What do Bill Gates, Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki have in common?
They all have declared bankruptcy after making their fortunes.
It’s unbelievable but true. Bill Gates’ investment fund has just finished filing its Chapter 7 bankruptcy over an insolvent Texas energy company. Donald Trump has had four bankruptcies related to his struggling Atlantic City casinos. The Rich Dad, Poor Dad financial guru Robert Kiyosaki has also had a surprising bankruptcy. This arose from his first agent who sued Kiyosaki for not paying royalties in regards to his book sales. It turns out that the $23 million judgment was too steep so Kiyosaki filed the bankruptcy under one of his umbrella LLCs to address the issue.
This article should speak volumes to people because here we see that even the most successful entrepreneurs can make mistakes. Fortunately in the 3 cases above, each person had already hit his initial homerun which dampened the impact of any future failures. Other US businessmen weren’t as lucky. Their early bankruptcies caused them to be severely stigmatized before having found their strong financial foothold. Here’s a small list of them to consider:
Ulysses S. Grant
Francis Ford Coppola
These American hall of famers could have chosen to wallow in the depth of their despair and avoid any more risk but fortunately for us they didn’t.
One of the main points I’m trying to drive home right now is that even superheroes can fail… and fail big. Gates, Trump and Kiyosaki will be the first to tell you that their initial success was possible because the timing was right. “Luck” had something to do with it. Others may call it “providence”. Whatever camp you’re from, hopefully you will be encouraged by this insight. Most of you reading this probably haven’t fallen into a good niche at the right time like Mark Zuckerberg. (Yes, he had the ability and the skills to take him where he is today, but others after him couldn’t succeed in social media because the market had already been saturated.)
My feeling is that like me, you have taken on some projects in your life that didn’t get the mileage they should have. Steve Jobs was in the same boat. After getting fired from Apple and starting neXT computers, he would say that neXT would either be the last computer company to make it or the first to fail. Well, by his own admission it failed but not miserably because he was able to sell the operating system to Apple without going bankrupt.
This operating system was robust enough to be turned into Apple OSx which is the foundation for all modern day Apple computers. However, in its original form inside neXT computers it didn’t go very far. Nor could it have… even with the backing of Steve Jobs’ marketing genius. So what are the main take homes of this and the other examples of this article?
The business icons that we all regard as successful had to have an element of luck (or providence) in order to be successful. They are all capable of making bad decisions which could have easily made their first home run business venture fail.
And of course don’t forget this one.
The more you try, the luckier you get (providence you land into).
We all know this second principle but do we remember it when we are down and out? Hopefully this is speaking to some of you.