Let me tell you this: The business or career challenge you are faced with at the moment is not unique to you. You might have lost your job or perhaps seen a business you invested so much time, effort and money suffer ‘a shipwreck’. The reality however is that this obviously disastrous turn of events is not peculiar to you. Scores of others have walked down the same road. This is not meant to make light of your current predicament but to assure you that you are not alone and that more importantly, irrespective of the mess you might find yourself in at this point (and the many times you have failed) in time, it isn’t over until you say it is over.
John Asaraf once noted, “pretty much every self-made billionaire slipped & fell on their way to the top, so if you have too, don`t take it too hard. Persistence is the key.”
As a matter of fact, many of world`s great achievers (many who have amounted to much in life) went through the route of disappointments, setbacks, delays and outright failures. The difference between them and ‘losers’ is this; whereas ‘losers’ called it quits in the face of sometimes horrendous challenges, those who came up tops refused to give up; they persisted in the pursuit of their dreams and aspirations.
It was Denis Waitley who once opined, “failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” And he is so right on point.
I have put together five remarkable stories of some notable achievers who refused to stay down, choosing to rise up from the ashes to take the world by storm. Be inspired to reach for the skies.
1. Jack Ma: The highly successful entrepreneur, billionaire, founder and chairman of the world-renowned Alibaba Group suffered a long streak of failures and setbacks on his route to the top. His beginnings are unimpressive; He was rejected from Harvard ten times. After graduation from College, his first 30 applications for jobs were turned down. Out of 24 interviewees, Ma was the only one rejected by KFC, the other 23 interviewees were hired. Even after establishing Alibabi, he almost went bankrupt and was unable to make any profits in the first three years of being in business; he also failed to persuade Silicon Valley to fund his business. These are among several others setbacks he encountered but his focus remained unflinching. The rest is history.
2. Abraham Lincoln: One of the most revered presidents of the United States was buffeted by a myriad of setbacks. Lincoln was from a poor home but that did not stop him from pursuing his dreams; he worked hard to become a self-taught lawyer. He failed in business at the age of 21 and suffered a defeat in a legislative race at age 22. Lincoln failed again in business at age 24. He lost a congressional race at age 34 and also lost a senatorial race when he was 45. An attempt at the vice-presidency at age 47 was a flop. He lost a senatorial race yet again at age 49. In spite of all these glaring defeats (and rather than throw in the towel), Lincoln persevered; he was eventually elected president of the United States (and a good one at that) at age 52.
3. Ross Perot: From humble beginnings Perot rose through the ranks of the United States Navy, becoming a battalion commander at one point. After exiting the navy, he joined IBM as a salesman, out-performing his peers; he completed his annual sales quota in two weeks. He soon exited IBM, starting his own company, Electronic Data Systems. Perot had a rough start as he sought to sell his company`s data processing services to corporations; he was rejected 77 times. The average person would have called it quits but not Perot. He persisted till things began to change for the better; he won government contracts among others, turning his company into a technological powerhouse. He eventually sold his company to GM for a whooping sum of $700 million.
4. J. K. Rowling: She is the best-selling author the Harry Potter series (having sold millions of copies) and arguably one of the richest women in the United Kingdom. She set out to write her first novel while hemmed in by poverty, living on government welfare, depressed and struggling as a single mum to cater for her child. Her first novel which eventually became an international best-seller and racks in huge financial inflows was rejected 12 times. The myriad of setbacks not-withstanding, she stayed her ground and became the better for it.
5. Henry Ford: This remarkably successful business man and founder of Ford Motors had not always been on top of his game; He had his share of business failures. The very first two businesses he started were a total flop. As though that was not enough, he went bankrupt five times. Rather than get discouraged, he went on to build one of the world`s most successful automobile companies.
These are but a few of the inspiring stories of men and women who have arisen from the ashes of despondency and failure to accomplish phenomenal feats; life came them a merciless beating but they bounced right back. That they made it in spite of the odds is indicative that you can too. Don`t throw in the towel yet. Maintain your focus and persist through thick and thin. You will make it. I sign off with an apt quote by one of America`s richest men who ever lived, John D. Rockefeller: “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
Author: Daniel Dela Dunoo
(Freelance writer/editor, blogger & published author)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Blog: http://danieldeladunoo.blogspot.com / http://theroyalwordsmithgh.wordpress.com