The Exception vs the Rule

We’ve all heard it. That one person, or that one business that became an overnight success. Literally, overnight.  One day dirt poor, next day a thriving millionaire.

For a person, maybe they were super successful in Network Marketing. They found the ‘two’ people that they needed to grow their business beyond their upline and make millions of dollars, live in a mansion and never have to go back to their day job. 

Or maybe it was that elusive sales guy that we have all heard about. You know, the one that made his annual commission target in 1 sale. 1 cold call that turned out to be the golden ticket. Presidents club, famous clients, commission checks beyond our wildest dreams. 

I think we’ve all heard of people like that in whatever industry we are in. Success, fame, fortune, all because of one move on the chess board. One move of life that turned out almost too good to be true.

And for a business it might be a similar scenario. They hit a market that was in desperate need of whatever they were selling, and they became an overnight success. They grew to be multiple 7 figures in 1 or 2 years, and now we watch them online literally living the dream. Buying real estate, selling real estate, extravagant trips, famous friends, celebrity clients, and just so much fame and fortune. 

For every scenario above, I want to share something with you.

That is the exception. 
Not the rule. 

The rule is that success takes time. No matter what you are striving for, or who you are. Success takes time.

And it’s better to assume you are the rule. Do it the hard way, play the long game. For your own sanity’s sake.

Of course, I’m taking my advice from Alex Long’s character in the movie, He’s Just Not That Into You. But bear with me, it makes sense. I promise.

Think about it. There is no shortcut to hard work, as a rule. Does the exception happen? I’m sure it does. I know a few people who have hit big numbers in a short amount of time. But, once you dig a bit deeper it’s usually not their first crack at the can, and there is usually an explanation to that fast success.

And once you start holding yourself accountable to the rule, and not dream about being the exception, things start to happen. 

  • You start setting boundaries, and holding people accountable for their actions. You aren’t starstruck thinking that ‘exposure’ pays the bills. It doesn’t. Yes, everyone needs exposure at some point, but everyone also needs to pay their bills more. Remember that. If you are doing things for free, make sure you want to. And with no resentment.
  • When things fall apart, as they sometimes do, you don’t fall apart with them. You don’t take things personally, and you recognize what you can and what you can’t control. Once we understand this little diddy, life becomes much more peaceful.
  • You understand that it’s a grind, until it isn’t. You aren’t waiting for that one phone call from Oprah or Ellen to make you a star. You make you a star. Through hard work and perseverance. 

I know you’re probably thinking, “but I’m different, I think differently than you, Donita”.
I get it. The exception vs the rule concept is a hard one to swallow. We’re often sold on the exception and the rule is brown bag, bottom shelf. No one wants to talk about it. 

Maybe because we don’t want to grind for 20 years, and have mediocre success. But maybe you can change your definition of success. Afterall, we get to sit in that director chair of our own life. And success isn’t always associated with money and fame. Maybe it’s time with family, or relationships, or wisdom. Whatever it looks like for you, use that as your compass.

I think the moral of this really long story is that it is our job in life to enjoy the ride. The destination might come quickly as the exception (not likely), or take a long time as the rule (more likely). 

We have power in our own decisions. And so find that business, or that job that you love. And decide to enjoy the ride. Forget the exception or the rule. That’s just from a movie anyhow. 🙂

Donita Fowler

Coach + Creator
Manage your emotions and you can navigate challenges with a balanced perspective.