Have you ever been over anxious to achieve milestones in your career? Maybe you want to earn that first million dollars, or you want to start your own successful start-up, or you want to become a social media influencer, whatever it is you probably haven’t achieved it yet and that’s okay!
You could be 10 years or more away from getting where you want to be, and that is normal. The instant stardom of social media stars or business moguls is usually not instant at all. We might have discovered our favorite influencer in the last year but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been years of hard work behind the scenes. And the same goes for practically every industry.
Let me give two quick examples of my favorite influencers at the moment.
Now everyone just sees the millions of followers, sneakers, stadiums full of fans, a social media agency of 700+ young, creative and motivated people and a content machine that brands all over the world would kill for.
But Gary is a long way from where he started. Not only has he been hustling since he was a young boy but he has put in the time on social media too. In 2006 he started Wine Library TV and over 1,000 episodes and 5 years later he ended the show to found Vayner Media.
That was in 2011 and now, only in the last few years has Gary really become a secular, household name. To give you a sense he is 41 years old and has pushed harder and with more ambition then most of us have and only now is he beginning to really see fruits of his labour.
The vlogger extraordinaire entertains and informs people with his unique editing style. Between being a GQ Man of the Year, worldwide adventures, first class plane rides and multi-million dollar media deals he has inspired a generation of vloggers and video professionals thinking they can do the same.
His film career started 15 years ago when Casey and his brother worked with Tom Sachs and made a series of films about the artist’s works. A series of viral projects and stunts such as iPod’s Dirty Secret and the HBO series The Neistat Brothers later led Casey to a level of success and fame but nowhere near the type he now has.
On March 24, 2015 Casey started vlogging every day and only on August 22, 2015 did he reach 1 million subscribers (that was only 18 months ago). With 710 vlogs and other films released on his YouTube channel since 2010, it is only in the last year or so where Casey has reached celebrity status. With over 6 million subscribers now and a multi-million dollar deal with CNN he has made it.
The journey that Gary and Casey have been on teaches me a few things.
1. I’ve got time and I just have to keep working and be patient.
2. Once you hit the tipping point things move really fast (1 million to 6 million subscribers in about 18 months).
3. It takes time and consistency to perfect your craft. It is no coincidence that Gary made 1,000 videos in 5 years and Casey 710 films in about 5 years as well. It is important to note that many of these videos went “viral” as well but that didn’t launch either of them to instant stardom either.
Slow and steady wins the race. Keep writing, filming, designing and working. Don’t get down when it seems like your audience or business isn’t growing. Use your heroes as an example, I guarantee you they have put in the time and effort to get where they are today.
And the awesome thing is, taking this long-term approach removes the anxiety and depression that comes along every time you think (unrealistically) that you should be so much further along.