In 1999, CBS’ Bob Simon did a profile of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for “60 Minutes.”
At the time, Bezos was worth around 9 billion dollars, yet he worked from a less than impressive 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 embark on the strange and perilous odyssey of building a business from scratch.
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 the rent for his apartment 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 seven brutal truths about success that no one ever talks about.
1. At First, You Will Be Invisible
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
When I first started my 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. I 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.
In other words, no one cares how good you are until they know who you are. And to get them to know who you are, you need to persevere, to keep doing your thing, to be enthusiastic even when you feel invisible.