How Much Does Luck Have to Do With Startup Success?

Today is St. Patrick’s Day—the holiday that, although it originally was established to honor the patron saint of Ireland, has been commercialized into a day of parties, parades and celebrating the proverbial “luck of the Irish.” That said, how big a role does luck play in starting a successful business?

In recognition of St. Patty’s Day, we whipped up a list of five iconic business owners that struck it rich and prove that, while the luck of the Irish certainly helps, all that small business owners need to succeed is hard work and the resolve to overcome failure.

5 Business Owners who Didn’t Need the Luck of the Irish

James Dyson

James Dyson, head and namesake of the now dominant vacuum cleaner manufacturer, did not receive too many lucky breaks in his pursuit of fortune. Before earning his billions and dominating his market, he first designed 5,127 failed vacuum prototypes over a fifteen year span.  Can you imagine fifteen years of unlucky breaks? But Dyson didn’t let the failure phase him—he kept at it, despite his bad luck, and is now estimated to be worth north of $4 billion.

Bill Gates

It is funny to think that the man whose very name is associated with the epitome of wealth was ever grappling with an unlucky failure. But sure enough, success did not come easily to the world’s richest man. His first business venture, Traf-O-Data, couldn’t turn a profit and eventually failed. A resilient love for computer programming kept Gates in the game, though. He later founded Microsoft, and the rest is history.

Thomas Edison

The Thomas Edison story of a thousand failures has become the stuff of legend—the inventor of the light bulb is an icon for resilience and a can-do attitude. Before he launched the world into a new era with his invention, he tried—and failed—1,000 times to successfully create a light bulb. Luck had nothing to do with it.

Steve Jobs

If you would’ve looked at Steve Jobs as a young man—a college dropout who was backpacking India and taking psychedelic drugs—you wouldn’t necessarily have thought that he would one day found one of the most successful brands in the world. The business scene didn’t come naturally to the creator of Apple. Nonetheless, he took the path less travelled, experienced some unlucky low points and eventually went on to kick start one of the planet’s richest companies.

Gary Vaynerchuck

Vaynerchuck, who through relentless work amassed a fortune with his family’s wine company and has since become an investor, is very proud of how little luck had to do with his rise to success. Having learned to rely on hard work rather than luck, Vaynerchuck continues his affinity for entrepreneurship by dabbling in a multitude of different industries—he has even written books, mastered social media and hosted a very popular podcast.

So, it can be seen from the above examples that although the luck of the Irish is certainly helpful when it comes to starting a successful company, many have changed the world despite years of misfortune. That said, every entrepreneur needs a bit of help to get started. Need funding to launch your small business? Factor Finders is an industry expert when it comes to securing small business funding for startup companies. Give us a call, check out our services and help turn your luck around this St. Patty’s Day.