Why Jonathan Bush credits his success to failure and a little bit of luck

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It's not unique that leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs face failure and challenges before finding their stride toward success. Jonathan Bush, co-founder and CEO of athenahealth, is no different. In a recent LinkedIn post, Mr. Bush outlines the beginnings of athenahealth, which includes denial and opening the door to new opportunities.

Mr. Bush shares a conversation with William Donaldson, former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and former president and CEO of Aetna, among other leadership positions. Mr. Donaldson was also a friend of Mr. Bush's father. When Mr. Bush approached Mr. Donaldson to help him on his dream to build a national women's health birthing clinic, Mr. Donaldson said he wouldn't invest.

For one, Mr. Donaldson said his position came with certain restrictions that wouldn't make it possible to invest, but he also said he didn't think Mr. Bush's vision would work.

"In lieu of giving the financial support (let alone the overall confidence from him that I was so desperate for), he wanted to offer advice, if I'd be open to it," Mr. Bush wrote.

"He said, 'Johnny, while your business probably won't work, continue to go after it with all the passion you've shown me here today, that way when lady luck knocks with another way of using all of your work, you'll open the door,'" Mr. Bush wrote.

That knock came when Mr. Bush met a venture capitalist from Dallas who at first reiterated Mr. Donaldson's sentiment that the birthing clinic model wouldn't work out. But instead, that venture capitalist said he would give Mr. Bush $11 million to help develop the network system and website that helps the clinics operate.

"Lady luck had knocked," Mr. Bush wrote. A new opportunity had presented itself, one that Mr. Bush hadn't yet considered, but he ran with it.

"So, do what you love, and believe in, but be open to opportunity," Mr. Bush wrote. "When lady luck knocks, make sure you hear it and are prepared to answer the door."

More articles on athenahealth:

Athenahealth COO sells 4k shares of company stock 
athenahealth partners with affected Florida community to combat Zika virus 
Beacon taps Cerner, Athenahealth to make MIPS reimbursements & more - 8 RCM keynotes 

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