“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey” – a phrase that many of us will be all too familiar with, and rings especially true for entrepreneurs and business men and women alike. For a majority of entrepreneurs, failure is a major part of their success.
For the following 5 entrepreneurs, persistence was key to achieving great success, making them the inspirational businessmen and women that they are today! Let’s take a look…
1. James Dyson
Dyson is a famous name in many households, but how long did it actually take for one of his renowned vacuums to get to market? Well, James Dyson actually made 5127 vacuum prototypes, all of which were failed attempts!
“There are countless times an inventor can give up on an idea. By the time I made my 15th prototype, my third child was born. By 2,627, my wife and I were really counting our pennies. By 3,727, my wife was giving art lessons for some extra cash. These were tough times, but each failure brought me closer to solving the problem.” (Source)
Once he’d invented a vacuum which he could patent, there was no stopping him – dedication really was the key to success after countless (or 5127) failures.
2. Arianna Huffington
The Huffington Post took a long time to come to fruition. Arianna Huffington began her career in the publishing industry by writing a book which was later rejected a startling 36 times. Arianna knew that she was destined to be in the industry, one way or another, and soon enough, The Huffington Post was born. After launching, The Huffington Post received harsh critique and negative reviews, but this did not deter Huffington from pushing ahead with her plans and goals, and the online publication now resides with some of the most successful outlets for news and entertainment on the web.
3. Evan Williams
This name might not be as familiar to you as Mark Zuckerberg is, but Evan Williams is a huge player in the social media game. In 2005, Williams founded a company called Odeo, a directory and search destination website for RSS-syndicated audio and video – a platform for creating and sharing podcasts. Unfortunately, William’s foresight did not include the arrival of the podcasting platform launched by Apple shortly after. Hence, his business was obsolete. Alas, Evan Williams moved on to bigger and better things – co-founding the much loved social media platform, Twitter, for example.
4. Bill Gates
When we think of successful entrepreneurs, many of us will automatically think “Bill Gates!”. Do we ever go a day without seeing something created by Microsoft? Probably not! But did you know that Microsoft wasn’t Gates’ first business? Before this, Gates set up a company called Traf-O-Data, but the first demo of the product was a complete disaster, as the technology just did not work. In the tech world, launching a product that doesn’t work may seem like the end of the road, but for Gates, he worked to create a better product which was a huge success. He is now worth an estimated $79.4 billion. Hard work really does pay off!
5. Henry Ford
Henry Ford, known for being the founder of the global business, Ford, and the pioneer of the manufacturing method, Fordism, failed significantly before he succeeded. Ford was the epitome of “if at first, you don’t succeed; try, try, and try again!” The first car he produced was too small for mass-production, and in the time it took him to figure out what was next, he lost all financial backing. Convincing investors to take another risk on him wasn’t easy, but Ford managed to persuade backers to give it another shot. As he was relatively inexperienced in the automotive business, Ford failed again – not quite hitting the nail on the head with his prototypes.
Finally, Ford decided the only way he could do this was to go it alone. After mixing and matching several parts of previous designs, the Model A was designed. The rest is history. Ford still remains one of the leading automotive manufacturers, and the influences of Fordism can still be seen in manufacturing processes to this day.
Failure is not the end. If you’re hitting some rocks along the way – take inspiration from these 5 entrepreneurs and continue – you never know where it may lead!
If you’re an entrepreneur, what’s the hardest challenge you’ve encountered? Tweet us @OregaCentres & let us know!