If you ever have had the opportunity to attend a Dave Ramsey EntreLeadership Event (and if you haven’t, and you’re leading an organization, you should), you may have heard about how they were an “overnight success.” They were a sensation on Oprah, with a best-selling book on the market, great products for consumers, etc. The theme song “Fame” echoed in the background, I’m sure. From an outsider’s perspective, I’m sure it did seem that they were suddenly everywhere.

The truth of the matter is, though, that getting to be a household name and achieving the notoriety was hard work. Dave talks about how they worked hard for 20 years and, “suddenly, they were an overnight success.” If you meet Dave in a work setting, you better be prepared to step up your game because his is already “over 9000.”

As I work with clients, I often refer to successful institutions like Ohio Christian University. In fact, in the attached article (OCU Biz First Article), the great success they’ve had in enrollment and economic growth are highlighted. Their president, Dr. Mark Smith was also just given an award by the State Board of Education of Ohio Department of Education for his excellent service on the State Board of Education. They have been working very hard at OCU under the direction of Mark Smith and are seeing the fruit of their labor. They, too, seem like an overnight success to the casual observer. Mark is intensely working at every moment to increase. You may have killed it yesterday, but what have you done to kill it today.

Neither the Lampo Group (Dave Ramsey’s organization) nor Ohio Christian University were “overnight success” stories. The success for both organizations took long and hard work, intensity, commitment to the goals, and bringing it every day. It took guts they weren’t sure they had. The leaders in both organization sweat blood and tears sometimes to make them go and grow. . .

When they both reached levels of success, it was not time to sit on their laurels. They continued to grow, develop, refine, re-imagine. . .and add to their “overnight success”. . .more success. They did so by working just as hard to continue accomplishing their call as organizations. They continue to impact their arenas.

Their “overnight” success is really the story of sustained, daily, and focused intensity. The obstacles and problems that loomed large, they put them in their rear-view mirror as they worked past them so they could find the new ones to conquer. Their “overnight success” status is ongoing.

How will you find your “overnight success” story? What are you tenaciously doing that will make you the heralded name around the water cooler, around the city, region, state, nation, world, or in your field?