Humans crave stories about the hero’s journey — the rough and tumultuous beginning, the breakthrough middle and the triumphant end. Those are the tales humans like the best. Rocky IIwouldn’t be the most popular movie in the franchise if Balboa beat Creed in the first bout. People don’t want to dwell on the failures.
But in business, the failures are just as crucial as the successes. The heartbreak, the long hours, the panic, the gambling it all on one big idea and the moments of self doubt where maybe the minimum dime gig at Kinkos isn’t so bad because the rent is past due and there’s a Sons of Anarchy extra towing the car out in the parking lot because it belongs to a bank now.
Most profiles chronicling the rise of a successful entrepreneur gloss over the failures. The starts and stops, high and lows, launches and crashes of business before leading up to the idea that stuck take up minimum real estate on the page — a scant mention, maybe even a HEADLINE 2 callout if a juicy quote fits the narrative. Rarely do the failures get speaking lines past the second act.