Ali was a classic serial entrepreneur who would get investors to fund his ships that about 2,000 years ago would go to faraway lands and come back with spices, exotic perfumes and woods and so on. His initial ventures didn’t go so well.
Ali’s first shipping venture attracted a lot of eager investors and it didn’t take long for him to get that ship out to sea. Within a month news arrived that the ship had been blown off course in a storm, hit some rocks and sunk.
Not one to be kept down for too long Ali raised another round of funding and sent another ship to bring back the treasures that would make him and his investors rich. That ship was attacked by pirates, its crew killed and the ship was burned.
Once again Ali had to face his investors with the bad news. Even though these investors knew the risks they blamed Ali for their misfortune.
A year passed and Ali began raising another round of funding. He told his potential investors that he had learned from his mistakes and this time he would make sure the ship was sturdy, the route was as safe as possible and he would have on board an armed brigade of retired military men from the King’s own forces.
Even with all these assurances many of his past investors were reluctant to take another chance with Ali. However, enough of them did and soon the ship set sail for lands beyond. A few months later the ship arrived safely back laden with the riches of faraway lands. Ali and his investors became very wealthy.
Still there were some investors that hadn’t invested with him on this last successful venture that were angry and envious of Ali’s success and begged him to do another venture that they could get involved in.
Many of us serial entrepreneurs can resonate with Ali’s story. And there are other entrepreneurs who after a shipwreck or two are reluctant to set sail again. I am not one of them.
Like Ali, I get better at my due diligence, learn from my mistakes, make better plans, lessen the risks as much as possible and keep launching new ventures even though my supporters and collaborators dwindle. Ali didn’t know for sure which venture would be the one that would make him wealthy though he stacked the odds in his favor for the one that did. Though he never would have been able to do that had he not had the hindsight of failure.