July 11, 2011, 5:00 am

Creating An “Overnight” Success

by: Silent Partner    Category: Business
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Since the start of our partnership and the creation of our online company, things have evolved very fast. You could barely tell from looking at our growth that we’re in the midst of a serious recession. Both of us are convinced that things will get much much bigger in the next 2 to 3 years and I’m convinced that many will talk about an “overnight” success. Why? For one thing, our business seems to increase by sudden jumps rather than gradual increases. While we are not seeing this every single month, I would argue that our monthly revenues of $10,000 are fairly steady at this point. We’ve been working on the projects since our annual shareholders’ meeting and as they start to go live, we hope to move closer to $20,000 per month.

However, it hit me this morning. Everyone who will look at our progress will likely not realize what we have put into it. Once in a while, I have trouble sleeping. I’m not sure if it’s because I have so many ideas about our projects and the business or if those thoughts come because of the fact that I’m unable to sleep. In any case, at 4 AM, I woke up and headed to the computer, to get back to work. Why stay in bed if I’m wide awake and the mind is flowing? I started looking at our most recent projects and emailed Mike a few times. He answered back within minutes. It’s rare but far from the first time that we’ve been discussing our projects when everyone else is still asleep.

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t do this every day. We both have balanced lives with friends and family as well as our 9 to 5 jobs. That being said, we do make some sacrifices in order to grow our business. Much of this goes unnoticed and as we try to become more transparent about our company, projects and how we’re able to grow our business, I think it’s easy to forget. More than anything else, it’s our commitment to the business and ourselves that has enabled us to get where we are.

So What Kind Of Sacrifices Are Involved?

I think the more obvious one is to dedicate time to the company but there are others. Having a day job means that we must find free time by getting up earlier, going to bed later, but it also means that we bring our blackberry/laptop on vacation. Of course, having a partner and VAs helps a lot but we can’t truly leave work behind in the same way that we do with our day jobs.

How long will these sacrifices go on? I’d personally say the benefits already surpass the sacrifices, which still exist but they do not feel significant. I do think that as we’ll be able to hire more VAs and then quit our day jobs, those will go away and we can hopefully settle into a new job that will include great working conditions; more vacation and lots of flexibility. How long will that take? I think that it will happen within the next 5 years.

How Can We Accelerate Our “Overnight Success”?

There are many different ways to do it and if you’re a regular reader you know that Mike is a big believer in leverage. I have to admit I was much more and still am conservative but he has convinced me of the overall benefits and as a company we are leveraging ourselves much more than I would have done by myself. It’s been great and we would be nowhere near where we are now had we not borrowed money for some of our key acquisitions!

What Many Will Miss In Our Overnight Success Storyline

Most of you only see a part of our empire and while you are getting a better view, you are still missing info on some of our moving parts. You have also missed some of our mistakes. We had numerous projects that failed such as buying a Lost website (losttvshow.org), starting other tv show websites (Prison Break, etc) and we had even started a French version of this blog initially. I think we have been very good about recognizing the mistakes and moving on but it’s a good reminder that rarely will you come up with an “overnight success” on your first and only try. Work hard, and learn from your mistakes. I’m sure Mike will discuss some of these over time! 🙂

When Will We Consider Our Company A Success?

I think the easiest sign will be when both of us will be working full time for the company. We also have that $1 million objective. Ideally, both of us would have a net worth in the 7 figures but I think that the day we will value our company at over $1,000,000 will have to be considered a major success. Honestly, it’s much closer than you could imagine. We are currently valuing the company at $200,000 but that is very conservative. As our revenues continue to increase and the business becomes more stable (warranting a higher multiple), we will get much closer to our objectives.

Are You Putting In The Work And Sacrifices Necessary To Become An Overnight Success?

I would really love to hear about what you are doing to grow your business faster.

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I think all of us bloggers know how much work that goes into creating one successful blog so I don’t think we would underestimate your effort. This is especially true because you have an online empire, not just a single blog!

I know that you have streamlined a lot of things that most bloggers don’t and taken a lot more risks, which has allowed you to expand much quicker. However, when I think of you, I definitely don’t picture a guy who is sipping a beverage on a beach all day long 🙂

I always love the M-35 updates, they inspire to me. Any chance we could see a “biggest mistakes” of M-35 in the future? I just realized I had no idea about anything that didn’t work out for you two until reading about “Lost” and “Prison Break” above.

You guys are still one of my online empire inspirations though, overnight success or not.

There’s an old quote by the successful marketer Dan Kennedy that goes something like this…”I’m an overnight success after 20 years of effort.”

People see success stories and think “oh, they just got lucky.” That makes it easier for them to justify their own lack of success instead of admitting they don’t have the stomach to put in the hard work.

I’m working long hours so that I can save more money, which I can invest into my business in attempts to grow. I’m also investing money into other opportunities.

There’s also the opportunity cost. By not getting a “real job” right out of college and working on online projects, I could be delaying my career growth/hurting my future.

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leverage is the name of the game – glad you are employing it at best. fortune 500 companies grow no differently 😉

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