Success stories are great. But failures are inspiring. There’s so much to learn from how some of the most famous people in the world turned their failure to success. These are inspiring stories of people who dared to beat the odds. These are people who give you hope and tell you how there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Here’s a list of 15 people with their famous failures that turned into success.
1. Stephen King
King submitted the manuscript for the iconic thriller “Carrie” when he was 20. Guess how many times the script was rejected? 30! The publishers just didn’t think it was worth it and he finally decided to throw it away. It was only after his wife retrieved it that the thriller was resubmitted to the publishers.
What happened next was a classic tale of learning from business failure. Today, Stephen King’s books have sold more than 350 million copies.
Had his wife not asked him to finish the manuscript, it may never have seen the light of the day!
2. J.K Rowling
The leading author saw herself as a failure in the early years of her life. When she moved to Portugal to teach English, she married and gave birth to a beautiful daughter. The marriage lasted only a year. And there she was, with three chapters of Harry Potter in her pocket, she moved to Scotland.
For a significant part of her young years, she was broke and jobless. The bouts of depression came easy, and she lived on government welfare. The blow was hard when 12 significant publishers rejected the script of Harry Potter.
But that did not deter her spirit. And finally, in 1997, Bloomsbury accepted the script and the rest is history. There’s so much to learn from her failure stories.
3. Walt Disney
The man who nourished every childhood with his cartoons and creations has seen failure in life. Fired by his editor in 1919, the man who brought Mickey Mouse into our lives was told that he “lacked imagination”.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? Yes. That happened!
Finally, he acquired an animation studio called Laugh-O-Gram which failed Disney’s first go at business landed in bankruptcy when he bought an animation studio by the name of Laugh-O-Gram.
The company went south soon because he could not manage the finances with salaried employees, following which, he had to file for bankruptcy.
The failure did not break him. Instead, he went on to form Walt Disney Company. Today, the company needs no introduction!
4. Albert Einstein
The born genius was not precisely so. Born in 1879, Einstein did not speak until he was 4. This was followed by another failure at the age of 16 when he couldn’t make it through the entrance exam for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic school.
As a graduate, he performed poorly for the most part and his dad’s demise left him in a dire state.
Clueless, he took up a job as an insurance salesman. This was followed by an Assistant Examiner job for a Patent Office.
The setbacks and rejection did not stop him from experimentation and working on theories. And yes, he is the man who gave us some of the most groundbreaking discoveries, including the Theory of Relativity.
5. Bill Gates
The world-famous entrepreneur, among the top richest men in the world, Bill Gates is also among the successful people who failed. Born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington, he was born to a renowned lawyer, William H. Gates, Sr.
Choosing a different path than the family business, Gates, who an entrepreneur, started Traf-O-Data, a company with his childhood friend.
The company processed raw traffic data from traffic counters. They reported the data to traffic engineers in a clear format. The idea was to build a hardware device with an ability to read traffic data tapes and produce results. So, no manual work was required.
Unfortunately, the device failed on the big day.
Finally, he got enrolled in Harvard, only to drop out of the university. In the same year, he started Microsoft with partner Paul Allen. We know how successful that is!
6. Charlie Chaplin
The most significant silent star ever born lived rags to riches life. Born as Charlie Spencer Chaplin in 1889, his father abandoned him at 2. His early years were tumultuous.
Born in 1889 in London, England, Chaplin’s early years were tumultuous at best.
His mother did not have a stable income, forcing Chaplin to work at a workhouse. She mother was sent to a mental asylum when Chaplin was only 9. He lived a life of constant struggle but still participated in stage plays and practiced his comic talents. When he moved to California, he was turned away.
The rest, as they say, is history.
7. Curtis Jackson A.K.A. 50-Cent
Born in 1975, in some of New York’s roughest neighbourhoods, Curtis Jackson, known as 50-Cent, did not have it easy.
His mother, who was a drug dealer, passed away when he was 8. His father left. He lived with his grandma. Drugs came easy, and he was dealing with them since 12. It was only after multiple run-ins with the cops at 19 years of age that he was sent to boot camp for six months.
This was when Curtis became 50-Cent.
The biggest blow came when he was shot at nine times by an assailant. While recovering, he was dropped from the deal he had signed with Columbia records and was blacklisted for a song. He had to move to Canada where he taped 30 songs only to be encouraged by Eminem later.
In 2002 came the big break. Eminem and Dr Dre approached him to release his first studio album. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ earned him a rank amongst the best-selling rappers.
8. Elvis Presley
The ban who changed the sound of American music failed a few times before he found his foot.
Born in 1935, his family was forced to leave a shotgun house because of financial crisis. For the most part of his childhood, he lived in boarding homes. His first stint with music happened in1953, when he was 18, and recorded a demo disc for Sun Records.
One year later, the same story. In the same year, he failed an audition of vocalist, subsequently becoming a truck driver.
This was when Presley met Eddie Bond through a friend where he arranged recordings, but nothing came of it. Months later, Presley was all around in Arthur Crudup’s 1946 blues number, “That’s All Right.”
That changed everything for this genius.
9. Harrison Ford
The blockbuster actor was once told, “You’ll never make it in this business.”
Born in 1942 in Chicago, he started his stint with the entertainment industry at 22. He failed to make a mark and spent two years working odd jobs. He began with Dead Heat on a Merry-Go Round in 1964. It was his first uncredited role.
Obviously, didn’t work well. He struggled for nine years before he got his break in American Graffiti. Of course, we are glad he didn’t give up!
10. Steve Jobs
The mastermind behind iPhone, iPods and more, was not only given away by his parents but was also thrown out of his own company. The father of the technological revolution was dropped out of Oregon’s Reed College, quit his first job, worked an annual salary of $1. We all know who Steve Jobs was.
11. Oprah Winfrey
Born in rural Mississippi in the 1950s, she suffered abuse as a child and ran away from home at 13, raped and pregnant at 14. She fought the odds, moved to Tennessee to live with her father and worked part-time reading news for a local radio station. Her first boss told her that she is too emotional for television. Come 2011; she was the best-paid female in the entertainment industry. Probably the only black female billionaire at the time.
12. Charles Schultz
His artwork was rejected by School yearbook, and that’s when he decided to work on Peanuts. Who would have known the quirky combination of Snoopy and Charlie Brown will end up generating revenue of a whopping $1 billion annually.
13. The Beatles
They faced rejection several times. So much so, that they were told that guitar bands are sort of, passé. But did they give up? Not really. They finally got signed up. With their record label, they managed to sell more singles than any other group in U.K.
A college dropout, working jobs at a Tea Room and Dunkin Donuts, getting chucked out of there, who would have thought Madonna would come this far. She started her career with nude modelling gigs which earned her $7 for an hour. She struggled to become an artist. Today, but later had sales for over 300 million albums around the world.
15. Michael Jordan
In his own words, he has missed 9,000 shots in his career. He was devastated when he was kicked out of his school team in the sophomore year. Even as he claims to have lost 300 games, it has never deterred him from performing better. Today, he is among the most revered players of all times.
Success and failure are a part of life. These famous failures tell us how to nurture the failures and learn from them. Theirs is not a tale of glamour and success alone. These are stories of courage and hope and winning. And there are many people around the world who are learning from failure examples of these celebs!