Time to Success: How Many Days, Months, Years?

Success is usually defined as an achievement of a desired aim, or purpose. We all want to pick the right business that will succeed, so we look for those that can generate income fast. Let’s take a look at some of the common examples and how long it takes to succeed.

For traditional brick and mortar businesses, you may need to give yourself at least 6 to 12 months to decide whether your business will be a success. For real estate agents, Amazon and Etsy this period can be only a few months, while success in dropshipping can be instant if done properly. 

The better you get at it, the shorter this period will be.

Interestingly, local partnerships with established businesses can accelerate the traction for brick and mortar stores. Think of hosting collaborative events or in-store specials with complementary local services.

These days, you can create an online business and start making money from day one, but you may still need time before you can call it consistently profitable, or successful in the long term.

For example, if you’re selling a product, and already have a following online, then you can create a business and make sales immediately. However, this isn’t what necessarily defines success in your mind.

How Long Does It Take for a Business to Be Successful?

If by “successful” you mean making 6 figures a year, then you may need at least 2 to 5 years to be successful. However, if by “success” you mean simply being profitable while being able to pay yourself a small salary, then by using the Internet and your connections from the start you can grow your business in just a few weeks.

man in suit successful achieved an accomplishment

Starting an HVAC business, roofing company, PDR business, or something like trenchless sewer repair business may take a few months to pick up and gain traction, especially if you didn’t have any clients, to begin with.

For businesses like these, joining local chambers of commerce or attending trade shows specific to your industry can expedite networking and potential client acquisition.

For a business to take off early, you need to effectively use the Internet, social media, and the word of mouth. For many, as long as it’s profitable and we can pay ourselves a small salary, it’s a success.

However, failure is usually necessary. In fact, dissecting what went wrong after a setback can lead to uncovering hidden market insights or business model improvements that you hadn’t considered before. The more familiar you become with the roads of failure and success, the more you’ll be able to figure out the success period earlier.

How Do You Start Being Successful?

Here are the things you need to know to start being successful:

  • Start thinking small. And simple. The smaller and simpler it is, the easier it will be to start. It will also be easier to replace yourself by paying someone else to do most or all of what you do.
  • Work full-time. You can’t get rich working part-time on your new business, or being lazy thinking your business will sort itself out.
  • Don’t go into creating a business with the goal of never working again. This is a trap. Either you’ll be miserable, or you’ll never make it. Or both.
  • It’s almost guaranteed that your first business venture will fail. If your business is failing or is certain to fail, close it down. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to close your business down. We all fail. My first 3 blogs were a failure. Take that learning experience into your new venture.
  • Any cash generated by your venture should go back into it. Invest back into your business. This is how you’ll grow and how you’ll become successful. Scale and keep growing, even if it’s just linearly.
  • But, don’t close your business if you think it’s not scalable enough. It’s better to have several ‘little earners’ than to close down because you think it won’t make you a millionaire in the next 5 years. As long as it’s profitable, keep it.
  • Do one project at a time. Have a singular focus on one platform and stop trying to do everything for everyone.
  • Don’t gamble, but take calculated risks. If you want to start a new business, think it over. Plan. Strategize. Research.
  • Find a good accountant in your first year, if not before. Ask a few small business owners in your area for recommendations. If you can’t afford it, at least educate yourself on finance with these books.
  • Ask yourself “What does it take for me to be successful?” How many sold items? How many clients? Do the math, to have that number, and begin with the goal in mind of reaching that number.
man on top of mountain

What Is the Fastest Way to Success?

To become successful fast, you need to find customers before launch. You work with the target customers before you even think of a product. If you aren’t getting word of mouth and online orders before you launch, then becoming successful early on is dubious at best.

This isn’t the old days anymore. Internet and social are supposed to help matters run much more smoothly and well enough for you that you’ll have a decent idea about becoming successful in a matter of weeks, not months or years.

To reach success fast you need to figure out your mistakes early, work hard, and don’t be afraid to fail. If you can make it from your first try – great! If you can’t, learn from it, and start over.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind to reach success faster:

  • Number one, take risks. Get out of your comfort zone and take the leap. Remember that these are calculated risks, not gambles.
  • Number two, make decisions when things aren’t perfect. You just can’t sit and wait for the perfect moment, you have to roll with the available information at hand.
  • And number three, invest back into your business to grow. You must grow, and treat your business as larger than it currently is. You must scale, at least linearly.

For those looking into entrepreneurship, be aware that anything that lasts long-term, takes a long time to build. 

Most financially successful people didn’t become successful overnight. It takes time to learn, to fail a few times, and to change oneself to be able to work effectively and to work with others. Once you reach a certain level, then you can shorten the success period.

To become successful, we have to work daily and consistently. And you can’t learn this in one week, it has to become a habit that sticks. A habit that works automatically. And habits are built by several months at least. We all have to learn, make mistakes, and adapt along the way.

Finally, it’s not about how fast you do it, but how long you keep it, and for how many generations.

How Long Does It Take To Be Successful in Real Estate?

As an agent in real estate, you can become successful in just a few months by running ads online and gathering leads. You can gather 100+ leads just by creating a business page on Facebook, and running ads such as this one.

Ads need to offer value and make someone want to learn more so that they give their contact info in exchange for the value you provide. The value is something like a “List of homes under $x” or “Free Home Buyer Guide”, which is called a lead magnet.

The ad should be set up in such a way that they need to answer some questions and fill out their contact information to receive this lead magnet.

Most successful entrepreneurs and businesses online do this constantly by offering a free book, or a guide in exchange for info. You’d see something like “5 steps to making $1,000”, then you put your info and they get you as a potential lead.

Think of yourself as a marketer and lead generator first, and a real estate agent second.

How Long Does It Take To Be Successful on YouTube?

If you keep a predictable upload schedule and publish consistently, you may be able to call yourself a YouTube success in 6 to 12 months, or longer. Takes time to learn the camera work, learn to speak in front of the camera, edit the videos and learn the YouTube algorithm.

It takes about 6,000 to 25,000 views to make your first $100 and depending on how good you are, it will take you closer or further from each end of the spectrum. You also need 1000 subscribers to start making any money at all.

It may be a grind to reach this, but remember that the more subs you make the more subs you get. It’s a snowball effect. And the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Upload a lot, upload regularly, add a few of YouTube shorts, and you’ll get there.

Check out this guy, he knows his stuff on YouTube:

How Long Does It Take To Be Successful in Dropshipping?

In terms of profitability, the results can come early on, sometimes instant. However, in terms of profitability at scale it will take about a few months if you keep being consistent, spending on ads, your industry conversion rates are decent, and your industry isn’t too competitive.

Despite what people say about funnels and copy, as long as your store design is on par with household brand websites within your niche, you can expect results early on. 

Good advice in achieving success in dropshipping is not to invest too much into copy and funnel building if you aren’t at least profitable. Make sure you put some serious effort into designing the store and use Google Ads early on to drive sales to your store. FB ads can be used later on, but Google is great to see ROI fairly quickly.

How Long Does It Take To Be Successful on Amazon?

You can make sales on Amazon or eBay in just a few days or weeks, and for many, this is evidence of success. For most people though, it’s going to take at least a few months to become successful in FBA.

Even though you can sell in just a few days, it usually takes at least a few weeks to learn how to do it. You need to learn how to get the samples and order a product, what to have on the package, stuff about the sea and air shipping, how to create a listing, do photos, PPC, and other things.

This, of course, can be an ongoing process where you learn as you go, though you may want to research products beforehand on helium10 to check the profitability calculations.

A retail arbitrage route is a good place to start for newcomers on Amazon, as the investments and risks are low and you can learn how the whole process works with someone else’s products.

How Long Does It Take To Be Successful on Etsy?

If you know what you’re doing and do some research beforehand, you can start selling on Etsy within a few days of opening the shop. Otherwise, it may take you 3 months or longer. Reviews help a lot to drive the sales on Etsy but to get these precious reviews will take time.

Furthermore, collaborating with popular Etsy sellers in your niche for cross-promotions or bundle deals can give your shop an early visibility boost among the platform’s vast audience.

Some people will say it’s a waiting game with Etsy, but it’s only a waiting game if you’re unwilling to research, learn and do the things necessary to attract people and start selling immediately. 

If, however, you’re not getting any sales, look carefully at your shop, your photos, prices, policies, SEO, anything that could be turning people away.

How Long Does It Take To Be Successful in Forex Trading?

Takes about a year on average to start being consistently profitable in Forex trading. The first few months you’re going to spend most of your time finding out your strategy, and you’ll probably lose some money. Afterward, things should begin to shine.

According to dozens of shared experiences, it’s not necessary to lose over 90% of your balance to start being profitable in Forex. Nor does averaging down work as a long-term strategy.

How Long Does It Take To Be Successful on Instagram?

You can grow your Instagram account to 100k followers in less than a year if you use the right strategies. These strategies include niche research, hashtags research, and profile optimization (profile pic & bio, your content, and your Instagram story highlight reel).

How Long Does It Take for a Startup to Be Successful?

According to startups.com, it takes about 4 years to start turning it into a real business, and about 7 to 10 years to make the startup a true success, that you had in your mind while you were creating the idea.

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of HowMonk.com! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!