Success takes a lot of determination. To be successful in any walk of life, you must learn to stand up after failing, no matter how many times you fail.
Rejection and failure can be very devastating and demoralising, but it’s important to know that it isn’t the end of the world; stand up and put in a fight, and yet another fight — success might come smiling after.
Below is a list of highly successful people who failed at certain points in their lives:
1. OPRAH WINFREY
She’s revered all over the world and known as one of the most successful TV personalities ever, but things haven’t been all rosy for the world famous Oprah Winfrey. While growing up, she was continually molested by her uncle, cousin and family friend; at the age of 14, she even gave birth to a baby that later died.
The queen of talk show was also publicly fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for being ‘’too emotionally invested in her stories’’. But she never gave up, and is rated as one of the richest women in the world, with assets worth over $3billion.
While reflecting on her experiences during a Harvard commencement speech, she said: “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”
2. LADY GAGA
Now Lady Gaga is known as a pop icon and a six-time Grammy Awards winner, and is even worth a whopping $59million according to Forbes. But it hasn’t always been rosy for the pop icon, she once got dropped by her record label, Island Def Jam just after three months, but this didn’t deter her.
3. THOMAS EDISON
Thomas Edison is a perfect example of someone who didn’t give in to what people say, and one who didn’t let failure get the better of him. Thomas was even told by his teachers that he was ‘’too stupid to learn anything’’. But Thomas Edison never gave up even after failing a thousand times. Till this day, he’s a celebrated figure for being the first to create light bulb. When asked about his failures, he gave a famous quote: “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 1,000 ways that wouldn’t work”.
4. ALBERT EINSTEIN
Albert Einstein had problems communicating as a child until he was four. He couldn’t read until he was seven. But that same person is a father of physics. He went on to win a Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of the photoelectric effect and he also altered the world’s approach to physics.
Sean Carter, popularly known as Jay-Z is an influential rapper in the music industry and has continually remained one of the top 3 richest rappers for years now. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the rapper who grew up in the projects in Brooklyn. He couldn’t sell his first CD album and no record label agreed to sign him. The same Jay-Z from the projects in Brooklyn now has 21 Grammy Awards to his name, is the CEO of Roc-A-Fella records and is estimated by Forbes as being worth $550million, and don’t forget that he’s married to Beyoncé.
6. HENRY FORD
He’s a renowned name in the automobile industry, but he also had his own shortcomings before attaining success. He failed in his first businesses and also got broke 5 times before creating Ford Motors.
7. MICHAEL JORDAN
One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan had his own fair share of failures before attaining such great heights as a legendary basketball player. While in high school, the renowned basketball player was unable to make the team squad, but at the end of his basketball career he bagged six championship titles and five MVPs, listing his name in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
He gave a famous quote: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I’ve been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I failed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
8. BILL GATES
Year after year, Bill Gates still makes the cut as one of the richest men in the world, and has held the number one spot countless times. But even the world’s richest Bill Gates didn’t have instant success, he also failed. Gates failed terribly in his first business; his company Traf-O-Data failed woefully, and when he tried selling the device (a device which could read traffic tapes and process the data) with his partner, Paul Allen, it couldn’t even work.
He later created Microsoft, and the rest is history.
9. CHARLES DARWIN
You could call Charles Darwin a father of Biology and a renowned scientist, but he failed in his early days in school, and was labelled ordinary by his teachers and even his father. According to him; “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” He even abandoned a career in medicine, but that didn’t stop him from being a great scientist.
10. VINCENT VAN GOGH
He has one of the most expensive paintings in the world today. But it was never rosy for this determined painter. He sold only one painting his lifetime, The Red Vineyard, just months before his death. Vincent Van Gogh still went on to make 900 paintings when he was alive. His works weren’t appreciated then, but he’s currently idolized in the art world, and a painting of his would cost you from $100million upwards to purchase.
11. STEVEN SPIELBERG
You can’t mention topmost movie directors without mentioning the iconic Steven Spielberg. He wasn’t successful from the onset; he was rejected twice by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts twice. Success came smiling for Steven Spielberg after his determination to succeed. In 1994, the same university awarded him an honorary degree and in 1996, he became a trustee of the university. He has raked in about $9billion dollars from his movies and has won the Academy Awards thrice.
12. ABRAHAM LINCOLN
He’s known as one of the greatest presidents America has ever had, but his rise to the number one man in White House was never a joyous one. He failed while in the military, he failed in business and also failed many times while contesting for public office, but he still went on to become a president and a great one at that.
You might be failing now, but don’t let it deter you from the bigger picture. According to Oprah Winfrey: “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”