I’m going to make you understand my favorite seven boldest entrepreneur moves of all time. These are from entrepreneurs who risk everything to take their shot at success and against all odds they made it. I hope you find their stories inspirational and take some lessons from their success.
Bold move number seven# Milton Hershey doesn’t give up.
Milton Hershey was a founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, who was one of the 20th century’s most successful entrepreneurs but also one of the country’s most generous philanthropists. Today the Hershey company continues to reign as the world’s largest chocolate company with more than 13,000 employees and over five billion dollars in sales. At the age of 19, against his parents wishes, Hershey decided to go to Philadelphia in toward the start of his own caramel company.
The business was never able to generate a profit and was forced to close. Six years later Hershey refused to give up. Traveled throughout Denver, New York, Chicago and New Orleans trying to find fortune each time but he was unsuccessful. He returned home at age 28 with no money and was seen as a disgraced by his family. But he still refused to give up. He started a new business with a former employee of his and moved from making caramels to chocolate. After ten years of failure Hershey finally hit on a winning business. His company expanded year after year and if he had listened to his friends and family through those ten years of failure, we would never have known the Hershey chocolate bar.
Bold move number six# Ted Turner decides to be successful
Ted Turner is a founder of CNN and Turner Broadcasting System. He owns the Atlanta Braves. Gave 1 billion dollars to United Nations and currently has a net worth of 1.9 billion dollars. Turner had a lot of bad luck growing up. He was a C student at school, got expelled from University, had his parents divorce, got divorced by his wife and had a sister developed terminal lupus. He went to work for his father’s outdoor advertising company, when his father then killed himself because he couldn’t pay off the company’s debts. Ted Turner at the age of 24 took over the company, restore to the profitability and began building his empire. He had all the odds stacked against him that he was determined to be a success.
According to Turner, “all my life people have said that I wasn’t going to make it. I’ve never run into a guy who could win at the top level in anything today and didn’t have the right attitude”. He didn’t give it everything he had, at least while he was doing it. He wasn’t prepared and didn’t have the whole program worked out.
Bold move number 5# George Lucas challenges traditional business models
George Lucas is one of the film industry’s most financially successful independent directors and producers with an estimated net worth of 3 billion dollars. He is best known for his star wars and Indiana Jones movies. Where Lucas’s first movies didn’t give a financial return on investment. He found it difficult to find support for his latest idea, new movie called Star Wars to get the movie into production. He waved his upfront fee as a director and agreed to own the licensing rights, so he could profit from any toys t-shirts and other products that came from the movie. At that time movie, studios didn’t see licensing rights as valuable and so they agreed. The money he made from the licensing rights alone allowed him to finance his sequels himself and built his fortune.
According to Lucas “my first six years in business were hopeless. There were a lot of times when you sit and you say why am I doing this. I’ll never make it. It’s just not going to happen. I should go out and get a real job and try to survive. I thought Star Wars was too wacky for the general public. Right or wrong this is my movie. This is my decision and this is my creative vision and if people don’t like it they don’t have to see it”.
Bold move number four# Anita Roddick is forced to survive
Anita Roddick was a founder of the body shop. A cosmetics company known for its environmental and ethical best practices. In 2006 she sold the company to L’Oreal for six hundred and fifty two point three million pounds. She got married Roddick and her husband Gordon set up a small hotel to support their family. Then her husband decided he wanted to fulfill his lifelong dream of riding a horse from Buenos Aires Argentina to New York City. In order to support her family while her husband was gone she started the body shop. The bank rejected her $8,000 loan request. So she got the money from a local gas station owner to get the business up and running, while looking after her two children.
Accoridng to her “an erotic for myself, I needed to earn money, look after the kids, while my husband was traveling for two years across South America. I started the body shop in 1976, simply to create a livelihood for myself. While my husband Gordon was trekking across the Americas, I had no training or experience and my only business acumen was boarded twice to take sales 300 pounds a week. Nobody talks of entrepreneurship a survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking”.
Bold move number three# A P Giannini bets on the little guy.
Amedeo Peter Giannini revolutionized the banking world by providing services to the little guy. Giannini passed away 1949 at the age of 79. For that time his bank that had founded the Bank of America, had become the largest bank in the world with more than five hundred and twenty five branches in over 300 cities. Before AP Giannini you can only get a loan if you already had some money. Hard-working immigrants like his parents didn’t qualify and Giannini wanted to change the system. He set up his bank across the street from a popular bank and began making loans to people other banks wouldn’t give a chance.
When a massive earthquake hit San Francisco in 1906, all the banks in the city closed down to assess their damage. People couldn’t get access to their funds at the time they needed it the most. The earthquake demolished Ginny’s Bank but he opened up shop by setting up a desk using two barrels a plank of wood across them. He would lend money to people based on a handshake to help them rebuild their lives. He also went on to find entrepreneurs like Walt Disney nobody believed in and projects like the Golden Gate Bridge that were considered too crazy to invest in.
Bold move number two# guy laliberté risks it all in Los Angeles
Fellow Canadian Guy Laliberte is a founder of Cirque du Soleil. A circus entertainment company who shows have been seen by almost 100 million people worldwide. In 2006 libertate was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year. His current net worth is over 2.5 billion dollars. After couple years of marginal success, libertate decided to risk everything to perform at the Los Angeles Arts Festival. Booked as the opening act the performances was going to be watched by many big names including high-profile Hollywood celebrities.
According to La Liberté “Live or die in LA and we bet everything on one night. By the end of the show we had standing ovations. The day after, tickets were selling like crazy. I bet everything on that one night. If we failed there was no cash for gas to come home.
Bold move number one# Walt Disney does the impossible
Walt Disney was a film producer animator and entertainer. He created films with iconic characters like Mickey Mouse, won 22 Academy Awards and established Disney theme parks. Today the Walt Disney Company has revenues of over 35 billion dollars per year. At a young age Walt Disney had some modest success with animated short films. That’s when he decided to do the boldest move ever in his industry.
Make a full-length animated feature film. It had never been done before let alone in color and with music. His competitors associates and even his wife thought he would never make it. Originally budgeted at $500,000 the project had gone over budget by half a million dollars in his early stages. Disney was forced to act out the film’s story in front of bankers, in order to secure the additional loans he needed to finish it. In the end Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs went on to earn four times the box office of any other film when it was released.
According to Disney “somehow I can’t believe there are any Heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret seems to me can be summarized in the four seas. They are curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy. And the greatest of these is confidence”.