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You hear the term “overnight success” a lot – but is it really possible to have an overnight success in the real world?

Not really.

There’s no such thing as overnight success. Real success happens as a result of hard work.

Sure, once in a while we have a breakout star, like singer Susan Boyle.

But even with Susan Boyle, her “overnight success” was still the result of her spending many years practicing her singing and preparing for that one night that she had an opportunity to share her voice with the world.

So-called “overnight success” is what happens to people who prepare in advance for an opportunity to shine.

Real overnight success is the result of years of hard work, preparation, study, and practice.

What Is the Definition of Success?

Before we continue, let us look at what success is.

If a socialite suddenly becomes well-known and has 15 minutes of fame for being young and rich, is that really success?

Are you comparing yourself to people who have a small bit of internet fame via an Instagram following due to a viral video? Is that really “success”?

What does success mean to you?

Does it mean having a little bit of fame and a large number of social media followers? Or is it something more?

Success is more than just being infamous – in other words, being “famous” for something negative or bad.

Success, true success, is about having a good life, filled with rich relationships, contribution in the career (or volunteer career) of your choice, financial stability, and hopefully good health. Success doesn’t necessarily include fame.

“Overnight success,” on the other hand, is often associated with someone becoming well-known in a particular field, seemingly “overnight.”

It is not necessarily bad to want a little bit of fame and recognition, but it should not be the goal of life. Many famous and supposedly successful people die unhappy people, sometimes through suicide or drug or alcohol overdose.

How You Can Become an “ Overnight Success ”

Still, you may have an urge to become well-known for your contributions. Perhaps you are an artist or a musician who wants to make a mark on the world. How do you become an “overnight success”?

1. Get Really Good at What You Do

You will never be an overnight success if you aren’t good at what you do. Susan Boyle would have never become a professional singer if she had been a mediocre performer on Britain’s Got Talent. She had one chance to show off her stuff and she nailed it! She knocked it out of the ballpark.

Susan Boyle had to spend many hours practicing that song in order to sing it so perfectly in front of a live studio audience.

2. Market Yourself

You have to put yourself out there if you want your work to be recognized. Don’t just sit around hoping that fame and fortune will drop down from the sky. If you have something you want to share to the world, you will have to make an effort to promote it.

A lot of people who get attention for their work aren’t necessarily the most talented or the best at what they do. In fact, some of these folks are downright mediocre. How did they get their name out there? Through a lot of persistence and constant self-promotion.

3. Network with People

Get out and start meeting people. This can be as simple as looking up professional networking groups in your area. The more people you meet who know what you are about and what you do, the better your chances of being “discovered.”

Now, don’t take this as opportunity to be a jerk who tries to use every new person as a stepping stone for your personal career or ambition. People of this type end up sabotaging their own success. You also don’t want to become an obnoxious name-dropper, someone who is constantly going on about this or that famous person they know or have met.

When networking, take a genuine interest in other people and try to help them. Be natural and make friends. This is the best approach.

You, Too, Can Be an “Overnight Success”

With practice, prep work, and some self-promotion, you, too, can become a so-called “overnight success.” Just remember, most “overnight successes” take years to develop. You will need to get really good at your craft, market yourself, and connect with people to get the success and recognition you crave. Good luck!

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