It Took Me 20 Years to Become an Overnight Success

I once heard this quote from an actress, “It took me 20 years to become an overnight success”. I can’t remember who the actress was, so I Googled the expression, and found that it was famously said by Eddie Cantor, an entertainer popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

People look at movie stars, celebrities and other successful people and often say that they are ‘overnight successes’. While maybe sometimes that’s true, the reality is that most of the time, it takes years of work to become a success. Even child actors go through years of being in plays, going to music lessons, auditions, etc.

I’ve worked over 30 years as a freelance artist, and in the beginning my work wasn’t very good, and I didn’t get much work. Out of those 30 years, I’ve worked for Disney for over 20 years. Of course I had to be good enough for them to hire me in the beginning, but when I look at my work from then, I realized how much I improved over the 20 years.

So if you’re trying to get your dream job, whatever it is, realize that it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it may take 10 years or more of working hard to even get to the first level, and another 10 years to get to the point where you can say you are a success. It might take a while, but have confidence in what you can do and keep working at it.

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