overcoming obstacles in business

04.14.2008

One difference between people who succeed in the pursuit of their dreams and the ones who fail is how well they overcome obstacles.

Everybody in life is confronted with obstacles, no one is immune to it. It may not be apparent in everyone that you come in contact with but it exists. Sometimes the obstacles are small, sometimes they’re huge but the main fact is they can all be overcome.

In this sense, business is no different than life. When we are confronted with a big wall, mountain or endless sea we must find a way around, over or even through it. There’s always a way, although it may not seem like it at the time.

Example:
James Dyson had an idea to redesign and reinvent the vacuum. His idea of a bag-less vacuum was something that had never been done before. Not only was his bag-less idea revolutionary but so was the fact that he wanted to design a vacuum that wouldn’t loose suction.

James took his idea to Hoover an American company. They laughed, scoffed and told him that vacuum bags were a 500 million dollar a year business (1980’s). Determined he took his idea over seas. The Japanese snatched up a license and started producing vacuums for $2,000 each (again 1980’s).

Only half way up his mountain he took the revenues from those overseas vacuums to start his own company in the UK. After over 5,000 prototypes and five years his start up was ready. Shortly after the start up, James was sued by nun other than Hoover. In short they had taken his ideas from their meeting and tweaked them slightly, applying for their own patent. Hoover sued James claiming that he had stole their idea!!!

In the end, the Dyson vacuum is the number one selling brand in Europe, holds 20% market share over vacuums in the U.S. and 92% of Dyson owners would recommend the Dyson vacuum to a friend.

To top it off the Dyson vacuum has won 100’s of international design awards and has been displayed in the Metropolitan and MOMA in NY among others.

How’s that for overcoming obstacles!

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