Never Give Up, even after 39 attempts!

Entrepreneurs the world over often fail numerous times before reaching success with a product, business or invention and more often than not that success comes after trying various different things before something clicks that makes it work – this isn’t always easy to identify!

Ducks often remind me of most entrepreneurs I know, and not because they have feathers, webbed feet or taste nice with orange sauce!

Seemingly effortless success to the casual observer is very often the result of some serious underwater paddling, late at night and early in the morning, sometimes for years!

I think most successful entrepreneurs deserve the benefits they gain in terms of money, notoriety or even fame for their businesses ventures, as seldom does success come without a great deal of pressure and strain on other areas of the entrepreneur’s life.

As Thomas Carlyle put it; “No Pressure, No Diamonds.”

Norman Larson, a self-taught chemist born in Chicago in the 1920’s and who started his career in the paint business, was renowned for creating a string of things that made life easier for people, and who also devoted much of his later life to preserving antiques and saving various artefacts from decay and destruction.

In 1953 he invented the well known lubricant used by households and engineers the world over, WD-40, after 39 unsuccessful attempts at displacing water, leading to the name, which literally means “Water Displacer, 40th try.”

I guess it could just have easily been called “WD-23” or “WD-147”!

This short story of a very successful inventor, who sadly died aged just 47, depicts the very essence of entrepreneurship in my opinion and the work and effort that goes in to a successful outcome, which often results in employment of others, and goods and services being delivered to customers who want and need them, and occasionally in something as well known and useful as WD-40.

Larson left over 1,000 books from his personal library when he died and put his entire success and achievements down to educating himself through reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *