7 Famous Failures That Will Inspire You

According to Walt Disney, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” If you’ve ever failed (or you feel like you’re failing right now), it means you’re in good company.  Most, if not all, successful people have failed (often many times), before they reached their dreams.

All of us fail. It’s perfectly normal and it teaches us what NOT to do. Sometimes, failure is the only way to get to the next great idea. So don’t judge failure by its cover, and remember the words of Napoleon Hill (author of Think and Grow Rich) who said: “Opportunity often comes in disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” 

Be more fearless, realistic, and resilient. Stop thinking about short-term failures and stay focused on the long-term journey of success. In other words, think like Donald Trump who says: “I refused to give in to the negative circumstances and I never lost faith in myself. Defeat is not in my vocabulary.

Don’t take things personally when you have challenges. Keep taking forward action no matter what is going on. Keep creating your big vision, the business, and the lifestyle of which you dream. Be bold and daring, like Winston Churchill who said: ”Refuse to give up or give in.”

Maybe the biggest lesson that we all need to learn on this topic is that failure is not the opposite of success; it is part of journey on the road to success. As Michael Jordan says: “I’ve failed over and over again… that is why I succeeded.”

Here are seven famous failures, who each found success, to inspire you on your journey:

Sir Richard Branson - Did you know that he’s lost more on failed ventures than most people earn in their entire lives (yet he is still one of the wealthiest people in the world). In his own words: ”You fail if you don’t try. If you try and you fail, yes, you'll have a few articles saying you've failed at something.  But if you look at the history of American entrepreneurs, one thing I do know about them: An awful lot of them have tried and failed in the past and gone on to great things." 

Mary Kay Ash - Did you know that the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics (with more than 1.7 million consultants worldwide and more than 2.2 billion in sales each year) was forced to give up on her dream of going to college, for financial reasons? In her own words: “Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is’ failure turned inside out.”

Winston Churchill – Did you know that he failed 6th grade and then lost every election of public office, until he won and became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War? In his own words: “Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense”

Donald Trump - Did you know that he was $1 billion in debt at one point in the early 1990’s, and that The Guinness Book of Records lists him as having the biggest financial turnaround in history? In his own words: “I refused to give in to the negative circumstances and I never lost faith in myself. Defeat is not in my vocabulary.”

Michael Jordan - Did you know that this former professional basketball player, known around the world as they undisputed greatest basketball player of all time was cut from his high school basketball team? In his own words: “I’ve failed over and over again in life. That is why I succeeded.”

J.K. Rowling – Did you know that this author of the Harry Potter phenomenon (which has sold more than 400 million copies), was rejected by twelve publishers? In her own words: “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable.”

Walt Disney - Did you know that this founder of Walt Disney Productions (with current annual revenues of approximately $35 billion) was once fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas”? In his own words: “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Never quit, don't give up and believe in the power of your dreams, because if you don't no one else will...