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Lesson #2: Try And Try Again
After starting up his first candy business in Philadelphia in 1876, Hershey dedicated himself day and night to keeping it afloat. He spent his nights making the caramels and his days trying to sell them at the nation’s Centennial Exposition. But after six years of little success, Hershey was forced to sell the business.
After this first taste of failure, Hershey decided to pick himself up and try his hand at business again. This time, Hershey left the confectionary business and, upon his father’s advice, Hershey traveled to Colorado to find fortune in the silver rush. Unfortunately, he arrived at the onset of a three-year depression and once again, success eluded him.
Hershey realized that he wanted to return to the candy business, but knew that without financial capital, he was going nowhere. And so, determined to continue working towards his goals, Hershey took up a job with a local candy maker in Denver. It was here where he learned the secret of using fresh milk to make caramels, which made them chewier and also gave them a longer shelf life. Armed with this knowledge, Hershey left Denver in search of better opportunities. He traveled to Chicago and later New Orleans, but came up empty both times.
Finally, in 1883, Hershey settled in New York City, where he launched his second business producing candy and cough drops. At the time, New York was the biggest candy market in all of America. Again, Hershey dedicated all of his time to this venture, working day and night to get it off the ground. Although it was successful at first, the company was endlessly plagued with cash flow problems and Hershey was again forced to close it down just three years after it had first opened.
At this point, Hershey had no choice but to return home. He was so broke that he could not even afford to have his possessions shipped back home with him. But, Hershey did not take any of his previous failures as a sign of defeat. With the same amount of determination and grit that he had with his first business startup, Hershey ignored the discouraging words of his family and stayed on his course.
After searching high and low for financial backing for his third business venture, Hershey finally found himself a supporter in a former employee of his. With that, there was no looking back for Hershey. Once again, undeterred from his previous failures, Hershey began making candy by night and selling it by day. This time around, he finally hit upon success.
Through a combination of hard work, sheer willpower, and luck, Hershey was finally able to get his business off the ground. Three businesses and five cities later, Hershey had at last achieved his goals.
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