FAILURE STORIES EP.09 WARREN BUFFET

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 3 minute read, FAILURE STORIES

A 20-year-old Warren Buffett was well on his way to accomplish his goal. Becoming millionaire by age 35. By the age 16 he already made $53,000. He had a flair for making money in the stock market. Combine this with education in elite schools and you end up with a story that looks nothing like a failure story, right?

 

Our biggest fear

Wrong. We’ve all got our own failure. My failures can be different than yours. And your can be different than her or his. But Warren’s failures and fears were very similar to what most of us experience. Young Warren was terrified of public speaking. Yes, you read that right. Aren’t you afraid? Most of us are. It’s the number one fear we have. Death comes second. Which means that most people are more afraid of speaking in public than death. So was Warren but it didn’t stop him from becoming a great speaker.

 

Facing fear

Did he have something you don’t have? No. He was aware of his biggest fear and he knew it won’t disappear by itself. He decided to face his biggest fear. Although he didn’t need to be a great speaker then he was thinking about his future. He knew he won’t be able to run from it all his life and he ended up signing for Dale Carnegie speaking course but dropped out before it even started. “I lost my nerve”.

 

Runaway

He was so nervous, that he would arrange and choose his college classes to avoid having to get up in front of people. "I was so terrified that I just couldn't" – he says. "I would throw up…In fact, I arranged my life so that I never had to get up in front of anybody." 

 

Dread

In one of the interviews he said "I knew I was going to have to speak in public sometimes. The agony was such that just to get rid of the pain I signed up for the course again."  Warren enrolled the course with 30 other students who, just like him, were frightened. "We were all just terrified," Buffett said. "We couldn't say our own names. We all stood there and wouldn't talk to each other." 

 

Why shouldn’t you?

They got a book of speeches that was full of examples of talks you might give to keynote an event or if you were trying to win an election. Every week they had to give one of those speeches. "The way it works is that you learn to get out of yourself," Buffett said. "I mean, why should you be able to talk alone with somebody five minutes before and then froze in front of a group?" 

 

Slowly

The students supported one another, and slowly, slowly, slowly, Buffett got comfortable in front of a crowd. This low-stake situation was perfect environment to work on this craft. "Some of it is just practice — just doing it and practicing," Buffett said. "And it worked. That's the most important degree I have." After taking the course, Buffett was confident enough to speak in public and, perhaps more importantly, propose to his future wife Susan.

 

Passion

At a very young age Buffett became passionate about investing, money and achieving success. That ongoing enthusiasm comes through in his speeches and interviews. As Carnegie put it, "Even people with only mediocre speaking ability may make superb talks if they will speak about something that has deeply stirred them." People will see your passion, smile and positive energy and that will make a huge difference.

 

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FAILURE STORIES EP.08 LES BROWN

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 6 minute read, FAILURE STORIES
OVERCOMING FEAR OF FAILURE. PART 1

Look at a man the way he is and he only becomes worse, but look at him as if he were what he could be, then he becomes what he should be - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

OVERCOMING FEAR OF FAILURE. PART 1

It’s very important to believe you are the one to do it- Les Brown

He was born in an abandoned building, adopted and labeled as educable mentally retarded early in school. His life is a story of perseverance and hustle to get where he is right now.

 

Label

Shortly after being born on the floor of an abandoned building in poor side of Miami, Les Brown and his twin brother were adopted by Mamie Brown, a kitchen worker and maid. When Les was in 5th grade he was labeled as educable mentally retarded and put back from the 5th grade to 4th grade. Same thing happened again in the 8th grade. Upon graduation, he became a city sanitation worker in Miami Beach. But he had a dream of being a disc jockey. At night, he would take a transistor radio to bed where he listened to the local jive-talking deejays. He created an imaginary radio station in his tiny room with its torn vinyl flooring. A hairbrush served as his microphone as he practiced his patter, introducing records to his imaginary listeners. He was wrapped up in his own world, living a dream.

 

Greatest gift

He didn’t receive any collage training but one particular speech and drama instructor changed his life. His name was Leroy Washington. Mr. Washington gave him a greatest gift anyone can ever give. A different vision of himself. When Les was in his class waiting for a different student, Mr. Washington said “Young man go to board and work this problem out for me”.Oh, Sir I can’t do that” – replied Les.Why not?” - said the teacher.  “I’m not one of your students”.  While looking at him Mr. Washington said: “Go to that board and work the problem out”. With a trembling voice Les mumbled “Sir I can’t do that, because I’m educable mentally retarded. I’m in special education”. The students started laughing and they said: “That’s Lesley. Not Wesley. His DT. Wesley is the smart twin”.  “What is DT stand’s for?” – said Mr. Washington.  Lesly relied with a shame on his face: “I’m the dumb twin, Sir”. As the students laugh at him, Mr. Washington came from behind and looked at him: “Don’t you ever say that again. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality”. On the one hand Les was humiliated but on the other hand he felt liberated.

 

Worth doing badly

From felling free he looked at his goals and dreams and said to himself How am I going to do that? He went straight from his heart to his mind and he stayed up there for 14 years.  The first time Les stood up to speak publicly his mind set down. He looked at the audience and he panicked. He had to introduce a play but he ran of the stage. Mr. Washington said to him: “If you run now, you will always be running. Anything that’s is worth doing, is worth doing badly until you get it right. Go back out there”. Other students dog him out and he became the laughing-stock of the whole school

 

Breaking the fear

Another event came out Mr. Washington said: Mr Brown you’re up. Les went up and pretty soon when people laughed at him it didn’t even bother him. Later one day he came out and he came to himself. He broke out of that fear and in front of the whole school gave the first of his great speeches.

 

DJ

One day Les boldly went to the local radio station during his lunch break from mowing grass for the city. He got into the station manager’s office and told him he wanted to be a disc jockey. When it turned out that he didn’t have any background in broadcasting, it was the end of the conversation. But young Les was far from being over. His commitment to his goal was remarkable. Les had strong enough reasons, higher purpose than simply wanting to be a disc jockey. He wanted to buy a nicer house for his adoptive mother, whom he loved deeply. This job was just the step on the way.

Patience

And so Les returned to the station every day for a week, asking if there were any job openings. Finally, the station manager gave in and took him as a free intern. Les did whatever was asked of him at the station – and more. While hanging out with the deejays, he studied their movements on the control panel. At night, he practiced and prepared himself for the opportunity that he knew would present itself.

 

Opportunity

One Saturday afternoon it did. Because of his persistence and preparation, Les was ready. He wowed the audience and his general manager. As you pursue your dream, you are becoming stronger and smarter. In one of his speeches he said: There will be times when doors of opportunity open up for you as you walk your path. Stay focused and stay true to your dream, and more doors will open up for you.

 

Mental conditioning

When he watched Dr Norman Vincent Peale speak publicly he thought: I could do that. I would love to talk to people. I can do that. But when he started going back to his car his mental conditioning activated itself and it said: Les Brown you can’t do that. You don’t have a college education. You don’t have the training. You’ve never worked for major corporation. What makes you think you can?

 

Floor

It was hard when Les entered the motivational speaking arena in the mid-1980s, he had virtually nothing but one tape of his motivational speeches. He rented an office in Pen Penobscot Building in Detroit, Michigan and he felt on some hard times. He was sleeping on the floor in his office. In one of his great speeches just three years later he said: “I didn't even want a blanket or a pallet on the floor. I wanted it to be hard and cold so it would motivate me to keep striving. I didn't want to get soft." It was hard for him when had to read a letter from bulling management that he cannot sleep in his office. It was hard for him to go through the lobby and get laughed out.

 

Dream

Pursuing your dream, you will face disappointments, defeats and failures. But that’s okay. That’s given. Dreams are supposed to be hard to reach – that’s why they are called dreams. It’s very important (to know) when you hold on to that dream, there are moments when you’re going to doubt yourself. Rough times are gonna come but they have not come to stay. They have come to pass – Less Brown

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FAILURE STORIES EP. 07 CHRIS SACCA

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 4 minute read, FAILURE STORIES

Chris Sacca is as an extremely successful venture capitalist, with stakes in Instagram, Kickstarter, Uber, Twitter, and dozens of other prominent start-ups like Stripe, Lookout and WordPress. He’s widely known from being ranked third on Forbes annual Midas List of tech’s 100 top investors as well as being a recurrent quest on Shark Tank. What is not so familiar is how his incredible journey started. Investing his student loans, making tones of money, losing a lot more and ending up with 4 million in debt.

 

Student loans

Although Chris succeeded in school his entire life, he had no idea what should be the purpose of his life. He studied advanced mathematics and was on the honor roll for 12 straight marking periods.  By 11th grade he felt burned out and wanted to pursue a college degree where there would be no math.  Chris took the natural step of going to law school. He quickly realized that going to classes is entirely optional and he can use that time start his own company thanks to government money from his student loan checks.

 

Hot hand

The company quickly folded and Chris used the money that was left to hit the stock market.  He invested in several of the hottest tech stocks of the decade. Not only he was successfully investing his student loans, but he leveraged the gaps he found in the terms and conditions of day trading platforms. Chris turned tens of thousands of dollars for his student loans into $12 million by 2000.

 

Bubble burst

At that point, being still a very young and inexperienced investor Chris never thought of cashing out some of his virtual money. Instead, with very little diversification, he continued to double down. You can probably guess what happened next. When the stock market crashed several of Chris’ stocks quickly plummeted and very quickly he found his paper net worth had fallen to $2 million. Feeling disappointed and overwhelmed he decided to take a break, clear his mind and walk away from the stock market for several weeks.

 

Debt

While he was travelling to Austria the leftovers of his portfolio dived even harder. An informal remark by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair about joint policy in the notion of patents around genetic technology, when viral in the news.  As the companies from this industry were the core of Chris’s portfolio, there were not much left this time. Playing this dangerous game and not giving himself the extent of the margin in his investments, Chris immediately wind up $4 million in debt with no means of paying it back.

 

Adult sites

Still keeping his nerves, he refused to declare bankruptcy and negotiated a workout plan with his creditors which reduced his total debt to $2.125 million. Over the course of next five years Chris completed law school, and got his hustle on. He worked for one of Silicon Valley law firm, but got fired after 13 months. Next step was opening up his own consultancy. This journey took him through writing terms and conditions for online adult sites and a variety of other less than impressive tasks. Remarkably, he managed to pay down the two-plus million dollars in debt at some point in 2005.

 

Angel

For the next four years Chris worked at Google. After that started his first angel investments in PhotoBucket and Twitter, for which he is much better known. What few realize, however is that his success today very nearly didn’t happen. It was his tenacity and refusal to quit, even when reckless at times, that paved his road to becoming one of the most respected and successful angels in Silicon Valley.

 

How?

Chris didn't study business or engineering, doesn't know how to program a computer or worked at a big venture firm. So how did he pulled it off? He does it by buddying up with well-chosen founders and very often serves as a mentor. It seems like he could take on everything but Chris only takes those ventures and endeavours in which he can be an asset.  On top of that neither massive debt, lay off, nor anything else is able to stop him.

chris

FAILURE STORIES EP. 06 JIM CARREY

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 5 minute read, FAILURE STORIES
FAILURE STORIES EP. 06 JIM CARREY

It is better to risk starving to death then surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what's left? – Jim Carey

How many of you know Jim Carrey, either from his stand-up comedy or from his many successful films, including Dumb and Dumber, Mask, Liar Liar, The Truman Show, or A Series of Unfortunate Events? When you think of the elements that played the most vital role in his success you would probably mention talent, hard work, luck, maybe patience. You are hundred percent right but there is one more thing you are missing. Bear with to learn what is the one ingredient 99 percent of us are missing.  

 

Adversity

You might think that anyone as talented as Jim must had a great home background and went to a great school with plenty of money to afford the best of training. Think again.

It’s hard to believe that in his early years at school Jim was quiet and not very sociable. Before he became the Jim we all know he had to fight hard at school around his learning disability and dyslexia. In this struggle, he developed a phenomenal memory which turned out to be vital skill later in his stand up and acting carrier. Although his dad tended to encourage his craziness, his mom was alarmed and often sent him to his room. This just gave him more time to practice in front of the mirror.

 

Discovery

Discovering that he could make friends by simply making people laugh, was his true turning point that would affect his entire future. Although we know how he turned out to be, the results of his discovery back then weren’t all that positive. At home, he thoroughly enjoyed making faces and mimicking in his mirror. In school, he was finishing his work first and then disrupting the rest of the class. That was his way of screaming for attention. So rather than discipline him for disrupting the class, one of his teachers asked him to put together an act and perform it for the class at the end of the school day, on the condition that he would do his work and not disturb the class. He thought this was a great idea and went along with it.

 

Sacrifice

His ambitions and courage were on display when he began to think beyond just entertaining his fellow students. At age ten he sent his resume’ to actress Carol Burnette, hoping to be discovered. As we know it took him another few years to crawl to the top.

Money was another hurdle. His family lived in a rough district with lots of low-rent townhouses. By the tenth grade he was trying to juggle eight-hour night shifts at the factory with school during the day. He was so exhausted that he couldn't understand what his teachers were talking about. At that time, he didn't have any friends at school and he feared that anyone getting close might find out about his embarrassing poverty. Not having enough time to study nor to nurture school friendships he felt that school was not getting him anywhere. He called it quits at 16.

 

Hardships

His family decided that their surroundings were taking them the wrong direction, so they packed up and moved to Canada with no job in sight. His parents and two siblings lived in a beat-up yellow Volkswagen camper van for a full eight months, parking in campgrounds. Feeling intellectually backward, inferior, embarrassed and experiencing hardships of poverty paved the way to his success by making him feel that he had to try harder than others. Lots of his creativity, as well as his remarkable willingness to take risks were born out of those moments desperation.   

 

Check

In 1983, Jim headed west to Hollywood where he starred playing small parts in television movies. He was another struggling young comic trying to make his way in Los Angeles. When he wasn’t doing anything in Hollywood, he was driving his old Toyota up to Mulholland Drive and sitting in his car. While sitting there looking at the city below and dreaming of his future, he wrote himself a check for $10 million, dated it Thanksgiving 1995, added the notation “for acting services rendered” and carried it in his wallet from that day forth. On top of that he was saying to himself “Everyone wants to work with me. I’m a really good actor. I have all kinds of great movie offers.” 

 

Affirmation

He would just repeat these things over and over, literally convincing himself that he had a couple of movies lined up. He’d drive down that hill, ready to take the world on, going, “Movie offers are out there for me, I just don’t hear them yet.” This total affirmation was his own way of dealing with stems from his family background.

 

Not so Dumb after all

His appearances in TV programs led to a main role on the hit comedy In Living Color. After many years, Jim’s optimism, tenacity and conviction eventually paid off. By 1995, after the huge box office success of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb & Dumber, his wage for a picture went up to $20 million.

 

Every day

Jim Carrey used his hard times and set-backs to motivate him to try harder. He channeled his energy to making something special out of his life. But my biggest take from his story is that he was so convinced of his self-worth, he had a very specific goal and was envisioning it on a daily basis. It’s not only about having a plan, goal or dream, it’s even more about engaging with that vision on emotional level and working on it every day. Create a vision for your life but don’t freeze on just hoping it’s magically going to happen. Nothing will ever happen if you won’t start putting it to work.

 

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FAILURE STORIES EP. 06 JIM CARREY

FAILURE STORIES. EP. 05 WALT DISNEY

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 5 minute read, FAILURE STORIES
FAILURE STORIES. EP. 05 WALT DISNEY

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them – Walt Disney

Entrepreneur, cartoonist, animator, voice actor, and film producer. Before he became the legend, we know, he was fired by the newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” 

 

Mouse on the screen

Can you imagine anyone being afraid of Mickey Mouse? No? Neither can I but Walt Disney was told that Mickey Mouse would not work since a huge mouse on the screen would terrify women. Well, it seems that women were not scared and this mouse continues to share his story on screens all over the world.

 

You are dismissed

In 1919 while working for a newspaper, Disney was struggling to make ends meet. At one point, he was fired by the newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”. In January 1920, Disney formed his first animation company, which was called Laugh-O-Gram Films. He raised $15,000 for the company but following a rough start he was eventually forced to close Laugh-O-Gram, and go to earn money at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. He was soon joined by his partner, who were not able to run their business by himself.

 

City of broken dreams

Sometime later Disney he acquired a successful studio but profits were insufficient to cover the high salaries paid to employees. After studio became loaded with debt it wound up bankrupt. Disney was desperate and out of money.  In July 1923, Walt sold his camera and, with the little money he had, moved to Hollywood. Disney faced even more criticism and failure.

 

Wonderland

He had decided he wanted to be in the motion picture business and envisioned himself as a director, so he set out to look for a job. Every studio in town turned him down. In the face of another failure he had sent his unfinished project Alice’s Wonderland to different distributers. One of them offered him a deal and with his brother Roy and best friend Iwerks they have created Disney Brothers’ Studio.

 

(Not so) Lucky Rabbit

One of his first huge successes in the cartooning business was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. It was so successful that it was shown in major theatres around the country with first–run films. At that time, Walt was only receiving a 20 percent cut on his films and was ready to negotiate higher share, since he was barely earning anything. But his producer had other plans.  

 

Not Walt

He decided he no longer needed Walt, and by hiring Walt’s animation crew he could produce the cartoon himself. As distributer, he had the rights to do what he liked with the cartoon. It was another devastating lesson for Walt. Most of the people would cave or run home with the tail between their legs. Most of the people but not Walt. He decided then and there that he would now only work on characters to which he owned the rights.

 

Mortimer

Walt desperately needed a brand-new idea. In the back of his mind he had the idea of a mouse – a sympathetic character that had a lot of potential. He called the mouse Mortimer, the name eventually changed to Mickey Mouse thanks to the insistence of his wife.

 

Astounding duo

Mickey had his own live voice–overs, sound–effect people, and an orchestra. Walt’s vison of Mickey’s voice was very specific and unique but he could not find anyone who could replicate the way he imagined it to be. So, it was Walt himself who voiced Mickey. This astounding duo made front–page news.

 

All in

In 1932, Walt discovered the new phenomenon of technicolor and wanted to create a feature–length cartoon about Snow White. People in Hollywood sneered at that idea because no one could even imagine it.  He was told by his banker that he would be risking everything he had on this one film. But Walt believed in his vision for the company, and he believed in this retelling of Snow White enough to go through with it. The film received both critical acclaim and commercial success. Money flowed in, erasing the entire studio debt within 6–months. Walt received an Academy Award for what was yet another risk that had paid off.

 

War

Fantasia was one of Walt’s most unusual and unique projects. His vision was to reproduce the sensation of listening to music in a concert hall accompanied with visual stimulation. He was onto an earlier version of stereo–phonic sound. The total budget of this project, however, was more than $2 million. Just as the Disney Company seemed to be reaching new heights, war broke out. Overseas income ceased funding the construction of the new Burbank studio, and although newly launched animated movies Fantasia and Pinocchio were considered Disney Masterpieces, they did not provide the revenue the company needed.

 

Debt

By 1941 the studio was half–a–million dollars in–debt. But this didn’t stop him. Actually, nothing ever did. He did not let a string of failures overcome him, standing strong even through his toughest times. After every storm, there is a rainbow. The next decade was a period of great financial expansion for Disney. It went from of $6 million profit at the start of the decade to $70 million at the end.

 

Failure is necessary

The company that Walt has left behind has reached phenomenal success. It all started from one very innovative and passionate man who demanded the highest quality and wasn’t afraid to experiment and fail with every endeavor.

 

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FAILURE STORIES. EP. 05 WALT DISNEY

FAILURE STORIES. EP. 04 COLONEL SANDERS

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 4 minute read, FAILURE STORIES
OVERCOMING FEAR OF FAILURE. PART 1

Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter - Satchel Paige

This is a remarkable story of Colonel Harland Sanders. A Man who started at 62 and failed 1009 times before succeeding.  This story is inspirational because it’s an example of how perseverance, dedication, and ambition along with hard work can create success; regardless of your age.

 

Icon

Colonel Harland Sanders has become a world-known figure by marketing his “finger lickin’ good” Kentucky Fried Chicken. He was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). However, most people know him because of his iconic white suit, black string tie and walking cane. His statues are almost all over the world since KFC is present in about 118 countries.

 

Retirement

One of the most amazing thing is that he just started when most of us are already finishing. While most people can’t wait to start being really lazy he started to be really busy. At the age of 62, after running a restaurant for several years, Colonel Sanders retired and received his first social security check for $105. And it wasn’t until the age of 65 when he sold his first restaurant, when he truly started to build his global fried chicken empire.  

 

Biggest Asset

Col. Sanders loved to share his fried chicken recipe and in return people were telling him how much they loved it. This helped him build an incredible confidence and certainty in his recipe. He was determined to sell the world on his delicious chicken secret.  Not having much at his disposal, Colonel Sanders decided to use his biggest asset. Try to think what is one of the biggest assets of most people who are retired? It’s Time. Using that to the fullest he traveled door to door to houses and restaurants all over his local area. He wanted to partner with someone to help promote his chicken recipe. Needless to say, he was met with little enthusiasm.

 

1009 rejections

In those tough times of rejection confidence in his recipe helped him perceiver and be persistent in his hustle. But if he wouldn’t learn from his failures and if he wouldn’t keep on changing his approach it probably wouldn’t get him anywhere. After being rejected many times he started to cook his fried chicken on the spot for restaurant owners. If the owner liked the chicken, they would enter into a handshake agreement to sell the Colonel’s chicken. Legend has it that Colonel Sanders was turned down 1009 times before his chicken was accepted once.  

 

Deal?

The deal was that for each piece of chicken the restaurant sold, Sanders would receive a nickel. The restaurant would receive packets of Colonel’s secret herbs and spices in order to avoid them knowing the recipe. The first restaurant that he landed was based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, which became the first Kentucky Fried Chicken. The restaurant tripled its sales within a year where 75% of that revenue was from the colonel’s chicken.

 

Exit

The company grew and expanded faster than he could have ever imagined. In 1964, at the age of 74 years old, Colonel Sanders had 600 franchises selling his trademark chicken. He sold the company for $2 million dollars to a group of investors led by Jack C. Massey and John Y. Brown Jr. But he retained the rights to the Canadian franchises and stayed on as a salaried goodwill ambassador to the company. In 1976, the Colonel was ranked as the world’s second most recognizable celebrity. This just goes to show us that it doesn’t matter how old we are or just how much money we have to our name in order to accomplish something great.

 

Secret recipe

Did he succeeded because he had proper connections? Did he have the best education? Large capital in the beginning? Incredible marketing abilities? Was he very well situated? Born with any advantages? Was he young when he started? No. None of this is true. There is only one reason for his success. He knew what he wanted and he took massive action.

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FAILURE STORIES. EP. 03 J.K. ROWLING

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 5 minute read, FAILURE STORIES
FAILURE STORIES. EP. 03 J.K. ROWLING

“…Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged” – J.K. Rowling

She is as one of the world’s most successful authors. Many people simply know her as the woman who created Harry Potter. But, what most of us don’t know is what she went through prior to reaching her vision. Her life was not a bad of roses. She struggled tremendously. “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless”. Does it sound easy for you?

 

The Idea

In 1990, Rowling first had the idea for Harry Potter. While she was on a train from Manchester to London fully formed idea suddenly came into her mind. She started a long process of creating a Harry Potter‘s world.  Later that year, her mother died after 10 long years of fighting Sclerosis. 

 

Three Chapters

Two years later she moved to Portugal to teach English. She got married and had a daughter. In 1993, her marriage ended in divorce and she moved to Edinburgh, Scotland to be closer to her sister. At that time, she had just three chapters of Harry Potter in her suitcase. When she finally finished those first three chapters, she sent the manuscript off to publishers but one after the other they quickly turned her down.

“I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be”.

 

Broke single parent

Rowling saw herself as a failure at this time. She was a jobless, divorced and broke single parent. Suffering from depression, she eventually signed up for government-assisted welfare. She was in a very dark place and in a very difficult time in her life but she pushed through those adversities. Failure meant stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged”.

 

12 publishers

Somehow, she found determination and courage to finish her work. She sent it to other publishers, but again, the answer was no. Her mailbox filled up with rejection letters, but she was far from being over.

After sending her manuscript to 12 different publishers and getting rejected by every single one, she began losing confidence in her book.

 

8-year-old girl

A year later the editor Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury publishing house read the manuscript. And so did his 8 year-old daughter. The little girl loved the opening three chapters so much, that she begged to read the whole thing. This made Cunningham to agree to publish Harry Potter. Bloomsbury made a deal and paid a very small £1500 advance to Rowling. The book was published in 1997 with only 1000 copies, half of which were distributed to libraries. Rowling was given an advice that she should get a day job, because she wouldn’t make any money writing children’s books.  Once Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published, she simply proved everyone wrong.

 

107 million copies

The book won many awards including the British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year. J.K. Rowling herself went from being a jobless single mother living off unemployment benefits to one of the bestselling authors of all time. But it didn’t happen overnight. She faced rejection and constantly strived for success. She worked hard at her craft before anyone noticed her. That practice, along with strengthening herself against rejection, was what made her work unforgettable. Looking back, the Harry Potter series has earned over $400 million in book sales only. With a 107 million copies sold, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the 5th  on the list of bestselling books in the history. Rowling is the first female to become a billionaire author.

 

Dream

If you have a dream or a passion and you keep getting rejected or running into failure, don’t let that stop you. If you’re going through a tough time in your life, but you’re working on something you really believe in, don’t give up. If you do, you’ll never know what could have been. Who knows, where you can end up. As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters” – J.K.Rowling

 

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FAILURE STORIES. EP. 03 J.K. ROWLING

FAILURE STORIES. EP. 02 HENRY FORD

Posted Leave a commentPosted in 5 minute read, FAILURE STORIES
FAILURE STORIES. EP. 01 HENRY FORD

Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently – Henry Ford

We can all agree that Henry Ford is one of the world most famous entrepreneurs in history. We often think of him as an embodiment of success. People know him as a founder and leader of Ford Motor Company. He not only revolutionized transportation but also changed the United States forever. Ford Motor was one of the first companies to produce low-cost innovative manufacturing process, reliable vehicles, while simultaneously keeping its workers well-paid and loyal.

 

Bankruptcy

However, what people don’t know is that Ford launched two companies prior to Ford Motor Company. The Detroit Automobile Company and Henry Ford Company both gone bankrupt very quickly.  

Ford is no stranger to failures. But when we think about him, we don’t picture failures because all it took was just one massive success. Before his success, however, Ford encountered many failure during initial production of his first automobile.

 

1st Detroit Automobile Company

In 1899, at the age of 36 years old, Ford convinced William H. Murphy, a Detroit businessman, to back his automobile production and they formed his first company, the Detroit Automobile Company. Shortly after launching the company it turned out that one humongous problem was piling up.  Henry’s vision and strategy was not in line with shareholders plan. A year and a half after the company began operations, Murphy and the shareholders got restless and cold feet. Ford wanted to create the perfect automobile design, but the board saw it as paying way too much attention to details. They wanted quick results and in their eyes, he was simply not delivering. Soon after, that they dissolved the company and it went bankrupt.

 

2nd Henry Ford Company

After the first failure Ford changed his approach but stayed committed to his vision. He realized that he was trying to satisfy too many customer needs at once. Somehow, he to managed to convince Murphy to give him a second chance. In 1901 they made their second venture Henry Ford Company. This company also started on wrong foot. Ford felt Murphy’s expectations were unrealistic from the beginning. Murphy brought in an outside manager to supervise Ford and to have a finger on the pulse. This ended up with Henry leaving the company and leaving behind the rights to his name. That company was later renamed to the Cadillac Automobile Company.  

 

Still not the end

Two failures like that would be a carrier-ending moment for most people but not for Henry. By that time everyone already wrote him off but Ford recalibrated his efforts once again. He used the lessons from these failures to instruct his future success as an inventor and a businessman.

 

Ford Motor Company

It was Ford’s third try, the Ford Motor Company, that became a massive success over the years.  Few years after his second failure, Ford met Alexander Malcomson, a coal magnate with a risk-taking spirit like Ford. Malcomson gave Ford full control over his production, and in 1904 the company introduced the Model A.

 

Not a bed of roses

Do you think that after that it was a bed of roses?

Between 1903 and 1908 Ford produced the Models A, B, C, F, K, N, R, and S, most of which sold in the hundreds or few thousands a year. Not impressive at all for an automobile company. It took another 5 years to 1908 before Ford introduced Model T. Ford’s Model T went on to sell over 17 million units. Simple to drive and cheap to repair, half of all cars in America in 1918 were Model T’s. Ford ended up revolutionizing the automobile industry, pioneering not only the Model T and the assembly line, but also the concept and notion of an automobile in every home.

 

Failure is an opportunity to begin again

For Henry Ford, failure did not hinder innovation, but served as the impetus to hone his vision for a technology that would ultimately transform the world. In his autobiography released in 1922, Ford outlined one of principles for his organization: An absence of fear of the future and of veneration for the past. One who fears the future, who fears failure, limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again. There is no disgrace in honest failure; there is disgrace in fearing to fail. What is past is useful only as it suggests ways and means for progress.

 

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FAILURE STORIES. EP. 01 HENRY FORD

FAILURE STORIES. EP. 01 MR. HONDA

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FAILURE STORIES. EP. 01 MR. HONDA

Many people dream of success. I believe that success can be achieved only through repeated failure and self-analysis. Success is only one percent of your work, and the rest – bold overcoming of obstacles. If you are not afraid of them, success will come to you itself - Soichiro Honda

Mr. Soichiro Honda is a founder of the Honda Motor Co. Honda Corporation, like many other, no matter how large, was built on top of passion, persistence and desire to produce a remarkable result, but this is not a story of success. This is a story of repeated failure.

 

Piston Rings

Mr. Honda took everything he owned and began to develop his concept of a piston ring. Literally living in his workshop, working day and night, sleeping in the machine shop. He was convinced that he can produce the desired result. Honda even pawned his wife's jewels to stay in business. At that time, he was racing in Japanese high-speed rallies and almost died in his last race. Honda crashed into a different car at the finish line. Leaving his left arm fractured, his shoulder dislocated and his face damaged. He spent three months at a hospital. The road to the sport was closed forever for him. While still being in hospital he received an answer from the Toyota Corporation about his newly finished piston rings. Unfortunately, out of 30,000 rings he delivered to Toyota only 3 passed the quality test and he didn’t receive any contract.

 

Going back to school

He was so determined that after this, he was even able to changed his attitude toward education and went back to school for two more years. He didn’t change his goal, he only changed his approach. After going back to school, he heard the mocking laughter of his instructors and other students. Everybody saw his as a total failure. But that’s not how he saw himself.

 

The contract

He didn’t focus on the pain of that failure and decided to continue to focus on his vision. Finally, after two more years, Toyota granted him the contract he had dreamed of. Thanks to his passion and persistence he took the necessary actions and was able adjust his approach very quickly.  His belief and stubbornness was paid off but the closer he was getting the harder it was getting. Now there was even a bigger problem.

 

The war

Due to national preparation for the war the Japanese government refused to give him the concrete that was needed to build his factory. This seem like something that would make everybody quit, but not Mr. Honda. He didn’t quit there. He didn’t give up. He didn’t cry about it. For most of us this would mean that our dreams are crushed but absolutely not for him.

 

Bombs and earthquakes

Taking everything he could out of such situation Mr. Honda and his team build the factory thanks to their own inventions and resourcefulness. Unfortunately, the factory was bombarded twice during the war and after that destroyed even more by an earthquake. Honda assumed that the country is entering into a period of poverty and decided to sell his piston operation to Toyota. How many of us would have quit right there? But Mr. Honda was different. He was determined to succeed. He made all the necessary decisions, had the right strategy, took massive actions, had passion and belief in his vision, kept changing his approach but still couldn’t get the outcome he was after. But he didn’t give up.

 

Bicycle

After the war, due gasoline shortage in Japan Mr. Honda couldn't even drive his car to get food for his family. Again, he did what he was best at. He used the resources he had around him. Attaching a small motor to his bicycle and using a fir oil that was very popular in the countryside of Japan in those times. This newly developed bike became very trendy along his neighbors and quickly he ran out of motors. He wanted to build a factory but he didn't have the necessary capital.

 

“Overnight success”

Do you think this could stop him? Of course, not. He was determined to follow through with his vision. By sending a personal letter to the 18,000 bicycle shop owners in Japan he had raised the capital he needed. This makes his kind of a present-day pioneer of crowd founding. It took him another few years and quite a few major changes but his motorbike called "The Super Cub" became an "overnight" success in the eyes of the public. This even earning him the Emperor's award. By 1958, when “Super Cub” model came to the U.S., Honda was already the largest Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles.

 

Trials and errors

Honda succeeded because he understood the power of a truly committed decision and acted upon the conditions he was presented to. His secret lies in the fact that he was guided by his trials and errors, and was always ready to fail. In Mr. Honda’s eyes one of the essential quality of a great businessman, is the ability to take risks. He did not admit defeat and was willing to risk everything for his beliefs and ideas, in order to achieve a goal. All his life Mr. Honda was fighting with adversities, disadvantages, traditional thinking and principals. Later in life he said: “Looking back on my work, I feel that I was doing nothing more than mistakes, blunders and serious omissions. But I am proud of the achievements. Although I did one mistake after another, my mistakes and failures never occurred to the same reasons”.

 

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FAILURE STORIES. EP. 01 MR. HONDA