10 Harsh Truths about Success

Contrary to what you might be inclined to believe about this photograph, it was taken in 1999, when Jeff Bezos was already worth around 9 billion dollars. Yet he worked from that office, drove around in a Honda, and had a terrible sense of fashion.

Today’s richest man was working from headquarters located on the same street as a pawn shop, a heroin-needle exchange, and a “porno parlor.” His office, the badly stained carpet, the desk, made out of a door propped up on two-by-fours, all give the impression of the kind of hopelessness that people often encounter whenever they start something new.

Success is not easy. Overnight success is so statistically improbable that we might as well think it doesn’t even exist.

The struggle is real. Just imagine in what kind of conditions Bezos was working when he first started his company, if this was what his office looked like when running what had grown into a 30 billion dollar company.

The same way Elon Musk had to borrow money to pay rent in the early days of SpaceX, all successful people had to deny themselves pleasure and comfort in order to bring their dreams to life.

There’s no way around it, I’m afraid.

And there are certain aspects of success that rarely get talked about. We romanticize success to the point that it feels like a walk in the park. You do what you love, always a smile on your face…

Here are ten harsh truths about success that no one ever talks about.

1. You’ll be invisible for a long time

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” Bill Bradley

When I first started this blog, nobody would read my posts. I’d be lucky to get six or seven views. And I put a lot of time and effort into my words. Tried to write the best damn article every single time I sat at my desk.

Yet, it felt as if my efforts went unnoticed.

If you want success, you need to keep at it mercilessly, because it’s typical to get little to no attention at all in the first few months.

This is a members-only blog post.

Want to read more?

Become a member today for only $3 per month!

71 thoughts on “10 Harsh Truths about Success

  1. How much can one man do…more always more. Awesome post, very true. I can relate to all of it. I’ve learned that things will work out as long as I just don’t stop and continue to crank out words whether people read them or not. I started my blog for people to read some of my novel before it gets published (rejected by 3 agents!) but it turns out that people pay more attention to my poetry than my book. And that’s okay…for now.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. This is a totally kick @$$ post and I loved every word. Anyone who has traveled (and is still traveling) the road knows that these are truths. It’s what separates the successful from everyone else. We’re being tried by fire and I’m not giving up until I get what I came for or burn up in the process. Loved this!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. When people talk about people have done something incredible seemingly overnight, I always remember the acceptance speech Huey Lewis gave when he got his first Grammy. He stood up there, looked out over the crowd and said, “I want to thank everyone who booked us for a;; those High School Proms, and the owners of all the bars we ever played in. I want to thank the organizers of every county fair who booked us, and for everyone who believed in us and supported us for all those many, many years before we became an overnight success.”

    What he was saying is that it didn’t just happen. It took a lot of work to get to that moment.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Wow! Thank you for inspiring me today, Christian! Although, I’d like to believe that success is cupcakes and rainbows, I know that it isn’t. But reading this post made me feel much better about it. All the quotes inspired me a lot and so did the amazing content.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you for capturing so many of the battles that we as writers face. It’s comforting to hear of your similar struggles. I agree, it is a very lonely road. But we are all here because we’re determined, we believe in our writing, and we refuse to give up. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. it’s so much relatable and beautiful. it’s just not about success ,it’s about the pain,the dilemma ,the confusion that all of us humans face.there are times when we want to give up but we look back and remember how far we have reached. thanks to your blog for reminding us of that. great work. would like to get inspired more by the reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I always remember what Huey Lewis said when him and his band won their first Grammy. he said something to the effect of thanking all the people who supported them for so many years while they played the bars, the county fairs, the college campuses, and then became an overnight success. Translation, it took a lot of work to get to this moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. How “Austin Kleon of you” to put out a 10 points on the road to success. But this is real beneficial. I am defintely going to print this and put it next to my desk as a reminder. Thank, Cristian. I needed this as encouragement on this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is… wow. It’s as if you knew exactly what I’m going through (especially the first one). It’s frustrating when it feels like nobody notices your articles that you worked so hard on, especially when you know in your heart that you are a good writer (like I do). This gives me strength to keep going. Sometimes the rocky road is worth taking.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I love this! I think staying humble and having a reminder of wher you started (like working in the old office even if you could afford something lavish) is a great motivator to continue working hard and striving for something even better.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. All very true points. ‘The wealthy and successful live like the poor and the poor live like the rich’ is what that picture reminded me of.

    Those who really want success are going to sacrifice, put in the hard work and go through the trials and tribulations even after they gain success. Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I felt invisible too when I first started my blog. I felt as though no one cared as to what I had to say and even worse I was being ignored by people who know me in real life. When I first started out I thought for sure they would flock to my blog even if no one else did. But, nope expect for a couple of people the support was not there. That’s when I began to understand that, “no support is all the support you need to move forward.”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.