11 Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs Who Failed First
Author:NeuroGym Team |July 5, 2016
The word “failure” just sounds bad, right?
Failing a test, or a class, or a failed marriage…
What about a failed business?
(Probably not much fun either.)
Here’s the good news: “failures” are great opportunities to learn.
No matter what you try, your chances of getting it right the first time are slim.
Think about a sport or game you play. If you play against great players, you’ll lose a lot at first. If you keep playing with them, you’ll improve to their level.
Leveling up is almost always uncomfortable, and necessary.
These 11 entrepreneurs are a great example of what can happen if you make it past the challenges.
(Don't have time to read the full article? Check out this video highlighting 5 of the 11.)
1. Fred Smith of FedEx
FedEx faced not one, but two major setbacks.
Initially, this multi-billion dollar company was a term project at Yale University.
His professor said, “The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C', the idea must be feasible."
That didn’t stop Smith, however. He got funding, planes, and people, and started operating.
Two years in, the company faced high fuel charges and a bunch of debt.
At one point, FedEx had $5,000 left. Still believing in his capacity to succeed against all odds, Smith took it to Las Vegas.
And what do you know?
He did succeed. He turned 5,000 into 27,000 -- enough to cover costs for another week. That’s about how long it took for him to find another investor.
No one’s recommending blackjack as a finance tactic, but tenacity is one handy tool.
This could have been a perfectly reasonable time to give up. In fact, I bet a lot of people were expecting FedEx to be over.
Fred Smith had a different mindset than most. He tried something most people would call "crazy," because he believed in what was possible.
So stay strong, and carry on!
This renowned communicator had a hard early life. After graduating from college, she took a job at a tv station -- but it didn't last long.
She was fired shortly after, as the producer dubbed her “unfit for TV”
...I think we all know how untrue that it. Good thing she didn’t take that to heart!
If someone tells you that you aren't cut out for something, think about where that may be coming from.
Sometimes people put each other down out of jealousy, or because they don't see the the other's true value.
Make sure you show the world what you can do, and don't let a ney-sayer take away your drive.
3. Henry Ford
Henry Ford revolutionized the production of cars.
But first, he alienated his investors by taking too long, and subsequently lost funding twice.After the second mishap, Ford’s reputation in the auto industry was abysmal. Most people aren’t willing to give out a third chance.
Mr. Ford was persistent.
He eventually found backing from a foreign investor who wasn’t afraid of a little risk.
You know the saying: Third time’s the charm!
Thomas Edison, John Burroughs, and Henry Ford
4. Thomas Edison
This guy takes the cake when it comes to appreciating failures.
Rather than use such a harsh word, he considered each “failure” an iteration.
He’s famous for inventing the lightbulb, on the 10,000th try -- something he readily acknowledged.
“When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work,” Edison explained.
Nothing wrong with a little trial and error.
5. Ariana Huffington
Maybe you’ve heard of the Huffington Post?
Before founding the infamous site, Ms. Huffington published 2 books.
36 publishers told this woman “no,” before she finally found a publisher.
This was probably good preparation, since the Huffington Post also received bad reviews initially.
How would your life be different if you stopped listening to the “no’s?”
6. Colonel Sanders
Althought the validity of this story isn’t certain, it still contains a valuable lesson.
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About The Author
NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.