Stories of Famous People Who Have Failed

Learn How Failure Can Fuel Your Success in Business and Life

Winston Churchill once said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." These words are powerful. Failure is not fatal, unless you don't get up and you don't continue forward. I'm sure anyone who has had success has failed. They have been fueled by it. To help prove my point, here are stories of famous people who have failed. 

Stories of Famous People Who Have Failed

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln failed in business three times and failed seven times prior to becoming President of the United States.

Albert Einstein

He did not speak until he was four years old. His parents thought is was sub-normal. He was expelled from school and his teachers described him as mentally slow.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team for a lack of skill.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything.

Steve Jobs

At 30 years old he was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from Apple—the company he started. 

Oprah Winfrey

She had a rough and abusive childhood. She was fired from her job as a reporter because she was unfit for TV.

The Beatles

Rejected by Decca Recording studios. They said they didn't like their sound and that they had no future in show business.

Colonel Sanders (KFC Founder)

He couldn't sell his chicken. More than 1,000 restaurants rejected him.

Soichiro Honda (Honda Founder)

Soichiro Honda was passed over for an engineering job at Toyota and left unemployed.

JK Rowling (Author Harry Potter)

JK Rowling was unemployed, divorced, and raising a daughter on social security while writing the first Harry Potter novel. He novel was rejected by 12 publishing houses.

Walt Disney

Fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination and for having no original ideas.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates was a Harvard University dropout and his first business, Traf-O-Data, was a failure.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford was a failure a three businesses before final succeeding with Ford Motor company at age 53.

Stephen Curry (NBA Champion, 2 Time NBA MVP)

Was told in his 2009 draft report that he would never amount to anything in the NBA. They said his explosiveness and athleticism were below standard.

The famous people above have used failure to fuel their success. They became who they are because of the refiners fire of failure.

Theodore Roosevelt said this about failure, "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

Like those above, each of us will have failures in life and in business. So what's your next move when you fail or doubters doubt. The answer is simple. Move forward with your talents, following your passions. You'll find success. Your success will help others and by helping others you'll make the world better. Move forward with a heart of courage, determination, and strength—fueled by failure.