Lets dive into persistence. Entrepreneurs put their time, heart, soul, and money into their ventures. So, when the response to your product or service is grim it can be devastating. Every successful entrepreneur has experienced this. Some are able to continue to learn and grow until they land on something that works. That thing could be your same product with a different market or it could be a completely different venture all together.
Here are a couple of stories of founders that persisted until success.
After graduating from college, Max Levchin moved to Silicon Valley to start yet another company. He had an idea for security software for the much hyped Palm Pilot. He soon discovered there was no demand for this idea. While, living on his friend’s floor he iterated his idea many times until he came to a way to securely transfer cash between Palm Pilots. He built a web demo to demonstrate the capabilities for a Palm pilot and the web demo got
more traction than the actual product. We know the rest of story resulting in the uber successful Paypal which was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.
Another entrepreneur that persisted to success is Raymond Rouf of GraphScience. Raymond started his first two companies right after college, both of which grew to modest sizes before imploding. During the process of starting his third company GraphScience, Rouf went more than two years without income, the plumbing in his house wasn’t working and he was showering at the gym. GraphScience became one of the top Facebook analytics companies in the world and was acquired by Centro in 2015 for an undisclosed amount.
The reality is that for most entrepreneur’s the journey to success is not a straight line from Point A to B. There is no exact formula of how to keep going as each person and situation is different. Here are four things I’ve learned through my own entrepreneurial experiences and watching phenomenal entrepreneurs around me push through to success.
- Find community with people that you feel comfortable sharing with and that can relate. Talking to people that understand and can provide advice and introductions is key to soldiering on.
- Learn from each setback. Don’t keep repeating the same thing expecting different results. With each iteration think strategically about what to change or try differently next time.
- Give it time. Things usually take longer than you think to happen.
- Stay positive. Find balance and encouragement to keep going from exercise, dancing, camping, or whatever helps you reset.
Keep going. Persist. Iterate, learn, and grow. Great success is in front of you!