Success is sometimes the outcome of a whole string of failures

First Water

First Water

As an emerging, vibrant, and multifaceted economy, India can boast of several spectacular success stories. We are surrounded by success stories of unicorns, leaders who have disrupted industries with their innovations, young achievers who have blazed a trail in their respective fields. While we see their achievements, we seldom realize the stories of their struggle. Their stumbles, mistakes, and lessons learned.

Many of us, are also experiencing our own J-curves. Perhaps by being part of a start-up that is finding its feet, or in a role where we lack passion or even looking for a job. Sometimes, life is non-linear and doesn’t always go to plan, but we can take inspiration from those who have continued to roll the dice despite experiencing multiple setbacks and challenges.

Think Different

One of the best examples of a brilliant visionary who came back from the brink of failure is the late Steve Jobs. Having been unceremoniously and bitterly forced out of the company that he co-founded, he returned to a struggling Apple, which was no more the innovative force it had once been and on the verge of bankruptcy. However, through a combination of humility, luck, sheer determination, he pulled back the company and set it on course to become what it is today. Jobs set aside his bitter rivalry with Bill Gates and struck a deal for a cash infusion to save his company. He also changed the way he dealt with people, tempering down his approach. Under him, Apple became one of the most successful companies on the planet and went on to create revolutionary products that have changed the way we live.

Believe. Dream. Dare.

One of the most iconic personalities of our generation, Walt Disney, was initially considered to be a failed entrepreneur. What most people don’t know is that the first animation studio that he founded went bankrupt. If that was not enough, his second attempt succeeded but his partner double-crossed the genius producer and took away the IP along with a number of other animators, but that did not stop him from achieving greatness. He always went by, “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.” Today, the Walt Disney Studios is one of the most successful animation studios in the world, and it is thanks to Disney’s power of belief in himself and his hard work.

“Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”

One of the most iconic actors of our generation, Sylvester Stallone, has faced a ton of adversity before he emerged victorious. Starting as a struggling actor who was homeless for a while and at one point sold his wife’s jewelry and even his dog as he was determined not to get a normal job lest it dampen his ambition of becoming an actor. He went on to star in a number of record-breaking films and much like Rocky Balboa achieved greatness despite being the underdog. If there’s anything that Stallone’s career can teach us is to keep at it, never hold back and how fortune eventually does favor you.

Another example closer home would be none other than the ‘Angry Young Man’ of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan. After having a successful career for decades, the superstar came to the brink of bankruptcy as his company failed miserably. However, phoenix-like, he rose up and starred in one of his most iconic roles on television that took the nation by storm with Kaun Banega Crorepati. Ever since, he resurrected his career in the most spectacular way and went on to star in a slew of hit movies and continues to be the busiest actor among his peers.

In conclusion, while luck does play an important role in anyone’s success, it also takes many other qualities to make it from determination, patience, temperament, mental robustness, optimism, the ability to adapt and the willingness to keep learning.

The views expressed are the authors own. Please consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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