9 Successful People Who Failed at First ...


This world is full of successful people who failed at first and I don’t think our lives would be the same without them! If you’re going through a difficult time because things aren’t going the way you planned, remember that there are tons of famous and successful people who failed at first but still achieved their dreams and didn’t take no for an answer. If you’re in need of some inspiration or just want to read some inspirational stories about people who didn’t give up, keep reading!

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Walt Disney

Walt Disney is one of the most successful people who failed at first. I mean, who doesn’t recognize the name Walt Disney and all of his contributions to family entertainment?! He actually started off with a few failed businesses for lacking imagination and ended up filing for bankruptcy before he finally hit it big with his cartoons and the rest is history!,


Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is another household name who achieved success after going through some major setbacks. Winfrey had a very difficult childhood but persevered and got into reporting. After going through some obstacles in her career, which included getting fired from her job as a TV reporter, she’s the mega media mogul we all know and love today!


J.K. Rowling

Famed author J.K. Rowling is another inspirational person who failed before becoming famous. Rowling was a single mom, recently divorced and wrote Harry Potter on an old typewriter. After she wrote it she got rejected by twelve publishers before someone finally gave her the green light! Could you imagine what could’ve happened if she gave up?!


Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg has many titles behind his name as a director, screenwriter and producer, among other things. Before he was famous, Spielberg applied to the University of Southern California’s prestigious film school and got denied entry two times before he went to Cal State Long Beach. $2.7 billion dollars and many films later, he received an honorary degree from the very school that first rejected him!


Michael Jordan

It’s been almost ten years since Michael Jordan retired from the game but people still talk about his skill on the court and he has been hailed as the greatest basketball player of all time. All this fame and fortune didn’t come easily to Jordan though. He was actually cut from his high school basketball team but he never let it discourage him!


Marilyn Monroe

Tons of women idolized Marilyn Monroe and she’s still a huge Hollywood icon after her passing 50 years ago. Monroe is said to have had a rough childhood and later tried to become a model but was told by modeling agents that she should consider a career as a secretary instead. Could you imagine what could’ve been if she listened to these naysayers?!


R.H. Macy

If you’ve ever shopped at a Macy’s department store, you can thank R.H. Macy’s persistence and hard work for providing us with a great store! Macy is said to have a history of failed businesses but was unwilling to let his prior failures deter him and now he has one of the largest and most well-known department stores in the world!


Albert Einstein

Another person who failed before becoming famous is the infamous Albert Einstein! We all know Einstein as a genius but he wasn’t known for his intelligence in his early years. He didn’t speak until he was four years old and didn’t read until he was seven. His teachers labeled him as mentally handicapped but he later went on to win the Nobel Prize in physics!


Vera Wang

These days Vera Wang’s name is synonymous with gorgeous wedding dresses but she wasn’t always recognized for her talents. In 1968, she tried out and failed to make the cut for the U.S. Olympic figure- skating team. She later became an editor for Vogue magazine, only to be passed over for the editor-in-chief position. She later started designing wedding dresses and now has a billion dollar industry!

Many intelligent, creative and talented people who faced failures become successful. I think every single one of these people went through very challenging times but their refusal to give up only made them stronger and more determined. Whenever you’re faced with a challenge, keep these inspirational stories in mind and remember that failure doesn't mean that you are a failure! Who or what inspires you to keep trying?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

So glad JK Rowling is on here!!! I bet those other publishers feel pretty dumb now!

Katy Perry too

Sayra hill, now a model. Always told she was to ugly.

Steve jobs!!!

Elvis Presley also failed at first, he had a teacher who told him he had no aptitude for singing and was later declined a spot in a musical group because he "couldn't sing".

Thank you for this!!

This is such an inspiring article.

Very cool

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