Next time you think you see an overnight success, dig a little deeper. You'll find years, if not decades, of toil leading up to it.

Take, for example, comedian Steve Martin. After over a decade of performing, he thought he got his big break. He was invited to be on The Tonight Show. He would soon learn that it was not his break.

From Steven Martin's biography, Born Standing Up:

How long did it take for Martin's repeated appearances on The Tonight Show to really get his career going?

After his SIXTEENTH appearance, host Johnny Carson finally invited Martin to sit on his couch – next to Sammy Davis Jr., no less. He got the seal of approval from show business's tastemaker.

Within a few more years, Martin was selling out stadiums with as much as 45,000 seats. He was the biggest concert comedian ever.

Things take time. It reminds me of a great quote from the movie, Lincoln. I don't know whether Abraham Lincoln really said this, but in the movie, there's a point where Lincoln is contemplating how he'll ever get enough support for the abolishment of slavery.

He said "time is a great thickener of things."

Something happens in people's minds when they see your work multiple times over the course of a long period of time. At first they forget you, then they remember.

Related: I repeatedly find that it takes three years to accomplish anything meaningful. I like to look at things in three year blocks. Here's the article, and podcast episode.


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