Image of mean dog ready to attack

Looking for Success? Fight Like A Junkyard Dog

Image of mean dog ready to attack

Have you ever seen or met a Junkyard Dog? You don’t have to go to an actual junkyard to meet a mean and nasty dog, but you know the type I’m talking about, right? If so, you know they are very determined and not to be messed with.

Likewise, fifty percent of what makes a great entrepreneur is their “junkyard dog” mentality (which doesn’t always have to show itself on the exterior).

What is that fifty percent you say? The part that means you would almost have to kill them to make them to stop. There are no external forces strong enough to stop a successful boot strapping entrepreneur from finding success if they stay at it long enough. None.

With the “junkyard dog” concept in mind, I’d like to discuss three types of business deals that I have encountered with one of the following unintended results (each of which could cause someone to give up):

    1. Deal fell through completely: No financial gain whatsoever and viewed by many as a complete waste of time. I have built several successful relationships out of these “wastes of time” deals.


    1. Deal came together with no financial gain: Also viewed by many as a failure. Again, I have learned a tremendous amount from these situations. Learning doesn’t show up in your bank account as a direct deposit, but it has immense value.


  1. Deal came together and cost me money: Viewed by everyone, including me, as an expensive mistake.

I can honestly say that each of these experiences – although costly – has actually been worth the price of admission so far. They bring out the Junkyard Dog in me. What I have learned and who I have met as a result of these “bad” financial decisions have ultimately provided me with exceptional value later in life. Why? Because I didn’t give up.

Push Forward

By my estimates, I have been a party to about eighty-one different business deals that had a quantifiable result, both good and bad.

There were many more deals that never made it through all the stages to qualify as “quantifiable”, so I have excluded those.

Of the eighty-one deals counted, fifty-three of them have resulted in 1 – 3 above. This means that nearly sixty-five percent of all the deals I have been associated with 1) fell through 2) came together with no financial gain or 3) cost me money.

So, what is the point? Push Forward and DON’T GIVE UP!

Believe it or not, the thirty-five percent of my deals that worked out have more than made up for the sixty-five percent that didn’t (in terms of financial gain). WAY MORE. The sixty-five percent that didn’t work have provided me with a tremendous amount of learning, growth and progress as an entrepreneur. They have almost always led to other great opportunities as well.

Many people would never make it past the first 3 or 4 “failures” that they met. Some would, but what if those 3 or 4 failures happened in a row? Most would stop there. Don’t be one of those people.

Abhor Failure While Knowing It Will Happen

If you think being an entrepreneur is your career of choice, then plan to fail some. Don’t ever get comfortable with failure, in fact, abhor it. But know that you will experience it.

The key is to continue pressing forward in spite of your failures. This is something that many entrepreneurs talk about but few have the courage to endure. Some entrepreneurs don’t truly experience it (rich parents, first business launched made them wealthy, etc.). If you are learning from someone who has not truly experienced failure, keep in mind that their advice is tainted.

Only those who have crawled through the trenches can draw you an accurate map on how to get out.

If you have the personality, passion, skills and support to make a go of entrepreneurship, you are only fifty percent of the way there.

Now go and find your inner Junkyard Dog and get that other fifty percent.

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About Alex Lawrence

Alex has been a successful entrepreneur for 20+ years. His current venture Lendio ranks #34 on the Inc. 500 list. Alex earned a BS degree at the University of Utah and his MBA at Weber State University, where he is Vice Provost and Director of the Entrepreneurship Program. If you want to talk with Alex about business and entrepreneurship (or other questions), email him (alex AT startupflavor DOT com), or you can find him on Twitter @_AlexLawrence.
  • I totally agree. There’s a quote I recently heard that rings true:

    “Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.” ~Anonymous

    Don’t let a few failures get in the way of your dreams. It’s not worth it to let you dream go.

    • Alex Lawrence

      I like the quote Dustin – the best ones are always by “anonymous” it seems 🙂

      Couldn’t agree with you more though. Failures (although difficult to see at the time) really, truly, honestly can lead to great successes.

  • Alan Christensen

    Good post for me at this time! This is great for all of us who are fighting our own personal “battles!”

    • Alex Lawrence

      Glad it was timely Alan! Indeed, there is generally something to “fight” for if you are in the trenches enough. Keep it up my friend.

  • I admire you’re perspective on getting the good from potentially bad situations.
    For the longest time I used to think that people who talked about getting over failure only spoke like that because they had succeeded. Now that I’m older it’s clear that it’s the other way around.

    • Alex Lawrence

      Hi Mani. Glad you found my post helpful. I hope you’ll return and share your future thoughts. Stay connected!

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