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Overnight Success

December 6th, 2017

By Luke Melms

The phrase overnight success gets tossed around especially in sports. Does it really exist? I would venture to guess that these words likely only come out the mouths of those who’ve never played any type of sport at a high level.

There is no such thing as an overnight success whether it is in baseball or business. A pro baseball player likely started the journey in tee ball. A graduating student-athlete began in preschool. A CEO probably started somewhere as an intern.

The lesson in this is to use what you’ve got where you are. Your capacity will grow as you fully deploy that which you currently carry.

To anyone else besides myself in the midst of their journey that isn’t quite to their destination yet, let’s embrace the process and continue to be willing to put in the work. 

As I was thinking about how this applies to both baseball and business, I was reminded of an old story. It parallels well with that of the different skill sets separating a college baseball player, minor leaguer and big leaguer. 

There was a once a master who called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, “Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.”

The master was full of praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, “Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.”

The master said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”

Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.”

But the master replied, “You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.”

Then he ordered, “Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.” 

As we finish the last weeks of the year, let’s treat them with the full value they truly hold. A house is built brick by brick. May we wisely invest each day left in 2017 the same we would in the new year.

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