Since February I’ve been working on a new Masterclass about finding your best next career path for the University of Me. Or rather, creating an improved version of an existing class. The work was finally completed to my satisfaction by mid March. Then on April 1st I had the opportunity to present it live for the first time. It’s a start.

The class was attended by around 10 people (out of the approximately 100 attending the weekend event.) It’s a start. My program was competing against two other labs that were running all morning; and two more that were starting as the same time as mine, 11:30am till lunch. At the end of the class three people asked me to send them the handout which would walk them step-by-step through the process presented. They also indicated their interest in becoming part of my mailing list. It’s a start.. Actually the conversion rate was better than it sounds, since three people was about half the number of attendees that were actually part of my target market. It’s a start. Not bad for a first, test outing.

Why do I keep saying, ‘It’s a start’? Because when trying to create big change in a life or career it can be hard to be patient in the beginning, when small gains are the only gains. However it’s essential to celebrate the value of each small win in order to fuel your commitment to moving forward. Though slow, patient build up does not make a good story. So it usually never gets told. No. We hear about the so called overnight successes. And unfortunately that is the story most often used when compareing our efforts to others’. But the truth is that in 99% of the cases that overnight success is complete fiction.

What is generally told is the story from the point where the person or the company made the pivot that would ultimately lead to their success; told in a compressed time-line. The stories seldom talk about all the ideas that were tried on the way. Or all the pivots that occurred before that final one. That’s boring. Oh, they usually add one or two failures to add some tension. But never the whole story. And seldom those first early days when a single digit sign ups can mean more than double or triple digits later on.

It’s hard to be patient when just starting out. When everything builds so slowly and every message you’ve ever heard can convince that you should a success by now. It can feel like everyone is moving faster, going further, saying or doing it better. That’s why so many blogs are started and then abandoned. The reason that many companies fade away in the first year. And too many people give up on finding their dream life.

It’s important to celebrate those early, small successes; be it an interview for a new job, a good review or even a few mailing list sign ups. Because those early small successes are what add up over time to become the building blocks of a larger success. Until, hopefully, one day they start to snowball and things begin to build exponentially.

So yeah, It’s a start.. And if I keep plugging away maybe someday, two years, five years, even ten years from now, I’ll be perfectly positioned to become an overnight success. Learn to appreciate and celebrate the small, seemingly insignificant, steps down the path you want to take. For one day they will become the foundation for the big change desired in our lives. Mine, and yours as well.