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  • HaydenM

You’re already having your overnight success

Have you ever felt that you aren’t as successful as you should be? Have you ever felt that you should either be a great actor, a successful scientist, a wealthy entrepreneur or have done something to make you the top of your field?

You should never feel like that. Those “overnight” successes take years, or even decades to happen. But everyone feels that way, including me. When I was younger, I dropped out of college because I looked at all of the tech millionaires. Bill Gates comes to mind, who founded Microsoft in his early 20’s, dropping out of Harvard to create his billion-dollar company. Well, what they don’t tell you is that Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard BECAUSE Microsoft was becoming a successful company. He dropped out to continue its growth. I wanted to be an 18-year-old billionaire and while I was in school some of my friends wanted to start a comic book convention. I immediately hopped on board, dropping out of school while hoping to become the next Bill Gates. Comikaze Expo had its first show in a parking lot at the LA Convention Center, eventually growing to what it is today, Los Angeles ComicCon.

A new project of mine, Teak Tea, Inc. has just entered its first round of funding, raising over $210,000 in two months. This company’s goal is to bring high-quality iced teas made with teak leaves to shelves all across America.

To those on the outside, it all seems like they were overnight successes. In reality, it took over a year of planning, playing with different ideas, creating samples of everything from teak cutting boards to coasters to even furniture. Furthermore, the plantation has been growing for over 22 years. This project could not have happened without 2 decades of work and a lot of research.

Let’s talk about another "overnight success": Steve Jobs. It would be wrong to think of him as one though, hell you could even call him an overnight failure. Even though he launched the successful brand of Macintosh computers in 1984, by 1985 he was forced out of his company by Apple's own board of directors.

But that didn’t stop him. He started a new company and helped fund and develop the computer graphics division of Lucasfilms. This eventually became Pixar, which created some of the most amazing films such as Toy Story. In 1997, 12 years after Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple, Apple merged with his company and Jobs reclaimed his position of CEO. He inspired the iPhone and tons of other technology we use today.

It is always easy to see success. It is also easy to feel demoralized by another person’s success. Did you know people who use social media more often than others have higher rates of depression? One theory is that people almost always post their “best” self on social media. Vacations, happy relationships, fun experiences. There is very little of the “worst” self on social media. But when you deal with bad, or even just average situations on a daily basis, it makes your life seem unfulfilled, incomplete, that you should be doing more. Everyone seems like they're living the high life while you’re living some high life and a lot of average.

But everyone is living the same way. You only see their best online.

With Los Angeles ComicCon, it may be a success now, but what people didn't see was our team living in a small apartment, living frugally, trying our hardest to make this show happen. They don’t see the stress, the tears, being so stretched thin financially that you can’t take a date out, and giving up so many other opportunities because we wanted to put on an amazing show. With Teak Tea, no one sees the savings I blew through to try and make a dream happen, or all of the setup work one had to do. And hardly anyone sees the failed company's I’ve had, such as Pollo Diablo Hot Sauce or the objective failure of “Operation Golden Duck”

Authors note: Operation Golden Duck is still the greatest idea I’ve ever had and I will always hold it in my heart even though it was an abject failure.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that don’t stress too much if you haven’t made it yet. There is no such thing as an overnight success. The greatest people in the world had a long track record of hard work before making it to where they wanted to be. Napoleon Bonaparte was bullied in school and served as a second lieutenant in an artillery regiment. Julius Caesar was stripped of his inheritance, was kidnapped by pirates, and spent over 20 years working hard to achieve his positions with small gains over a long time.

Keep working hard at your goal. Have a vision where you see yourself at some point in the future. Don’t be afraid of failure; failure is what teaches you. And embrace the grind, you will have to grind to be great but never lose motivation. You are more than capable of being an overnight success, it just may take you 10 or 20 years.

Hayden Michael

Check out Teak Tea

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