There’s no success without failure: the famous faces that failed

When it comes to reaching for our dreams, it can be hard to keep going – especially when we keep failing.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill.

If you don’t give up and keep trying, you try with more determination, you work harder than before and eventually you reap the rewards. Here are ten people that failed but didn’t give and you might just recognise a few of them.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah didn’t have the best of starts to life. Living with her mother, she was abused by family members from the age of 9 and gave birth to a son at 14 who died shortly after he was born. At 14 she was sent away to live with her father, who helped her focus on her school work. What Oprah ended up with was a full scholarship. After she graduated she was hired to work for a local television station, but was fired for being “unfit for television.” In 1983 she was hired by a low-rated talk show, AM Chicago. Oprah turned this show into the lowest to one of the highest rated shows. It was renamed and syndicated as The Oprah Winfrey Show.

J K Rowling

Before J K Rowling finished Harry Potter, she thought of herself as having failed. In 1992 she had moved to Portugal to teach English, met a man, got married and had a daughter. In 1993 her marriage was over and she was getting divorced. She left Portugal to move to Scotland, where she could be closer to her sister. She didn’t have a job or any money and suffered from depression. In 1995 all the major publishers had rejected Harry Potter. Bloomsbury books bought it with a £1,500 advance. In 1997 only 1,000 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were sold, 500 copies to libraries. Today, J K Rowling has sold over 400 million copies of her books.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is known as one of the wealthiest men in the world and the force behind Microsoft, but his first business failed. Traf-O-Data was a business that was going to create reports for roadway engineers from raw data, but it failed. But this didn’t stop him. He went on to set Microsoft with Paul Allen (one of his partners in Traf-O-Data), revolutionising personal computing.

Walt Disney

Disney as a brand is an unstoppable power house, whether it is in theme parks, the animated motion pictures or the subsidiaries the company now owns, but Walt Disney had more than a few stumbling blocks in his path.

Disney was fired for lacking imagination by the Kansas City Star in 1919. His first business ended in bankruptcy, he was down, but he was not out. He moved to Hollywood, California, after filing for bankruptcy and started what is now the Walt Disney Corporation.

Sir James Dyson

A vacuum that doesn’t lose suction revolutionised cleaning for many, but did you know it took Dyson 5,126 failures before he found success? When Dyson finally had designed a working cyclonic vacuum, no retailer in the UK wanted to sell it. Dyson took his creation to Japan in 1983 and had some success, but still, manufacturers didn’t want to make it. Dyson’s response? He formed his own company in 1993 and today is worth more than £3 billion.

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