Success is not gained overnight, but rather by progress over time!
  • Jayne McQuillan

Success is not gained overnight, but rather by progress over time!

Updated: Jan 9, 2019



“Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in installments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.” 

— Israelmore Ayivor


Over the past several months I’ve spent a lot of time with my clients working on their 2018 Strategic Plans and reviewing progress through 2017. One of the things that I’ve learned over the past 10 years is that nothing happens overnight, and that success is built a day at a time.


I think that it’s human nature to think that we can take on the world and get everything done quickly to get to where we want to go, until we realize that those grand intentions end up falling way short and many times never move forward at all. As I work with my clients in setting their action plans, I insist on them setting them in quarterly increments. The reason for that is many:


  1. 3 months is a much less daunting time frame to take on a task.

  2. The incremental action items can be checked off the list in a short time frame.

  3. Success can be realized and built upon when you take it in small chunks.


This is true for any goals that you set for yourself personally and professionally. For example, I’m currently training for a half marathon, which I’ll be running in Houston in January. I signed up for this race back in the summer and began training. Now for me the thought of running 13 miles can be overwhelming. I’ve only ran a half marathon one other time, and that was over 10 years ago. Now I do run during the week, but usually in 3 to 5-mile stints. The thought of training up to 11 miles was a mental challenge. However, I broke it down into a weekly schedule, which started building miles in October. I also had 2-3 running friends that were willing to train with me, even though they weren’t training for anything themselves. I took it a day and week at a time and just finished my last long run this week in zero-degree weather. I’m ready!


As with any goal or initiative you set out to do, breaking it into realistic time frames and action items helps you move closer to accomplishing the goal. I believe that setting short term goals and making incremental progress has a much higher chance of achieving the final goal than setting big goals with no realistic means of getting there. These types of goals are called HOPE!


As I’m sure many of you have heard over your careers, HOPE is not a plan! In addition, overnight success is not a reality!  When you look at those you admire for achieving a level of success, whether it be in business or personal, there is always a story that includes obstacles, set-backs, and small wins, that when added together allowed them to achieve their end goal and ultimate success. 


It is the obstacles and set-backs that make us stronger. It is the challenges that make us want to achieve more, and it is the small wins that keep us moving forward. 

Your success is driven by your mindset. With discipline and focus, you can ensure that these seven obstacles never hold you back from reaching your full potential.


  1. Age – Successful people don’t let age define who they are and what they are capable of.

  2. What other people think – As soon as you measure your success and personal self-worth based on what other people think, you are no longer in control of your own destiny.

  3. Toxic people – You are who you’re with. Travis Bradberry said, “Successful people believe in a simple notion: you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

  4. Fear - The worst thing that can happen to you is allowing yourself to die inside while you’re still alive. (Bradberry 2015)

  5. Negativity - Life won’t always go the way you want it to, but when it comes down to it, you have the same 24 hours in the day as everyone else does. Successful people make their time count. 

  6. The Past or the Future – Accept your past and accept the uncertainty of the future.

  7. The State of the World – Don’t worry about what you can’t control. 

So, as you look to 2018, remember that success is made by incremental progress over time, and that your mindset will keep you motivated to drive, overcome, and succeed! Here’s to a successful 2018!


Jayne McQuillan, CPA, MBA, CEPA is a strategic management consultant, and the owner of Journey Consulting, LLC, in Green Bay


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