In 1898, a man that no one has heard of, Samuel Pierpont Langley, received two loans totaling $70,000 USD (adjusted for inflation these loans are worth just under 2 million USD today). One was from the War Department of the U.S. Government and one was from The Smithsonian.
These loans were given because Langley was deemed a worthy candidate to pursue the invention of man controlled flight.
Samuel Pierpont Langley was highly educated and taught at Harvard, he had a lot of experience, and he had a network that included the brightest minds of his time.
I can’t imagine it would be hard to spread your ideas if you got to hang out with Andrew Carnegie and Alexander Graham Bell.
Langley’s efforts started well. He had a team of experts working to make it happen, the money to back his plans, and a powerful engine to get him there.
However, something about his attitude was off and people didn’t like him.
The press heckled him and people thought him arrogant. His methods often seemed uncanny but because he was stubborn he wouldn’t change them. All he seemed to care about was becoming immortal! Becoming the inventor of human flight.
Unfortunately, his efforts were futile.
After two failed attempts at man-controlled flight he was left deflated. Samuel Pierpont Langley died in 1906 from strokes as a depressed man.
The Flip Side Of The Coin
I often hear people talking about how they can’t accomplish their dreams because of this or that factor.
The fact of the matter is, this or that, does not make things happen.
Drive to succeed as an entrepreneur comes from within. Lack of resources is never the issue, in fact it is often the catalyst that pushes entrepreneurs to the brink of success.
Take, for example, Wilbur and Orville Wright.
These two brothers loved flight since their father brought them a toy helicopter at a young age.
These guys were passionate!
They built their first plane (or flying machine) from very humble beginnings. Their network was small, their funds were sparse, and they built out of their small bicycle store/shack with spare parts worth under $1,000.
On December 17, 1903, at 10:35 a.m., the Wright Brothers made aviation history.
They did so because of their passion and their hustle, not because they were well connected or had a lot of money.
Never make excuses for why you can’t do something. The hard truth is if you’re not good enough without it, you’ll never be good enough with it.
Don’t be the guy who fails to fly with a 2 million dollar budget either.