Behind the shimmering Instagram curtain of entrepreneurship, lies the landmine-ridden battleground of the actual day-to-day grind. Regulatory and compliance, insurance, partnerships, unbalanced liabilities, risk vs. rewards, and recurring bills from seemingly unlimited technology stacks hungry to gobble up profits. Blinding screentime from 5:30am Monday until Midnight Sunday for the past 20 years. Grinding out the never-ending task list while attempting to balance out some level of normal life, friends, family time, and if you are lucky, an actual relationship. The hardship of maintaining focus and passion while your social feed reminds you, like a squeaky wheel on a shopping cart, of the competitive unicorn valuations and $26M series X funding that you are up against. Another Nespresso pops for round 12, music up, plug in, head down, back to work. That is just the tip of the sacrificial iceberg and only a moment in time of the entrepreneurial rollercoaster…

What most people see on social are the spoils of war, after years, and in some cases, decades of mind-blowing drive and determination, grinding it out, and lots of failures. Otherwise what you are witnessing is lottery-odds luck, pretend-till-the-enders, or flaunting trust funded fakes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all leased lambos, rented real estate, and phony private planes, there are plenty of successes and I don’t actually blame them for posting their treasures, shine on you crazy diamonds! I just don’t think the average “non-trepreneur” will ever understand what the real bootstrapped world is like and why anyone in their right mind would ever choose to go down this path. You’re either made for it, or you’re not.

So that is my overnight success story, 20 years later and I’m still a student of the game. Don’t be fooled, like the clickbait title of this rant, overnight success takes a long time.

There are no quick wins in business – it takes years to become an overnight success. – Richard Branson