Buckle up, kids, ’cause I’ve got a story for you. Picture me, fresh out of school, armed with nothing more than a bag of dreams and a LinkedIn profile screaming “Hire me!” I was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, looking forward to scoring my golden ticket to the entrepreneurial big leagues. I was sure I’d land the next big idea – the next Facebook, the next Uber, the next Instagram – and ride it all the way to a private island.

I believed that success was a destination, that once I reached it, I’d be set for life. Oh, how sweetly naive I was. As I stepped foot into the industry, the harsh realities began to hit. I was looking for a unicorn in a field full of horses. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t disillusioned, far from it. But the realization was more like a much-needed wake-up call.

I discovered that waiting for the big break was a fool’s errand. It was like sitting at the end of a rainbow, waiting for a unicorn to prance out, carrying a pot of gold. It’s a captivating image, one that’s been painted for us over and over again by Hollywood movies, inspirational biographies, and sensational headlines. But let’s get real for a second – it’s not exactly the most practical business strategy, is it?

The thing is, success doesn’t happen overnight. There’s no magic formula, no secret shortcut, no one-size-fits-all blueprint. And anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you something. So here’s the deal, folks – chasing after unicorns might make for an interesting pastime, but when it comes to building a successful business, you’ve got to lace up your running shoes and hit the track. Because success isn’t about capturing mythical creatures – it’s about running your own damn race. And guess what? The race is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, if you’re ready to trade in your unicorn hunting gear for some high-quality running shoes, stick around. I’ve got some hard-earned wisdom to share, and trust me, it’s worth more than any mythical beast out there.

A reality check

Let’s talk about getting into a top-tier college for a moment. It’s a lot like playing the lottery, isn’t it? Every year, thousands upon thousands of hopeful students send in their applications, each one more impressive than the last. Top grades, a list of extracurriculars as long as your arm, recommendation letters that could make a statue weep. But even with all that, it’s still not a sure shot.

The fact is, there’s a fair bit of randomness involved in the process. You could be the most promising candidate on the planet, and still not get that coveted acceptance letter. It’s not because you’re not good enough, or because the universe has it in for you. It’s just the nature of the game. You see, when there are more qualified candidates than available spots, someone will inevitably be left out. And it might be you.

Now, here’s the kicker. This randomness doesn’t just apply to college acceptances. It applies to success in general. Many people equate success to miraculous events, like winning the lottery or finding a unicorn. They believe that in order to succeed, they need to be a one-in-a-million unicorn, a statistical outlier who beats the odds and makes it big. But that’s not how it works.

Sure, every once in a while, someone hits the jackpot. They stumble upon a brilliant idea, or find themselves in the right place at the right time, and they shoot straight to the top. But for every one of those success stories, there are countless others who got where they are the old-fashioned way: through hard work, dedication, and a healthy dose of resilience.

The point is, you don’t need to be a unicorn to succeed. You don’t need to bank on a one-in-a-million chance. Because success isn’t about luck or miracles. It’s about doing the work, day in and day out. It’s about showing up, even when it’s hard. It’s about sticking with it, even when the odds seem stacked against you. So the next time you find yourself longing for that elusive unicorn, remember this: success is something you build, not something you find.

The Power of Incremental Progress

Imagine you’re standing at the foot of a mountain. Its peak disappears into the clouds, high above you. You’re tasked with climbing to the top, and as you stare upwards, the journey feels impossible. Each step feels insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But over time, these tiny steps accumulate, and before you know it, you’ve reached the top.

This, my friends, is the power of incremental progress. It’s about understanding that big leaps and bounds aren’t the only way to get ahead. Sometimes, it’s the small, consistent steps that propel you towards your goals.

Picture this. You’re at the gym, and you’ve set a goal to bench press 225 pounds within a year. Now, that’s a pretty hefty goal, especially if you’re starting from scratch. But instead of trying to take on the whole load at once, you start small. You add a pound to the bar every day. It’s a little uncomfortable, a little challenging, but it’s doable.

Fast forward a year. You’ve kept up with your routine, adding that single pound every day. And guess what? You’ve reached your goal. You’re now pressing 225 pounds, and it wasn’t a miracle. It wasn’t some Herculean feat of strength. It was the result of dedication, persistence, and incremental progress.

You see, when we set our sights on a goal, we often focus too much on the end result. We’re so eager to reach the finish line that we overlook the steps we need to take to get there. But every marathon runner knows that the key to reaching the finish line is not in sprinting the whole distance, but in maintaining a steady pace throughout the race.

It’s easy to get disheartened when progress seems slow. But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither is a successful business. It takes time, patience, and consistent effort. Each step you take, no matter how small, brings you closer to your goal. So don’t underestimate the power of incremental progress.

Like a snowball rolling down a hill, the momentum will build over time, and before you know it, you’ll be unstoppable. And the best part? There’s no luck involved, no miracles required. Just plain old hard work and a whole lot of grit.

The Miracle Fallacy

Miracles, by their very definition, are events that have never happened before and are not to be counted on. The term itself comes from the Latin word ‘miraculum’, meaning ‘object of wonder’. It’s this idea of an extraordinary event that goes against the laws of nature or human comprehension. A divine intervention, if you will.

But here’s the thing about relying on miracles – it’s a flawed approach. It encourages passivity, waiting for the universe to conspire in your favor. It downplays the importance of initiative, determination, and consistent hard work. It’s like waiting for a shooting star to grant your wishes, when you could be out there, working towards making them a reality.

Think about it. If you’re always waiting for that miraculous ‘big break’, you’re essentially putting your destiny in the hands of chance. It’s a passive approach, where you’re more spectator than participant. But real life isn’t a spectator sport. You can’t just sit on the sidelines, waiting for things to happen. You have to get out there, get your hands dirty, and make things happen.

When you attribute success to miracles, it takes away from the hard work and perseverance that actually went into achieving it. It reduces the late nights, the sacrifices, the endless trials and errors to mere footnotes in the story. It romanticizes the idea of success, painting it as a matter of luck rather than effort.

But as any successful person will tell you, there’s nothing romantic about the journey to success. It’s filled with challenges, setbacks, and moments of self-doubt. It’s a steep climb, and there’s no elevator to the top. You have to take the stairs, one step at a time.

And sure, every now and then, someone might get lucky. They might get that one-in-a-million shot. But those are the exceptions, not the rule. For the rest of us, success is not about miracles. It’s about doing the work, day in and day out, even when it feels like you’re not making progress. It’s about pushing through, even when things get tough. And most importantly, it’s about believing in yourself, even when no one else does.

Business Isn’t a Lottery

There’s a widespread misconception that business is like a lottery – a game of chance where the odds are stacked against you, and success is down to pure luck. It’s a tempting analogy, especially when we hear stories of startups striking gold overnight. But let’s get one thing straight: business is not a lottery.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: there’s no such thing as an ‘overnight success’. You know those entrepreneurs who seem to catapult to fame out of nowhere? I guarantee you, they didn’t just wake up one day and find themselves at the top. They worked their asses off to get there. They put in the hours, made the sacrifices, and faced their fair share of failures and rejections.

Sure, there’s an element of risk in business. Just like in the gym, where you gradually increase your weights, knowing full well that there’s a chance you might not be able to lift it. But it’s a calculated risk. You assess your capabilities, set realistic targets, and gradually work your way up. It’s not about getting lucky; it’s about making informed decisions and taking consistent action.

Remember, a successful business is built on solid foundations – a viable idea, a robust business model, a clear vision, and a dedicated team. It’s about knowing your market, understanding your customers’ needs, and delivering a product or service that meets those needs. It’s about building relationships, nurturing your team, and constantly learning and adapting.

And most importantly, it’s about showing up, day after day, and doing the work. It’s about being patient in the face of delayed gratification, resilient in the face of adversity, and persistent in the pursuit of your goals. It’s not about finding a golden ticket; it’s about making your own luck.

So, next time you’re tempted to buy into the lottery mentality, remember this: business isn’t a game of chance. It’s a game of skill, strategy, and sheer determination. And unlike the lottery, the outcome is not down to luck – it’s down to you.


So, where does this leave us? What can we learn from all this unicorn hunting versus lacing up your running shoes talk? Let’s break it down.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, dispel the myth that you, as an entrepreneur, must always aim for billion-dollar ideas or miraculous breakthroughs. Sure, it’s great to aim high, to have big dreams and aspirations. But don’t let those dreams blind you to the importance of small, consistent actions. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It was built brick by brick, day by day.

Secondly, appreciate the value of steady, relentless pursuit of improvement and resilience. This is not a race; it’s a marathon. You’re not competing against anyone else; you’re competing against yourself. Every step you take, every milestone you reach, brings you one step closer to your goals.

Thirdly, understand that the odds may be against you, but you are not helpless; you control your effort and resilience. Yes, the business world is competitive. Yes, there will be challenges and setbacks. But every challenge is an opportunity to learn, every setback a chance to come back stronger.

Finally, remember that success is not a miracle; it’s the result of a consistent, proactive approach. It’s about showing up, putting in the work, and believing in yourself. It’s not about waiting for the stars to align; it’s about aligning your actions with your goals.

To sum it up, stop chasing rainbows and start building bridges. Success is not a destination; it’s a journey. It’s not about reaching the top; it’s about how you climb the mountain. And as you embark on this journey, remember this: you may not be able to control the wind, but you can always adjust your sails.


And so we come to the end of our journey, my friends. I’ve thrown a lot at you, but if there’s one thing I want you to remember, it’s this: life isn’t a miracle waiting to happen; it’s a journey to be navigated, one step at a time.

Look, I get it. It’s human nature to want a shortcut, to want to skip the hard stuff and go straight to the good part. But life doesn’t work like that. There are no shortcuts to success, no magic formulas, no cheat codes. The only way to the top is one step at a time.

So, stop hunting unicorns, folks. It’s time to lace up those running shoes and hit the track. Embrace the process, relish the journey, and keep your eyes on the prize. Don’t wait for miracles to happen; make them happen. And remember, you don’t have to be a unicorn to be successful. You just have to be you – hardworking, determined, resilient.

In closing, let me leave you with this: It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. And trust me, the journey is a hell of a lot more fun when you’re not sitting around waiting for a miracle. So, get out there, make shit happen, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

And remember, no one ever wrote a story about the guy who sat on his ass waiting for a unicorn to show up. Make your own story, folks. It’s time to run your own race.

About the Author: Geoffrey Byers
Geoffrey is one of the world's foremost Designers. He is also a Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, and Mad Scientist. Hypothesis-Driven experimentation is his love language.