Harland David Sanders: Grandfather KFC who has failed repeatedly

Among the well-known brands we are familiar with, there are not many brands that regard their avatars as trademarks. One of them is extremely successful. The brand is KFC. The KFC grandfather used in the trademark is called Harland David Sanders.

The white beard and the smiling smile, how did the old man create KFC? One of the most famous legends is that Sanders has experienced 1009 failures in his life. Of course, this number is open to question, but such legends are not unfounded, and Sanders’ life is not very smooth.


Sanders was born in 1890. At the age of 5, his father suddenly died and left no property. This is equivalent to the first trial that God gave him. The 5-year-old child is expected to take care of the younger brother and sister and take on housework.

Then, at the age of 12, his mother remarried, but his stepfather was very strict with Sanders and often abused his wife when he was not at home. This is the second hardship that Sanders experienced.

When he was 18, he got married. As a result, the two only loved him for a few months, and his wife left him. When he left, he sold all the properties of Sanders. Encountering “scam marriage” is probably the third tribulence of Sanders.

At the age of 20, Sanders began experimenting with various jobs, such as being an electrician, driving a ferry, and later becoming a railroad worker. Although he has done a variety of careers, his work is not as smooth. When the insurance company was doing sales work, Sanders and his boss fell out of school because of the bonus problem. When he was a lawyer, he broke hands with the client in court and was unemployed.

In addition to bad luck, Sanders’s family experience and marital experience are also likely to make his temper become violent, so he often misses his words and loses his job. Of course, his luck is still very poor. When he was a tire salesman, Sanders drove through a bridge. The rope of the bridge was broken. He even drove the car into the river and was seriously injured. Lost my job.

These happened in the 1920s, when the US economy was in very good shape, and people around Sanders had made a fortune, only he always failed. Who is in this environment will not be discouraged?

Since the age of 5, Sanders has been very hard, and he has never shown any potential. It seems that his life should be spent on various kinds of work.

Fortunately, Sanders never felt that his experience was miserable and he always smiled at life. To be a lawyer, he relies on self-study. In those days, a person who was over 30 years old, had no academic qualifications, had no legal experience, and was able to start learning again. This spirit is very valuable. The source of this pursuit lies in Sanders’ attitude towards the work itself: he does not think that losing work is a failure. On the contrary, he once said that work itself is an act of extending life. Therefore, Sanders started his business at the age of 40. He sold the first franchise at the age of 62 and became famous after he sold the company at the age of 75. This age span requires a lot of tenacity and perseverance.


Sanders went south and did so many jobs, and finally worked as an operator at the fuel service station in Kentucky. In order to increase his income, he plans to do a sideline business. At this time, his previous professional experience came in handy. He began to have his own ideas. He felt that there were so many vehicles and pedestrians on the road, and opening a snack bar would definitely make money.

After judging the geographical advantage, Sanders began to consider what to sell. He made some daily meals in the small kitchen of the gas station. In addition to the ordinary meals, he also launched his own special food, which is the prototype of the famous KFC fried chicken. He painstakingly studied the spices of 11 kinds of fried chicken, and he is not limited to making fried chicken. He also wants to let customers eat delicious fried chicken as soon as possible. By 1929, he finally bought a pressure cooker, and by improving the practice of fried chicken, it took only 8 minutes to make fried chicken. Due to its delicious taste and unique taste, the fried chicken made by Sanders was quickly welcomed by the guests. Some people did not even go to the gas station to refuel, but to eat fried chicken.

More and more customers, gas stations can not afford so many passengers, Sanders opened another restaurant across the road, specializing in his fried chicken. Sanders did not make much effort to improve the efficiency of the restaurant and the taste of the fried chicken. His restaurant soon became a large restaurant with 142 seats and a parking lot. The total assets reached 16.4 at that time. Ten thousand U.S. dollars.

In 1935, the Governor of Kentucky awarded him the honorary title of Colonel Sanders in recognition of his contribution to his hometown. Therefore, many people later used to call him Sander, the grandfather of KFC, and he used to call him Colonel Sanders.

Unfortunately, when Sanders was 60 years old, the restaurant suddenly had a big fire. Because of this fire, the fried chicken restaurant in the prime location was moved to a remote location, and the business was suddenly cleared. Saunders began to indebted, he had to sell the restaurant’s equipment to pay off the debt, then he was too poor to rely on the monthly social assistance of $ 105 to live.


At the age of 66, Sanders didn’t give up. At this time, Sanders had a more ambitious goal. He began to integrate resources. Although he was so poor, he did not blame anyone, nor blamed the society. Instead, he asked himself a sentence: “In the end, I am right. What kind of contribution can people make? What can I give back?”

So, he began to think about what he has? Which aspect has an advantage, the first answer is: “I have a recipe for fried chicken that everyone would like. I don’t know if the restaurant is going to be needed. Is it worthwhile to do this?” He thought deeply: “If I not only sell this recipe for fried chicken, but also teach them how to blow it up. What happens? If the business of the restaurant is promoted, what about it?”

He decided to sell the ownership of the fried chicken flavor formula, that is, he sold the fried chicken’s spice recipe to the restaurant, which sold a piece of fried chicken for a 4% royalty fee. From selling fried chicken to selling patents, more is a kind of ideological change and cross-border. It is this change in thinking that has made KFC. Sanders, who is always in bad luck, still suffered numerous setbacks in the process of promoting the spice formula. The legendary 1009 rejections were encountered at this time.

Fortunately, he did not give up, and eventually met a customer who was willing to pay for his patent, and KFC was officially founded. In the 10 years since the birth of KFC, more than 600 branches have been opened around the world. The scale is so large that even Sanders himself did not think of it.

Sanders is working tirelessly. His granddaughter once described him: “He never gives up and never gives up on anything.” His daughter also said that his father had “great motivation to overcome all the adversity in life.”

Sanders lived to the age of 90. He said: “Working, life extension is better than anything.” It is because he can’t afford to work hard, Sanders has achieved such a huge KFC career today, and his avatar has become A brand symbol that is well known to billions of people.