“Hard work beats all the tonics and vitamins in the world” Colonel Sanders, Founder KFC
We all know about KFC, world’s fourth-largest restaurant chain that made the whole world fall in love with its recipe for fried chicken. Yet, little is known about its founder, Colonel Sanders. It is the amazing story of a man, who started at 65, when mostly people prefer to take retirement. He failed 1009 times before building a global fried chicken empire.
The spectacles Colonel Sanders could easily be identified by his clean, crisp white suite, black string tie, and walking cane. Despite getting failed again and again, he did not lose hope and with determination, passion, and vision he conquered the world.
Childhood Life, Full of Struggles
Born on a farm outside Indiana, Colonel Harland Sanders lost his father at the age of five. Sanders had to cook and care for his siblings while his mother had to go out to work to earn for family. He dropped out school and left home to go work as a farmhand.
Career Life, Fired from Multiple Jobs
At later stages of his life, his legal career ended. He moved back to his mother and started to work as Life insurance agent but eventually fired. At the age of 30, he established a ferry boat company but sold all his shares of ferry boat for 22,000$ after 3 years and used this money to establish a company manufacturing lamps but even this venture failed. After this, he moved to Winchester, Kentucky to work as salesman but soon he lost this job also. He knew that his career was unstable, jumping from job to job but instead of giving up he tried harder.
Life Began to Improve
Later, Sander was offered a rent-free gas station where he also sold fried chicken to hungry commuters along the highway. Having cooked for his siblings growing up, he was a seasoned chef at this point. All customers noted the quality of its seasoning, which was prepared from 11 different spices. Slowly his popularity grew and soon his service station became famous throughout Kentucky. Sanders “secret recipe” was coined “Kentucky Fried Chicken”.
Found Success Later in Life
Restaurant’s sales led to popularity of KFC and increase in income but life hit hard on him once again. Due to some reason, his sales dropped drastically and he was forced to sell all his property to pay his debt. At age of 65, he was breaking and was living off on Social Security Check of 105$. He said, “I was sixty-six years old. I still had to make a living. I looked at my social security check of 105 dollars and decided to use that to try to franchise my chicken recipe. Folks had always liked my chicken.” At this time, the only idea he had was a chicken recipe, which his friends liked. With that idea in mind, he took massive action. He was a visionary and determined to make his recipe even more popular and decided to franchise it.
Faced 1009 Rejections before Succeeding
Colonel wanted to partner with someone to help promote his chicken recipe. He started travelling to many states in the US to sell his recipe to other restaurants and even cooked his fried chicken on the spot for restaurant owners. Surprisingly, Colonel Sanders heard 1009 rejections before his chicken was accepted once! For first time, Sander franchised “Kentucky Fried Chicken” in 1952. And as it usually happens in life, one chance is all we need.
What do we Gain from Life History of Sanders?
His success story implies that your past doesn’t define your future success. In fact, your failures can be stepping stones to a future beyond your wildest imagination. Despite of being fired from multiple jobs and facing huge number of rejections, still he created one of the largest fast food chains in the world. Sanders wouldn’t let anything or anyone defeat him. Age is no barrier to success, and so is capital. What is needed is an idea put into action, followed with proper planning and persistence.