Inspiration

6 Stories of Super Successes Who Overcame Failure

Failure is not the alternative to success. It’s something to be
avoided, but it’s also only a temporary setback on a bigger, more
significant course. Everybody encounters failure at one point or another. What truly matters is how you react to and learn from that failure.
Take
the stories of these six entrepreneurs. Their stories end in massive
success, but all of them are rooted in failure. They’re perfect examples
of why failure should never stop you from following your vision.

1. Arianna Huffington got rejected by 36 publishers.

It’s
hard to believe that one of the most recognizable names in online
publications was once rejected by three dozen major publishers.
Huffington’s second book, which she tried to publish long before she
created the now ubiquitously recognizable Huffington Post empire, was
rejected 36 times before it was eventually accepted for publication.

Even
Huffington Post itself wasn’t a success right away. In fact, when it
launched, there were dozens of highly negative reviews about its quality
and its potential. Obviously, Huffington overcame those initial bouts
of failure and has cemented her name as one of the most successful
outlets on the web.

2. Bill Gates watched his first company crumble.

Bill
Gates is now one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, but he didn’t
earn his fortune in a straight line to success. Gates entered the
entrepreneurial scene with a company called Traf-O-Data, which aimed to
process and analyze the data from traffic tapes (think of it like an
early version of big data).
He tried to sell the idea alongside
his business partner, Paul Allen, but the product barely even worked. It
was a complete disaster. However, the failure did not hold Gates back
from exploring new opportunities, and a few years later, he created his
first Microsoft product, and forged a new path to success.

3. George Steinbrenner bankrupted a team.

Before
Steinbrenner made a name for himself when he acquired ownership of the
New York Yankees, he owned a small basketball team called the Cleveland
Pipers back in 1960. By 1962, as a result of Steinbrenner’s direction,
the entire franchise went bankrupt.
That stretch of failure seemed
to follow Steinbrenner when he took over the Yankees in the 1970s, as
the team struggled with a number of setbacks and losses throughout the
1980s and 1990s. However, despite public fear and criticism of
Steinbrenner’s controversial decisions, eventually he led the team to an
amazing comeback, with six World Series entries between 1996 and 2003,
and a record as one of the most profitable teams in Major League
Baseball.

4. Walt Disney was told he lacked creativity.

One
of the most creative geniuses of the 20th century was once fired from a
newspaper because he was told he lacked creativity. Trying to
persevere, Disney formed his first animation company, which was called
Laugh-O-Gram Films. He raised $15,000 for the company but eventually was
forced to close Laugh-O-Gram, following the close of an important
distributor partner.
Desperate and out of money, Disney found his
way to Hollywood and faced even more criticism and failure until
finally, his first few classic films started to skyrocket in popularity.

5. Steve Jobs was booted from his own company.

Steve
Jobs is an impressive entrepreneur because of his boundless
innovations, but also because of his emphatic comeback from an almost
irrecoverable failure. Jobs found success in his 20s when Apple became a
massive empire, but when he was 30, Apple’s board of directors decided
to fire him.
Undaunted by the failure, Jobs founded a new company,
NeXT, which was eventually acquired by Apple. Once back at Apple, Jobs
proved his capacity for greatness by reinventing the company’s image and
taking the Apple brand to new heights.

6. Milton Hershey started three candy companies before Hershey’s.

Everyone
knows Hershey’s chocolate, but when Milton Hershey first started his
candy production career, he was a nobody. After being fired from an
apprenticeship with a printer, Hershey started three separate
candy-related ventures, and was forced to watch all of them fail.
In
one last attempt, Hershey founded the Lancaster Caramel Company, and
started seeing enormous results. Believing in his vision for milk
chocolate for the masses, he eventually founded the Hershey Company and
became one of the most well-known names in the industry.
Draw
inspiration from these stories the next time you experience failure, no
matter the scale. In the moment, some failure might seem like the end of
the road, but remember, there are countless successful men and women in
the world today who are only enjoying success because they decided to
push past the inevitable bleakness of failure.
Learn from your mistakes, reflect and accept the failure, but revisit your passion and keep pursuing your goals no matter what.

By J.D

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Tony Orji

Dr. Tony Orji is the founder and owner of Success Tonics Blog. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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