Famous People Who Failed at Their First Attempt at Career Success
As a career success person, I always advise my clients to stick with it – to demonstrate their commitment to their career success to themselves and others by shaking off setbacks and moving forward. This morning, I received an email from Katina Solomon at online collage org, telling me about a new blog post she had just done and asking me to pass it on to my readers.
I loved this post. It tells the stories of “Famously Successful People Who Failed at First.” These people come from all walks of life. But they shared one characteristic in common – the commitment to their own career success. I am very happy to repost it here.
Famously Successful People. Who Failed at First
Not everyone who’s on top today got there with success after success. More often than not, those who history best remembers were faced with numerous obstacles that forced them to work harder and show more determination than others. Next time you’re feeling down about your failures in college or in a career, keep these fifty famous people in mind and remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first step towards success.
These business men and the companies they founded are today known around the world, but as these stories show, their beginnings weren’t always smooth
- Bill Gates:- Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.
- H. Macy:– Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.
- W. Woolworth:– Some may not know this name today, but Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores in the U.S. Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.
- . Robert Goddard:– Goddard today is hailed for his research and experimentation with liquid-fueled rockets, but during his lifetime his ideas were often rejected and mocked by his scientific peers who thought they were outrageous and impossible. Today rockets and space travel don’t seem far-fetched at all, due largely in part to the work of this scientist who worked against the feelings of the time.
- Thomas Edison:– In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.
- Abraham Lincoln:– While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln’s life wasn’t so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed business and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office
- Sidney Poitier:– After his first audition, Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Poitier vowed to show him that he could make it, going on to win an Oscar and become one of the most well-regarded actors in the business
- Stan Smith:– This tennis player was rejected from even being a lowly ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because event organizers felt he was too clumsy and uncoordinated. Smith went on to prove them wrong, showcasing his not-so-clumsy skills by winning Wimbledon, U. S. Open and eight Davis Cups.
- Tom Landry:– As the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Landry brought the team two Super Bowl victories, five NFC Championship victories and holds the records for the record for the most career wins. He also has the distinction of having one of the worst first seasons on record (winning no games) and winning five or fewer over the next four seasons.
- Babe Ruth;– You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run,
- Elvis Presley:– As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Elvis has become a household name even years after his death. But back in 1954, Elvis was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck
That’s my take on career success and not giving up. What’s yours? Do you have any people to add to this list? If so, please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.