25 September 2019
Are you ever caught so off guard by something that it takes a moment to get your head around it?
Winding down the other night, the TV was on in the background and a show came on called something like ‘Britain’s flashiest families’.
Wow. One of the families in the show were throwing a birthday party for their dog, costing more than £7,000. They lived a lavish life of luxury. It was astonishing.
When you scroll through Instagram, the same content appears – people living lavish lives, springing up out of nowhere with more money than you could imagine and a lifestyle many people can only dream of.
But is it all true? What’s the impact of this flashy behaviour?
My concern here is that there is a whole generation growing up being bombarded by images and messages about people who have made a fortune and live this lifestyle, seemingly overnight.
There is no such thing as an overnight success. I can guarantee that. Even when it seems that someone has come out of nowhere, I guarantee that behind the scenes, there have been years of hard graft.
It is also worth noting that in these carefully curated profiles and heavily edited and orchestrated programmes, all is perhaps not what it seems. I remember chatting with a concierge at a London hotel. He told me that the number of people they see walking into the lobby, taking a few posed shots and leaving is getting out of hand. These people are then posting images onto their profiles to make it appear that they are staying in an exclusive hotel. I saw it in Ibiza too. When we were moored in Ibiza Town, we saw people actually climbing onto other, empty, yachts in the harbour to take photo shoots to look like they were staying aboard!
It is so important that we remember what is really going on behind the scenes.
Behind the scenes
In my experience, the people who are ‘lucky’ enough to have the luxuries in life are the ones who work extremely hard, and who continue to work hard. They sacrifice a huge amount over the years to reap the rewards later down the line – there are no shortcuts.
I am fortunate to be able to drive a nice car and take nice holidays, but back when we started UKFast, we couldn’t even afford to eat properly. We lived off cereal to ensure that we could pay the bills and wages. We were behind on the mortgage and it was a struggle. There are no two ways about it.
For anyone feeling that everyone else is reaping rewards of success quickly, remember that it has taken me more than 30 years to get to this point. If you don’t get that promotion straight away, or don’t turn a profit in your first year, don’t give up. These are the times that you will look back on, the times that will make you appreciate your success further down the line even more.
Had Gail and I not have been so passionate about the business and making a difference, and so sure that we could make this work, those days would have been enough to make us give up. And that is the secret.
There are no shortcuts, there is no such thing as an overnight success. There is only passion, tenacity and hard work. These are the foundations of any success story, whether it looks like an overnight success or otherwise.
I talk more about my ‘overnight success’ in this week’s podcast. Subscribe on your platform to listen now.