A Lesson Every Entrepreneur Should Learn From Jazz Legend Les Paul

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A Lesson Every Entrepreneur Should Learn from Jazz Legend Les Paul


Les Paul, jazz entrepreneur and his story of determination and perseverance


In honor of what would be Les Paul's 100th birthday, I thought I'd leverage him as an example of perseverance, determination, and unwavering spirit.


Les Paul is a jazz musician who was told very early on that he had no musical ability at all. He went on to create the Les Paul guitar, which has become the guitar of rock legends.


His career was not only highlighted by his successful guitar business, but by overcoming naysayers and building a musical library worthy of kings. At a young age, Les Paul was told by teachers and tutors that he had no musical ability. His many records prove them wrong.


What I want to remind you of is his perseverance in time of tragedy and extreme adversity. His determination to overcome all odds and stay focused on his craft clearly sets an example for all entrepreneurs.


Les Paul was in a car accident in 1948 that put him in a full body cast. He not only had his elbow, which would have no mobility, set in order for him to continue to hold his guitar, but with only one hand found a way to continue to produce records and complete his album. Les Paul had a stand built to hold his guitar against the body cast, and with his one good thumb attached a pick. He was able to complete his album and finish his work. That jazz album was produced on time and went on to win much accolade and award.


I wonder how often in the face of adversity, we persevere and see our mission through. At Small Business USA, we have the benefit of Peer Advisory Boards to help push you to the next level in order to overcome the adversity you face on a regular basis. They help move obstacles, and support you when you don't think you have the talent to move beyond them. They also help you avoid them all together.


Perseverance and determination when faced with adversity is the true test of a great entrepreneur. To succeed, to reach new levels, remind yourself of Les Paul sitting in a hospital bed with a guitar pick taped to his thumb, his guitar resting against his body cast. If he can do it so can you.



For help overcoming your hurdles, feel free to contact us. We'd be happy to help you identify ways to improve your business and plan for your future.


Colleen Ferrary is the founder and president of Small Business USA. Small Business USA (www.SmallBusinessUS.com) has successfully driven unparalleled results for business owners throughout the US. While maintaining their mission to keep their services affordable and leveraging a proven marketing program and teams of consultants, Small Business USA is changing the success rate of small businesses. For more information or to set up a free consultation or learn about our affordable marketing workshops, please email Info@SmallBusinessUS.com.

Comments (7)

Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, that is indeed a story of perserverance and determination.  He followed his dream and made it happen.

Jun 13, 2015 08:19 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Colleen. I's been a fan for a long time, but was not aware of his story, thank you for sharing it. You're right, it didn't matter to him what folks said, he was determined.

Jun 13, 2015 09:13 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a wonderful story to share.

Have an outstanding week.

Jun 13, 2015 10:55 PM
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

Great story.  I haven't heard it before.  I played in rock bands in high school and college and know many guitar players that own Les Paul guitars.

Jun 14, 2015 12:18 AM
Colleen Ferrary
Small Business USA www.SmallBusinessUS.com - New York, NY
Delivering Affordable Success-Critical Tools

Debbie Gartner , so true! I love how Thomas Edison stated most people fail right when they're close to success. Perseverence is key! 

Thank you Roy Kelley!!

Jun 14, 2015 07:32 AM
Colleen Ferrary
Small Business USA www.SmallBusinessUS.com - New York, NY
Delivering Affordable Success-Critical Tools

Joe Petrowsky  - I'm a fan as well. I just heard an old interview with Les Paul and to him him tell it gave me goosebumps!

Thanks Jerry Lucas!

Jun 14, 2015 07:33 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Perseverance and determination when faced with adversity is the true test of a great entrepreneur. 

Thanks for sharing this story!

Jul 07, 2015 10:31 PM