If at first you don’t succeed, you’re in excellent company

This was originally posted in a separate blog on 4/30/2008.  I decided to discontinue that blog and combine it with this one for SurvivalWare.

There was a great article in yesterday’s (4/29/2008) Wall Street Journal (page D1) with the same title.  It was the the Health Journal column by Melinda Beck.  The tie-in to health was an examination of something psychologists call self-efficacy, “the unshakable belief some people have that they have what it takes to succeed.”

There were several nuggets that provide inspiration to any entrepreneur struggling to build a business.  Did you know:

  • J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before a small London house picked up “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor who said he “lacked imagination.”
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school varsity baksetball team sophomore year.
  • It took Thomas Edison 1,000 tried before he invented the light bulb. (“I didn’t fail 1,000 times,” he told a reporter.  “The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”)

I’m not sure if you have to be a WSJ subscriber to view the article, but here is the link if you want to try:


I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1979 (OK maybe since the late 60’s if you count selling selling vacuum cleaners and operating bubblegum machines).  I’ve noticed that the ones who succeed are the ones with perserverance and determination, the ones who never give up.  I put myself in that category.

I am in the midst of a new product launch with my second startup, Luhring SurvivalWare, Inc. (www.survivalware.com).  It has been a long painful process, not made any easier by my desire to retain 100% of the equity and grow without raising outside capital.  I’m trying to explain to my wife how the cash flow problems of the past should not be viewed as failing 1,000 times, but rather the 1,000 steps necessary for our ultimate financial success.


One Response

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