CHAPTER 19Success Isn't a Straight Line

Overnight success stories make for great news, but how people achieve—and perceive—success can be complicated in reality. Have a plan, but hold it lightly.


It's important to understand why the nature of both real and perceived growth is changing because of the Anxiety Economy, and why change takes years longer than you want.

It's the Best of Times. It's the Worst of Times

There's never been an easier time to start a business—even with less than $100.

Businesses are growing faster than ever.

It seems like every week another company's gone from nothing to $100 million in record time, or been acquired for $1 billion or some other huge amount.

While there will be ups and downs in the economy in the coming years, the overall trend of “easier to start, faster possible growth” will continue as we get more and more connected.

Yet there's also never been more anxiety, frustration, and depression—especially among CEOs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Whether you're new to business or have been at it for decades, everybody struggles with the now overwhelming number of choices in what you can do; build, use, and ways to grow … that all keep changing constantly, such as:

  • How should we market? There's inbound marketing, outbound prospecting, web scraping, Google advertising, video, 1,000 flavors of social media, live events, app stores and marketplaces, conferences, and countless other ways to create ...

Get From Impossible to Inevitable, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.