Five examples (from So Young, So Rich)to help us take more risks everyday.
Can’t Be Afraid To Fail In Search Of Perfection– Jay Z
Here at So Young, So Rich we have tried to instill our readers with the sense that sensible risk-taking is what separates a great entrepreneur from a terrible one. But how do you know your risk is sensible? Well, as a smart entrepreneur you would have weighed all of your options and asked yourself if you could survive if your plans didn’t necessarily work out. Some have jumped all in even knowing they wouldn’t make it after failure. But if you truly believe in this decision, however risky it may be, it could lead to the greatest return of your life.
Here are 5 hugely successful entrepreneurs who would never have made it without taking that leap:
1. Tim Westergren
Founder of Pandora Radio
In the winter of 2001, Pandora was out of money. We had a choice: Cut our losses and throw in the towel or find a way to keep going. We decided to keep the company alive and start deferring salaries. Ultimately, over 50 people deferred almost $1.5 million over the course of two years (a practice that is illegal in California). When we were finally rescued by an investment in 2004, I had maxed out 11 credit cards. –As told to Katy Finneran in 2010
2. Elon Musk
Cofounder of PayPal and Tesla Motors, founder of SpaceX
When I started SpaceX, a company dedicated to reducing the cost and increasing the reliability of space missions, I’d never been involved in designing anything and had no experience in the aerospace industry. I even ended up pouring in most of the capital from the sale of PayPal. (SpaceX’s annual revenue is now over $100 million. In December 2008, SpaceX won a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to re-supply the International Space Station, an international research facility.) –As told to Katy Finneran in 2010
3. James Dyson
Billionaire engineer behind the now ubiquitous Dyson vacuum cleaners
I spent about five or six years developing a completely different kind of vacuum cleaner. I built over 5,000 prototypes to get the system to work. Every year I was getting further and further into debt. In the end, I owed something like $4 million. I took out two or three mortgages on my house. If I failed, everything I owned would’ve gone to the bank. Everybody thought I was completely mad. [As it turned out] I repaid the bank loan within about four or five months of first selling the product. The bank kept using me in their advertising as an example of how they loan money. –As told to Matthew Kirdahy in 2008
4. Kit DesLauriers
The first person to ski from all Seven Summits
We were the only team to climb Everest. There were no safety nets, no fixed lines established, freezing winds. We had to spend an unplanned night at 26,000 feet, with very little food and water. The next day, we skied the Lhotse Face, 5,000 feet of blue ice on a 50-degree slope–by far the most intense ski descent of our lives. At one point, we ran out of oxygen. I kept telling myself: “Don’t sit down and die. Just keep going.” It’s really easy to let your mind get a hold of you, but the journey taught me we are much more than our minds. –As told to Nicole Perlroth in 2008
5. Charlie Crist
Governor of Florida
The greatest risk I ever took was running against U.S. Sen. Bob Graham in 1998. [Crist lost in a landslide.] I learned that humility is always important to bear in mind. I also learned the value of being persistent and never giving up. If I hadn’t taken the risk back then and run for the U.S. Senate, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. –As told to Louis Hau in 2007, when Crist was still governor–his term ended in January 2011
Who do you find the most inspiring to you?