There’s No Such Thing As An Overnight Success

Mindy Kaling - Lodge Crew

The photo is a bit grainy, we barely had cameras in 2000, but Mindy Kaling (in the purple hair) is about to get eaten by some weird girl (definitely not me) wearing cowboy chaps and wielding a soup ladle. Totally normal.

Another thing that’s normal, but isn’t, is when we see the results of someone else’s decades-long journey and compare our new beginnings to their seasoned peaks. But, sometimes we’ve been allowed to see snippets of someone’s start and it reminds us that there is no such thing as an overnight success.

I’m an admirer of many famous and famous-only-to-me women and I love to listen, read, and watch their stories unfold. The brilliant, beautiful, hilarious, and marvelous Mindy Kaling is one of my favorites.

If you’ve followed her career or read her books, you know she was not an overnight success. She worked. Hard. She went all in. She pursued her passion with purpose and didn’t quit when her initial ideas weren’t accepted.

In college, I had the privilege of witnessing her work ethic – she tried out quirky-genius ideas on the stage, she practiced her improv comedy skills until they became instincts, she made a point to cheer on others behind the scenes, and she fended off my soup ladle in her spare time.

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Mindy embodies the grit and commitment it takes to be a leader. She has hustled her way through ceilings and stereotypes. She did not succeed in her pursuits alone, she gives credit to those who have helped her along the way, she creates opportunities for those who want to follow the trails she traveled, and I’m grateful for the differences she has made.

Often, we lament about how much work we’re doing and we’re frustrated by not seeing the fruits of our labor sooner. We forget that although we see the results of someone else’s work, someone else’s success, we don’t see the years of toil and tears and try-try-try-agains.  We don’t get the behind the scenes peek at how they pick themselves up after failure, who is on their team, and who they are encouraging along the way.

Every time I see Mindy’s name in print or her face on the screen, I’m cheering. Sometimes famous people are social-media-smoke-and-mirrors, but Mindy is the real deal.

Who is one famous woman you admire and why?

Of course, our role models don’t need to be famous and we have many that are known only to us.  So expand that question, which woman of today do you admire and why?

Katie Bishop and Doug Reichardt wrote a novel about learning from those who came before us. Their novel, now available on Amazon, focuses on a young woman stumbling through her career. Along the way she meets several mentors who see her potential and in turn, completely change her business trajectory. Want an early copy? Stay in the loop or a download the sneak peak?