Lincoln and how to become an overnight success

On the morning of May 18th, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was a relative unknown.

Of the four contenders for the Republican nomination for president, he was least likely to win.

He spent the morning shuffling awkwardly between his cluttered law office in Springfield, Illinois, the telegraph office and the office of the Illinois State Journal, eager for any news from the convention in Chicago 200 miles away.

On the other hand, Henry Seward, the popular senator from Auburn, New York, was expected to win.

For a politician, he was exceptionally popular amongst the people in his own town.  “Even the Democratic paper, the New York Herald, conceded that probably fewer than a hundred of Auburn’s ten thousand residents would vote against Seward if he received the nomination,” writes Doris Kearns Goodwin at the opening of her blockbuster book Team of Rivals.

…But before the day was over, Lincoln was the nominee.

Everyone was shocked.  Except for Lincoln’s close confidants and supporters.

“That Lincoln seemed to have come from nowhere–a backwoods lawyer who had served one undistinguished term in the House of Representatives and had lost two consecutive contests for the U.S. Senate. Contemporaries and historians alike have attributed his surprising nomination to chance — the fact that he came from the battleground state of Illinois and stood in the center of the party.

The comparative perspective suggests a different interpretation.

When viewed against the failed efforts of his rivals, it is clear that Lincoln won the nomination because he was shrewdest and canniest of them all.  More accustomed to relying upon himself to shape events, he took the greatest control of the process leading up to the nomination, displaying a fierce ambition, an exceptional political acumen, and a wide range of emotional strengths, forged in the crucible of personal hardship, that took his unsuspecting rivals by surprise.”
– — Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals

Overnight success is how it looks to others.

To you, it looks like:

  • Relying upon yourself to shape events.
  • Taking control of the process.
  • A fierce ambition.
  • Exceptional political acumen.
  • A wide range of emotional strengths.

We work on all of these in the Plenty of Clients 100 Day Sprint.

(Except we replace political acumen, with marketing savvy.)

The Plenty of Clients 100 Day Sprint is for experts, consultants, coaches and small professional service firms who are world-class at what they do.

But who, for one reason or another, do not yet have a steady, consistent, repeatable process for attracting their ideal clients.

Plenty of Clients is not for everyone.

It’s for you if you’ve mastered your craft.  If you know you’re in the top 20% in the world at what you do.

And now you want to master what it takes to turn your expertise into a thriving business.

AND you know that it’s just folly and false economy to try to go it alone.

You’re looking for the right mentor to help you get there.  And the right group of colleagues to learn from and support each other as you make your way from obscurity to ‘overnight’ success.

If you think you qualify, go here request an application.



PS – When you’re laser focused on just a few things, and those few things are the right things, you quickly come from behind and lead the pack.

It CAN’T be any other way.

The challenge is to identify the few things that are the right things.  And then to hold on to your focus despite the bull Life’s attempts to throw you off.

About The Author

Dov Gordon

Dov Gordon helps consultants and coaches get clients - consistently.