“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison

I live near Fort Myers Florida – Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had vacation homes right next to each other here in Fort Myers Florida.

Many stories and quotes are attributed to these successful men. The above quote – “I have not failed. Ive found 10,000 ways that wont work” – To me addresses the trials and tribulations of a small business owner or entrepreneur. Failure in start ups happens. It can happen again and again, and will happen. Failure doesn’t get dealt with as a defeat, rather is viewed as a setback. Many failures turn into policy and/or procedure to avoid similar future problems. If you buy a business you can have a pretty good feel on what to expect assuming you’ve performed adequate due diligence.

Ive been part of many discussion revolving around starting up a company and how many years to either break even or make a profit. Some people say it is one year others say 2 years, others 3-5 years. For every business reaching this milestone of “break even” or “profit” is different. The measuring stick used and the timeline expected should be considered. Arbitrary goals and time frames should not be set. There are many unknowns in a start up. You can only do so much due diligence on something that has yet to happen – “You dont know what you dont know”- this quote may or may not be from Thomas Edison,- but applies.

I think that many people have a certain entrepreneur spirit within. Only a certain percentage act on that spirit. And the successful ones I believe are the ones that are successful at understanding failures will happen, and are resilient enough to accept the many failures that will come your way. Failing 100’s and or 1000’s of times and then coming up with the light bulb is a prophecy most any small business owner / entrepreneur would accept.

Image by raja4u.