With the internet and social media, everyone wants it all because everyone can see it all.
Grab your phone and you’ll get glimpses of the “good life” on Instagram vacation pictures, Snapchat videos of a celebrity’s car, and Facebook posts saying how some entrepreneur made $1 million last month.
Seeing these signs of success has the power to make anyone full of envy, wishing they had the same level of achievement and rewards, and wondering when their time and big payday will come.
Moments like these are depressing when you’re looking outside yourself without any clear answers.
Did That Describe You?
If you’re producing blog posts or writing books and your audience isn’t where you want it to be, it can be the most frustrating thing.
Maybe your traffic has stopped growing. Maybe your book reviews and sales are underwhelming. You want more, but you’re not close to getting it. And you wonder if you ever will get it.
The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t there, just complete darkness.
But what’s not documented, not recorded, and not talked about it, is that the thousands of raving fans and a tall bank account doesn’t come from thin air. The people who achieve success where once also in that dark tunnel.
So, where does success come from?
Work When No One’s Looking
This quote I read from Sam Altman both inspired me to write this post and fired me up to get to work when no one’s looking:
The most impressive people I know spent their time with their head down getting shit done for a long, long time.
Meaning true achievement comes from years of hard work on your own. Sometimes it’s repetitive, meticulous, and downright tiresome, yet those who rise to the top keep putting in the hours.
Constant work is the only way to ensure success.
So anyone, including you, who hasn’t put in the work to achieve unbelievable success but are discouraged they don’t have it is delusional.
You have to put in the years of mastering your craft when no one’s looking for crowds to read your content and buy your work. There’s no other way. There aren’t any shortcuts.
It goes with the same theme that the public only sees the gold medal, money, or media attention, but what they don’t realize is all the work leading up to it.
Michael Phelps is known by billions of people as the best Olympian of all time because of all the hours he put in the pool without a single person watching.
J.K. Rowling’s books are in the hands of over 450 million people because of the effort and time she spent as someone unknown to the public.
So if you want any kind of success, you must answer these questions:
Are you spending the years with your head down? Or are you discouraged when you wrote one book and didn’t get the response you wanted?
Are you working as hard as you can to stretch yourself when no one is looking? Or are you doing just enough to get by each week?
Being honest with yourself is critical because it helps you answer these valuable questions and make progress.
I firmly believe that anyone who wants to get the most out of life in the light, must first make the most of their time in the dark.