David here.

One of the most telling signs of a founder’s success is their background.

Now, when I look at a founder’s background, I don’t mean to say I look at whether they were successful in every single one of their endeavors.

Instead, I like looking at a founder’s previous failures.

Often, the most successful founders are the ones who have worked on failed ventures and those who have been through hell and back.

I like it when I see a founder who has proven they know how to get back up from a failure.

In other words, I look for founders who have resilience.

Why is this?

When you fail, you learn plenty of lessons…

And the resilience built is embedded into the founder for all of their future ventures.

Today, let’s dive into exactly why failure isn’t always a bad thing in the startup world… and how to pinpoint the most resilient founders.

The Proof Is in the Failure

Many people think it’s crazy that I look for founders who have failed. They think it’s counterintuitive.

But here’s the thing… failure proves resilience.

And apart from my own track record, I’ve studied plenty of successful entrepreneurs who’ve gained resilience through failure.

Here are some of the most famous:

  1. Bill Gates:
Before founding Microsoft, Gates started a company called Traf-O-Data. It failed… Big time.

To quote Paul Allen (Microsoft’s co-founder), “Even though Traf-O-Data wasn’t a roaring success, it was seminal in preparing us to make Microsoft’s first product a couple of years later. We taught ourselves to simulate how microprocessors work, using DEC computers, so we could develop software even before our machine was built.”

In other words, Traf-O-Data’s failure led to Microsoft’s ultimate success.

  1. Henry Ford:
Before Ford founded the first automobile company in America, Ford failed twice at creating car companies.

He was broke because of all the money he invested into them.

However, he learned from his failures, and ultimately created the very first assembly line for manufacturing cars.

  1. Walt Disney:
Disney’s first animation company, Laugh-O-Gram, failed miserably. It went bankrupt.

But Disney took the lessons he learned from this failure and applied them to one of the most successful companies of all time – The Walt Disney Company.

How to Build Resilience

Harvard Business School Editor Diane Coutu performed a major study on how resilience works, and how one becomes a resilient person. She outlines it as follows:

  1. Facing down reality
Those who are able to face reality head-on and not live in denial are those who are able to proceed through problems and struggles.

Those who learn to accept the reality of hard situations, train themselves to be able to adapt, and persist are likely to be the most resilient.

  1. The importance of having a vision
Those who are able to overcome challenges are those who have something that they’re living for… a vision they can always look forward to at the end of the tunnel to get them through hard situations.

  1. Having a “Ritualized Ingenuity”
The third and final building block to resilience is being able to be extremely resourceful, no matter the situation.

Being resourceful is one of the most important characteristics of any business. If a founder is resourceful, then they’ll be able to do a whole lot with only a little bit of capital.

Why Does This Matter?

The most successful entrepreneurs are those that have failed before… because past failure is likely to bring success in their next go-around.

Of course, resilience is just one important facet of a good founder.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve also talked to you about openness to feedback, adaptability, and flexibility.

Personally, I’m willing to bet on founders who possess even ONE of these characteristics… because those are the founders who are way more likely to succeed.

And at the Angels & Entrepreneurs Network, I’ve sourced six different founders who hit these marks.

These are founders who I know on a personal and professional level. I believe in their ventures so much that I have at least a six-figure stake in each one of their companies.

They’re the best of the best in the startup world.

I believe each company is poised for mind-boggling growth within the next year alone, and the Network’s independent due diligence team agrees with me.

Each of these startups is currently accepting investments, but that door is closing very soon for a couple of them.

I suggest you get all the details now before the opportunity passes.

Just click here to learn more.

Very best,

David Weisburd