Ever been so frustrated or disheartened in the pursuit of any of your dreams? Like most businesses small or large, they all have one thing in common, failure. I know this may sound crazy at first, but really think about it. Think of a multi-million dollar company that you know had failed at some point in the past? Crazy right?!
However, these multi-million dollar companies move past all their mistakes and learn from them in order to reach greatness. Take a look at some of these businesses we all know and how they have failed in the past:
Henry Ford (1863 – 1947)
Ford suffered a few failures early on in his career, including Detroit Automobile Co. At the beginning, his cars were a bit pricey and low quality, and naturally people didn’t trust his brand. He reevaluated what he was doing and turned things around after learning from his mistakes. Ford continued to design and develop cars in 1904, the great invention of “Ford 999” Model T quickly gained the footing into his success by 1914.
Quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
Walt Disney (1901 – 1966)
Walt Disney was fired from his job and was labeled as lacking creativity. He was at a point where he was living with his dog and didn’t have enough money to pay rent. He lost all rights for his character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Believe it or not, but when Walt created Mickey Mouse, it was rejected by MGM all because many were afraid of mice. Interesting right? Well, Walt did not stop there, instead he decided to push forward even with the littlest amount of money. He decided to release his new creation Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1938. It sprung the company out of bankruptcy and changed the life of many of our childhood memories.
Quote: “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
Frederick W. Smith (1994 - )
Frederick is the man behind FedEx. In the 1970’s Smith first introduced an electronic delivery service named, Zapmail that competed with fax machines in 1984. Zapmail was one of his biggest failures throughout his career that cost the company $350 million over two years. What was his turnaround? FedEx. He made sure FedEx was completely different from Zapmail by separating in 1986 and refocused its energy on its core delivery business. With this decision being made FedEx generated $35 million in revenue in 2010.
Quote: “Leaders get out in front and stay there by raising the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judge.”
Harland David Sander a.k.a. “Colonel Sanders” (1890 – 1980)
Harland had been through it all throughout his lifetime. Having to take care of his brother after his father passed away. He was struggling finding a job that would help him get out of debt and was always fascinated with cooking chicken. In 1955, Sanders bumped into his biggest failure when cooking up some chicken in his restaurant for two decades and after selling the location, Sanders was broke. Despite his age, he pushed forward and started franchising his chicken restaurant concept. He took full-time road trips selling his chicken all across Kentucky that within five years he had 190 franchise and 400 Kentucky Fried Chicken locations! Now that is finger lickin’ good!
Quote: “Feed the poor and get rich or feed the rich and get poor.”
All of these and many other multi-million dollar companies demonstrated that failure is the key to success. Being persistence and learning from failure can help you reach your goals in life. Always keep in mind it may not be the idea that’s unsuccessful, it just may be the execution strategy.
“9 Successful Entrepreneurs Who Failed.” Business.com, www.business.com/articles/never-giving-up-9-entrepreneurs-and-millionaires-who-failed-at-least-once/.
Leadem, Rose, and Olga Mykhoparkina. “Famous 'Trep Failures -- and Comebacks.” Entrepreneur, 11 Apr. 2011, www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/219445#1.