Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Myth of the Overnight Success: Interview with Jackie Bledsoe

Who doesn’t want to be an overnight success? It seems like less work and more fun. But nothing could be further from the truth. Every big break is preceded by years of practice.

How to Become an Overnight Success: Interview with Jackie Bledsoe

When life throws you a curveball, it can derail more than your plan. Getting injured or sick can ruin a career. Losing your job can mess with your sense of self, making you reevaluate everything. But sometimes, in the crucible of these circumstances, we find our true calling.

This week’s guest on The Portfolio Life was fired for not hitting his sales numbers and started freelance writing to make ends meet. Two book deals, multiple speaking gigs, and hundreds of blog posts later, life for Jackie Bledsoe looks very different.

But it didn’t happen overnight.

Listen in as Jackie and I talk about his journey from the trenches, writing 50 blog posts a month, and discovering your unique offering to the world.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Play

Show highlights

In this episode, Jackie and I discuss:

  • Why you don’t need a big email list to be successful
  • Is it possible to make a living blogging?
  • Dealing with feelings of inadequacy as a writer
  • Letting your loved ones point you in the right direction
  • Reaching your maximum capacity and learning to say no
  • Knowing who your audience is and what they need from you
  • The value of answering questions people are asking Google
  • How to get influencers to invest in you

Quotes and takeaways

  • Give your message a year to mature and grow before moving onto the next thing.
  • “Writers doubt themselves more than any profession.” –Jackie Bledsoe
  • “You need multiple streams of income to make it as a writer.” –Jackie Bledsoe
  • “It’s fulfilling when you’re able to help other people get over the humps you were struggling with.” –Jackie Bledsoe

Resources

What would an overnight success look like for you? What are you doing now to get there? Share in the comments

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • “Every big break is preceded by years of practice.”

    That’s it Jeff. You get it. Jackie gets it. I definitely get it too. Some people feel I am lucky. To circle the globe as a pro blogger. I did not get lucky. I did practice honing my skills daily, for many years of my life, to build the life I had today. Whenever I had an alleged breakthrough, it was not really a breakthrough. Call it a tipping point, as Malcolm Gladwell does, but all of my daily practice helped me develop skills, and as I promoted other bloggers to make friends, my skills were noted by my increasing friend network, and tipping points or success or whatever occurs.

    I followed one of the best basketball players on earth when he was a junior in high school. He would practice hour after hour daily. He estimated he hit the 10,000 hour Tipping Point when he was still in high school. Now he’s so skilled, he makes top pros shake their heads in awe, and he is still a Young Pup, by NBA standards. He is Kyrie Irving, and all folks who envy him now or admire him should have seen the thousands of hours he practiced honing his skills back then, as he still practices now.

    • Kyrie’s skills show he put in hours and hours and hours of work. It’s beautiful to watch him handle the ball and finish at the rim.

      • Exactly @jbledsoejr:disqus ; he is so polished in many areas…he was just up at the high school on Monday working out but of course everybody keeps it secret so no media hoards show up LOL.

  • Leo Smile

    very nice. i agree that although it happens, it’s one in a blue moon. You’ve got to work your way up and not wait for some open heaven

  • Ingrid Lochamire

    Thanks for this interview, Jeff. I’m about as different from Jackie Bledsoe as you can get (64-year-old white female empty-nester embarking on her third career as a writer). But, I was so inspired by his humility and his persistence. And by the fact that he knows his success is a gift from God. Your Podcast The Portfolio Life is my current favorite. I look forward to what you’ll offer us next!

    • Thanks, Ingrid. That’s humbling and very encouraging to year I was able to inspire you.

  • ATinchini

    It was very good to hear this podcast, it shed some light on my path into doing primarily one thing; write better. I understand it is a hard job, probably one of the hardest job ever, since it totally depends on us, on our faith, dedication, on our good health and unconditional love. I am going through a hard time in writing, since I resumed my writing activity after my wife and I split up. But we are still friends, so I think each one of us copes with writing in different ways, according to the situation we are living in our lives.
    I also understand we have to create multiple streams of income, as Jackie points out and my challenge is double, because I am not a Native-English-speaking man, I was born in Italy and am struggling to have visibility with an international audience, especially American and English. Your life stories are a great example, thank for sharing this.

  • Thanks for sharing. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic.

    lennyfacetext.com

  • This was one of my favorite podcasts you’ve done, Jeff. Partly because I’ve interacted with Jackie a little, but also because he’s someone I can identify with. I anticipate that my path will be different, but I see the value in Jackie’s persistence and humility, and want to emulate that along the way.

    I’ll also say that a lot of the nuggets shared on the podcast were great, not so much because they were necessarily new, but because they’re hard to remember when the going gets tough. Things like saying ‘no’ when you’re maxed out, making sure you’re on the same page with your wife/family, and remembering that you don’t need a huge list to be successful.

    Thanks again to you both for this episode. It encouraged me to keep going, and gave me a lot of hope that I can make progress while staying true to who I am.

    • Hey, Bryan. Thanks for sharing. It was a pleasure to share my story. Glad you tuned in and we crossed paths here as well.

  • Thanks Jeff. I always glean a lot from the guests you invite. Thanks, you are helping me a great deal to be a writer. Thanks Jackie, I’ve learnt a lot from you – your blog and this interview. Thanks, you are helping me be a better husband.

  • hazel b

    I’m heading to Tribe conference this year to take the initial steps toward success.
    Thanks for continuing a great podcast that is very encouraging.

  • “What would an overnight success look like for you? What are you doing now to get there?” tweeting instead of drafting blog posts, blaming my PhD on the lack of attention to my blog the last two weeks, and trying to cheat myself into rewards!

    Success is within my grasp!

  • Thank you! Great advice.

  • patrice56126

    Every people are like this program and i hope they found more entertainment in here. To get more better enjoy this is good lesson for us.