Slow and Steady

Yesterday’s post featured a video from Chris Brogan that dispelled the myth that he is “lucky” to be in his position. He demonstrated very clearly that he works hard every day to earn the place he has in the business world. Resting on laurels is not an option.

It’s not like his rise to his current stature was immediate. Taking a little time at his “About” page, I found this information:

Prior to these roles in the media and events space, Chris had over 16 years of telecommunications experience in wireless and landline technologies, including enterprise software and hardware experience, project management expertise, and applications/solutions engineering experience, as well.

16 years! I’d say he put in his time building himself up to where he is today.

Another bit of information that is disclosed is that Chris has “[b]logged since 1998 (when it was called journaling).” That’s 12 years he has been putting himself out there. Did he have legions of fans from the very first post? I can’t say for certain, but my guess is that building his reputation has been a gradual process.

To hear Chris talk more about his “overnight success,” watch this video from his blog.

Building slowly to realize your goals — getting a job, finding a better job, starting a new career — isn’t a bad thing. Here are a few benefits to “taking it slow:”

1) You remain humble. All you have to do is look at Hollywood to see examples of people who gained immediate fame and how their sense of entitlement has led to many problems in their lives. Attaining your goals more slowly allows you to remember where you’ve been, what you had to do to reach your goals, and what you need to do to stay where you want to be.

2) You can learn as you go. It’s rare for a person to be knowledgeable about every aspect of a field right away. It takes time to learn, to experiment, to grow as a person, and to develop as an industry continues to evolve. A great example is the fact that Chris has blogged since 1998. Being involved with social media since its early days would certainly give him the opportunity to see every development as it happened and to be at the forefront of using it and telling others how to leverage it.

3) You can make mistakes in relative anonymity. With the learning process comes mistakes. Sometimes a lot of them. That’s not a bad thing — mistakes breed a greater understanding of how things work. Personally, I’d rather make the mistakes when I have a small audience than to have the eyes of thousands of people watching.

4) You learn how to overcome obstacles. Even after you’ve “made it,” there will be situations that may make staying there a challenge. If you had to work hard to get there, you also had the opportunity to learn how to deal with hardships and will be able to apply those lessons to whatever circumstances come your way.

5) You meet some amazing people along the way. Think about it — if your success was immediate, you’d have so many people clamoring to talk with you. How challenging to hear anyone with the loud cacophony of voices competing for attention! It would be hard to separate out those who are sincere from those who are just wanting to ride on your coattails for their own purposes. But if they’ve been connections with you even when you were just the little guy or gal, you know their motives. Another positive to this: some of those folks you meet when you are still on the path toward your goals may become your greatest allies and provide assistance in helping you maximize the possibilities.

One word of caution: don’t go so slow that you actually stagnate. If you don’t continue to put forth the effort on a regular basis to work toward your goals of getting a job or changing careers, you’re just sitting there. That doesn’t benefit you at all.

What do you think? Slow and steady wins the race? Or are you in a rush to the finish line?

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