But that “overnight” success? It definitely didn’t happen overnight.
As they say: little hinges swing big doors. Success doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. Success is in the little things — the steps we take every single day to get just a little closer to our goals. THAT’S what creates success.
This really hit home for me a few years ago when I was lucky enough to make The New York Times Bestseller List with my book. As I was getting interviewed on a pretty big podcast, the host said, “You just came out of nowhere… and now you’re everywhere! You’re an overnight success!”
That really made me stop and pause (and honestly, giggle a little bit!). To the outside world, it might have looked like my success had happened overnight. But, of course, that wasn’t the case. I’d been working on my blog, my business, and creating value for my audience every single day for 5+ years. It took me half a decade to achieve that “overnight” success!
The moral of the story is this: what looks like “overnight” success NEVER happens overnight. The things that seem impossible for us — like publishing a bestselling book or launching a wildly successful product — SEEM impossible because we only see the end result. We’re ALL capable of big success — if we’re willing to put in the work.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s created through the small things. When we do those small things every single day, we can create bigger successes than we ever imagined.
Why We Need to Focus on Small Tasks
One of the mistakes I think a lot of people make on the road to success is focusing on the big things. We think, “Oh, I need to publish a book!” or “Oh, I need to build the biggest blog in my niche!” While there’s nothing wrong with having big goals (I’m all for setting the bar high!), focusing on the big, shiny successes won’t get us where we want to be.
It’s the small, consistent, and (I’ll be honest!) unglamorous things done every single day that build real success.
If we try to find a shortcut and bypass the unglamorous everyday tasks, we’ll never get to the big, shiny success. You can’t skip forward to the finish line.
Those small tasks — those baby steps — are the only way to get the big, shiny success. We’ve got to earn it.
The Small Things That Get Us Where We Want to Be
So we’re on board: it’s the small things that build big success.
But what exactly ARE the small things?
The small things are those sometimes challenging, sometimes tedious, sometimes unglamorous, sometimes downright boring things we do every single day to build our business and build ourselves into better bloggers.
- Doing things that are totally out of our comfort zone
- Mastering new technologies, tools, and platforms
- Consistently writing and editing content (even when we have writer’s block!)
- Reading books, listening to podcasts, taking courses, … anything we need to do to continually learn about our space
- Doing everything with excellence — (even when no one is looking over our shoulder)
- Building and nurturing relationships with our audiences and other bloggers
- Going to conferences and industry events
- Dealing with frustration
- Working late hours or on weekends when things get busy
- Never giving up, no matter what — even when it feels like we’re not getting anywhere, even when things get tough, even when we want to give up
Now, all of those things take a whole lot of discipline (or, as Chet Holmes calls it, stubborn, pigheaded discipline). That discipline can be REALLY hard to muster, especially when we feel light years away from the kind of success we crave.
But that’s the key — keeping that
determination and discipline BEFORE the success happens is what will get us where we want to be.
Think of it like this: a world-class athlete doesn’t just stroll into the Olympics and break a world record. They practice and train and sacrifice for YEARS before they ever get any kind of reward. They stay disciplined even when their success is just a possibility far off in the distance.
That’s the kind of discipline we need to be successful.
I remember when I first started blogging, I had a hard time creating content. I would be writing and at the same time thinking, “What is the point of all this? Why am I even trying to make this a great post? No one is even reading it!”
But I pushed through. I focused on creating valuable, helpful content into the world before the success came — before I even had any readers! And guess what? Some of those early posts I wrote — the ones that no one was reading — are still driving traffic to this day.
The key to success is to keep putting in the work — even when no one is watching, even if success isn’t guaranteed, even if we’re not sure it’s worth it. When we’re disciplined and keep putting in the work —that’s when the magic happens.
Let’s See This in Action!
Here’s one of my FAVORITE examples of someone who put in the work, did the small things with excellence every single day, and reaped major success as a result.
This is Rosemarie Groner. She was one of our first students here at EBA, and it took her nine months to get through the course.
At the beginning, she felt like she was doing a lot of things — kind of spinning her wheels — but nothing was happening. Regardless, she stuck with it and kept moving forward, day in and day out. Then one day, everything changed. Things started to happen: BIG things.
Check out Rosemarie’s story in the video below:
The point is, the things Rosemarie was doing every day didn’t feel glamorous. They didn’t feel like they would have a big impact or make big things happen.
But she kept going. She did what she needed to do every day, even when it seemed like nothing was happening and she would never get to where she wanted to go.
Those small things she did every day are what got her to her big success.
And I promise — if you keep moving forward and keep doing those small things every single day, there’s big success waiting for you, too! Remember: little hinges swing big doors.
What are some small things you do every day that are prepping you for big success down the line? Leave your ideas in the comments below!