The story of Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), is truly inspirational. KFC is an American-based fast food chain of restaurants and their specialty is fried chicken. Throughout his life, Colonel Sanders faced several rejections; nevertheless, in the end, he emerged a winner.
Born in the year 1980 in Henryville, IN, at the tender age of 7 years, Sanders had to take care of his family as his father passed away. He had to leave school midway and work on a farm to earn his livelihood.
He is also known to have faked his age for enlisting in the United States Army at the age of 16. After a year, he was discharged of his duties and went on to work as a laborer in the Railways department. Here as a result of a brawl with one of his associates, he was fired. He was also pursuing Law when he was working with the railways and on account of another scuffle; his career in Law came to a grinding halt. Thereafter, he got a job as an Insurance agent; here also he was asked to leave because he apparently had misbehaved.
Then, he started a company dealing in ferry boats in the year 1920. At a later stage, he tried to trade his boat business to start a lamp manufacturing company. However, there was another company that was selling an advanced version of his lamps due to which he again had to face failure.
At the age of 40 years, he began selling chicken fare at a service station. Here as a result of an argument with a competitor, there was a shootout. Then, after a period of 4 years, he purchased a motel and that was burnt along with his restaurant. Yet, he did not give up and opened another motel. But, he was forced to down its shutters when World War II erupted.
Post the war, his efforts were directed towards getting a franchise for his restaurant business. After being rejected 1099 times, it was finally approved and his clandestine recipe was named ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ and was hugely successful. But soon after, his restaurant sales started falling because an Interstate had started operations in the vicinity. Thereafter, he sold his restaurant and became busy selling KFC franchises and employing workers across the United States.
After a series of unfortunate incidents, he met with success at last. His company expanded its base internationally and was sold for 2 million dollars (presently, it amounts to 15 million dollars).
Until today, his face remains an integral part of KFC’s brand logo. He is seen smiling in his white suit, string tie, and goatee that has become symbolic with yummy country-made fried chicken across the world.
He passed away at the age of 90 years after battling with Pneumonia. At the time of his death, there were 6000 KFC centers operating in 48 countries. As per 2013 estimates, KFC had expanded to over 118 countries having a record 18000 locations.
We all have a lesson to learn from the great Colonel Sanders. Even though he failed several times, he managed to become to garner an international name for his chicken business. He teaches us that even if you are facing failures, giving up should never be an option. Continue being sincere to your job and you are sure to meet with success soon enough. Wishing you all the best!