Avoid the Overnight Success Trap

Seth Godin has become one of today’s most recognizable marketing voices. Most people would agree he has been VERY successful.

When you do a Google search for “Seth,” the first entry returned is for Seth Godin.

Yes, he’s THAT Seth. He needs no last name to be found — just Seth.

Seth founded a social networking site called Squidoo last year and took some criticism because it wasn’t an overnight success. It is a success (ready to hit 8 million monthly page views), but it was the “overnight” part that eluded him.

Read over at the Success Magazine blogs about how inspiring Seth’s experience is for small business owners and startup entrepreneurs.

Why inspiring? Because the vast majority of small businesses will never be overnight successes either. Successes yes — instant successes no.

With most businesses you rarely hear about the months years of hard work behind the scenes. You rarely hear about the near-death experiences and minor miracles that brought the businesses back from the brink. You rarely hear about the owners who took out second mortgages to make payroll or to hire a salesperson.

If you don’t have realistic expectations, you can quickly get into the wrong state of mind. You’ll be thinking that to be a success your business has to be an overnight success. Then you’ll give up WAY too soon.


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

2 Reactions
  1. So true. These days everyone wants everything instantly. It’s more rewarding to put in some hard work & sweat equity to get lasting results. I think if success is instant, you’re more likely to settle for second best.

  2. Hi Anita,

    I particularly like this quote and remind myself that , overnight success takes seven years.