29 Incredibly Successful People Who Failed at First

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A YOUNG JAY-Z COULDN’T GET ANY RECORD LABEL TO SIGN HIM.

Rejection can feel genuinely devastating.

But before you retreat into your tear-stained hovel to plot a new, anonymous life as a subsistence farmer in rural Australia (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), consider this: Some of the world’s most successful people have failed — sometimes more than once.

We’ve put together a list of indisputably successes, from movie stars to scientists, who experienced massive failure before they found fame and fortune.

Weaker people might have given up. Instead, these folks remained focused on their goals.

Scroll on to see the underdogs who went on to change the world.

 

WALT DISNEY WAS FIRED FROM THE KANSAS CITY STAR BECAUSE HIS EDITOR FELT HE ‘LACKED IMAGINATION AND HAD NO GOOD IDEAS.’

Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie ‘Snow White.’ He went onto become the guy who redefined American childhood.

 

OPRAH WINFREY WAS PUBLICLY FIRED FROM HER FIRST TELEVISION JOB AS AN ANCHOR IN BALTIMORE FOR GETTING ‘TOO EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN HER STORIES.’

But Winfrey rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows before amassing a media empire. Today she is worth a cool $US3 billion, according to Forbes.

 

STEVEN SPIELBERG WAS REJECTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS MULTIPLE TIMES.

 

R.H. MACY HAD A SERIES OF FAILED RETAIL VENTURES THROUGHOUT HIS EARLY CAREER.

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SOICHIRO HONDA’S UNIQUE VISION GOT HIM OSTRACIZED BY THE JAPANESE BUSINESS COMMUNITY.

 

COLONEL HARLAND DAVID SANDERS WAS FIRED FROM DOZENS OF JOBS BEFORE FOUNDING A FRIED CHICKEN EMPIRE.

 

AFTER HAVING TROUBLE ADJUSTING TO THE CULTURE AND HIS CLASSES, DICK CHENEY DROPPED OUT OF YALE — AND THEN RETURNED, ONLY TO DROP OUT FOR GOOD.

 

SIR ISAAC NEWTON’S MOTHER PULLED HIM OUT OF SCHOOL AS A BOY SO THAT HE COULD RUN THE FAMILY FARM. HE FAILED MISERABLY.

 

VERA WANG FAILED TO MAKE THE 1968 US OLYMPIC FIGURE-SKATING TEAM. THEN SHE BECAME AN EDITOR AT VOGUE, BUT WAS PASSED OVER FOR THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF POSITION.

 

THOMAS EDISON’S TEACHERS TOLD HIM HE WAS ‘TOO STUPID TO LEARN ANYTHING.’

 

WHEN SIDNEY POITIER FIRST AUDITIONED FOR THE AMERICAN NEGRO THEATRE, HE FLUBBED HIS LINES AND SPOKE IN A HEAVY CARIBBEAN ACCENT, WHICH MADE THE DIRECTOR ANGRILY TELL HIM TO STOP WASTING HIS TIME AND GO GET A JOB AS A DISHWASHER.

 

AS A CHILD, ALBERT EINSTEIN HAD SOME DIFFICULTY COMMUNICATING AND LEARNING IN A TRADITIONAL MANNER.

 

IN ONE OF FRED ASTAIRE’S FIRST SCREEN TESTS, AN EXECUTIVE WROTE: ‘CAN’T SING. CAN’T ACT. SLIGHTLY BALDING. CAN DANCE A LITTLE.’

 

J.K. ROWLING WAS A SINGLE MUM LIVING OFF WELFARE WHEN SHE BEGAN WRITING THE FIRST ‘HARRY POTTER’ NOVEL.

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CHARLES DARWIN WAS CONSIDERED AN AVERAGE STUDENT. HE GAVE UP ON A CAREER IN MEDICINE AND WAS GOING TO SCHOOL TO BECOME A PARSON.

 

VINCENT VAN GOGH SOLD ONLY ONE PAINTING, ‘THE RED VINEYARD,’ IN HIS LIFE, AND THE SALE WAS JUST MONTHS BEFORE HIS DEATH.

 

AFTER HARRISON FORD’S FIRST SMALL MOVIE ROLE, AN EXECUTIVE TOOK HIM INTO HIS OFFICE AND TOLD HIM HE’D NEVER SUCCEED IN THE MOVIE BUSINESS.

 

THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL, BETTER KNOWN AS DR. SEUSS, HAD HIS FIRST BOOK REJECTED BY 27 DIFFERENT PUBLISHERS.

 

LUCILLE BALL APPEARED IN SO MANY SECOND-TIER FILMS AT THE START OF HER CAREER THAT SHE BECAME KNOWN AS ‘THE QUEEN OF B MOVIES.’

 

WINSTON CHURCHILL WAS ESTRANGED FROM HIS POLITICAL PARTY OVER IDEOLOGICAL DISAGREEMENTS DURING THE ‘WILDERNESS YEARS’ OF 1929 TO 1939.

 

A YOUNG HENRY FORD RUINED HIS REPUTATION WITH A COUPLE OF FAILED AUTOMOBILE BUSINESSES.

 

WHILE DEVELOPING HIS VACUUM, SIR JAMES DYSON WENT THROUGH 5,126 FAILED PROTOTYPES AND HIS SAVINGS OVER 15 YEARS.

 

STEPHEN KING GREW SO FRUSTRATED OVER HIS ATTEMPT TO WRITE THE NOVEL ‘CARRIE’ THAT HE THREW AWAY THE ENTIRE EARLY DRAFT.

 

NPR ICON TERRY GROSS WAS FIRED FROM HER FIRST TEACHING JOB AFTER APPROXIMATELY SIX WEEKS.

 

CAREY MULLIGAN WAS REJECTED FROM EVERY SINGLE DRAMA SCHOOL SHE APPLIED TO. AN AUDITOR AT DRAMA CENTER LONDON TOLD HER TO BE A ‘CHILDREN’S TV SHOW PRESENTER’ INSTEAD.

 

SAUL BELLOW’S COLLEGE ENGLISH PROFESSOR, THE FAMED NORMAN MACLEAN, SAID HE SHOWED NO SIGNS OF LITERARY GREATNESS AND ULTIMATELY DISMISSED HIM AS ‘A DUD.’

 

LADY GAGA GOT DROPPED BY HER RECORD LABEL, ISLAND DEF JAM, AFTER 3 MONTHS. UPON RECEIVING THE NEWS, SHE ‘CRIED SO HARD SHE COULDN’T TALK.’

 

ANG LEE FAILED TAIWAN’S COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS — TWICE. THEN HE TRIED TO GO TO ACTING SCHOOL, BUT HIS ENGLISH WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH.

 

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