There is something captivating about the moon landings. No amount of robots shot out into space or to other planets or asteroids can match the awe that is inspired by watching a human being walking on another celestial body besides Earth.
It's so surreal and takes such a dedicated and monumental effort to get a person to the moon and bring them back safely that when it is accomplished, it is something every person on the planet can feel wonder in.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on July 20th and such a spectacular event still resonates with people and still has lessons for business people to draw on.
Lessons like these four.
1. Nothing is impossible.
Everything is impossible right up until it isn't. Perhaps nothing illustrates that more than the moon landing. Having people set foot on a piece of land that is not our planet was virtually unthinkable into the early part of the 20th century.
And then it happened.
For entrepreneurs who think business ownership can't possibly happen for them, this is a lesson to take to heart. Your idea is not impossible, your business can not only open, but be incredibly successful and lucrative for you.
There is bound to be a lot of rejection at first and people telling you that it's impossible, especially if your business is a new concept or somehow breaking new ground. Fervent belief alone cannot will your business into existence, but it plays a vital role.
If you told me 20 plus years ago that my wife and I would be running a business that sold first-of-its-kind health tests in thousands of retail locations across the United States, I would not have believed you or even thought it was possible myself because we had no initial plan to immigrate, we knew nothing about health testing and we knew nothing about running a business. But, we believed in what we were doing, did our research and planned meticulously and it has worked well for us.
2. It takes a gargantuan amount of work.
The amount of coordination and work it took to pull off the first moon landing is almost unfathomable, particularly when you consider the limited technology people were working with in 1969. The amount of testing, calculating, collaborating, etc. that had to take place to make it all work is mind boggling.
Starting a business may not compare to the work it takes to put a person on the moon, but it does take a lot of work and coordination and a fair amount of risk, too. You've got research to do, investors to attract, stock to sell, people to hire, training to perform and myriad other things to take care of once you've decided to open your business. I remember many a 60 to 80 hour work week during the early years.
3. It takes a great team.
Imagine the hundreds of people it takes to put a person on the moon. Now, imagine all of those people doing that when it had never even been attempted before. The amount of teamwork to pull off what had never been done before was astronomical. Long before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, years of hard work, testing and triumphs by lots of people had to come first.
You may start a business by yourself, but to grow it into something successful, you need a team and you'll likely go through a lot of trial and error along the way. But, if you hire the right people, do your research and your testing, you can succeed.
I hired a lot of wrong people before I learned the art of hiring the right ones (and I still get it wrong sometimes). But, thanks to trial and error with hiring and building a great culture, we now have a thriving team.
4. Certainty is not part of the process.
There were many failures before successes in NASA's space program and even in the original Apollo missions, including a tragic cabin fire as part of the Apollo 1 mission that killed three crew members.
Before your business becomes successful, it will likely also go through some failures. This is totally normal and shouldn't dissuade you from pursuing your dream of business ownership. Even a complete failure that ends up with you losing your company doesn't have to mean the end. People come back from complete collapses all the time.
If you want everything to be certain, you cannot go to places that no one has ever been. You just have to persevere and you, too, can wind up on the moon.