Arment Dietrich

Three Secrets to Becoming an “Overnight Success”

By: Arment Dietrich | June 29, 2011 | 

One of my best friends is the manager for the Obesity Prevention Program for the State of Alaska. She has uncovered the secret to losing weight and has a FABULOUS idea for a book on the subject. It’s called, Eat Less, Exercise More.

The end.

I know, it’s a radical idea, and we laugh so hard every time we talk about it. And how huge this book could be in sales, if there were anything more to add, other than the title, but there isn’t. That is how you lose weight. It takes a long time, and there is no SHORT CUT.

My father used to call it the Strawberry Short Cut – it works when you’re driving from Point A to Point B (sometimes), but it doesn’t work when you’re trying to get from Point A to Point B, like say, from obscurity to the cover of Entrepreneur.

I use that example because Gini Dietrich and I always talk about what we’ll wear for our cover photo shoot when we get there.

And the funny thing, my other BFF, Dana Hughens, texted me the other day joking about an incident that will be retold in her Entrepreneur interview some day.

So I bet there are a lot of you out there with similar dreams. And none of us will make it happen by taking the short cut.

We notice them when others take them, don’t we? We notice when the restaurant didn’t use the freshest ingredients, or when the trim in the house we are looking at doesn’t quite meet at the seam. It’s obvious when you didn’t do your research before you went into a new client meeting. When you sent out that mass email hoping to get ink and pixels for your client, it was obvious you took the short cut, because of the lackluster results.

I read Entrepreneur like some people read US Weekly; with star-struck eyes, thinking about how easy they made it look, and how they are on top of the world right now. Neither is true. I should know better than that.

Stumptown Coffee, which by the way, is the most awesomest coffee ever, is on the cover this month and I was overjoyed to see them there. They are so far from an overnight success.

Founder Duane Sorenson opened his doors in 1999, made the coffee himself, and put the money in a shoebox at the end of the day. When the shoebox was full enough, he’d count it up and deposit.

His secrets? They aren’t secrets at all. He paid attention to detail, to his employees, and to paying top dollar for the finest beans.

I think about that a lot as we put in long hours working on Spin Sucks Pro. We have our moments of extreme frustration to elated optimism.

I think about that interview in the not-too-distant future. When they ask me what our the three “secrets” are. I’d have to say:

  1. Passion about PR and marketing…and changing the perception of the industry.
  2. Focus on quality content that helps you do your jobs more quickly and more efficiently.
  3. Giving you a place to discuss and debate, and to learn from one another.

It’s a great exercise. It presents a road map if you will, to get you from Point A to Point B. What would be your Three Secrets in your big interview?

See you at Point B. And no cheating or budging!

Thanks to Babble for the image. I just needed an excuse to post a photo of a strawberry shortcake.

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81 responses to “Three Secrets to Becoming an “Overnight Success””

  1. Thank you Lisa, you always know how to attract people with delicious plates.

    Now I need to taste some gourmandises 🙂

    And great post by the way 😉

  2. DonovanGroupInc says:

    Great post Lisa and even better “food for thought”. 🙂

  3. Al Smith says:

    Thanks Lisa. U and Gini are on fire today with all the good Sh ….. stuff.

    Love the simplicity of things. U know, if we don’t stop with the Basics, we won’t always have to “get back to the basics”.

    Basics for me: Gratitude, Positive Attitude, Humility, Helping others. Thanks again.

    U are always helping others with your great posts. Not sure where all this came from.

    Just feelin real good today !


  4. BestRoofer says:

    This was very similar to my own blog post today about my town and my industry. Glad to see that we are on the same page!

  5. NancyD68 says:

    You know, I was hoping to read that all I have to do to get thinner thighs is to put some expensive cream on and wake up with slender legs. Thanks for ruining my dream Lisa!

    I am working on a project right now that will chronicle the TWO years of struggle it took before I was ready to leave a very abusive marriage and create a new life for me and my son. Nothing comes overnight and there certainly are no shortcuts.

    When I finally get some paid speaking engagements, people will find out a few things about me:

    1. I always wanted to help others, even when I had nothing myself

    2. You do not have to live with abuse, you have the power to break the cycle

    3. None of this is a quick fix. It took me years. Some never do it. I consider myself very lucky.

  6. sydcon_mktg says:

    Love it, Lisa! It reminds me of my hubby’s saying “do you want it done right or do you want it done fast?”.

  7. Lisa Gerber says:

    @Yael Rozencwajg it’s all about food, dogs and wine. 🙂

  8. Lisa Gerber says:

    @DonovanGroupInc hahaha food for thought. I get it!

  9. Lisa Gerber says:

    @Al Smith Well I like it when you’re feeling good because you just made me feel good!! Thanks!!!

  10. Lisa Gerber says:

    @BestRoofer wow!! great minds for sure!! You get what you pay for indeed, and for the record, the photo of the roof core looks like a filet mignon. Maybe I just have food on the brain…..

  11. Lisa Gerber says:

    @NancyD68 incredible. you just brought tears to my eyes. I had no idea and was NOT expecting that after your first paragraph about the thigh cream. I cannot wait to see you move forward with that, and help others. seriously.

    Thank you for sharing that.

  12. Lisa Gerber says:

    @sydcon_mktg husbands are the best. !!! LOL, that line has been a theme for me in the past few days. shonali started it.

  13. NancyD68 says:

    @Lisa Gerber my closest friend in nursing school (I have a nursing license – I am an LPN) used to come to school with black eyes, a broken nose (that man broke her nose a few times) and a busted eardrum – and yet as smart as she is – SHE CAN’T LEAVE!

    This is the stuff that keeps me up at night. So I write, and I blog, and hopefully I can get in front of some women’s groups. No one should live this way. That is my big goal. I know it won’t happen overnight either.

  14. balemar says:

    Lisa –

    So right! So many people want fast results, but the real secret is success takes time. It takes effort. You can’t make something out of nothing – you get back what you put in. It’s not glamourous, but it’s the truth. Kudos!

  15. lisagerber says:

    @jenniferlinn Thanks for the RT. wow, NYC to Phoenix? did you make the move yet?

  16. jenniferlinn says:

    @lisagerber Yes! It is my third day here and I love it so far. Guess it is time to update my profile.

  17. kmtirpitz says:

    @ginidietrich loaded sprayer with 3 gal. for weeds backin up sprayer on back fell into mess of razeberry canes!

  18. KenMueller says:

    @Lisa Gerber @BestRoofer Lancaster, represent!

  19. ginidietrich says:

    Eat Less. Exercise More. The end. LOL!! I know your post isn’t about this, but I was watching a special on The Today Show last week about the foods you can and cannot eat. Turns out potato chips, if eaten every day, even in moderation, make you gain a pound a year…giving you 20 extra pounds in 20 years.

    No shit. We needed an entire special on that?

  20. I say Exercise a bit and Eat more! Drink wine also it will make you loose weight.

    Magazines like Entrepreneur have some responsibility in glamorizing the journey one has to take to reach success. I guess they have to, nobody wants to read about the puke bags, sleepless nights thinking about a million things and wondering if its going to work.

    Off to point B and going to grab some food for the trip

  21. @ginidietrich I guess it depends how active you are during those 20 years.

  22. bdorman264 says:

    They actually came out w/ the sequel to the diet book since the first one was so popular; it’s titled “No really, Eat Less, Exercise More”.

    There aren’t many shortcuts to be had and maybe when you get to the end of the journey it seemed easier than it really was because of your passion and love for what you were doing (maybe it didn’t seem so much like work).

    You did touch on one thing at it was: He paid attention to detail. Sometimes taking care of the smallest things make the biggest impression. I see too much ‘ok’; don’t settle for ok, wow me with something that you took pride in and it shows.

  23. Lisa Gerber says:

    @ginidietrich do you think that applies to Pop Chips too? oy!

    and it’s my favorite joke with my friend Karol. She’s always saying, “I have a diet tip for you. eat less and exercise more!” (not to me – to anyone talking about the Atkins diet especially. we always made fun of the people and their fear of bread. AHHHHHH scary!!! bread!!!!

  24. bdorman264 says:

    @johnfalchetto I forgot wine, wine is good…………

  25. Lisa Gerber says:

    @johnfalchetto that the only reason why I exercise!!! so I can eat and drink!!!

    And you make a good point. it furthers my comparison of Entrepreneur to US Weekly. It glamorizes it.

  26. Lisa Gerber says:

    @bdorman264 you just made me laugh out loud. 🙂

  27. ginidietrich says:

    @johnfalchetto That was their point. It doesn’t matter how much you exercise. There are certain foods that just aren’t good for you, even in moderation and with exercise.

  28. ginidietrich says:

    @Lisa Gerber I’m pretty sure it does NOT apply to Pop Chips!

  29. sydcon_mktg says:

    @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber Gini has to be right! Otherwise I am in BIG TROUBLE! Might have to start sharing my stash Pop Chips with the kids otherwise!

  30. CristerDelaCruz says:

    Eat Less, Exercise More… I love it! And here I was thinking “Hey, it’s National Ice Cream Month. I have yet to celebrate!!!”… chances of that happening today is close to zero.

    Looking forward to celebrating with you at Point B!!!

  31. Lisa Gerber says:

    @CristerDelaCruz well I just got suited up to go work out and realized I don’t have my running shoes. So no run today. maybe we should go get ice cream instead. LOL.

  32. Lisa Gerber says:

    @CristerDelaCruz eat more, exercise less.

  33. Shonali says:

    Me too!!! @Lisa Gerber @bdorman264

  34. Shonali says:

    @Lisa Gerber @sydcon_mktg OMG, I seriously think all our husbands are in a secret husband club.

  35. Shonali says:

    @Lisa Gerber PS – ‘cos I’m so late here (sorry! It’s said hubby’s birthday tomorrow…) – just want to say I LOVE your post. I LOVE the way you write. I LOVE your sense of humor. I LOVE your hair… ok, maybe I went a bit too far with that one.

  36. Lisa Gerber says:

    @Shonali gosh this post was published 4 hours ago. how dare you take so long???? 🙂 Happy Birthday to your husband!!! Husband birthdays are like a second birthday, aren’t they? Love them. have fun. and thank you.

    PS. still struggling with the hair.

  37. Shonali says:

    @Lisa Gerber Thank you! I’ve had a ton of fun wrapping gifts.

    So … you know I love you with/without the hair, right? Which is actually extremely beautiful hair. I honestly think you are one of the few women I know who would look great bald, because you’re so beautiful. Not barfshining here. And not that I’d wish that on you either… but just sayin’.

  38. lisagerber says:

    @jenniferlinn just in time for the haaat weather!! 🙂

  39. lisagerber says:

    @johnfalchetto Merci bien, John!!

  40. 3HatsComm says:

    WORD. That’s all I have for this one is WORD. Plus a smart alec RT for you that’ll go something like this Despair poster cleverly entitled Get to Work.

    Eat less and exercise more… so simple, yet everyone wants to know ‘how’ – in 3 short, easy steps. We really do want to know how in terms of business: spend less, earn more, find better jobs, sign better clients, ditch the crappy ones. I want to know that. It’s easier said than done, the hard part being the HOW. Hint: rhymes with Working Your Ass Off. My 3 secrets? Gonna share a favorite quote (again.. just did the other day too): “There are two secrets to success. #1 Never tell everything you know.” FWIW.

  41. 3HatsComm says:

    @sydcon_mktg @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber That’s good b/c I have a post drafted that has a little to do with potato chips. Really, I do. It’s a stretch… that rubber band is sure to snap back, get me right in the forehead someday. 😉

  42. bdorman264 says:

    @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto You have to go by taste; if it tastes good then it can’t possibly be bad for you……….just sayin’…………..

  43. sydcon_mktg says:

    @bdorman264 @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto That’s the truth…it sucks, but its true! ;p

  44. mitchellfriedmn says:

    @ginidietrich @lisagerber let me put it another way: it’s not about you, rather the people you serve. Amen to that.

  45. HowieSPM says:

    @Lisa Gerber @johnfalchetto Lots of Media plays the US Weekly game. Mashable. Fast Company. Forbes. USA Today. Image sells. Simplicity Sells. Triumph sells even if the Triumph is contrived.

    Well I am back to eating my 3 grains of rice and running 5 miles after.

  46. Tinu says:

    I’m so falling in love with your blog. The number of times I’ve had to explain this in every aspect of business, from promotion to just becoming an entrepreneur is astounding. My friends especially, who I never see (hello! because of how hard I work! clue much?).

    They’ll come up to me all excited with some ad they saw online and whisk me away to their computer, where they pull up the page, and ask me, with a straight face and a lowered tone:. “Did you know that Google will send you checks for $20,000 just for writing a blog at home in your underwear? The secret is only $997. Can you loan it to me?” And I feel like screaming “SERIOUSLY, JERK?” But usually, I count to ten and say “The secret to overnight success is that success only LOOKS like it comes overnight.” Lord help us all, LOL!

  47. dannyiny says:

    As they say, every overnight success is ten years in the making… 😉

  48. Lisa Gerber says:

    @HowieSPM @johnfalchetto I just hope those 3 grains are BROWN rice

  49. Lisa Gerber says:

    @Tinu oh wow! I better start writing in my pajamas!! Lol!!!

    So glad to see you here. Thanks! 🙂

  50. barrettsbook says:

    How about, Sleep Less, Work Late More? OK, just kidding. Kinda. What time is it?

  51. How about, “Sleep Less, Work Late More”? j/k. I think. What time is it?

  52. @3HatsComm Well heck, I was gonna ask you everything you know…

  53. @ginidietrich That’s not true at all. I eat Lay’s All-Natural Potato Chips all the time and I weigh… oh wait…

  54. CristerDelaCruz says:

    @Lisa Gerber So I didn’t read this until now. We’ll celebrate National Ice Cream month on Friday… though technically, it will no longer be the designated month. Oh well, I’ll get over that upon the first bite of vanilla 🙂

  55. I think what gets so many people rallied around the idea that they can shortcut the system is that the system itself has changed. They view the advent of the internet (incl. social media, etc), a global economy, and the shift from manufacturing to service based sectors in the 1st world as an advantage only to THEM. They read of success stories and assume it’s as simple as devising a clever handle name and URL to become instant millionaires. The trouble is that not only do we have such advantages, but so does everyone else. Just because I wield a complex Excel model and can run thousands of scenarios that would have taken a financial expert weeks to compute by hand in 1811, it doesn’t mean that I possess the same advantage over my colleagues in 2011. The playing field is level. The tools are the same. It’s How we use them that makes the difference.

    Diligent, intelligent work is still as necessary today as it has ever have been.

  56. @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto The key isn’t what you take in but rather how quickly you burn it off. For a sedentary person, potato chips = horrible, but for someone who is consistently active (1hr+ exercise daily), there’s no real danger… unless they are a staple source of Carbs though. Might want to cycle with some whole grains with higher Fiber content.

    I just got way too defensive of potato chips…. maybe as a justification of the copious amounts I’ll eat this weekend along with many hot dogs, burgers, cole slaw, and baked beans. Hmmm, can’t wait.

  57. lisagerber says:

    @3hatscomm hhaha!! I like those three steps!! so freaking true.

  58. mamur says:

    @AldoOlaOlo : Thanks for the RT. #Business #Sme #Smb #PR #Marketing

  59. Nerd #2 says:

    I love it when successful entrepreneurs give you the real world view of what they’ve gone through to get where they’re at. Like you pointed out, you only end up seeing the shiny polished version of these people, especially in Entrepreneur mag.

    I’m interested in knowing what these people did in the defining moments in their life to overcome the three big fears to get where they are now, that stop any and everyone at some point in life from pursuing their desires…

    Fear of rejection…

    Fear of failure…

    Fear of being wrong…

    And coincidentally, my three secrets in my interview would revolve around…

    Crushing your fear of rejection, your fear of failure, and your fear of being wrong.

    Thanks Lisa for encouraging me to think about this topic and for pointing out Stumptown. I’m always on the prowl for awesomeness in the coffee world.

  60. lisagerber says:

    @rieva thank you for sharing that! @ginidietrich speaks very highly of you. Nice to meet you here.

  61. Lisa Gerber says:

    @dannyiny oh, then I must be building up for TWO overnight successes!! cool!

  62. Lisa Gerber says:

    @barrettrossie um, you need more sleep. LOL.

  63. Lisa Gerber says:

    @JamesDBurrell2 good points – there is a shortcut for everything! but it doesn’t get you anywhere, and you’re right about the level playing field. If anything, it’s even MORE level now with technology.

    Ok. so let’s keep grinding away. 🙂

  64. Lisa Gerber says:

    @Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 LOVE THAT. those fears are absolutely valid.

    and try Stumptown. my fave, but not very available to me here in Chicago. I heard they are scouting for a location though! wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!

  65. Lisa Gerber says:

    @3HatsComm OMG, i missed your comment some how until now. I love that poster. it’s so. sad, but funny.

  66. Lisa Gerber says:

    @CristerDelaCruz I am so bummed that I had to find out it was Ice Cream of the MONTH on the 29th of the month. I would have been super celebratory had I known.

  67. Rieva says:

    @lisagerber It’s great to meet you too LIsa. I know how important you are to Gini

  68. 3HatsComm says:

    @Lisa Gerber @Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2 See also, fear of success, of being a one-hit-wonder, of having to repeat that success over and over, of gaining more attention, etc. etc. Good points.

  69. AldoOlaOlo says:

    @mamur : Ok no problem 😀

  70. lisagerber says:

    @loraleau thank you, Lora!

  71. KDillabough says:

    @Shonali @Lisa Gerber @bdorman264 He has that effect on us, doesn’t he:)

  72. KDillabough says:

    @bdorman264 @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto Especially if you stand up while eating:)

  73. ginidietrich says:

    @JamesDBurrell2 Whoa. Eat the potato chips. It’s OK!

  74. ginidietrich says:

    @barrettrossie LOL!!

  75. RemotiaSoftware says:

    @mamur Why would you share these with us;)

  76. mamur says:

    @TrishaOnyou : Thanks for the RT. #Business #Sme #Smb #PR #Marketing

  77. mamur says:

    @RemotiaSoftware : Share what??? Pls elaborate.

  78. TrishaOnyou says:

    @mamur its kl 😀

  79. WamdaME says:

    Do you have your own secrets for success? RT @FireflyKonsult 3 Secrets to Becoming an “Overnight Success” –

  80. WamdaME says:

    Do you have your own secrets for succcess? RT @FireflyKonsult 3 Secrets to Becoming an “Overnight Success” –

  81. […] capsule: Jersey Shore, Viagra, E-Harmony, KY ‘for women’, overpriced cars, junk food, no-effort diets, teeth whitening. We’re apparently the most vapid, narcissistic, selfish little trolls and […]

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