How To Become an Overnight Success

If you want to be an overnight success, you do the work day in and day out.

You do the work that everyone else gives up on.

You do the work that everyone else has mistakenly labeled a waste of time.

You do the work even when you're convinced that everyone on Instagram has figured out some foolproof system that they haven't clued you in on.

You do the work even when it is boring.

You do the work even when you don't feel like it and would rather curl up under a blanket on the couch with Nespresso and Netflix.

Then one day, out of nowhere, you will be labeled an overnight success. A door will open to a new hallway with new doors bearing new opportunities. You will still have to do the work to open these doors, but they will swing a little more freely.

Everyone will want to know how exactly you got so lucky. How you found the shortcut to that hallway with those doors.

And you will smile because you know the answer isn't one they want to hear.

The shortcut is doing the work.

Originally published January 2013

Leaving Room For The Miracle

Luck's kryptonite? Busyness.

People who find their identity through a jam-packed schedule are rarely lucky.

To be fair, busyness is often a symptom of something deeper: a desire to be seen as "important," an inability to say no out of a need to have everyone like us, fear of opportunities going to someone else even if they're a good but not great fit for us, fear that if we slow down we might have to face the fact that maybe the life we've built for ourselves isn't exactly the one we wanted.

Lucky people have more boundaries, not less. They say no more often so that they have room to say yes to things that truly excite them. They are comfortable embracing a philosophy of JOMO (joy of missing out) rather than FOMO (fear of missing out). They are willing to risk not being liked by saying no. They are okay with being misunderstood for a while. They understand that your priorities do not need to be their priorities and vice versa.

Most lucky people don't plan for luck (or even believe it exists), but they do make space for it. They don't fly in to a conference or event for one session and then fly right back out. They stick around and talk to people. They know that "what's in it for me?" isn't always the right question to ask. They recognize that opportunities often look like work and show up through people or places they don't expect.

I call all of this "leaving room for the miracle."

Lucky people leave room for the miracle.

Originally published January 2012