How To Become An Overnight Success In 25 Years


My thanks to the extraordinary Hollywood costume designer, Ellen Mirojnick, for the graphic. It perfectly captures one of my long-held beliefs about life and business.

In this world of instant gratification, many young professionals too often either: a) feel entitled to nothing but sunny reviews and dramatic promotions and pay raises; or b) are too hard on themselves,impatient for milliondollar payoffs before they are 30. My advice: exercise a little patience and be sure to smell the roses along the way.

As one who has been a working professional for more than 35 years, I don’t mind telling you now that I fit both categories at one time or another. Early in my career I had an inflated view of my PR acumen. I thought I was just among the best PR people around. And when success—at least, my definition of it—took longer than I expected, I became rather difficult to live with for both friends and family. In fact, some of my colleagues started calling my wife Sande, “Saint Sande,” as in, you must be a saint to put up with this character all these years! Yet, somehow she did put up with me, and taught me to lighten up and find a way to enjoy things (like my children) along the way. Sound advice, to be sure.

With the benefit of hindsight, I want to make sure that anyone reading this blog makes it a point to just relax and lighten up. Work on being a great person and a consummate professional.  Enjoy what you have and avoid envying others’ talents and opportunities. It took me the proverbial 25 years to become an overnight success. So work hard, study, be intellectually curious and unafraid, and most importantly, build and protect your own brand through honesty and credibility. Do all of that and I guarantee that you will be an unqualified success in anything you do.