In episode #542, Eric and Neil explain the reality of overnight success. Tune in to hear why being an overnight success may not be the key to long-term success.
Time-Stamped Show Notes:
- [00:27] Today’s Topic: How to Become an Overnight Success
- [00:36] There is no such thing as an overnight success.
- [01:37] Elon Musk just kept working on what he found interesting for years, but was still considered an overnight success.
- [02:06] Eric worked for years to get where he is. 2017 wasn’t a great year, but 2018 is looking better.
- [02:29] Jeremy Lin, the basketball player, was considered an overnight success, but he is not a household name.
- [03:12] He kept working until he began to overage 18 points per game.
- [03:27] The only overnight successes are people who have pulled off crazy stunts, but they are forgotten about fairly easily.
- [03:55] Gambit, right out the gate did 30 million in revenue and tanked the following year.
- [04:50] The results from hard work last longer than recognition from stunts.
- [05:32] Warren Buffett built an empire off of hard and consistent work.
- [05:51] Money magnifies your personality.
- [06:08] Focus on becoming a better person, not an overnight success.
- [06:35] That’s it for today!
- [06:37] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special edition of Crazy Egg, the heat mapping tool.
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Full Transcript of The Episode
Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.
Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.
Eric Siu: Today, we are going to talk about how to become an overnight success. This one's interesting because when people talk about the overnight successes, they're never, never, never, never, never an overnight success. Let's look at Elon Musk. Back when I first started to get to know Neil, I would ask him, "Who's your favorite entrepreneur?" He would say, "Elon Musk." This is like six year ago, or so, seven years ago. I was like, "Who's Elon Musk?"
Well, by now, everyone knows who Elon Musk is, Space-X, Tesla, he's helped with SolarCity. He's combined SolarCity with Tesla. He's got all this stuff going on. He has the boring company. He wants to dig tunnels. He's got Hyperloop too. He's got all this stuff going on, but here's the thing, what we don't know about is when Elon Musk started X, and that eventually became PayPal where he combined it with Peter Theil. It's been a long journey.
Neil Patel: And there was a company before that, that I believe, CompuServe bought, which eventually, CompuServe ended up merging into Hewlett Packard.
Eric Siu: Yeah, I think, even before that, he had gaming companies too. So gaming was a big part of his life too. I mean, for him, it wasn't an overnight success. He just kept working and things kept compounding over time and he just worked on whatever he thought was interesting. And, just recently, people started to hear about him because the fruits of labor are starting to bear. That's a good takeaway. I mean, with over 300 entrepreneurs that I've interviewed on Growth Everywhere, the other podcast, it is never an overnight success. I'd be curious to get your story to share with people.
Neil Patel: I've been doing what I've been doing for over 16 years, now. There was no overnight success for me. I was struggling. I had a lot of ups and downs and, eventually, things ended up working this way out. But even right now, 2017 wasn't a great year for me. I was doing a lot of investing. 2018 is starting to get much better, but most people aren't overnight successes. They think they put in a lot of work. I remember a basketball player called Jeremy Lin. Years ago, everything was like, "Lin-sanity." They're like, "Look at Jeremy, he's awesome. Look at all these points he's scoring." They interviewed Kobe Bryant and they're like, "Hey, what do you think about Jeremy Lin?" And he's just like, "Who?" He said, "Never heard of her."
Nonetheless, Jeremy Lin is doing quite well, when I'm looking at his points per game. After, really, things started picking up in New York, and he started doing 14 points a game. Then Houston, he was doing 12 to 13, then 11 Lakers. Then 11 at Charlotte. Then Brooklyn 14. Then 2017 to '18, he was averaging 18 points per game. But look at Lin, such a long road. He's not an overnight success, yes, everyone talks about you overnight, but you got to keep working and cranking away if you want to continually do well.
The only people I know who became overnight successes where one's who did something drastically crazy, like meet the guy that deleted Donald Trump's Twitter account. Then he was everywhere and the press was covering him, but then after a few days what happens? People forget about them. If you're truly are an overnight success, where something happens where you're getting mentioned everywhere, typically, over the next few days, or weeks, or months, people will forget about you, as well.
Eric Siu: Yeah, I think a really good saying here is, "Easy come, easy go." The easier the money comes, and I actually got this from a mutual friend of ours, Noah Kagan. When he had a gambling, not a gambling company, I think it was a mobile gaming company called Gambit, they just, right out the gate, in the first year, they did 30 million in revenue. Then the year after that it tanked. But what he's learned over the years is that, you look at the two companies he has, he has AppSumo and he has Sumo. That was a long ... I mean, one thing I think Neil and I can both appreciate about him is that he's very methodical and he's very patient. You look at the things he's building, he is building for the longterm. He's got a great company culture and he's been patient with things, but he learned, again, "Easy come, easy go."
Neil, I mean, with some of your experiments in the past, I mean, it's been like that, right?
Neil Patel: Yeah. The stuff that's the easiest, you get a big rise from it. You feel like you're on cloud nine and you're invincible. Then, eventually, it just crashes down. That stuff usually crashes down harder than anything else. The stuff that takes you forever to get to and you're putting in the blood, sweat, and tears. The results from it, last longer, it sticks around, and that's how you really build up wealth.
Eric Siu: With Warren Buffett, when did he start to realize all his gains? It was after 50, right?
Neil Patel: It was something crazy, yeah. Later in his career, that's when he started making millions and millions of dollars. Then it turned into billions really fast. Then it just exploded from there, but it was later in his career. He knew what he was doing, always was a smart guy, but no one really cared about him until he really started making a ton of money. It doesn't mean that, you know, after he started making a ton of money he's different, and he's smarter, and he's much more sophisticated. It's, no, he isn't putting in all that time and energy for years is just, eventually, people realize, "Hey, he's Warren Buffett. This guy is amazing. Look what he's done." He's really figured out how to leverage insurance companies to build a gigantic empire.
Eric Siu: When you think about overnight success, that's just the public's perception of you. Just focus on continue to do what you do. Keep doing the boring stuff and eventually you become an overnight success. But even after you do become an overnight success, here's the thing I think about, and when I find true with people that are successful, or just money, in general. Money just elevates who you are and magnifies who you are already. So if you're an asshole already, you're just going to become a bigger asshole.
When you think about becoming an overnight success, don't even think about that. Think about how you can become a better person and a more useful person to society. I think that's more interesting than trying to become an overnight success, because, think about it, maybe part of the reason why you clicked this, or maybe this is how you discovered our podcast, is maybe to appease your ego. But that's not what this life is about.
Neil Patel: Yeah. You know what, it's just like keep pushing away, work hard, things will end up working out, learn from your mistakes, and you'll do alright. It just takes time.
Eric Siu: Great. So that's it for today, but before we go, we have a special giveaway. This is Neil's heatmapping tool called Crazy Egg. It will help you make more money. Just go to singlegrain.com/giveaway, to learn more and we'll see you tomorrow.
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