Starting a business is tough. No one will dispute that fact. Statistics tell us that approx. 90% of all startups will fail within the first 5 years.
So what is the key entrepreneurial trait that differentiates the other 10 percent? No, it is not that these entrepreneurs are smarter, have better technology, have whiter teeth or have rich sugar daddies. There is a key personality trait that keeps them trying until they eventually succeed. They are simply stubborn.
Success for an entrepreneur is about keeping your vision intact while constantly working to solve the complex problems and the numerous challenges that arise with any startup. Winston Churchill was once quoted as having said “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” The key is that successful entrepreneurs keep going.
Here is a brief summary of the life of Abraham Lincoln:
• 1809: Born to a poor family on rural Kentucky farm
• 1816: Family bankrupt and forced to move from farm
• 1817: 7-year-old Abe had to work to support family
• 1818: His mother died
• 1831: His first business fails. BANKRUPT
• 1832: Ran for the State Legislature – DEFEATED
• 1832: …Also lost his job – FIRED
• 1832: Applied to law school. DENIED
• 1833: Borrowed money from a friend to start a business
• 1834: Bankrupted again. Spent next 17 years paying off this debt
• 1834: Ran for the State Legislature – WON!
• 1835: Engaged to be married, but she died and broke his heart
• 1836: Total nervous breakdown and bedridden for 6 months
• 1840: Ran for Speaker of State Legislature – DEFEATED
• 1843: Ran for USA Congress – DEFEATED
• 1846: Ran for USA Congress again – WON! Went to Washington
• 1848: Ran for USA Congress again – DEFEATED
• 1849: Applied for job of Land Officer in home state – REJECTED
• 1854: Ran for USA Senate – DEFEATED
• 1856: Sought the Vice President nomination- DEFEATED
• 1858: Ran for USA Senate again – DEFEATED
• 1860: Ran for President of USA – WON!
He went on to become one of the most respected presidents of all time.
Abraham Lincoln was one of those people who refused to quit.
We entrepreneurs have a lot to learn from history and from other wonderfully stubborn people.