Disruption and Overnight Success

They’d rather talk about how you got it over how much it cost you” – Drake (Headlines)


It’s funny that up till last night, I had almost 10 different ideas to write on and I still couldn’t pick up one exactly.

Not because they weren’t interesting or worthy to write about. But something was missing.


As God would have it, I woke up today to an argument about disruption on Twitter. And it suddenly clicked.

Stories about Apple or Ford or Tesla or different market disruptors in various industries are very sexy. I won’t even lie.

Those are the things that inspire.

But there’s a lot about the disruption that you and I don’t know about.

So instead of a class on business and marketing, let’s talk about something in our lives that is related to disruption.

The story of overnight success.

We love to hear things like “…wow, he just came from nowhere” “Nobody saw her coming” “He just blew up in 6 months” “His business made 10 million in 30 days”

But nobody comes from ‘nowhere’.

There’s a lot of stories that you don’t get to hear.

The lean years. The failed trials. The money lost. The hungry days. The sleepless nights. The sacrifices. The experiments that went wrong.

When motivational speakers try to make a point, they talk about how Edison tried 10,000 different times and failed to make the light bulb and finally made it after trying one more time.

Nobody asks what the backstory was behind those 10,000 different attempts.

What did he lose? How much did he lose? What happened those 10,000 times?

People think the punchline is to keep trying.

But it’s wrong.

The punchline is knowing that most successes are majorly accumulations of lessons and processes learned from different failures.

But failure stories aren’t sexy at all, nobody wants that. We only care about the outcome, never the process.

They are people somewhere in a basement recording music. They are people somewhere working 16 hours a day to make their businesses work. They are people somewhere taking rejection like Mike Tyson punches, left, right and centre.

They are people somewhere practising hours upon hours on the same thing every single day. Shooting 1000 free throws. Taking the same shots 100 times in a row.

Sometimes with no visible results even.

They are people somewhere making plans, taking action and failing repeatedly. Over and over again.

The loneliness and isolation that arises from focusing on and working single-mindedly at your craft.

There’s no overnight success.

There’s just someone who worked in the night, so you could see it in daylight.

Every good thing takes time.

People need to understand this.

Uche Okoro

Writer. Sales & Marketing. Business & Investing Afficionado.

Leave a Reply