10 Famous People Who Failed Before They Made It

People who failed before they made it, Motivation, Famous People
Abraham Licoln
Sometimes it’s tough enough finding the motivation to follow your dreams, but when you get rejected, that’s a real kick in the teeth! Some people can just dust themselves down and try again, while others aren’t so strong and one single failure stops them dead in their tracks. I guess that the best thing to do, if you hit a setback, is learn from it and try again, but you’ve got to have thick skin to be able to do that. If you’ve lost all your motivation because of failure or a rejection, you may gain some inspiration from these ten famous people who failed at first, but didn’t quit.

1. Henry Ford failed twice
The man who brought us the mass produced car and formed what was to become on one of the most successful motor vehicle manufacturers in the world had two failed attempts at setting up automotive companies before he hit gold with the Henry Ford Company. He then went on, as we all know, to pioneer the modern production line and the whole concept of every family owning their own car. More than 17 million of the famous Ford Model T cars were sold alone.

People who failed before they made it, Motivation, Famous People
Walt Disney
2. Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination
The man who brought Mickey Mouse and friends to the world was a bit of a failure in his time too. Believe it or not, Walt Disney was sacked from his job as the editor of the Kansas City Star newspaper, because of his lack of imagination! His first attempts at business were pretty shabby too; his lack of money management skills bankrupted his first animation studio, which was called Laugh-O-Gram.

3. Steven Spielberg couldn’t get into film school
Steven Spielberg tried to get into the University of Southern California School of Theatre, Film and Television, three times, and was rejected on each occasion. When he did eventually get accepted into another school, he dropped out early so that he could become a director. That shows where a dream and a bit of motivation can take you.

4. Thomas Edison was “too stupid to learn anything”
The man who held a thousand patents and invented the movie camera, the phonograph and a practical eclectic light bulb, amongst many other things, was told by his teacher at school that he was “too stupid to learn anything”. He was also fired from his first two jobs for being unproductive.

People who failed before they made it, Motivation, Famous people
Sir Isaac Newton
5. Isaac Newton made a rubbish farmer
Sir Isaac Newton’s famous law of motion and gravitation lead to him being called the father of modern physics, but he couldn’t till the land to save his life. In what was more a stroke of luck for the mathematician, than a failure as such, Newton’s mother pulled the budding scientists out of school to run the family farm. His mind was on greater things, though, and he was useless around the farm, so his mother relented and let him go back to school, and eventually on to Cambridge University.
6. Stephen King’s first novel was rejected 30 times
Stephen king got so fed up with his first book, Carrie, being rejected that, after thirty rejection slips, he chucked the manuscript in the bin and gave up. Fortunately for him and for horror lovers everywhere, King’s wife, Tabitha, rescued the manuscript and convinced him to resubmit it.

People who failed before they made it, Motivation, Famous people
Vincent van Gogh
7. Vincent van Gogh only ever sold one painting in his lifetime
Talk about perseverance! Vincent van Gogh only ever managed to sell one of his paintings in his own lifetime, and that was to a friend for a very small amount of money. He struggled on with his painting, though, sometimes without enough money even for food. Van Gogh’s “Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers” sold for £24.75 million in 1987.

8. Michael Jordan was cut from his school basketball team
The man who most consider to be the best basketball player there has ever been, was dropped from his school basketball team. Despite his reputation, he has missed 26 the potential winning shot on 26 different occasions, but he says “. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

People who failed before they made it, Motivation, Famous people
Elvis Presley
8. Elvis was told to go and drive a truck
Even Elvis had to start somewhere and it wasn’t all plain sailing for him either. In 1954, the King of Rock and Roll was fired after just one performance at the Grand Ole Opry. The manager of the theatre told Elvis “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.” It wasn’t too much of a setback for Elvis, though, because just two weeks later he was signed up for a live radio show that launched his career.

10. Abraham Lincoln was busted from a captain to a private
One of History’s greatest leaders, Abraham Lincoln, had the dubious honour of going to war a captain, and coming back a private. That wasn’t his only taste of failure, though; the 16th President of the United States also had a series of business failures to his name before he entered politics. It just goes to show what you can achieve with the motivation and a lot of determination.

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