In April of 1906, Powel Crosley, Jr. failed out of engineering school.Crosley Book

He used $10,000 in investment money loaned to him by his father and his father’s friends, and started The Marathon Motor Car Company. One year later, Powel’s new company became a casualty in the Panic of 1907. The stock market crashed and the investment money was gone.

Powel went from president of his own company to cleaning cars in another man’s dealership. Even if he had to start back at the bottom, Powel was determined to work in an environment where he could be a part of the growing auto industry.

In 1911, Powel went to every man he knew in the car industry, hoping to secure a spot in the first ever Indianapolis 500. With no one willing to back him, Powel watched the race from the stands.

When Powel first met his wife Gwendolyn, he promised her she would one day have a Rolls Royce and a fur coat. With an infant son to support and more than a few failures so far, 25 year old Powel Crosley was under pressure to make something happen.

Still, he refused to abandon the ideas he’d been working on since he was a child.

It didn’t get easier, but Powel’s dogged perseverance kept him pushing through disappointments right up to his eventual success.

Even after he established a business empire, Powel worked just as hard as he had when he was 20.

After so many years of starting at the bottom, he knew what it took to stay at the top.