Why Success Takes Time
Like many other people, I’m often frustrated by the lacklustre pace of success.
The reason I’m doing whatever it is I’m doing is because I’m really excited about it right now!
I don’t want to wait to see the results of my dream, I want to see the fruits of my labour while I’m still excited and passionate! Why does it take so goddamn long before my exciting new dream comes true?
Unfortunately there are milestones that need to be achieved before success is possible, and they all take time and competence. No amount of peacocking and grand-standing will get you around the laws of success.
Putting true time and effort into your craft is what builds success, regardless of what you hear.
If you put in the time and hold on through all the adversity, you’ll eventually reach the most important milestone of all…
The Power of Authenticity
A true voice in any field is a unique and special phenomenon. There’s nothing that can really quantify a true voice, you just know it when it’s in front of you.
Before she pivoted to focus on her novels, I was a big lover of Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog. She had a really unique voice as a struggling writer who desperately wanted to be published.
In reality, there’s nothing unique about a writer who’s blogging about wanting to be published, there’s literally thousands of them. But the way she spoke connected with me and her other readers, because she had a voice. She had authenticity.
She was able to write within a tired genre with a unique and fresh voice, and that didn’t happen overnight.
She didn’t start her blog and find success within the first few months, she maintained it for a decade. She was consistent with her posts, and her content always evolved.
We came to trust her and cling to every word she wrote as her voice continued to grow stronger over time.
She put in the time, and over the course of years her competence grew.
The more you do of anything, the better you’ll become at it. Catherine wrote like crazy, and after 10 years of blogging she was a crazy good writer. Eventually she was published, and now she’s a smashing success.
What Authenticity Looks Like
When I was growing up I was mentored by a man from Switzerland who ran his own business as a watch maker.
Both his own effort and the fame of Swiss watchmakers contributed to his legendary authenticity in our town.
He was part of a generation who committed their lives to one profession and one craft, so after several decades of the work he was incredible at his craft.
He inspired me in a lot of areas, so there was nothing he could ever say about watches or business that I wouldn’t instantly believe. His authenticity left no doubts in my mind whether his advice was credible or not. This is what authenticity looks like.
You can see your own authenticity every day, it’s displayed in the faces of the people around you. When you talk to your work colleagues or your friends, you can see it plain as day.
If you give advice to a colleague, how do they handle it? If you tell your boss that he or she is making a bad decision, how is that received?
Does anyone around you ever change their behaviour because of something you’ve said? Do you have influence?
Every workplace has that guy who had a great education (which is how he got hired) but clearly knows nothing.
No amount of long stories or largely gestured boasting is ever going to convince a single person on the team that he has any idea of what he’s talking about. His authenticity was destroyed over time through his actions, and it will take a lot longer to slowly fix it again.
With everything that you say and do each day, think about how it will affect your authenticity.
It can be hard to see how you’re affecting your authenticity in the short term, but there are indicators you can rely on.
If you contributed unsolicited advice during the last company meeting and everyone rolled their eyes, you’ve got a lot of repair work to do.
If you’re running a makeup tutorial YouTube channel and no-one is watching for longer than a minute, you’ve got work to do.
It takes time and competence to build authenticity. Competence takes time and effort, so basically everything takes bloody time.
So stop cracking the whip and expecting everything to fall into place right away. Give it some time, and keep working at it. Maybe after a decade people will come to trust you. **Forehead slap**
Make sure you know what you want and have drawn a path to your goal. After that, put in the work and just don’t stop. Eventually, you’ll make it.