Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

How To Become An Overnight Success

The film Good Will Hunting grossed more than $220 million and catapulted Matt Damon to glory. The day before its release he went to bed as a 27-year-old nobody and he woke up the next as a movie star.

Journalists called him an overnight success.

But he’d been taking acting jobs since he was 16. So when he got his big break with Good Will Hunting, he’d already been working for 11 years.

Now I’m not great with numbers, but I don’t think that qualifies as overnight, sudden, or quickly. 

And that’s the thing everyone seems to overlook: most overnight successes actually started many, many years ago.

Take Marques Brownlee, a popular tech-focused YouTuber with close to 14 million subscribers.

Did he become that popular overnight? Of course not.

Although his latest videos easily get one million views in a couple of days, his first videos only got one hundred in a matter of months.

And that low view count continued for years.

According to Dave Perell, Marques only had 74 subscribers by the time he recorded his 100th video. Roughly a year’s worth of videos.

Do you think seeing that low subscriber count made Marques feel like his hard work was paying off?


But he kept churning out video after video because he knew he’d eventually become too good to ignore.

And that he did.

If you want to become an overnight success, you can’t count on one video, book, song, or project to get you there. To get your lucky break, you have to produce hundreds if not thousands of works that will go by largely unappreciated.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach