Colonel Sanders was rejected 1009 times before successfully selling his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe. He had failed at every job he’d tried earlier in his life—lawyer, salesman, you name it.
The Colonel was already married at the young age of 19 to his wife, Josephine. They had three children, then had frequent affairs, and the marriage ended in divorce. It’s safe to say that he didn’t have the best of lives growing up. In fact, he didn’t even successfully sell his company until he was 75 years old!
There’s no doubt that the odds were stacked against the KFC king. The Colonel’s story is so inspiring and filled with hope for others who think it’s too late. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 20 years old or 70. This article has some powerful points to bring to the table.
Check out the 7 most powerful success lessons we can all learn from Colonel Sanders.
1. You have to go through failure to get to success.
In the intro above, I mentioned that Colonel Sanders was rejected more than 1000 times before successfully selling his KFC recipe. … 1000 times!
Not only that, but I also mentioned that he’d failed at every other career he’d tried to get into. Sanders tried and failed miserably at all the below careers between the ages of 10 and 40:
- Streetcar Conductor
- Insurance Salesman
- Railroad Fireman
It just goes to show that no matter how much failure you experience in life, there’s always time to be successful. For anyone reading this who thinks it’s too late to make something of your life, start re-thinking!
2. You’re never too old to succeed.
Colonel Sanders was 75 years old before he finally sold Kentucky Fried Chicken for a cool $2 million. Which would be around $15 million in the world today. He remained the spokeswoman for the company after the sale.
But 75 years old… The majority of people—at least 95%—give up way earlier in life. People stop thinking they can be successful even in their 30s! And yet, the Colonel didn’t think this way and ended up being the founder and face of a billion-dollar brand.
So before you start to think that you can’t achieve your dreams because you’re 30, 40, or 50 years old, stop. You’re never too old to achieve success in life.
3. The past doesn’t define your success.
An awesome success lesson that many people need to hear is the lesson that your past doesn’t define your future success. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve failed. It doesn’t matter where you were brought up or what happened to you earlier in life.
Your past does not determine how successful you can become in the future. Again, look at Sanders. He’d failed at every other career he’d tried—a whole bunch of them! He was in an unhappy marriage and had three children at a very young age. For most people, that’s when they start to quit on life and can’t see a way out.
4. Giving up is the only sure way to fail.
You can fail at a lot of things in life, but the KFC story proves that giving up is the only sure way to fail. If you’re like the Colonel, no matter how many times you fail, the possibility of success is always on the table.
You’re not a failure until you finally stop trying. So don’t give up. Even if time is passing, you’re slowly getting older, and you still can’t quite see the end of the tunnel. It’s never impossible to achieve success.
“Hard work beats all the tonics and vitamins in the world.” Colonel Sanders
5. It’s never too late to start over.
It was clear that cooking was the Colonel’s passion, but it wasn’t discovered by himself until later on in his life. He went through a complete range of careers, having to start over from scratch again and again.
When you try to succeed at so many different things, it can become exhausting. The start is always the hardest part, and for most people, starting all over again at the age of 50 or 60 would be unthinkable.
Yet, it’s never too late, and Colonel Sanders showed this by finally being successful at doing what he loved in his 70s!
6. Take a Risk on Doing What You Love
It’s no secret that following your passion is the key to happiness and success. You know it, I know it; we’ve heard all the stories before.
And yet, the majority of us still don’t go after what we want in life, before age even comes into play. People in their 20s don’t even pursue their passions a lot of the time.
Maybe it takes a while for most to realise just how important passion is, but the hope is that we help as many as possible to pursue what they want early on. After all is said and done, a pursued passion will make anyone a successful individual.
7. Don’t be afraid to start small.
Sanders started selling Kentucky Fried Chicken by the side of the road, on a small scale. After selling the recipe, it vastly grew, and franchises were being opened all over the world. The lesson here is not to be afraid to start small. As long as you get started and work hard, progress will come.
People often put off starting their own business, website, and such simply because they don’t think it’s big enough to launch.
I see plenty of people in the process of “launching” websites, stuck in this process for more than 2 years because they don’t think it’s quite ready. Just start! Seriously!
People love progression, and once you start, you’ll be able to do so. Putting things off because of perfection is not going to get you anywhere.