Perseverance and Entrepreneurship

Perseverance and Entrepreneurship

There are many different attributes that make for a successful entrepreneur, including insight, confidence and passion to name but a few. However, one trait that really matters when it comes to business success is perseverance. Perseverance is defined as “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc. especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.”

I’m learning the true meaning of perseverance first hand as starting a blog is not easy. Coming up with the idea, hiring a team, and designing the site are all easy tasks compared to the daily grind and work it takes to gain an audience. Ideas are a dime a dozen but what an entrepreneur must realize is putting in the work and grinding is what will produce results. There’s no other way to say it: put in the work, never get discouraged, and the results will come.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again
As a startup business, you’re going to make mistakes. Hell, you’re even going to fail at times… me. Even if you consider yourself to be a complete perfectionist in everything you do, it’s nearly impossible to go about nurturing your company without facing some obstacles along the way. All entrepreneurs, including the most successful business people, experience problems from time to time, so it’s important that you don’t let this hold you back. As Cobra Group founder and chairman Chris Niarchos points out, it’s vital that you have the courage and conviction to keep going, no matter what might happen along the way. As for our story at Startuup, we are constantly “failing” at things but what’s great is that we continue to learn about the business side of things, learn about our readers, and learn about our business model. One lesson you must learn is to not be afraid to fail. Failure is a part of entrepreneurship; accept it. Failing is a part of the process but more so failing is a part of learning. With each failure one can learn so many lessons. Without failing, one cannot grow as a business owner.

Good things come to those who wait
Very few companies gain instant success overnight! Very few! For most budding entrepreneurs, a lot of time and effort is required before they see the desired results. Confidence is a must, but while you may have high hopes that you’ll hit the ground running, it’s important to be realistic in your approach. Expecting the best but preparing for the worst is a sensible mindset to have, and you should be ready to deal with any unforeseen hiccups you might come across on your path on your journey the top. It really is a matter of good things come to those who wait. Startuup is a true example of this as we planned this to be a 3-5 year project as we know it will take time to develop a quality site filled with great content for our readers. Expecting a blog or website to take off overnight is truly unrealistic…..sorry if I just destroyed a few of your dreams but realistically, it takes a little bit of time. Constantly reminding yourself that patience along with perseverance plus consistency will get you results!

You don’t know what the future holds

Even if times get really hard, it’s important that you look ahead and try to stay positive. If you’re struggling to stay hopeful, consider the example of the late Steve Jobs. Despite being co-founder of one of the world’s most successful companies, Jobs was proof that it’s important to persevere. In 1997, he found himself on the edge of bankruptcy. However, instead of giving in, he was resilient enough to not let the situation hold him back and he went on to enjoy unprecedented success with Apple. There’s no denying that perseverance is key in the business world, especially for those just starting out, and as an entrepreneur, it’s vital that you take steps in the right direction. As long as you’re persistent and follow your dreams, you can achieve just about anything you want.

I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance, says a successful and very determined entrepreneur Steve Jobs. Perseverance is not a quality that an entrepreneur needs, it’s a part of an entrepreneurship that you travel along. When talent, hard work, and knowledge fails the only thing that primes to success is perseverance. Entrepreneurship starts with big ideas and ideals but in the game of attrition, an entrepreneur need perseverance comparatively to an athlete. An entrepreneur faces all crappy situations dealing with no cash flow, lack of employees, living in crazy apartments and dorm without food, lose good sleep and so on. With all fledgling situations under hard criticism, the compound of tenacity and diligence is your way to success. When situation say ‘no’ to you remember Andy Duffrene of Shawshank redemption, perseverance made him achieve what is impossible for everyone. ~ Steve Jobs

One must remember that the phrase start-up is a title earned by your idea, business is a title earned by your hard work and entrepreneur is a title earned by your persistence. Below are a few of our favorite examples of true persistence and perseverance.

Thomas Edison 
When he was a young boy, Thomas Edison’s parents pulled him out of school after teachers called him “stupid” and “unteachable.” Edison spent his teenage years working and being fired from various jobs, culminating in his termination from a telegraph company at age 21. Despite these setbacks, Edison never deterred from his true passion, inventing. Throughout his career, Edison obtained 1,093 patents. And while many of these inventions — such as the light bulb, stock printer, phonograph and alkaline battery — were groundbreaking, even more of them were unsuccessful. Edison is famous for saying that genius is “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

One of Edison’s greatest stories of perseverance occurred after he was already wildly successful. After inventing the light bulb, Edison began a quest to find an inexpensive light bulb filament. At the time, ore was mined in the Midwest, and shipping costs were incredibly high. To combat this, Edison opened his own ore-mining plant in Ogdensburg, New Jersey.   For roughly a decade, Edison devoted all his time and money to the plant. He also obtained 47 patents for inventions designed to make the plant run more smoothly. And after all of that, Edison’s project still failed thanks to the low quality ore on the East Coast.

But as it turned out, one of the aforementioned 47 inventions (a newly-designed crushing machine) revolutionized the cement industry and earned Edison back nearly all of the money he lost.   In addition, Henry Ford would later credit Edison’s Ogdensburg project as the main inspiration for his Model T Ford assembly line, and many believe that Edison paved the way for modern-day industrial laboratories. Edison’s foray into ore-mining proves that dedication and commitment can pay off even in a losing venture.

J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling, author of the   Harry Potter   books, is currently the second-richest female entertainer on the planet, behind Oprah.   However, when Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book in 1995, it was rejected by twelve different publishers. Even Bloomsbury, the small publishing house that finally purchased Rowling’s manuscript, told the author to “get a day job.”

At the time when Rowling was writing the original   Harry Potter book, her life was a self-described mess. She was going through a divorce and living in a tiny flat with her daughter. Rowling was surviving on government subsidies, and her mother had just passed away from multiple sclerosis. J.K. turned these negatives into a positive by devoting most of her free time to the Harry Potter series.  She also drew from her bad personal experiences when writing.   The result is a brand name currently worth nearly $15 billion.

Walt Disney
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. Using his natural salesmanship abilities, Disney was able to raise $15,000 for the company ($181,000 in 2008 dollars). However, he made a deal with a New York distributor, and when the distributor went out of business, Disney was forced to shut Laugh-O-Gram down. He could barely pay his rent and even resorted to eating dog food.

Broke but not defeated, Disney spent his last few dollars on a train ticket to Hollywood. Unfortunately his troubles   were not over. In 1926, Disney created a cartoon character named Oswald the Rabbit. When he attempted to negotiate a better deal with Universal Studios — the cartoon’s distributor — Disney discovered that Universal had secretly patented the Oswald character.   Universal then hired Disney’s artists away from him, and continued the cartoon without Disney’s input (and without paying him).

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.” Distributors rejected The Three Little Pigs , saying it needed more characters. Pinocchio was shut down during production and Disney had to rewrite the entire storyline. Other films, like Bambi , Pollyanna and Fantasia , were misunderstood by audiences at the time of their release, only to become favorites later on.

Disney’s greatest example of perseverance occurred when he tried to make the book Mary Poppins into a film. In 1944, at the suggestion of his daughter, Disney decided to adapt the Pamela Travers novel into a screenplay.   However, Travers had absolutely no interest in selling Mary Poppins to Hollywood. To win her over, Disney visited Travers at her England home repeatedly for the next 16 years. After more than a decade-and-a-half of persuasion, Travers was overcome by Disney’s charm and vision for the film, and finally gave him permission to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen. The result is a timeless classic.

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 he created. And all thanks to his creativity (and a lot of perseverance).

Take it from us….entrepreneurship truly is hard. The discipline, the effort, the work, the struggle, the failing, the embarrassment, the pain, will all be worth it if you just persevere and impact just one person with your business or idea. One person! The things that will keep you going are your reasons and your will. Unfortunately for entrepreneurs, no one can teach that…..those two key aspects are created within you. What are your reasons, how hard do you want to push yourself, and do you have what it takes to keep going on will determine your success. Trust in that you will get challenged personally on this journey we call entrepreneurship. We encourage you to never give up…..NEVER GIVE UP and keep pushing forward!! Get a hold of us if you need any help with motivation or just need someone to talk to about entrepreneurship. Remember, we’re all in this together!! Never give up, NEVER!

Blayne & The Startuup Team


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