An Entrepreneur’s Resilience

By: Lucell Larawan

THERE is reason to believe that nine out of ten start-up entrepreneurs fail in the first five years of operation. This is what surveys tell us and anyone who happens to be one of those who went broke and stopped in his business operation can show us the emotional distress it may involve.

But one characteristic that defines a winning entrepreneur is that he or she does not just quit trying until they get their big breaks. Failure is just a little step to learn—and finally get their unicorn working. Schools do not give a premium on failure; they do not really train entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs get their wisdom from mentors and their experiences which include missing the mark.

Before Larry King got a big break from his show, “Larry King Live” debuted on CNN in 1985, he was arrested on charges of grand larceny for allegedly stealing from his business partner. Although the charges were dropped, he was fired as a disc jockey and a talk show host for WTV. Then he owed $352,000 to creditors. He left CNN in 2010 but has been hosting “Larry King Now” on Ora TV and Hulu since 2012. Rising from his humble beginnings, King has now a net worth of $150 million.

Another example—Walt Disney—tells us how to rise from broke to a net worth of $130 billion. Once a struggling filmmaker, he launched Laugh-O-Gram. Yet, as his backing firm went broke, he was unable to pay his staff and cover his debts which led him to file for bankruptcy. He went back to business through a loan from his parents and brother to form Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. He again went close to bankruptcy making his “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” but got back through a redeeming bank loan. He later funded his staff and studio until the completion of the project.

George Foreman is also an interesting story. He was the heavyweight champion in the 1968 Olympics. As a professional boxer, he became the world’s heavyweight boxing champion in 1973. After he retired, he went back to his hometown to become a minister; but after suffering from financial setbacks, he trained i