Nine Entrepreneurs

Friday, April 15, 2011

Following a link from a link earlier in the week, I came across an inspiring list of nine captains of industry who, in the words of Business Insider, "faced utter failure and came back to kick ass."

If you're like me and find such stories inspiring -- but also find having to click your way through a "slide show" annoying -- just ignore the urge to "click here to see the icons," and scroll down after you follow this link.

For each entrepreneur, the profile lists the now-famous company, the setback, the turnaround, a quote, and a lesson. The one I found most inspiring of the lot was that of Henry Ford, pictured.

Company: Ford Motor Co.

Setback: Ford suffered a few failed automotive endeavors early in his career, including Detroit Automobile Co., which he started in 1899. Its cars were low quality and too pricey for average consumers.

Turnaround: Ford continued to develop better auto designs and gained national acclaim in 1904 by demoing a car -- the "Ford 999" -- that broke the land-speed record by going a mile in about 40 seconds. In 1908, he released the Model T, a well-made, low-priced car that quickly gained traction with U.S. consumers. Annual sales topped $250,000 by 1914.

Quote: "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't -- you're right."

Lesson: Building a brand requires more than just building a good product.
Why do I like this? Ford fought and won a two-front war, succeeding in both fixing his product and finding a good marketing strategy. Especially noteworthy is that the "turnaround" was not like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It took time, effort, and commitment.

Read the whole thing.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this. Especially Mary Kay Ash. I am proud to say that I am a Mary Kay beauty consultant. I've had my business for a year. I always wanted to start a business, but didn't know where to turn.

Mary Kay literally fell on my lap. I was approached on the streets of downtown Chicago by a director. I went to a meeting and was blown away. It took some time for me to think this through. What finally sold me on starting a MK business was seeing directors and consultants who were professionals in almost every industry. In fact, our unit national director was an engineer at Amoco. She took her business full time before BP bought Amoco.

But what I really liked is that success is rewarded. I'm also able to tailor my business to own goals. This company is the real deal!!

Bookish Babe

Gus Van Horn said...


Glad you enjoyed these profiles, and wish you success in your fledgling business!