4 Entrepreneurs who came back from failure


Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts – Winston Churchill

Success if often glorified and failure criticized but few understand that the both are two sides of the same coin and that failure is a part of the journey to achieving lasting success. Here are 4 examples of entrepreneurs who worked through failure and applied its lessons to build their success.

Henry Ford

Before the Ford Motor Company and the model – T, Henry Ford tried 2 times unsuccessfully to mass produce an automobile. On his first attempt, he tried to make the perfect automobile, constantly tweaking his prototype. His investors lost faith and dissolved the company. He was pushed out of his second company before he decided to build his own where he could constitute his own team and build a car based on the glitches he had discovered in his 2 previous attempts.

He ultimately invented the assembly line that initially churned out 15 cars a day, quite the feat in his time.

Lesson: Focus on your vision and prioritize its most important aspects.

Jack Ma

Failure is a constant theme in Jack Ma’s story. From primary school, through middle school and even getting into University, Jack had to constantly to deal with rejection. He even tells of when KFC opened a restaurant and receiving 24 job applications. They reject just one, Jack Ma’s.

Before Alibaba, Jack Ma started two internet companies that failed. When he started Alibaba, he barred his 17 click here founding partners so that they could not be executives in the new company losing some of his top talent as a result. He expanded Alibaba too fast and in 2002 the tech startup was on the edge of bankruptcy.

Long story short, there were a lot of missteps before getting to the USD 25 billion Jack Ma is worth today. Jack credits his success to being getting comfortable with failure which enabled him to take risks.

Lesson: Get over the fear of failure to get ahead.

Jason Njoku

Jason Njoku is renowned as co-founder of Iroko TV, an online video-on-demand service for Nollywood content. Iroko TV was Jason’s 11th attempt at starting a business, with enterprises as diverse as web design and a blog network all having failed. After realizing that popular streaming services did not have any content from his home country he set out purchasing online licenses for Nollywood films and launched a YouTube channel to broadcast the content.

Lesson: Embrace failure as a possibility, pick yourself up and learn from it.

George Wachiuri

George is the founder and CEO of Optiven Limited, a mid-sized real estate company in Kenya. George describes having tried his hand at 11 different businesses from cosmetics to a car hire business. He lost KES 5 million he had borrowed and almost gave up on entrepreneurship. Another time his business partner conned him out of his capital and disappeared.

He started out in real estate by buying land, developing it and reselling to the public. He simply dug boreholes, got an electricity connection and built roads to add value to the land. Today his company employs more than 100 people.

Lesson: Persist