9 World Famous Successful People Who Failed and Overcame Adversity
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That is a word that most people dread. Everyone wants to be a success. We want to be liked and admired.
But that dreaded “F” word always pops up. Failure. This experience is strong enough to make you want to quit and start a new life.
Having an internet business is no different.
Success takes time and effort. Yes, many times you will fail before you are successful.
Ask just about anybody who has become successful if they have ever failed at any aspect of their journey. Chances are you will get quite a few stories of missteps and blunders.
The difference between long-term success and failure is the reaction to it.
People who, as Charlie Sheen says are “Winners,” overcome the obstacles.
Yes, failure happens.
- Live with it.
- Learn from it.
There is a need to change the view on failure. It is not something that needs to be avoided. It is a chance to learn something that does not work!
It is not always reaching the destination that defines the man (or woman), but the journey that is taken to get there. The biggest successes have gone through the biggest failures.
If you are struggling in your internet business…or even if you’re looking for small business opportunities… do not be afraid to try things that are “new” “different” and perhaps even fly in the face of conventional wisdom. The worst thing that can happen is failure… which is just a chance to learn and grow.
To illustrate the point, here is a list of 10 people who were all hugely successful in their fields.
All of them failed.
Not only did these people fail, but they failed on a massive scale. Yet history still views these successful people who failed as great success stories because they bounced back and succeeded in the end.
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Successful People Who Failed
1. Thomas Edison
Chances are you have heard of Edison in relation to overcoming failure before. He was a master of “trial and error”.
When asked about the many thousands of failures he had when trying to create the light-bulb he famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
But there is even more to it than that. As a child he was thought to be dumb and told that he would never be a success by many of his teachers, because his mind would often wander in class.
Good thing for us that the greatest inventor in history did not listen.
2. Elvis Presley
You do not need to be a Elvis fan to acknowledge the impact he has had on popular music. They don’t dub somebody the “King” of a form of music without a great amount of success.
But even for Elvis success came after failure. His first recordings went nowhere. After that he tried to join a vocal quartet and was told he, “couldn’t sing”. Finally, right before he became popular, he was told, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
3. Michael Jordan
It is hard to imagine it, but the Jordan, who is arguably the greatest basketball player ever, was once cut from his high school team.
As Jordan puts it, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
4. Vincent van Gogh
Van Gogh paintings these days sell for incredible amounts of money. Four of his paintings have sold for more than 100 million dollars.
Yet, Van Gogh is a cautionary tale. In his life, he was a failure.
He slowly began to build a “reputation” while he was alive, but he also had a ton of critics. He burned and destroyed many of his paintings out of frustration and was known to only sell ONE PAINTING.
He did not work to overcome his failure and killed himself. Soon after his death his work began to garner intense critical and financial success.
5. Stephen King
King was working as a teacher in rural Maine when he wrote his first novel, “Carrie”. King had some small success selling short stories previously, but nothing that anyone could create a “career” on. King submitted “Carrie” 30 times.
King was rejected 30 times. Before his 31st attempt he threw the manuscript out. His wife rescued it from the round file and asked him to try one more time. The rest…is history.
6. Fred Astaire
During his first screen test an RKO executive noted that Astaire, “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Balding. Can dance a little.”
Despite this initial rejection, Astaire persevered and ended up becoming one of the top actors, singers and dancers of his generation.
7. Abraham Lincoln
If Lincoln quit when the going got tough, the world might be a very different place. As a young man Lincoln entered military service in the Black Hawk war as a captain. Yet left as a private.
With very little formal education, Lincoln taught himself and became a lawyer and congressman.
His real rise to “national” prominence could also be viewed as a, “failure”. In 1858 Lincoln tried for a seat in the Illinois senate. This led to a series of hotly contested debates, the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Lincoln lost the senate election, but really impressed a lot of the “right” people, even with his loss. Two years later he ran for president and won. Thankfully he did not let lack of formal education, initial failure or setbacks rattle him.
8. JK Rowling
Rowling is the perfect example that success can come to anyone at any time. She is now doing the backstroke through a pool of Harry Potter money, but that was not always the case. Before Harry Potter became a success she was a divorced mother, living on welfare, going to school and trying to write a novel in her spare time.
Rowling herself said she was the “biggest failure I knew” and credits a lot of her success to her failure.
At a Harvard commencement speech Rowling had this to say, “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
9. Albert Einstein
If asked to name a genius, most people would come up with the name Albert Einstein. Yet even for Einstein genius did not come easy. He had speech difficulties as a child and was once even thought to be mentally handicapped.
As a teen he rebelled against his schools reliance on rote learning and failed. He tried to test into Zurich Polytechnic, but failed again (although he did very well in the math and physics section…as you might expect).
Einstein buckled down, received the requisite training and applied to Zurich Polytechnic again, and of course was accepted.
A few years later he had a PHD and was recognized as a leading theorist. A few years after that he had a Nobel prize for physics and began to be recognized as the genius of our modern era.
Don’t doubt yourself.
Obstacles are out there. They are meant to be overcome.
No adventure worth undertaking is easy. Everyone who achieves success faces obstacles. What makes (or breaks) a person is how they react to the obstacles and roadblocks in their life and what they do (or do not do) to overcome these setbacks.
Take a hint from theses quotes from successful people who have failed and do not let these obstacles hold you back.
Now let me know about YOUR missteps and failures.
What have you learned?
Perhaps some historic figure has inspired you the way that the successful people who have failed above have inspired me. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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