02 May Dare to try
In 1879, an invention that would revolutionize our daily life came about: the light bulb. have not Thomas Edison has been considered by many to be an extraordinary genius. However, for Edison « genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration » . This famous quote shows us one of the principal qualities that drove him….perseverance.
A negative answer to a question or research findings that fail to support the desired result is often considered as failure. However, Edison didn’t see it this way. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to analyze the why and how. « I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work » , this means that any unsuccessful attempt is simply another step forward. That’s what life is all about : try, fail, learn, try again, succeed, go forward.
Dare to try is the real issue. With 3 human experiences, we will see how perseverance is the name of the game along with humility that is usually the natural bi-product.
We all know of Walt Disney and his creation. But nobody would have bet on such a success story. As a young man, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star Newspaper because his boss thought he lacked creativity. He went on to form an animation company called Laugh-O-Gram Films in 1921 and managed to raise money, but was forced to shut it down after a deal with a New York distributor that went out of business. At this time, he could barely pay his rent. Broke but not defeated, Disney spent his last few dollars on a train ticket to Hollywood, where his ideas were secretly stolen by Universal studio. As if that wasn’t enough, Disney also struggled to release some of his now-classic films. He was told Mickey Mouse would fail because the mouse would “terrify women.” Through years of hard work, Disney managed to build the company we all know today. In a fitting twist of fate, The Disney Company went on to purchase ABC in 1996. At the time, ABC was owner of the Kansas City Star, meaning the newspaper that once fired Disney had become part of the empire that he created completing the circle. All of this was due to his creativity (and a lot of perseverance).
Guillaume Gibault – Le Slip Français
Guillaume was a fresh graduate from a top French Business School when he began to work at General Electric in Paris in 2009. He was working on Excel all the day. One evening, at 11pm, his manager and him were still at the office and decided to order sushi. Then, she told him something that probably changed his life : « This sort of evening is a regular occurrance at the company ». He realized that he was in the wrong place, and had to act. He left his job and started work at Bio c’ Bon, a retailer specializing in organic food where he was in charge operations.
In 18 months, Guillaume helped the group grow from 4 to 19 stores. That was not enough for him. He had the constant need to keep on creating, building and growing. Attracted to textiles, he decided to create French-made underwear, the perfect product to sell online easily. During an aperitif he told his idea to one of his friends who told him it will never work. He went ahead anyway and found a French textile factory, produced an initial batch of 600 pieces , and sold them out of the boot of his car . While he was driving around with so many pairs of underwear, he said to himself « at worst I will have underwear for a lifetime ».
By December 2011, just 3 months later, all of the underwear had been sold out. In 2012, he benefited from the strong « Made in France » sentiment fueled by the presidential elections. By 2018, the business had grown to € 20 million in annual turnover, 42 factories and 16 shops with more than 100 employees.
Michael Jordan is another example of a successful billionaire who chased his dream, overcoming numerous trials and difficulties to achieve success. He started playing basketball in High School where he was rejected from the varsity team, mainly because he was « too small ». That was an « electric shock » to his system and probably the best thing that ever happened to him. He was determined to improve and perfect his game so that he would make the varsity team. His career is a resume of trying, failing and succeeding.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
«I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying »
He is considered by many as the best basketball player of all time.
Based on these 3 examples, the path to success seems difficult. Pursuing your dreams takes hard work. Your ideas get rejected. People turn you down. You make mistakes. You often feel alone and defeated. However, you should always focus on trying. Like J.Canfield, co-author of the well known « Chicken Soup for the Soul » series said , “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try”.
By Louis Navarra
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