Small-business owners can learn a lot from the rise of Malcolm Gladwell’s star, not to mention his collected works of nonfiction.
There is, for example, his undaunted persistence in the face of early rejection. While most people now know Gladwell from his insightful articles for The New Yorker and his bestselling books, The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, few know that his undergraduate grades didn’t qualify him for graduate school, which led to his decision to pursue advertising … a career he never actually entered because he couldn’t get a single agency to hire him.
I dropped out of many colleges. I just didn’t like school. I’m a poster child for not doing things in a careful way, which is actually my biggest suggestion for burgeoning entrepreneurs. You can’t sit down and predict. When you do that too literally, you will lose out on the kind of intuitive journey that allows you to reach a passionate livelihood.
Starting something with friends has a success rate so much greater than any other agreement. If the only thing holding you together is the company, when the company breaks apart, so will you.