The overnight success of the Cronut. NOT!

There’s something you need to know that happens on the way from the spark of your dream – to the success you deeply desire.

It usually takes a loooooong time.  And it’s a lot of work.

That’s me standing at the end of a queue for a Cronut®.  More in a minute about Cronuts and its creator Dominique Ansel — and why on earth I’d stand in line for an hour for …well, basically a fancy donut.

But first …

Overnight success to achieve your dream is as rare as winning the lottery – even though instant achievement is what we wish for and want to believe is possible!

The expectation that overnight success should come quickly keeps way too many people from eventually seeing their dreams come true.  They get frustrated and quit before the miracle happens.

“Anything worth a dime (or damn, depending on his audience!) is worth working hard for,” said Woody Hayes, the late Ohio State University football coach.

Last weekend, in New York City, I came upon two hard-working men who could appear to be “overnight successes” and each inspired the heck out of me!

Both of them put in years and years of hard work before their brilliant business ideas “popped” and they now experience the taste of big success.

First is stationery and gift designer R. Nichols, or Nic, as he’s called.

He worked for many years at Abercrombie & Fitch before launching a product design business in his parents’ basement!

I first learned about Nichols’ exquisite work from Women on Fire member Laura Tiberi who introduced me to his sophisticated, whimsical designs, including his famous “Grati-Pad.”

He knocked on door after door to place his work in specialty stores across the country and at Gump’s, Barneys, Bloomingdales, Neiman-Marcus and others.

Overnight success?  Nope.

It’s 14 years later since he was in the basement, so to speak!

He never gave up.  Along the way, and I’m sure he’d say he’s still “on his way,” he illustrated the cover and chapter headings for the New York Times’ best-selling bookFrench Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.

Nichols lives by this: “No matter what I am doing, I always strive to maintain my mission – which is to create joy, if only in small ways.”

Gracious, warm and welcoming, he is a whirl of enthusiasm who keeps his eye on the next beautiful design he plans to create — as more and more people fall in love with his work.

And then there’s Dominique Ansel.  The fact that I stood in line for an hour with dozens of others (as had thousands of others in the past months) to purchase my limit of two Cronuts tells you the man’s dream has come true.

He’s no overnight success either.  This French pastry chef who started cooking at age 12 slaved away in kitchens for decades before opening his own little bakery in 2011 in Soho.

He kept his pastry case filled with gorgeous, creative, delicious treats.

And then …

He and his team took months to perfect a donut-croissant hybrid that became the Cronut — and started a pastry revolution!

Ansel had no idea this particular pastry would become a success. He went to bed one night, thinking he’d just added another pastry to his repertoire. Only to wake the next day and discover people stood in line for his handmade Cronuts!

Dominique Ansel is a bakery so special now that it has a doorman/security guard to kindly and gently keep the crowd from spinning out of control while they wait in long lines for their sugary treats!

On the day we were there, even the famous Roots drummer, DJ and music producer QuestLove patiently waited in line for his Cronuts, over the shoulder of Women on Fire member Holly Getty.

Still, Ansel knows that being the best at what he does “is a lifetime commitment” and there is no such thing as “overnight success.”

Years ago, I remember listening to an interview with singer Gloria Estefan after she’d won her first Grammy Award.  The interviewer referenced her “overnight success,” and she quickly interrupted him.

“I’ve been working in clubs until 3AM for a decade. My success is not overnight.”

R. Nichols’ success wasn’t either.  Nor was Dominique Ansel’s. You may be one of the lucky ones to win the instant success lottery.

Regardless, your success is a journey, not a destination.

Women on Fire is here to help you stay on the road during the uncertain and tough times, and then celebrate you when people line up at your door for your version of  “Cronuts.” 🙂

Have a delicious week!

Women on Fire monthly members, I’ll see you on the Live Chat this Tuesday, November 11 at 8PM Eastern where I’ll talk about The Power of Intention — 7 Ways to Capture and Create What You Desire.


Debbie Signature

P.S. Great news for Columbus, Ohio-area Women on Fire! You are invited to a Holiday Tea led by Andrea Dowding and co-hosted by Tricia Simpson on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at the Cambridge Tea House from 4:30 to 7:30pm. Only 10 seats remain — and they will sell out fast! Don’t miss out on this very special opportunity to connect and celebrate with your Women on Fire sisters this Holiday season. Register here!

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