Updated: Nov 11
November 10, 2020 -
This past weekend, the world learned together that the Presidential Election had been called and that Joe Biden would become the 46th President of the United States of America. While there may be claims of voter fraud or demands of recounts made by President Donald Trump, it was no easy feat for President Elect Joe Biden to reach this goal of President had attempted twice before in his political career.
Becoming President Elect has been no easy feat for the career politician who started his political career 48 years ago when he was elected to the Senate for the State of Delaware. Along the way he has experience career, family, and personal health setbacks which may have cost most to retire or step aside. Instead, Joe Biden continued with his ambitions leading him to the highest role in the USA.
While the Office of the President is obviously a political journey, Joe Biden's rise is also a tale in perseverance, resilience, and hard work; not surprisingly the skill sets needed to trudge through the waters of being an entrepreneur.
Founder lessons through adversity
Soon after Joe Biden became a first time Senator, his wife and young daughter were killed in a tragic car accident, while his two son's Hunter and Beau were badly injured. At the time, Biden stated he would not accept the nomination, but later agreed to do so after encouraged by Senate leadership.
Family loss came again in 2015 when his son Beau Biden past due to Brain Cancer at 46 years of age. The loss of his son factored into Joe Biden's decision not to run for President, a decision Biden has stated he's regretted on many occasions
Founder Lesson: Nothing can replace the loss of family member, which arguably can be one of the most difficult aspects of navigating our lives. Having someone who has been crucial to your existence or someone who you have been crucial to theres suddenly gone would be devastating. Sadly, you must go on and continue with your journey, taking your loved one's memories, lessons, and love with you as navigate life.
It's unlikely you will ever experience as a Founder something more difficult than losing a loved one. Take this notion as your strength to have the confidence you can achieve your goals as a Founder and empower your self toward success
Failure to launch a Presidential Bid
Joe Biden attempted his first pass for President in 1988. Though he was seen as a viable candidate based on his experience, charisma, appeal to Baby Boomers, and his ability to raise campaign funds, Joe Biden's past mistakes caught up with him. Biden had been accused of plagiarizing speeches and past work in college, and exaggerating claims about his college marks, class standing, and civil rights involvement, which ultimately led to him withdrawing from the race.
It wasn't until 20 years later in 2008 that Joe Biden decided to run again. While he had a positive start to his campaign, he had difficulty against gaining attention aways from the favorites at the time who were then Senator Barrack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. Obama would go on to become President, selecting Joe Biden as his running mate.
Founder Lesson: As a Founder you may have felt the need to boast about your accomplishments, tout your experience, post your failures, and exult your successes. If you don't do it, who else will?
While the self confident Founder is a valuable trait, the self aware Founder is perhaps most important. Yes, celebrate your wins and learn from your losses, but also be sure to acknowledge your mistakes so you can make adjustments and improve for the next opportunity. Founders must learn how to best tell their story, their company's story, and why they are the ones to lead their company to a meaningful exit opportunity for all involved.
By staying the course and learning from his 1988 failure Joe Biden was able to take his experiences with him to 2008, and though he was not victorious in his Presidential bid, he gained the opportunity to become the Vice President, arguably the best training ground to become the President.
"Failure at some point in your life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable." - Joe Biden
After his failed Presidential bid in 1998, Joe Biden had a serious health scare having two separate aneurysms in his brain which can be fatal if not detected immediately. He also experience a pulmonary embolism while healing from his first brain surgery.
Founder Lesson: As Founders its easy to get caught in the moment, caught in the hustle to advance our Startups that we fail to put our health first. While there are health scares which are difficult to prevent, as Founders we can do our best to eat health, get enough sleep, do lite exercise, and have time to relax and decompress.
For Founders or aspiring Founders who have experienced a health scare or condition, you have already experienced something in your journey which was incredibly difficult and perhaps you thought you might not get through it. While Startups are difficult, the risk of death or severe illness is low, so use that experience to give you the confidence that if you were able to tackle your illness or health scare, you can do the same to find success with your company.
Learn from adversity and incorporate the lessons to your success
"The adversity you experience is your super hero origin story. Your adversity is your super power" - J.G. Blanco