Once upon a time, there was a large rock on the road to temple in a village and everyone had to go around it to reach temple and on way back. One day, a young man came with a hammer and gave the rock a hard hit but, well, if it was that easy to break it, anyone would have done. People told him the effort was useless – it won’t break even if he was to go on hitting it the whole day, he nodded and moved on. However, the very next day, he gave the rock yet another blow – with same result. It went on for several years, every day he would give rock a single hit with his hammer, the rock wouldn’t break – and people would tell him it was useless.
Then one day the rock did break down into small bits. Everyone clapped and admired him. A kid, who had come that way for first time and thus didn’t knew what had passed all these years, was astonished thinking that the man had broken the rock with a single blow, and exclaimed; “you must be really strong.” He answered with a smile, “No, not strong, but persistent.”
The man knew that it was the last blow that broke the rock but accumulated force of hits he had given it all these years. It was only that the result showed in that last hit. Thomas Edison failed ten-thousand times before he invented electric bulbs. Ask him and he will tell you that he knows 9000 distinct ways of not making electric bulb. To wise, failure is just a crop that will harvestable in future – provided one persists.
Chess players know this very well. Success rarely teaches us anything. Failure always does. The people who loved playing chess would rather lose against a better player than lose against a lesser player. Even the best chess player must have only learnt by losing, even the fastest runners must have fell down when they were learning to walk.
Wise people always turn a situation into a win-win – they are sure to carry the lesson where they can’t carry the success. Here are some people who have learned from their failures. They were called the biggest losers but they made really big, enormous, giant and uncountable…..
1. Bill Gates
Before coming up with his famous operating systems – MS DOS and Windows, Bill Gates had failed miserably with a company called Traf-O-Data, started in partnership with Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert. The idea was to read raw data from roadway traffic counters and use it to develop reports for traffic engineers. There were just not enough buyers for the idea. The experience though proved instrumental in success of Microsoft.
Must learn these 13 Cardinal Rules which can Avoid Failure of Working in Partnership
2. Walt Disney
The last thing you will imagine someone telling to the creator of ‘Mickey Mouse’ and Disney Studio, not without reason called the happiest place on Earth, is that he has no good ideas or imagination. And yet, this is exactly the reason why the editor of a newspaper fired him. There is a lesson in there which can also be seen several of cases that will follow – there is no way, and I repeat, there is no way, in which anyone, no matter how big an expert of his/ her field that person is, can tell you for sure, how good or bad you are at something.
3. Henry Ford
The visionary who developed Model T, the first car that American middle class could afford, in his Ford Motors – presently one of world’s biggest automobile manufacturers, had bitter experience of failure – no, correction, two failures. If that is not enough, one of these two failures involved having to walk out of a company bearing his name.
This is what he had to say at the age of 71; “If I lose everything in the collapse of our financial structure, I will start in at the beginning and build it up again.” And “Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
4. Akio Morita
Akio Morita was co-founder of Sony. The company’s first product was … any guesses? A rice cooker. It sold less than a hundred units. It was only after another couple of years later that he lend the name to company opened in partnership with Masaru Ibuka which developed first Japanese tape recorder.
On a different subject, Sony is one of your blogger’s personal favorites – because it came up portable music in form of ‘Walkman’ in 1979. The prototype was built in 1978 by audio-division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara for Sony co-founder co-founder Masaru Ibuka. Ibuka wanted to be able to listen to operas during his frequent trans-Pacific plane trips, and presented the idea to Kihara.
Ever wondered who that old man on KFC’s logo is? Now you know. It was only at age of 56 and having suffered countless ups and downs in his life, that he came up with the magic recipe that would be backbone of Kentucky Fried Chicken – of course only after the million dollar recipe was turned down by about 1000 times.
The recipe is one of the biggest trade secrets in history of commerce. Another example of biggest trade secrets is recipe of coca-cola.
6. Richard Branson
The founder of Virgin Airlines and numerous enterprises has got dyslexia and was miserable in studies. His school headmaster had told him that he would either end up in Jail or as a millionaire.
He has got a number of failures on his name – Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka etc. and he is pretty cool with it. At age of 65, he is still entering new, risky, very risky ventures. As he puts it “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You do it by doing and by falling over.” – he himself is not afraid to jump from the cliff.
And that is another thing to learn from him. While you may break your bones in jumping of the cliff; if you managed to grow wings – you will learn to fly. Want another clever advice: “The time to go into a new business is when it is badly run by others.”
The co-founder of social media site, Twitter, Evan Williams had to taste failure in Odeo, a podcasting platform created by him. Odeo became useless when soon after its foundation, Apple announced that iTunes store would include a podcasting platform. You should have a look at these Multi Million Dollar Companies that started in a Garage
8. Mark Cuban
Well, what will you say to a guy who can’t open a bottle of wine? To a guy who failed as a carpenter, bartender, cook and waiter? But wait, he would start a company and sell it for millions. Then, join someone to purchase another company, will improve it and sell it to Yahoo for billions. Meet Mark Cuban. “Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.”
His parents told him he won’t ever achieved anything. He dropped of college – twice; before Larry Elison started Oracle, a company that will make him a billionaire. As he said, “I have had all the disadvantages required for success.”
10. Steve Jobs
Okay, so we have people who have been rejected, fired by outsiders, what if you are fired from your own company. Ya, you heard it. Steve Jobs found himself fired from his company because of a person that he had recruited himself – and, to be frank, Jobs wasn’t exactly innocent in the whole business.
The result – he starts a company of his own and buys another. Pixar, the company he bought would later go on to change the face of animation industry and be brought by Disney. Apple Inc would later request him to come back and save it …. and we all know what happened next. Iphones, ipads, itunes, ipods. Jobs, with all his defects, personalized the message here “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
In a world where job security is becoming instinct, we all face risk of failures anyway and so in a way, we all are entrepreneurs – either investing our efforts for others to get a fixed income that those others can off any time; or starting our own business. Here are 10 Startup Ideas that requires no money to Invest. The quality that you need to develop is, as Jobs said, perseverance – to arise out of failures, the way a pheanix is reborn of its ashes.
Now you may thinking it is merely begging the question. If I already had perseverance, I won’t be afraid of failures. From where do I get perseverance? And this is what we have to say – the answer lies in what you want to do. The thing is most people really don’t know what they want from life – they are either attracted by comfortable life or run after luxuries. Believe it or not, you are one of them. The question you need to ask yourself is – what is that thing which you have always wanted to do? And while you do so, you must not let considerations like money, security etc. affect you. Try finding out what your soul desires – and, to quote Nike, “Just do it’.
If you were doing that one thing, you will enjoy doing it. While failure might still be there and while it still might be painful; it will be far more bearable and temptation to give it another try so far stronger.
And, yes, I hear the big question. What if we never succeed? What if we die a failure?
I can relate too well with that fear – the anxiety and the uncertainty of it. But this fear will remain no matter what you do – so why not do what you will like doing. The secret is to focus on journey rather than the destination; so that even if you never get to the destination, you could still say “It was fun.” At least you shall have the satisfaction of doing what you always wanted to. And to make this point clear, here is story of my all time favorite person, someone who died thinking of himself a failure:
George Van Gogh
“When I have a terrible need of — shall I say the word — religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.”
Ever felt misunderstood and underrated, meet George Van Gogh:
“Someone has a great fire in his soul and nobody ever comes to warm themselves at it, and passers-by see nothing but a little smoke at the top of the chimney and then go on their way.”
Born in a rich family and having religious zeal he started as a missionary but later denounced the ‘god of clergyman’ and spent his last years in creating his paintings in utter misery – in poverty with no social status and no chance of having one, there was no respect or understanding for his works. To add more to his plight, he suffered from anxiety and mental disorder. He committed sucide at age of 37, still believing himself to be a failure.
His paintings were not cause of his misery, rather painting would often help him fight his suffering. They were what saved him from long bursts melancholic solitude which followed the anxiety attacks. His works would be recognised only after his death and are considered priceless today – you know why, because all his pain and suffering, had strengthened his ability to capture the beauty of the world that most people won’t even notice – his paintings were not melancholy as you would expect from such a tormented man, on the contrary, they presented ecstasy and beauty of the world.. Will you consider him a failure?
“I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream.”
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint.’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”