Clarence Bethea (Twitter, LinkedIn) is the founder of Upsie — a company that sells extended warranties for consumer electronics. But Clarence isn’t a typical startup founder. He didn’t go to an ivy league university. He doesn’t live in Silicon Valley. And entrepreneurship wasn’t even on his radar as a kid. He had a rough childhood. And most of the time, his biggest concern was finding food, and surviving until the next day.
“If you had asked me when I was ten years old, what do you want to be when you grow up, my answer was always the same, and that was “alive”. I still remember my mom saying to me, you’re going to be dead or in prison by the time you’re 18. And, so for me, I had this running joke for a long time, I just want to make it to be an old man. I feel like that would be a success for me. And, even today I fight towards that.”
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, and from every kind of background. But they all have a few things in common: drive, determination, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to survive. Clarence would tell you it’s because of his background as a kid who struggled, that he has become the successful entrepreneur he is today. The will to survive is something he learned as a kid, and something he still leans on to as a business owner.
Most businesses fail. It takes constant effort to make it work. But Clarence’s journey is living proof of just how far you can get with persistence, and a willingness to keep going no matter what.