How well do you deal with rejection and failure?

You may have heard the story of Starbucks. It is hard to imagine it, but back in the 1970s and 1980s, it was unthinkable to set up a “coffee shop” just to sell cups of coffee. Who would buy that?

Any yet that was exactly what Howard Schultz imagined. His partners in the coffee business back then did not believe him, so he had to struck out on his own. In order to raise money, he asked 242 investors. 217 of them said no. That is 90% of them.

Howard’s vision paid off eventually. Now we have the luxury of living in it. Even when I visited Rome and other European cities, Starbucks is always my first choice when it came to coffee.

But more than that, we should learn from Howard the tenacity and perseverance he showed us. During this early days, while his wife was working to support the family while expecting their first child, his father-in-law criticized him for “not having a job, just a hobby”. Can you imagine the embarrassment, humiliations and pressure he was facing?

On a last note, I also credit this greatest capitalist country of USA, where Starbucks was born and grew, and where entrepreneurs like Howard can realize their dream. It is the land of free.