Want to Become an Overnight Success? You've Got Years of Work Ahead of You.

When it comes to business, what's often left out of the story -- with a handful of exceptions -- is that the overnight success was decades in the making.

learn more about Carol Roth

By Carol Roth

Ezra Bailey | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Between media and its various components, from a 24-hour news cycle to social media, coupled with technology in general, we have created an "I want it now" society. We seek immediate gratification, as almost anything in the universe that we desire is just a quick mouse click away, and anyone we want to connect with is just a text, email or tweet away. We no longer place a lot of value on that whole tenet of "patience is a virtue."

In the business arena, this is intensified, as we celebrate "overnight sensations." However, when it comes to business, what's often left out of the story- with a handful of exceptions -- is that the overnight success was decades in the making.

Related: How a Bearded 20-Something Quickly Built Two Viral Businesses With Coolbox and Dollar Beard Club

Yes, while the media gives some level of expert credibility, most of those who seem to gain notoriety "overnight" often have long and storied histories of doing work in their existing business or gaining experience elsewhere before finding their success celebrated. I know that in my own experiences, I had completed nearly $2 billion in transactions but wasn't considered an expert until my first TV appearance. After my book, I had "appeared out of nowhere," except for that whole working my butt off for more than 16 years thing…

So, I wanted to give you some best practices that you can learn from many of the successful people that I have met, so that you can become an "overnight sensation" just like them:

1. Doing the work

A willingness to do whatever it takes -- and not complain about it -- is more of an art than a science. People who are overnight sensations simply do what others are unwilling to. They don't try -- they do.

While others dabble, the overnight sensation dives deep, works hard and works smart.

2. Staying focused

The overnight sensation knows the value of sticking to what works and doing it over and over again instead of chasing every new opportunity. While new things are fun, focus and consistency creates success. This also means sticking it out in and through tough times.

This focus creates relationships, awareness and mastery. It also helps get past the extreme highs and lows that frequently plague the early days of entrepreneurship -- and pop-up from time to time down the road, too.

Related: When Pitching Investors, You Can't Just Say 'Ta-Da! Here's Technology. Give Me Money.'

3. Persistence

Overnight sensations know that sometimes "no" means "not right now" and not "never." They are willing to follow-back up on opportunities, continue to add value to clients and relationships and to stay diligent when it matters the most.

When they encounter a roadblock, they climb over it, around it or drill a hole right through it. While they may have bad days, over the long-haul, they keep pushing ahead.

4. Being a mensch

"Mensch" is a Yiddish word that roughly translates into "being generous in spirit." Many of the overnight sensations that I know believe in collaboration over competition. They bring opportunities to those that they think are good resources and are always ready to lend a helping hand.

5. Cultivating relationships

Going hand in hand with being a mensch as noted above, overnight sensations are great at creating and nurturing relationships with good people. Having strong allies allows for rising tides to lift all boats. And this often means giving without any expectations of returns and keeping in contact over long periods, as real relationships don't happen overnight, either.

Related: Gary Vaynerchuk: Do the Hustle. It's the One Thing Anyone Can Control.

6. Time

Being an overnight sensation takes time. It could take years or even decades of slogging through successes and failures, taking two steps forward and one step back.

The reality is that there is no magic bullet for success. Success, even if it appears to do so, doesn't just happen overnight. Hopefully, you can learn from the above and follow these tips to be an overnight sensation years in the making.

Carol Roth

Entrepreneur, TV host and small business expert

Carol Roth is the creator of the Future File™ legacy planning system, a “recovering” investment banker, business advisor, entrepreneur and best-selling author. She is also a reality TV show judge, media contributor and host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy. A small business expert, Roth has worked with companies of all sizes on everything from strategy to content creation and marketing to raising capital. She’s been a public company director and invests in mid-stage companies, as well.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

American Airlines Sued After Teen Dies of Heart Attack Onboard Flight to Miami

Kevin Greenridge was traveling from Honduras to Miami on June 4, 2022, on AA Flight 614 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious mid-flight.


How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.


6 Tips for Building a Business Growth Mindset in Adolescents

Here are a few tips for nurturing entrepreneurial and growth mindsets in adolescents.

Business News

Would You Buy Maggie Murdaugh's Monogrammed Snake Print Pillows? Items From the Murdaugh Family Home Are Going Up for Auction

The sale comes just weeks after Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the June 2021 murders of his wife, Maggie Murdaugh, and son Paul Murdaugh.


5 Winning Habits That Will Transform Your Leadership Skills

Ready to take your leadership skills to the next level? Discover the five winning habits that will transform you into an exceptional leader!