5 People Who’ll Convince You that You Don’t Have to Be Born with the Innovation Gene

5 People Who’ll Convince You that You Don’t Have to Be Born with the Innovation Gene

How is it possible that two brothers in the bicycle business became known as the inventors of the airplane?

Grit.

Grit is good stuff. Read more about it here. Then read on about 5 people who’ve used grit to hack entrepreneurialism.

1. Dave Thomas

It’s 1962. KFC is going nowhere fast as a chain. Dave Thomas is a father of 5, and working as a short-order cook making $35 a week. His boss offers him 45% of the profits if he can save 4 floundering Kentucky Fried Chicken locations.

Dave used common sense and grit.

  • He started serving only chicken
  • He gave them something to remember – the iconic KFC sign featuring the revolving bucket of chicken.

2. Al Capone

The gangster? He’s also responsible for milk expiration dates.

What do you do if you’re the largest producer of illegal alcohol and Prohibition is about to kill your profit margin? Capone needed a different liquid to bottle and distribute.

Hey, everybody drinks milk! But milk spoils. So, Capone used his “influence” to coerce the Chicago City Council to mandate expiration dates on the milk bottles.

3. Hedy Lamarr

She was known as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Much to her dismay. “Any girl can be glamorous,” Hedy Lamarr once said, “All you have to do is stand still and look stupid.”

Stupid is something she was not. Lamar invented a device crucial to the development of today’s modern communications technology. She came up with a system that could change the radio frequencies used to control torpedoes in.

4. Sophia Amoruso

She’s the 30-year-old founder of Nasty Gal. It’s a $100 million business that employs over 350 employees.

Amoruso started it on a whim. She had uncovered a group of eBay sellers who focused only on vintage clothing. “Hell, I can do that!” she wrote in her memoir. “I wore exclusively vintage and knew the ropes. And I was an expert scavenger.”

What she didn’t add is that she had no business experience. Just a lot of grit.

5. Sir Richard Branson

He dropped out of school at the age of 16. His headmaster said he’d either wind up in prison or a millionaire. We know which one Branson chose.

What most people don’t know is that it was dyslexia that Richard Branson battled. Not a bad attitude. And even though he dropped out of school, his first success was a magazine for school age students.

Here’s To Grit

Unlikely entrepreneurs have one thing in common. Grit is a trait any of us can hack. What’s your passion?