Empowerment Inspiration

Failure Comes Before Success: 7 Famous Failures

“Failure is nothing more than a chance to revise your strategy.”

The journey to achieving your dreams is not an easy road and there will be things that will attempt to stop you from reaching your destination. What will you do when your dream crosses the intersection of failure? Will you allow it to stop you or will you keep going? Here are 10 people that prove failure comes before success. You just have to allow every failure to be the fuel that drives you in the direction of your destiny!

#1 Oprah Winfrey

In her early 20s, Oprah Winfrey was working as a news anchor in Baltimore at WJZ-TV. She was told that she was “unfit for television news” and gets too “emotionally invested” in the stories that she reported on. After 4,562 episodes of her own talk show, 46 Daytime Emmy Awards, and serving as Chairman and CEO of her own television network and production company, it is safe to say that her tendency to get emotionally invested in her stories paid off greatly. Today, Oprah is worth 3 billion dollars and is steadily succeeding in any new endeavors she takes on.

#2 Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

Dr. Seuss’ first book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was rejected by 27 publishers before one publisher said “yes.” After the 27th rejection, Dr. Seuss was discouraged on his way home to burn the manuscript of the book when he bumped into the editor of Vanguard Press who bought the book from him the next day.

#3 Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier was rejected by the American Negro Theater for his accent and difficulty reading. After his first audition, he was told “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Poitier did not let the rejection stop him and went on to become the first black actor to win an Oscar.

#4 Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan let the world know how his greatest mishaps contributed to his accomplishments. Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Now, Jordan is known for being the greatest basketball player to ever grace the NBA with 6,672 rebounds, 5,633 assists, and 32,292 points.

#5 Bill Gates

Before there was Microsoft, Bill Gates had a product called Traf-O-Data, which was a device that read and processed traffic tapes to create reports for traffic engineers. The company had “virtually no customers” and ended up plummeting soon after startup. Traf-O-Data’s failure was instrumental in Gates’ formation of Microsoft, which is projected to be worth $1 trillion dollars by 2020. Today, Gates’ net worth is $97.8 billion dollars and he is known for being one of the most successful entrepreneurs.

#6 Walt Disney

Walt Disney was working at the Kansas City Star in 1919 when he was fired for lacking imagination and having no good ideas. He and his brother, Roy Disney, went on to establish Walt Disney Productions. Almost 100 years later, Walt is known for having one of the greatest imaginations and his company is a prominent media corporation with a net worth of $113.1 billion.

#7 J.K. Rowling

Before being a renown author, J.K. Rowling was a secretary in London at Amnesty International. She would secretly write stories on her work computer and brainstorm ideas about a character named Harry Potter, which contributed to her being termination. She used her severance package to support her while she focused on putting her ideas about Harry Potter in a book. Seven books, 1,084,170 words, and 6,095 pages later, J.K. Rowling’s is making much more than her severance check with a net worth of 1 billion dollars.

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