Why You Don’t See Progress

How many times have you heard someone say, “that guy was an overnight success?”

Because I guarantee you, the vast majority of the time, that is simply not true.

Yes, there are a few lucky people who get it all, and get it all fast. But for the most part, success takes a long time to incubate. It’s just that when the money does come in, it tends to pour in very quickly. This usually happens the instant you get that last piece to your company’s puzzle figured out, and then your product becomes massively viable on a large scale.

When people see the financial rewards for that landing in your bank account, that’s when they say, “He sure was an overnight success.”

But you and I both know the story was very different.

And that’s what I’m going to talk to you about in today’s White Board Wednesday. Because in my experience, tracking your progress can be difficult in business, especially when the rewards don’t accumulate incrementally. How do you gauge the distance between your current situation, and a massive breakthrough?

Well, the way I like to visualize a company’s progress is actually very different from the old cliches you’ve read about. I like to think of progress above the waterline versus progress below the waterline. It’s a comparison that helps me focus my efforts while I’m growing a company, and it helps me respond to information that I’m getting from the marketplace as I test-out different approaches to the problem that I’m trying to solve for my customers. 

So watch this White Board Wednesday and ask yourself: are you making progress? Or are you just treading water?