Colonel Sanders Failed 1009 Times Before Succeeding

Dennis Nafte
2 min readSep 10, 2017


Colonel Harland Sanders has become a world-known figure by marketing his Kentucky Fried Chicken. The story of Colonel Harland Sanders is an example of how perseverance, dedication, and ambition along with hard work can create success; regardless of your age.

At the age of sixty-five, after running a restaurant for several years, Harland Sanders found himself penniless. He retired and received his first social security check which was for one hundred and five dollars.

Harland Sanders was a man who really loved to share his fried chicken recipe. He had a lot of positive influence from those who tasted the chicken. Harland was retired, getting older and while most people believed in the sanctimony of retirement, Harland opted to sell the world on his cool new chicken recipe. Harland traveled door to door to houses and restaurants all over his local area. He wanted to partner with someone to help promote his chicken recipe. He was met with little enthusiasm.

He started travelling by car to different restaurants and cooked his fried chicken on the spot for restaurant owners. If the owner liked the chicken, they would enter into a handshake agreement to sell his chicken. He was turned down 1009 times before his chicken was accepted once!

By 1964, Colonel Harland Sanders had 600 franchises selling his trademark chicken. Now, he sold his company for $2 million dollars but remained as a spokesperson. In 1976, the Colonel was ranked as the world’s second most recognizable celebrity.

It’s amazing how the man started at the age of 65, when most retire, and built a global empire out of fried chicken. It’s never too late to build your dream.