Make More Happen

Facing Major Money Troubles Early On, These Entrepreneurs Relied On a Bit of Luck to Help Them

To find success, startups often rely on experience, resources, timing -- and a little bit of luck.

Jack Erwin, a men’s shoe wear company, wasn’t started by fashion icons, or anyone in the fashion industry for that matter. It was started by two men -- Lane Gerson and Ariel Nelson -- who saw a need for nice, affordable men’s dress shoes in the market.

“All we knew was that we really wanted to make beautiful, well-made shoes and sell them at a price that makes sense to us,” Gerson says in a video.

But the company ran into a speed bump early on. The team got into a position where investors weren’t going to fund the company until they got to see final production shoes, but they needed cash -- a $250,000 deposit -- in order for the factory to begin production of the shoes. It was a catch-22. 

Related: 8 Behavioral Traits You Can Take to the Bank

Fortunately, the pair got a bit lucky. Jack Erwin’s bank was not affiliated with the factory’s -- meaning third-party charges would have accrued with the transaction. The factory apologized for the issue and asked the pair if they could wire the funds when they get home. In the meantime, the manufacturer would start production right away.  

Related: 8 Tough-Minded Traits That Assure Success

While the situation is unique for Jack Erwin, what all entrepreneurs can learn is that perseverance pays off (and a bit of good fortune never hurts).

“When you go for something there is always a way to figure out a way through the roadblock,” Gerson says, adding that they were thinking, “how can we solve this problem and whatever comes next?”