

  118. Hey Marie listeners,
    I have never met someone that has become successful overnight. Sometimes I allow stories of others’ success to get me down about my potential. I’ve been practicing taking the envy out of how I feel and becoming more of a detective. I now research who this person was before their success story and most often have found that they hustled everyday for years doing monotonous boring stuff before becoming who they are today.

    This practice gets rid of my envy, and self doubt by going to the root and reassuring me that I am on the correct path.

    Thank you Marie for another well timed episode. _Erika

  119. Yo yo Marie.
    This is a phat post. I remind myself that success is rarely overnight and its a nice reminder from you this week.

    I recall the Chris Brogan story. He took 8 years to get his first 100 subscribers. I also thought of current music sensation Calvin Harris. Its like BOOM out of now where he’s the club DJ bomb. The reality is that the dude has been honing his art for like 20 years.

    I’m currently writing a lot about being remarkable and if you wanna know more/give me feedback or just say Hi drop past

    Love your work….”Cos baby, you’re a firework…” (katy perry lyrics).

  120. Hi Marie,

    Thank you so much for this video, you are truly awesome every week!

    I have experienced some overnight success in my business back in the early days but like you said, I wasn’t ready to sustain it and eventually it lead to a decline in business.

    We are back on track now but yes it is true ladies, overnight success is not all its cracked up to be! Just because I had it, it doesn’t mean that the everyday hustle ever stopped!

    SIDE NOTE – If you are sitting on the fence about BSCHOOL ladies then I have one piece of advice for you… DO IT!


    Deanna xox

  121. Hi Marie 🙂 This was GREAT! I LOVE it. And so perfect to hear. I feel I so often hear about people going from 0 to 1000 subscribers in a few weeks, or zero money to thousands and I agree, that what we see on the surface rarely tells the whole picture. I love what you said about how our past strengths play into what we do now. And an ability to breakthrough fast comes from a place of past experience. This is a valuable video for everyone to remember. All dreams take time. I love it. Thank You 🙂

  122. Thanks for the wonderful perspective, Marie.

    It’s so refreshing to be reminded that pretty much everyone (not just me!) need to do the hard yards before the results begin to show.

  123. Hey Everyone,

    This episode came at such a fitting time for me! So many people have been asking me about the slump they’re feeling. People want to know how others are making it big, or seemingly so.

    As always Marie, you put it in perspective! We don’t know how much people have been preparing their whole lives for this overnight success, which isn’t actually overnight then. I tell that to many of my clients who want immediate results and instant gratification that they’re seeing people in the world achieve. Usually, it’s years and years in the making. I can relate.

    My business was an easy start-up and quite a quick success once launched. But But BUT, it was years of prep. I trained, built and planned for the launch that when it finally happened I was so darn ready for the success that it “seemed” easy, simple and instant. Essentially, I had prepared my whole life for those beginning months and every adjustment, change and alteration I make now is smooth because of that preparation.

    Thanks again for such an awesome vid!

    Heidi xx

  124. Marie,

    My husband came up to me and asked if I had watched this week’s episode. I hadn’t gotten to me emails all day today. He said “oh, that sucks because when you’re done watching it, come find me. I wanna say I told you so.” I watched it and sheepishly admitted he was right. And in case you’re wondering, yeah I made him sign up for your weekly emails cause they’re awesome 🙂

    I’m just starting out and what I have to offer comes from somewhere deep down inside my very essence. My site is a hack job (done by me), I’m just putting my offers together, getting uber clear on my WHY and along the way, I started feeling like I’ll never make it big. And I’ve just started – I needed a reminder – success takes time.

    I’ve been a long time fan, but this is my first time commenting. Thank you for grounding the world of success for those of us who usually have to look way up at the sky to see it.

  125. Hi Marie,

    The answers to your questions are No & No.
    You are right I do go through self talk about success the way you described. But, now I am learning to put the focus on me and not compare myself with the other people. I know it is only my personal best that matters in the long run.
    The best way I can get over the negative feelings is to take action.

    Thanks for this awesome advice as always.


  126. I know many people who have experienced explosive ‘overnight’ success, and have found many are in the right place, at the right time.

    Each is well equipped, and as you mentioned living the same routine things day in and day out, and voila the right moment occurs.

    #3 stuck with me. I have experienced explosive growth, and learned the hard way that proper processes must be in place before scaling!

    Building credibility, and authority – attending events, blogging, building a community, building an email list, creating your own information products, networking, reading, etc – within your niche is a great way to build up to this AHA explosive moment.

    Happy Tuesday! West Coast blessings to yah Marie!

  127. Marie,
    Obviously a popular topic (with an even more popular video that brilliantly addresses the issue).
    One habit I’ve developed that has helped me get past those discouraging days when I feel I haven’t accomplished as much as I should, is keeping a daily journal. Nothing lengthy or profound, just stream-of-consciousness thoughts with a few notes on what has gotten done that day. It is amazing to go back through the pages a year or two later and see where I was and compare it to where I am now.

  128. Jen

    I haven’t actually met anyone that has experienced overnight success but I have read about other soap & candle makers getting their products in swag bags at movie premiers. I also read about someone who worked for Oprah and was burning a friends homade candle and her business ended up getting featured on Oprah!

    I don’t know any movie stars, pr people or Oprah. SI while I’m pounding the pavement getting my products in stores, I’m just peachy in the slow lane!

  129. Thank you! A very grounding article. It’s easy to get distracted with overnight success stories. This was like a voice calling, “Earth to Roberto…” And, of course, in your own inimitable style! I must say, from out here in Stress City, boredom seems like a wonderful goal. Maybe one day. Breathe in, breathe out…

  130. Hi Marie!
    Thanks for this! I hope to be an overnight success (20 years in the making!) I am a porcelain artisan and have been at it for just over 17 years, however I didn’t make decisions that were suited perfectly for me. Thanks for your guidance and reminders, may my next 20 years put me on the right track. Big hugs!

  131. I love this post! I want everyone to hear this. This is exactly what I have often talked about with friends in the media and social media business. Most of the people you see in the spotlight it isn’t an overnight success. Everyone’s story is filled with hard work, late nights, blood, sweat and tears! It is work and nothing comes that easy that it happens in an instant!

    Thanks for sharing!

  132. Nikolai

    I love this episode. Thank you…Many times the road to success is failure…I am a 22 yr old recent college grad who started and failed at my first business. Learned a lot and getting back up to start over.

    I needed to hear that. Thanks Marie and the community on here is awesome and interactive.

  133. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” ~Albert Einstein. (Pardon Albert’s sexism). In answer to your questions~ no, and no. The bar that is being held up and reflected in the media, is stories such as Zuckerberg’s, or more recently, Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr for 1.1 Billion lining the pockets of David Karp. Thanks Marie for your honesty and dose of reality. A fun thing to do for reflection, is to watch ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’; the classic Vincent Price horror flick from the 50’s, where you can see Jack Nicholson getting in his acting chops as Vincent’s side-kick~ Jack was hardly an over-night sensation.

  134. What an encouraging video. Thanks Marie. Other people’s success can be inspiring… something to emulate.

    But we get seriously off track when we compare ourselves to others, to the point that we see ourselves as “less than…”.

    Persistence. Perseverance. And Belief in Ourselves will get is to the finishing line as we go for Gold.

  135. Hi Marie, thank you for your video, it came at just the right time.
    I was crazy enough to start my own business 7 months ago and I though I would hit it big and fast. 7 months down the line I am still struggling to cover my basics and I finally couldn’t “fake it anymore”. Heck I even went for an interview for a second part-time job. Your video gave me a little inspiration to keep on carrying on even though I am at my wits end. Thank you!

    • Well done Adele for sticking with it for 7 months and well done for having the courage to put your story out there. Know that you are not alone. Sometimes it is hard to enjoy the ride when you are wondering if you will have enough for the fare. Fortunately, life is funny like that. It turns out we always have enough for the fare. Good luck with your business.

  136. I remember following Brendan Burchard’s work and he talked about his enormous monetary success in just 18 months. At the time I was just starting up my business and talking with a colleague who already had an established company. She suggested 7 years to get a business working well. At the time I disputed that it took that long if you knew the ‘tricks’. Now 3 years later, I realise her wisdom and reality. It takes time to just figure things out, but I speculate that it takes even more time to truly believe in your product, your skills, your company and your competency – particularly if your career transition was on a pretty different course.

  137. Dear Marie & team,

    Thanks SO MUCH for making this clip.
    I haven’t even watched it yet, just like the first commenter 🙂
    There are quite a number of seemingly overnight successes around me, with tens of thousands of followers on fb, insta, twitter and so on, with polished websites, great (looking) products etc.
    But even if all that was achieved truly and honestly – which it often isn’t – there are even more who achieve much much less, who have dropped theor projects and dreams before they even had a chance to blossom.
    Same goes for my 2nd passion, freediving (diving on a single breath).
    All around me people dive deeper and longer and further, seemingly effortless. But not only do I not know those people’s whole story, maybe they injure themselves on the way, maybe they actually have been training longer than I thought, plus again, there are way more who dive less far, less deep, less long.
    So the best for me is to only draw inspiration from my environment but mainly focus on myself. XO Lisa

  138. Hey Marie, I loved your video.

    Good info with a fantastic presentation.

    Thanks, Marc.

  139. Timo

    So funny. Right after your email this one came in:
    “BIG bucks Overnight… You only need to copy + paste!”

    I think he`s not telling me the whole story 🙂

  140. Elle

    Loved this video. Isn’t it also possible that the person is full of crap and not an overnight success? They may just put up the facade to create a following and eventually become one. ” Fake it til ya make it.” In my field I often wonder how many out there on the web are the real deal . I agree, slow and steady wins the race.

  141. Farrah

    The best quote I ever heard on this was the founder of Odwalla when he got “discovered”. He said, “I was an overnight success 20 years in the making.”

  142. That is a really great show Marie.
    This will help a lot of people that thinks that a overnight success can be build without a really hard prior hard work.

  143. This is comforting. I’ve often found myself getting discouraged (and bored)! This reminds me of Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers where he talks about the concept of 10,000 hours. It takes people on average that much time to master whatever it is they’re mastering. That’s a long time!

  144. …”Know the truth and be free!”

    Many people will be set free from comparison by this video!

    Love the tweetable!

  145. This is just perfection. I’m looking to start my own non-profit and holy moly there’s a lot of pieces that go into it and when I look at similar NPs I’m in awe of how quickly they seemed to get set up and going. COMPLETE AWE, you guys. So I’m always left with questions like HOW IN THE….WHY IN THE…and requests in my head like “teach me your ways Mr. Miyagi.”
    This A to the Q is helpful because by me just being (once again) in awe at the speed of light they got their NP up and running there still may be something they’re not sharing like you said and it’s also just serving as a distraction for actually getting ME to DO something in my own venture.
    Youdda youdda best, Marie

  146. It’s funny how the Universe sends you a message you need just at the right time – thanks Marie, you’re awesome as always! I needed to hear that.

  147. Jen

    Thank you for this little bit of grounding. I know we aaaaall do it to ourselves, but this was the mental and emotional reset that I needed recently.

  148. Love catching your videos, Marie… always spot-on advice!

  149. Sam

    It’s very true. In the online marketing space you hear so much about overnight success but really, the key is figuring out what you actually want to provide and then focussing in on it. Then test, test, test to see if the market wants your service or product.

    If there’s a demand, you’ll quickly find out. If there isn’t, then either you’re marketing in the wrong channels, to the wrong audience, or the demand simply isn’t there. In which case you move on. But don’t give up!

    Real success lies in being persistent, picking yourself up from the lows and learning from your mistakes. There is huge opportunity out there but you need to stay focussed on one project at a time and see it through.

    You can brand yourself as the expert by positioning yourself as the go to person in your industry. That’s when the magic starts to happen.

  150. Rachana

    The video is very inspiring.Overnight success stories of people are very discouraging sometimes.The real and stable success comes slowly.It is correct ,I have a very good experience of this. My husband has started his business seven years back from zero.He is increasing it slowly day by day working very hard ,having hard to very hard times.But we are happy with his success. He has a very long experience in sales,of a big company,which is now very helpful.Now I want to start mine but I know I don’t have the patience he has .Your videos are very helpful for me. Thanks a lot.

  151. Loved the question and Marie’s honest answer. It typically takes years of hard work building up one’s network and client base to become an overnight success.
    By being unique and determined to do the best for your customer/client, success happens for all parties involved.
    In my case, showing my clients how to choose and wear the right clothes contributes to their ‘overnight’ success, so that they look and feel great while doing the hard work needed to become a star in their field.
    Nothing worth having is easy to get.

  152. I have worked my way upwards into a job I love with tons of flexibility & allows for creativity. I have people who look @ me & say sure you have an easy job. Well for one it is not easy creating creative/innovative solutions for my teams & keeping the individuals on track. But as you said it took 6 yrs of schooling, plus 11 years of experience to learn the skills needed for my job. I am now branching out in an unrelated field & starting my own business on the side. I am learning that daily work, talking about & showing enthusiasm is allowing me to grow my business one step @ a time. I am seeing small pay-offs on the way which keeps me moving forward. A strong support network of family & friends & fellow entrepreneurs is essential to success.

  153. I love the dress but know you would appearance fab in both! I cannot believe every little thing in the store are going to be 1/2 off! WOW, wish I lived closer because I love The Limited.

  154. Fantastic! I constantly get bummed by the overnight success story. It makes me feel like I should stop pressing forward. Thank you so much for the extremely timely reality check!

  155. No successful biz ever said it was easy!

    Great and truthful video – esp coming from Marie! =)

  156. I’ve met a lot of successful people but not a single one was an overnight success. Each person worked their arse off and had to learn along the way.

    Those that have worked for it are the true inspiration!

  157. Marie, thank you so much for this video because I needed to hear something like that. Lately, I feel a little bit depressed because I think that all my projects are failures and I read about people that are the overnight success. Now, thanks to you, I understand that my work is worth to do and I should keep moving. Thanks one more time for encouraging words!

  158. Thanks Marie! Your advice gave me some extra comfort. I started my own jewelry business a couple months ago, and I’ve been frustrated at the “slow going”–but I’ve realized that I just needed a new perspective on where I need to be.
    By the way, I think I watch the videos for the outtakes just as much as for the awesome advice! ;D

  159. Great topic. I have been working for years at what I’m doing and it’s finally coming around full circle. But yes, it takes a long time and sometimes it feels like it’s never going to happen!

  160. I feel that everyone else is getting their grove on in a new health and fitness business that I’ve just joined, but seem to be moving along very slow. I keep comparing my lack of success to their seemingly over night success, and it gets me down, but I need to remember as you’ve said, it was probably a lot of sweat and tears gone into it and I will get there as well. Thank you for the reminder xx

  161. This video was awesome!

    I think another thing I’ve found is getting attached to what seems like a pivotal movement or “luck”. Like an entrepreneur meets the right person – or set of people – or one event really changed everything for them and their business. It can be addictive to sit around waiting for that right/perfect moment or person to happen upon you instead of putting in the hours.

    Andrrea Hess recorded a great video about this: the duality of entrepreneurship. If you want all the things that make you feel good – money, clients, free time – then you have to be willing to endure the drudgery in order to get those good things.


  162. Great episode as always Marie. Your advice is sound through and through.

    Here’s a fantastic blog post highlighting the long road to overnight success:

    Much love,

  163. Hi Marie,
    Thank you for this tip it was much needed. In the short time that I’ve been following you I’ve learned sooooooo much. I’ve learned the importance of being as consistant as possible so your audience expects it and wants to come back for more(q&a tuesday as your weekly thing that we expect from you).I’ve learned thats its ok to use minimal social media outlets to promote your company and brand(and you don’t have to use ALL of them as some others suggest).I’ve learned that being multi-passionate is ABSOLUTELY ok. And today I’ve just learned(in a compare and contrats of you and another person that does the same thing you do on helping other build their business and life) the importatnce in giving. You have services that you charge for but you also bless us with loads of free weekly tips on business and life that in turn creates a trust factor between us and you so people interested in your services for fee we know it will be well worth it based on what you’ve already given us for free. Give and it come back to you”

  164. Many thanks for sharing this superb web page.

  165. It’s obvious you know what you’re talking about. Nice to see someone who is extremely successful _and_reveals the real truth (behind the story).

  166. Marie honey! That is why it is so beautiful and brilliant of you to make us laugh every week!!!

    Because you are so right…the Soul work and blood, sweat, and tears can be tremendously BORING and tedious sometimes!!! Laughter is GOLDIE!

    (Especially when my friends are going on river trips and stand-up surfing and I am in my office working on my book 🙂

    Yet, when the Soul calls it reveals a gift far beyond the pleasures that the world of form could ever offer us in the form of short term pleasures. An eternal mission calls the very best of us forward and opens our lives to an extraordinary fulfilling purpose and service to others….well worth being patient and putting the hours and hours and hours and years and years and years into.

    As it is a Saturday on a beautiful Colorado mountain day in August and I am in my office, yet again working on my book…feeling a lil distracted because I want to play out side… I so totally appreciate your video this week.

    Grateful for this ambitious community of movers and shakers! Hugs to you all xo


  167. I agree with you 100% Marie. It takes 25 yrs to become an overnight success. I have seen people gain success very quickly in the Direct Selling Profession and they were not prepared and did not stick around as I guess the thrill was gone after a short period of fame.

  168. Katherine

    This video was great! A lot of people think success just comes easily to some people, but there is always a huge back story. Even Lady Gaga talks about the years she performed in small dingy clubs and all the hard work before anyone noticed.

  169. Hi Marie,
    Great video that really hit home for me!

    I had unexpected success very quickly with one of my businesses and I was not prepared for it at all. It took up a lot more time than I could have imagined and as a result I unintentionally neglected relationships and let many things fall through the cracks.

    “Overnight success” is a misnomer but the media feeds it to the public so much that it’s still considered reality. Your video is a much needed reality check about the “overnight success” stories we still see everywhere we look in the media.



  170. Love this episode! Thank you Marie. A few years ago I actually worked for a company which grew really, really quickly. I had no idea what I was getting into when I took the job! On the outside they seemed so shiny and like they had it all together. On the inside they were constantly scrambling, always behind, never delivering the best level of service possible. I left disillusioned but with an understanding that I had just learned my best business lesson ever – build sustainably. I started my own business soon after and the sustainable model has served me well 🙂

  171. I admired your episode,
    Yes, overnight success is rare!
    In many things I do for instance work,studies,commitments, home duties etc.; I have never taken time to check myself how I can achieve overnight success and I have never been perfect in all; perhaps, I see overnight success appearing in various forms and its better to know where we are in everything we do in a positive direction but not in a negative direction, though we study both aspects.
    Work would have been easier if we had the required skills, but also choice is another factor, where always a good choice with a firm stable and strong team, plus knowing the ways in which we go about problems with a coherent handling will cause overnight success.

  172. Thanks for this episode – it’s so reassuring to know that it’s ok for things to take time!

  173. Great episode, thanks!

  174. Great episode! Consistently making positive decisions daily and with time you will have success. One day at a time and enjoy it! I really LOVE the lifestyle my new business gives me so I love the daily grind of growing it – it is so rewarding! I wouldn’t give it up for “easy” any day. I think that is a key – enjoying the day to day. Thanks, Marie – very timely for me.

  175. Great message! I think everyone can use this reminder. As someone who is just starting out in the “big career” world, I definitely needed to hear this. My dreams are big, but it’s going to take time to get there.

  176. Love


  177. Love


  178. I had almost overnight success with a travel consultancy business I established 4 years ago – admittedly with 12 years of experience behind me. It grew so fast with word of mouth that I was squeezing in only a few hours of sleep each night. After six months watching the business boom out of control, I spent six months winding it up, as I wanted to be a solopreneur.

    Excitingly I’m now on a new path, as a health coach, and loving it. Business is steadily growing this time around!

  179. I think this is THE most important topic for entrepreneurs. Playing the comparison game is so dangerous to your long term success. I used to compare myself to people who were 5 years in. I kept putting other women up on a pedestal and saying to myself, “They have something I don’t, I can’t do that.”

    What has changed my mind forever is actually meeting a few of these women in person. Every time I meet them I realize they are just like me. They’re human, they have personalities, they have struggles and they think and feel the same way I do. The only difference is they keep going. They keep working and they don’t let comparisons get in the way of the work they NEED to put out into the world.

    Now, whenever I’m feeling down on myself I try to meet another new person IRL. It reminds me that we’re all in the same boat and that I need to keep putting my message out into the world.

  180. Being mega successful is often a long road, so you’ve got to love what you do.

  181. Nothing is achieved without hard work and nothing can replace it for getting to the levels of success we all want and are aiming for.

    And this is also why doing something which draws on your strengths and is an activity you enjoy is so important. You will often work harder, if not longer hours on your business than any day-job you had before.

    It’s almost like a mother giving birth to a child. It’s one of the most painful and difficult experiences for a woman to go through, but ask most of them afterwards about it all and chances are they will say, “That was excruciating pain, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!”

    You will go through pain and difficulties in getting your business to the level you want, but once up that mountain with a totally different view of the world, I’m sure you’ll agree you wouldn’t have changed that journey for the world!

    Simon Alexander Ong

  182. This was a great video, Marie. We live in the Aquarian Age where we have the greatest access to information than any other time, we’re learning about finding our true self, and living from the heart. But there also seems to be an equally growing and strong ego-need to succeed and beat others. My number one priority in my writing is to give back, but I’ll get down on myself if I perceive that I’m not succeeeding at a fast enough pace. So, I have to constantly remind myself of my real priorities and keep my ego in check.

  183. Great Video as always! I love how you said its a marathon not a sprint. The slogan “slow and steady wins the race was my slogan for everything I do..

    I have just moved back to Singapore three months ago, and my friend made me realize I am doing the right things, I have met the right people, interviewed people, really committed to my blog, and its alot of hard work, but I am super clear of the final goal that it seems okay!

    Thanks for constantly being an inspiration and soo real and soo honest!

    Big Hugs

  184. Hi Maria,

    I was scouring the internet for the truth behind overnight success and I found your site. You and your ladies have shed a lot of light on these overnight success stories.

    I dig it! The facts of life are what’s missing from the truth behind these stories. I would say your rule #1 is still overstating the “rare exception” of a true overnight success because there aren’t any plants to grow overnight and bares you fruit the next day. Only the Illusionist can grow an orange right before your very eyes. These stories are exactly what they are are “stories”complete with dramatic effect

  185. Liza

    Love this!!! Thanks Marie! Exactly what I needed :)!!

  186. Ibrahim K Jackson

    What an awesome video! Thank you!!!
    FOCUS: Wealthy, Influential and World Class… <3 button!!!

  187. Candice

    This video was so GOODY GOODY!!! in my prior company I started having success and it was so exciting BUT THEN IT BECAME SO SCARY! I started having self doubt and I was not prepared to deal with that kind of growth so fast, even though I wanted it all along. I also started another company in 2010 and it has yet to take off because I have NOT been an everyday hustler. However I do know from experience that you have to be EMOTIONALLY prepared for that OVERNIGHT SUCCESS as they call it. Thanks Marie Luv you to death boo.

  188. Happy Friday! What a great post. The issue lies we’re a society that desperately seeks immediate results with little effort. The best things in life take time to cultivate and flourish. I just launched my blog this past week and am trying to interact with fellow bloggers but it is a learning curve! Looking forward to the effort and long-term fruit of my labor. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  189. I totally agree with you on your last point. I knew I couldn’t handle “overnight success” because I needed to learn a lot along the way. Now that My business is in a better position and I have great testimonials, my business is slowly ramping up. I am glad it’s been a slow journey because I have a great foundation. Thank you for your message!

  190. Love that dress! Amazing video as always but I am off topic here….will someone please, please, please tell me where to get that black and white dress or the designer name? It just looks so stunning! Thank you so much!

  191. Overnight is a dream because we want to be successful now and finacially free but its scary at the same time because of all the reasons you mentioned. Slow and steady is more secure and strong.

  192. Amen! Building success is like building a brick wall. Unless you are a master craftswoman like You, Marie or Oprah, building success takes time, attention, focus and lots of dirty hands doing the work!

    If you are a parent, it takes even longer! There is no way we parents can compare ourselves or our success to non-parents. Not if we want to spend any time with our muchkinds, that is!

    Love your 3 REAL truths!
    Can’t wait for the next lesson!

  193. Lori Glier

    Dear Marie,

    I have been working my butt of for 14 years to make my foundation for Authenticity firm and sturdy and I have been doing this for love of what I have a passion for! I continue to hustle daily and if something is not working I know I have to learn and move on. As I continue!

  194. CC

    Thank you so much for this and for all of your videos. Your lessons are one of the reasons I got my butt in gear to finally start the style site I always wanted to develop, and it keeps motivated when I start to waiver in my confidence.

  195. Ana

    Hey Marie,
    I have about 1 year working with my team, on building an educational community for freelancers. Is still at the beginning but I am proud of what we have accomplished.
    You are soooo right with the tedious work!
    Indeed is a very important habit to manage daily in order to grow our “baby “project but definitely is worthing.

    Thank you for inspiring us to grow!

  196. I’ve been watching/reading Marie for about six months now, but only now do I feel like I should come forward and tell my story.

    I’m 25 years old and am living off of the income of my own business having gone full-time in April. I’m not a genius or an “overnight success” though many people, I think, would consider me so.

    What people don’t realize is this:

    I started working before it was legal to do so, getting let go when people found out at 14 I was waiting tables. I kept a job all through high school, and in college I worked full-time while going to school full-time, paying my way through school. I graduated with minimal student loans, something I pride myself in. I have never been to a college party or did anything typical college students do for fun. I didn’t have the time (much less the energy) after the homework, classes, and work.

    When I graduated college at 22, I had been working in administration for 5 years. I was then laid off. That same day, I found a part-time job as a freelance journalist making $50 a month. I was unemployed for 1.5 years living off of $20 a week after rent and power was paid. I went without food or showers at times just to pay the bills and keep my credit score up. (My dad always drilled in us kids that this, by far, is the most important thing in life–our credit score.)

    That seems like a lifetime ago. Now I believe that everyone should go through that kind of hardship to learn what it’s like to live so meagerly. I learned so many ways to stretch a dollar. I remember my parents being amazed how far $50 could go in my hands.

    When I finally got a job, it was the best day of my life–I remember dancing around my living room, crying, thankful I will be able to eat and shower normally again. Little did I know that this job would become the most abusive (mentally and physically) I would ever endure. I was there for about 1.5 years, having also gained a few freelance clients on the side.

    The day after I was slapped for trying to assist my supervisor in carrying something, I put in my notice. I knew I would rather leave without an income than to put up with violations. When I left, I had only my “rainy day” savings to fall back on (that I once read was super important to have).

    I’ve been fortunate. I went 2 months with no income before having an influx of clients. I now am a reasonably successful SEO Web Writer. I have amazing clients who I partner with and love every minute of it.

    That’s what people see: the pictures of my backyard from my dining room table/desk at 10am or “thankful” status updates of how absolutely fortunate I am to live this life. They see me as an overnight success–no 25 year old could possibly be able to do what I’m doing.

    But the truth is, I have sacrificed a lot to get where I am by unknowingly using your advice. I don’t have weekends–I work on vacation, weekends, at night. I hustle every day. But the difference is, I love my job. It can get monotonous or tedious, but every single moment is worth it.

    Anyone can do what I’m doing with a lot of hard work, risk-taking, and a ton of perseverance. And a lot of sacrificing.

    No one is a true “overnight success.” People just seem to be. They don’t want to know about the hardships or hoops that had to be set on fire to get there.

    Thank you for this video. Thank you for saying all the things I thought of but could never find. 🙂

  197. Oliver Rojas


    I never had an overnight success and I do not know anyone who has.

  198. I grew my Facebook to about 1000 in a month, my list to 200 in a month, and 5000 visitors to my site in a month!

    That being said – I spent about 2-3 years LEARNING and failing an many other endeavors before that happened! And like Marie said – there is now a TON of work to be done to keep it up! Big challenge – be rewards – lots of work!

  199. LOVED this video, Marie! I sat in the car this VERY morn, telling a fellow entrepreneur the VERY SAME points. We all get so discouraged by the apparent “sudden success” of others, but we seldom know the full story. These points are spot on- I want to write a book someday that chronicles the “overnight success” of my company…3.5 years digging trenches and counting! Steady plodding brings prosperity!

  200. “Real chefs” never use measuring spoons or measuring cups. They use a pinch of this and a dollop of that. So, I figured I would cook like a real chef. It didn’t turn out so good. It appears those shortcuts have to be earned from real experience.

  201. Nancy

    Does failure and starting all over again from scratch and a brand new product which I never sell before counts as years of experience that I need in order to achieve success in business? one day…. I only know about hard work, but I would like to learn about smart work and if there can be shortcuts we can take and still break thru. Thank you Marie you are special 🙂

  202. I really needed to read this. The comparison game can get really tough! Granted my new blog is solely for pleasure (not as an income earner), but it can be really hard some days to see blogs seemingly get offered all the amazing opportunities that I sometimes think I can only dream about.

    Thank you for keeping it real 🙂

  203. What a player. Hats off 2 marie!

  204. I opened this tab earlier today. Later in the day I posted a piece that flowed from my heart, and I knew something great was going to come from it. That was five hours ago, and 1200 views and a tweet from Oprah later, I decided it was time for bed. This tab lingered and reminded me that I am on the right path, have worked my ass off for what is coming to me, and need to keep working to continue building this kick-ass life. This isn’t a blip, it’s the continuation of fulfilling my higher purpose. Here’s the post if you’re interested:

  205. Overnight success is bogus. I’ve worked with some of the biggest names in TV and they always appeared to rise to stardom from thin air.
    I was behind the scenes and I know they worked hard for years to get there. They’d be at the station at 5 am, midnight and all hours in between. They worked their buns off. No one saw that. They just saw the “after” but they didn’t see the “before”.
    Don’t be fooled. You may currently be a “before” but if you keep at it with flexibility and get the help you need, you can be an “after”.

  206. Couple thoughts: 1) When I see others in my network that are really killing it, I ask them if they want to compare notes. That way, I learn from them and they learn from me. It’s not a “pick your brain” session and everyone wins. Also helps me cement what I’ve actually learned by telling it to someone 2) Happiness and success are not zero-sum games, there is enough to go around. 3) Define what success looks like for YOU, not someone else: Early on in my entrepreneurial journey, someone said “do you want funding or do you wand to build a lifestyle company?” For me, that was not an easy answer. Ask yourself: do you want to be a household name? Are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle and creative control for that? Would you be happiest with a business where you work on what you love, when you want and answer to no one except your customers and team?

  207. Thank you for sharing! You are very nice!

  208. Jimmy

    I believe what you’re saying. Generally speaking, true overnight success stories are lottery winners or beneficiaries of a massive inheritance. Rome wasn’t built in a day and building a financial empire is no difference in most cases.

  209. Helena

    Marie, I love your style and wisdom, you really are something fresh!!!
    Im in a process of writing my web site text for my new biz as a life coach
    and need to clear my head to stay focused. So thank you for clearing my head 🙂

  210. As always on point. It is hard to imagine companies exploding but there are tons of examples. I started a company in December and have done over 5 million in sales for clients to date as a lead generation consultant. The reason why I have been able to do this is because I spent almost a decade building the skills, people, process and technology.

  211. This is very true, we often look at others to gauge where we should be in life.

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