My Google search on famous people who failed resulted in Fifty Famously Successful People Who Failed at First. You’ve probably seen the list, but here are a few. Interestingly, there are seven women in this list of fifty famous people. So let’s start with them.
Oprah Winfrey: Oprah had an abusive childhood and when she was fired from a television reporter position, she was told she was “unfit for tv.” She is now one of the richest and most successful women in the world.
Lucille Ball: Lucy’s drama instructors didn’t think she could make it and early in her career she was considered a failed actress and B movie star. During her life she had thirteen Emmy nominations and earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors.
Marilyn Monroe: Although brief, Marilyn did have a time of great success. She was once told that by an agent that she should consider being a secretary. She is still recognized today.
J. K. Rowling: After experiencing depression and depending on welfare as a single mother, she is now a multimillionaire.
Now for the gentleman.
Henry Ford: After five business failures, Henry finally started Ford Motor Company.
Sidney Poitier: After his first audition, Sidney was told to get a job as a dishwasher. He became one of the most respected actors in the business and won an Academy Award.
Abraham Lincoln: As a young man he went to war as a captain and returned as a private. The rest is history.
Albert Einstein: Albert didn’t speak until he was four and didn’t read until he was seven. He was expelled from school and refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. He is now recognized as a genius.
What are the “lessons learned” from these powerful stories?
1. Be persistent and believe in yourself.
2. Be bold and pursue your dreams.
3. Learn from every failure, and make adjustments.
If you are not failing enough – get busy. Your success depends on you.