“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” – Vince Lombardi
A lot of people mistakenly believe that before they can start their own business, they need to first go back to school or get an MBA. But a degree won’t necessarily teach you the most important skill of running a business: perseverance. Throughout history, there have been many examples of people we now think of as being “great”. However, they weren’t always considered to be. Here are a few examples:
- Not long after starting Apple, Steve Jobs was fired in the mid-1980s. He went on to start a couple of other successful companies, and it wasn’t until the late 90s that they brought him back and Apple became what we know of it today.
- Before Microsoft, Bill Gates and his friends found a company called Traf-O-Data, a failed attempt to record traffic data. However, it gave Gates and Paul Allen the experience and skills they ultimately needed to create Microsoft.
- Thomas Edison, the guy most of us know for creating the lightbulb, was expelled from school for being “unteachable” and fired from several of his first jobs. Yet, Edison would go on to be one of the most well-known inventors garnering 1,093 patents to his name.
In any one of these situations, these legends could have just as easily thrown in the towel, accepted defeat, and drifted away into obscurity. However, they didn’t let failure hold them back from achieving their true potential. They learned from those mistakes, applied their talents in a different way, and eventually found a path forward that works.
The next time you fall short of being “perfect” or make a mistake, remember that this is one hundred percent natural. Life never goes according to plan and is full of all kinds of surprises. While you don’t have to know ahead of time how to overcome each one, what you do need is the ability to pick yourself back up. When you encounter a wall, figure out a way to break through or go around it. This will be the skill that ultimately determines whether or not you thrive as an entrepreneur.