Failure to Success: Jim Carrey & Colonel Sanders

Jim Carrey has always had a funny bone, but not everyone got a laugh from him. His famous movies, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, and many more, came with much work. Growing up, his family lived in Canada and was not rich. In fact, his father struggled to stay employed, causing the young Carrey to drop out of high school at 15 to help boost the family of five’s income by becoming a janitor. They eventually had to move from their hometown and at one point, lived in a Volkswagon camper, while all working eight hour shifts.

Carrey was booed off stage at comedy gigs and even denied a part at his audition for Saturday Night Live. While Carrey was born with an outstanding sense of humor, he was also born with persistence. At age 10, he mailed his resume to The Carol Burnett Show. Once the family got back on their feet, Carrey focused on his comedy career. In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles, securing a regular gig at The Comedy Store, where he caught Rodney Dangerfield’s show, who signed him as opening act for an entire season. From there, the rest is history, but it all started with a few failures, leading up to something big.

Colonel Sanders, the famous icon and founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC, is in fact a real person and recognizable for his bow tie, white suit, and classy facial hair. Before becoming the ultimate chicken fryer, he worked at multiple jobs such as a salesman and even a fireman. He passed away as a huge success, but it wasn’t until he was 62 that he stepped into the world of entrepreneurship. His journey to fame began with a $105 social security check and a determination to present his chicken recipe, formulated somewhere between 1939-1940, to restaurants.

Denied by over 1,000 people, he didn’t stop there. ‘No’ was not the answer he was looking for. Sanders had something other cooks didn’t, the secret to frying chicken. He came up with the perfect formula to pressure fry chicken the most productive way. 1952 was when the breakthrough happened when a restaurant in Utah took the bait. Within that year, 75% of this single restaurant’s revenue was brought in by the chicken. Colonel Sanders started out rough, but worked the kinks out and proved people don’t have to get a young start to be something or someone great. With little money, he made his dreams a reality and become one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.