Do You Have What It Takes to Win?
Do you have what it takes to win? Are you truly convinced within yourself that you can win in life – your dreams, your passions, your desires?
Let’s talk about the X factor. What really is the X factor? What separates successful people from unsuccessful people? Can everyone actually succeed?
Do you have what it takes to win?
The book ‘How They Started Global Brands’ edited by David Lester speaks of 21 global businesses which started as local businesses but gradually evolved into global and world-class businesses. Multinational companies such as Coca-Cola, Nintendo, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and Dyson simply started as ideas but over time, they grew into multinationals.
From my observation, the founders of these 21 companies had two things in common. They were innovative and they had grit. Yes, they had grit. You could say ‘No, they had inborn talent; they were extremely gifted’. I dare say this was not the case. They just did not give up no matter what.
They just did not give up no matter what.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. – Thomas Edison
For example, Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) experienced many challenges such as when a fire destroyed the building of his first restaurant in 1939. He rebuilt and reopened another restaurant which was successful.
However, in 1956, he had to close the restaurant again and sell the building for half the asking price of the previous year. A new interstate bypassed his restaurant which made his customers to bypass his restaurant completely. He became penniless after he had managed to pay off his debts. He was only left with a $105 monthly Social Security check as his monthly income.
He refused to quit. He decided to hit the road and take his recipe to his customers instead. This gave rise to the KFC franchise concept which is still in existence till this day. By 1963, he had more than 600 restaurants across the USA and Canada selling Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Today, Harland Sanders is dead but KFC still lives on as a testament to a man who refused to give up no matter what. When one path closed, he was innovative and opened up another path instead. He believed he would always find a way out of any situation.
Another story which deeply inspired me was the founder of Dyson company, James Dyson. Despite his many legal battles such as the legal battle with an American business which had produced a similar product to his product. This was his first original invention and it was called the Ballbarrow. The Ballbarrow was a deviation from the wheelbarrow using a ball instead of a wheel.
He was also removed from his own company by other shareholders. Although he was struggling financially, he produced 5,127 prototypes in five years before he successfully produced G-Force, the world’s first bagless vacuüm cleaner.
He went into heavy debts and faced another lawsuit which denied him the opportunity to re-license his product anywhere. This legal battle lasted for eight months and he was further deep in debt after resolving the legal battle.
It took him fifteen painful, long years before he could finally run his own business without any legal battles. The Dual Cyclone vacuüm cleaner (DC01) which was the revolutionary vacuüm cleaner he produced became the bestselling vacuüm cleaner in the UK.
Everyone has the potential to succeed but the question is ‘do you have what it takes to win?’. It takes grit and simple innovation which I also like to call flexibility. Do you give up at the first sign of trouble? Do you pack up your things and say ‘No, let me go try something else’.
Albert Einstein says this in such as a profound way:
“Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work”
You may not do something as revolutionary as becoming a world-class global brand. You just have to do all you can to not give up on your dream, your passion, the yearning deep within you that keeps you up at night.
You could decide to continue to take the classes you need to take or continue to develop your gift even when no one is applauding or supporting you.
So let’s go back to the X factor. Is the X factor inborn or is it a trait you develop within you? I believe everyone has the X factor within them. It’s what makes you unique. It’s what makes you stand out from the crowd.
But no matter what X factor you have within you, if you don’t develop grit, you won’t have what it takes to win. I hate to break this to you but life is hard. Success is not for the weak-minded. It’s for the people who stand to fight no matter what life throws at them.
Fight back. Stand tall. Don’t give up. You are not a failure. You have what it takes to win. In one of the famous quotes of Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb, he said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways it won’t work”. He said he was not a failure and he had only found 10,000 ways not to produce the light bulb.
Fight back. Stand tall. Don’t give up. You are not a failure.
The founders of these 21 companies had something unique about them. They had the X factor. But they also had innovation and grit. Without these two attributes, no one can actually become successful. The world is so dynamic and competitive that everyone needs to be at the top of their game consistently.
As always, feel free to comment and share your experiences and thoughts below.