Get in the Game to Let Go and Let’s Go
After quitting school at the age of twelve, Milton Hershey went to work at a print shop, but he soon realized he wasn’t interested in a career in the printing business. So he went to work at a candy and ice cream shop. At the age of nineteen, he decided to open his own candy company. He gained financial support from his family and got the business off the ground. However, the company wasn’t successful and within a few years, he was forced to declare bankruptcy.
Following his failed business attempt, he went to Colorado where he hoped to get rich in the booming silver mining industry. But he arrived too late and he struggled to find work. He eventually found a job with another candy maker. It was there that he learned how fresh milk made excellent candy.
Hershey moved to New York City to open his own candy business again. He hoped the skills and information he had learned would help his second candy venture become a success. But Hershey lacked funding, and there were too many other candy stores in the area. Again, his endeavor failed. At this point, many people in his family who had helped fund his entrepreneurial efforts shunned him for his mistakes.
But Hershey didn’t give up. He moved back to Pennsylvania and opened a caramel-making company. He made candy during the day and sold caramels on the streets during the evenings with a pushcart. He eventually received a large order and was able to secure a bank loan to fill it. As soon as the order was paid for, Hershey was able to pay off the loan and launch the Lancaster Caramel Company. Soon, he became a millionaire and one of the most successful businesspeople in his area.
He continued to expand his business. He began making chocolate, and by 1900, he sold the Lancaster Caramel Company and opened a chocolate factory. Hershey worked tirelessly on perfecting his chocolate formula. He quickly became the only person in the United States to mass-produce milk chocolate, and soon he began selling chocolate all over the world.
When sugar became scarce during World War I, Hershey established his own sugar refinery in Cuba. But as soon as the war ended, the sugar market collapsed. Once again, Hershey found himself in financial trouble. He borrowed money from the bank, but he had to mortgage his properties until the loan was paid off. Nevertheless, Hershey managed to get his business back in order and he paid off the loan within two years.
Not only did he build a thriving chocolate factory, but he created a thriving town. During the Great Depression, Hershey was able to keep his employees working. He created a variety of buildings in the town, including a school, a sports arena, and a hotel. The new construction employed many people. Throughout all his success, he also became a great philanthropist. Hershey’s ability to get in the game, take risks for what he wanted, learn from what didn’t go well and stay at it even when his lifestyle could have been better by choosing safe and comfortable helped him go from running failed candy businesses to owning the world’s biggest chocolate company.
Even today, the town known as Hershey, Pennsylvania, is adorned with streetlights in the shape of Hershey’s Kisses, and over three million visitors tour the Hershey’s world chocolate factory to learn how Milton Hershey made chocolate go from a bean to a bar.
Consider your approach in pursuing what you want this year. What is the biggest thing hold you back? The biggest barrier you feel you need to get over. Go deep. Its likely something in you vs something ‘out there’. It’s a fear. Its protection. Its scarcity. Its worry. Consider it. What can you do to plow through, take a leap, get in the game and keep learning. Everything you’ve always wanted is just on the other side of what’s holding you back right now. Write it down.
Then Spark it Up.. and let’s go.