Lynette Young on Overnight Success and Icebergs NMX

The opening keynote sets the tone of the conference.

Taking the NMX stage in a cream dress with skeleton print illustartions and black accents, Lynette Young walked us through success lessons in her talk “The Myth of Overnight Success: How to build an iceberg in 25 years or less.”

Thanks to NMX for the media pass. And, thanks to Lynette for sharing her inspiring stories. Check out Lynette’s blog at and follow her on twitter at

At a time when tech conferences are criticized for not having enough women speakers, it was wonderful to see Lynette open.

Apologies for the post format. I’m writing this on my iPad. To Lynette and those who were in the audience, please correct any misquotes and add in your own takeaways -thank you!!!

Overnight success is a like an iceberg: 90% is below the water line, the 10% above the water is what people see.

We know that we need that 90% to get the job done.

In her talk, Lynette covered three key success components: perception, perseverance and people.

“What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.”
Martha Graham, American dancer and choreographer

At Lynette’s first job, everyone that worked for her made more money than her.
Although she got another job offer for double her salary, she didn’t take it because of her loyalty to her employer.

When she decided to ask her boss for a better title, her boss told her she had a problem with perception. Who was she, as a woman, to think she was better than other people? She quit.

iIn the digital media revoltuion, the idea of perception is more important than ever.
It has more to do with how we perceive ourselves than how other people think of us.

When we focus on what other people think, we disassociate ourselves for who we truly are.

Going forward, if you don’t have a strong image in what you tweet and what you write, the world isn’t going to take you for who you are.

“If you are going to go through hell, keep going.”
Winston Churchill

September 11, 2001 was a turning point in Lynette’s life. A mom with an infant, Lynette’s husband was supposed to be working at the site of the attack that day. But, he was at home. Even now, it’s hard for her to talk about it.

No matter what happens, hell is the last place you want to stay.

Instead of going into a consulting business she invested all of the money she’d saved into opening a scrapbooking store. She says a scrapbook is the original tumblr, blog and pinterest.

The scrapbook store failed miserably.

But, she learned a lesson one night at her store’s crop session.

Three women from three generations, all who had come out of chemo, came into to create scrapbooks to celebrate as they documented their life’s moments together.

Then, one of them called to say they’d lost the scrapbook. Lynette suggested blogging instead of scrapbooking – if you blog you preserve your stories and they won’t get lost anymore.

Thinking about ways to help people preserve their memories led Lynette to start a scrapbooking podcast in 2004.

She credits the scrapbooking people with saving her life.

The idea of connecting people on the internet became so important to her; she landed a six figure deal because of her scrapbook podcast.

Lynette’s version of success is not to be popular, but to go to the bank.

“People man, people.”
JC Hutchings, American auhtor and transmedia writer @jchutchins

Lynette says her success lies in other people’s success. If it wasn’t for all the people, none of the success matters.

“You need to figure out where your success will come from. Go back and think about the things in your life and your profession that don’t look like they fit, dig a little deeper and look for the lesson.”

The contacts that we make at these conferences are probably the strongest indicators of our success.

In icebergs, the bottom has to get bigger before the top can rise.

The key is that you are strong enough to help others. The one caveat is you have to take care of yourself first – you have to be constantly evolving and exploring.

On an iceberg, the most dangerous place is where the waves hits. You have to pull from your past and build your base.

if you have a base that you can build with other people, the tip of the iceberg will be monumental.

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