Success in all shapesWritten by Michael Drew Shaw | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s never too late to be a success, or too early.
Harland David Sanders, better known as Col. Sanders, was an American entrepreneur who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken.
As a young man, Sanders was a steamboat pilot, insurance salesman, railroad fireman, farmer and, as it turned out, a chef.
He opened a service station in Corbin, Ky., when he was in his 40s, where he cooked chicken dishes for his customers, even though it was a gas station and not a restaurant.
The popularity of his “Kentucky fried chicken” grew and, eventually, he opened an eatery that seated 140 people. He spent the next 10 years developing his unique and much faster method of cooking chicken in a pressure fryer rather than in a pan.
In 1935, Sanders received an honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel” and began sporting a white goatee and dressing in his now-famous Southern gentlemen outfit of a white jacket and a black string bow tie. Finally, after years of disappointment, he was on his way.
But wait, not so fast.
The construction of Interstate 75 bypassed the colonel’s restaurant and, with customer traffic reduced, he resorted to desperate measures. Most people would have given up.
Sanders, now 65, began spending his Social Security checks to fund visits by potential franchisees. It worked. In 1964, the colonel sold Kentucky Fried Chicken for $2 million.
Here’s another example of unexpected success.
Ever play that game where you slide a quarter across the table and you earn a point if it hangs over the edge without falling off? This was a simple game, born out of boredom by Matt Balick and Justin Lewis, two young entrepreneurs from Highland Park, Ill.
With some help from their parents, the 8-year-olds turned those little plastic thingies that come in the middle of a pizza into a business.
Flip-Itz became sports characters, animals, aliens and more, available in bright neon, see-through and glow in the dark designs.
Flip-Itz captured the attention and imagination of kids young and old, and soon was packaged with an array of games played with the three-legged jumping characters.
One more example:
After 21 years in education, this man was familiar with children’s fondness for candy. At age 45, the teacher-turned- entrepreneur opened a small soda and candy shop where he made a distinctive English toffee treat.
Business was brusque and, by 1931, the ex-teacher had moved to a bigger store where he was eventually forced into mass production to keep up with demand. Though his one-ounce toffee bar became world famous, the inventor never suffered the caloric consequences of eating too much of his own product. A small, spry man, he sometimes weighed less than 105 pounds. His name was Lawrence S. Heath.
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