Does it take 25 years to become an Overnight Success? Is it luck? Timing? Or A Miracle?


People often ask me when my “big break” came in my career. It’s a funny question because there never has been “one”. I think a great deal of the public believes that brands or companies or individuals get lucky and hit it big in a day or a magical moment. The fact is, getting airborne is more about small drops in a bucket amounting to a lot over time. I don’t know if I’ve ever see it all happen at once. Good things take time.

You have to admit, the term “startup” has never been more famous. Sites like kick-starter are gaining momentum as they help individuals fuel a dream or an idea. Never before has there been an easier way for people to get their idea seen, heard and fueled than this age. Technology is really powerful for ideas.

Wen I started my business on my bike as a teenager there were no cell phones. If you wanted a message to get out you placed an ad in a newspaper, magazine or radio. You printed actual invitations or postcards and placed a stamp on it. Or, you went to the people literally and talked to them.

The last 26 years of my career were relationship after relationship being connected and word of mouth traveling to the next person. It was all built on testimony and shared experience. Whether I painted a mural or a painting my business was built through shared testimonies.

The world advertises: “The harder you work the luckier you get.” I totally disagree. It’s not about luck and the “right time at the right place”. My experience is much different. Looking back I can see that my life has been totally a series of miracles. Today that same thing is true. I go to events and release products I have no idea how they will be received. I step out in faith to make the product, step out in faith to take risks on the process of production, faith on new ideas, faith on spending money to market and faith for whether it will sell or not. They key for me isn’t the success of the product. It the success and significance of the process. Am I holding it all loosely? Am I grateful the whole way through? Am I surrendered and “all in” knowing God cares for me and has my best interest at heart? If I stay in this pocket, I create, live and thrive in my gifting. My wife and kids benefit because the success or outcomes aren’t based on my manipulation. The results are Gods. My job is to create and get it to light in the best fashion possible. Then leave the rest up to God to handle.

I read stories about the lives of Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison and George Lucas. Their stories didn’t unfold over night. It appears they are overnight success stories but if you were to ask them the history they would tell you they were no where near being finished, had not peaked and it all took a lifetime of investing into their craft. One drop in the bucket at a time. one risk, one failure and one victory at a time.

When I look at the commonalities of the great creatives I read above I notice they all failed massively and all reaped major reward. However, the biggest attribute of these creatives is that they never gave up. They stayed the course. They never gave up. Thomas Edison failed at making a light bulb over 9,000 times. I wonder how I would have felt at the 1500th failure?

This principle goes for every area in life: As a parent, a diet, physical training etc. It happens little by little over time. You don’t walk into a gym one time and walk out buff!

How do manage your thoughts about yourself in this area? Do you believe success happens overnight?

Please post, forward and share this post with others. Even more, leave a comment below and share in the conversation to help encourage others. We are in this life together!

Have a blessed week!