What it Takes to be an "Overnight
Hillary Price, creator of the syndicated
Rhymes With Orange, is clearly a success. Not only is she one of the
noticeably few female cartoonists to be syndicated, but at 25 she was also the
youngest woman with a syndicated daily comic strip. Ten years later, her
cartoons are featured in over 100 newspapers.
After graduating from Stanford, Hillary
submitted her cartoons to the San Francisco Chronicle where she says the
editor was "kind enough" to routinely feature them in the Sunday Book
Review/Opinion section. She also suffered through numerous rejection letters
from syndication companies. Like anyone who is good at what they do, Hillary
worked hard at honing her craft. She also took concrete steps to realize her
dream. Despite all of this, a newspaper reporter wrote of the positive response
King Features Syndicate had to Hillary's submission, and I quote, "she got
I couldn't help but wonder how many people
would read that article and say, "Yeah, she was really lucky" Or, "I wish I were
that lucky." Is there such a thing as being in the right place at the right
time? Sure. But more often than not it is our efforts that bring us luck. Or, as
the great producer and film mogul Sam Goldwyn
once said, "The harder I work, the luckier I get."
Reality shows like American
Idol and American Inventor further reinforce the rags to riches dream. The idea
of instant success is alluring. I'm no exception. When I first left my corporate
job to strike out on my own, things moved painfully slow or so it seemed. On
one particularly discouraging day, I decided to document my progress over the
previous year. Although no one thing resulted in any major financial success,
the list of accomplishments and small successes served as a good reality check.
While I was certainly no overnight success, little by little I was making
For example, in the first
year I signed on as a columnist for a Cape Cod newspaper. It was an unpaid gig
but by getting my name and work out there led to other media opportunities. I
produced six issues of my newsletter and had 50 paid subscribers, I was
interviewed by two radio stations, the newsletter was featured in two local
newspapers, and I landed four paid speaking gigs all while still holding down
my full time job.
The following year I
negotiated with my then employer to transition from employee to consultant, was
featured in the Boston Globe, Entrepreneur's Business Start Ups magazine, and
the Wall Street Journal, bought a new computer, learned a new software package
that made producing the newsletter far easier, and landed more than double the
number of speaking engagements as the year before.
A year later I actively
courted USA Weekend magazine. After coming up with the novel idea of mailing
each of the editors a box containing a planner with the words "Get a life" on
the calendar, I "lucked out" when they came back and asked me to submit tips for
couples on downsizing to one income living. Knowing that my company name was now
going to reach millions of people was just the incentive I needed to put
together one of these new fangled things called a website. That was in 1998.
Eleven years and much hard work later, I earn four times what I made in my
corporate job. More importantly I own my time and life.
If you hate your job as much
as I did, you probably wish you could make the leap to your dream job
"yesterday." But while things may seem to be moving slowly in the moment, most
entrepreneurs will tell you that once they stopped to reflect on their progress
they realized that things were moving relatively quickly.
That's what happened to
Rodney Washington anyway. Rodney's day job is with a hotel in Las Angeles.
Despite working full-time, here is what he's managed to accomplish in just over
very small point and shoot camera equipment that allows him to shoot more
Developed a web
RodneyWashington.com where he promotes his services and sells his prints
Shot two fashion
editorial lay outs and a corporate holiday event
Got signed by a
new client to shoot a celebrity golf tournament this summer and to build
their website, including creating a photo portfolio
Invited to go on
his first press junket to photograph a resort in California wine country
Enrolled in the
Turn Your Photos into Cash course
Found a mentor
who's showing him the ropes about shooting for stock photography, licensing
his images, and how to pitch and submit his work to Art Directors for
monthly online journal called the "Traveling Pair" where he visits resorts,
wineries and festivals and shares his memories through his camera
his own photography workshop
- Had his first show at a
Los Angeles coffee shop and is actively taking steps to get his images in
more public spaces
The biggest thing Rodney says
he's learned is that, "It's a process and there are so many different directions
I can go. I'm really learning new things everyday... [Over the past year] my
learning curve has lessened tremendously."
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About the Author
"Profiting From Your Passions®" expert Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman's Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN, CareerBuilder, and iVillage.com. An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.
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