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Thinking of Quitting Your Entrepreneurial Quest? Read This First.

Guest Writer
Writer and Entrepreneur
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Has the entrepreneurial lifestyle kicked your butt? Are you thinking of throwing in the towel and going back to work for “the man?”

Hold onto that towel and don’t make any irrational decisions about getting a real job until you finish reading this post. What you learn here may prevent you from making the worst mistake of your career.

People just like you embark on a hopeful course of entrepreneurship but most of them stop at the first sign of failure. But keep in mind most entrepreneurs fail several times on their way to the top. In fact, failure is an everyday occurrence to most successful entrepreneurs. Bloomberg Business notes that a third of all new ventures fold within the first two years and half within five. The outlet also says that failed entrepreneurs are more likely to success on their second try. Why? Because successful entrepreneurs never quit. Instead, they learn how to succeed by failing.

Here are a few examples of famous entrepreneurs overcoming failure to become extremely successful.  

Related: Arianna Huffington Wants to Redefine Success. But Are We Ready to Listen?

You can win the first time around.

Arianna Huffington was an overnight success after publishing her first book, The Female Woman, under her maiden name in 1974.

Her next book, on the other hand, was not so great. In fact, 36 publishers rejected her second attempt. Down and nearly out, Huffington has often remembered that her mother once told her, “failure is not the opposite of success, it's a stepping stone to success.”

She took her mother’s sage advice and continued to work towards her goal of being one of the world’s great writers, bloggers and journalists. Huffington launched the Internet site The Huffington Post in 2005 and today it is one of the most powerful blogs on earth.

The first time was just a practice run.

Did you know that Bill Gates introduced a really awful product?

No, not Microsoft. Before introducing Microsoft and assuming his position as world’s wealthiest guy, Gates had high hopes of processing and analyzing data from roadway traffic counters. The name of the company was Traf-O-Data. Gate’s partners hit the brakes on the traffic software before the project even got out of the garage.

While his first company was a lemon, Gates soon found fame and fortune as the head of the largest PC software company in the world.

Related: 10 Surprising Facts About Bill Gates

The third time’s the charm.

Henry Ford was a car guy at heart. Despite founding two automotive companies, Ford was determined to become an automotive magnate.

Like many entrepreneurs, he burned through all the money from his first group of investors without ever producing a single car. He did eventually produce a vehicle and raised more money before creating Ford Motor Company that still exists today.

Ford once famously said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

No, wait! The fourth try hits the sweet spot.

Milton Hershey always knew he was destined to be America’s candy man but the confectioner had to watch three candy-related ventures melt away before founding the Hershey Company. We hesitate to think what would have become of this mighty nation without Hershey’s tenacious passion for milk chocolate products.

Remember this entrepreneurial mantra: "The day I quit is the day before I succeed."

Related: Success Is Never an Accident. It's a Choice.

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