Have you ever heard of a guy named Colonel Sanders? Of course you have! Colonel Sanders is the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) but did you know he only started at age 65?
That’s right, Colonel Sanders wasn’t born wealthy, he didn’t have a rich family or relatives, he didn’t go to a top university or wasn’t well connected. He didn’t start a business really young or anything like that.
He started to fulfill his dream at the age of 65 when he received his first social security check for $105. Receiving such a small amount drove him mad but instead of blaming or complaining as so many others in his situation would have done instead Colonel Sanders started asking himself “What could I do that would be valuable for other people?” He started thinking about what he had that was of value and how he could offer it to others to make more money.
“The amount of money you make is always in direct proportion to the value you provide to others.”
His initial idea was that he had a chicken recipe that everyone seemed to love so he could sell that to restaurants but then he realized simply selling the recipe would barely make him enough money to pay his rent.
So he came up with a better idea. He thought that if he not only gave restaurants his chicken recipe but also showed them how to cook the chicken properly it would increase the restaurants chicken sales and he could take a percentage of those sales.
Like most successful people Colonel Sanders took action on his idea immediately. He went and started knocking on doors, telling each restaurant owner his story: “I’ve got a great chicken recipe, and I think if you use it, it’ll increase your sales. And I’d like to get a percentage of that increase.”
Many people laughed at in his face. They said, “Look, old man, get out of there. What are you wearing that stupid white suit for?”
Did Colonel Sanders give up? Absolutely not!
Instead of feeling bad about the last restaurant that had rejected his idea, he immediately started focusing on how to tell his story more effectively and get better results from the next restaurant.
What’s remarkable about Colonel Sanders success story is that he received 1,009 noes before he received his first yes. He spent two years driving across America in his old beat up car, sleeping in the back seat in his rumpled white suit, getting up each day eager to share his idea with someone new. Often, the only food he had was a quick bite of the samples he was preparing for prospective buyers.
How many people would have kept going through 1,009 rejections? 2 years full of rejection?!
Most people usually say they’ve tried a million ways to succeed and nothing worked when in reality they’ve haven’t even tried 100, probably not even a dozen times, most likely a few times.
The key to Colonel Sanders’ success was his sheer persistence and if you look at the most successful people in history it’s a common thread. They would not be denied. They would not accept no. They would not allow anything to stop them from making their vision, their goal, a reality.
If you have genuine value to offer others like Colonel Sanders did then keep going, sometimes it only takes one yes to change everything.