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Successful People who Faced Failures

Six Highly Successful People Who Faced Failures in Their Early Life

24 Feb 2023

6 minutes


Highly successful people are the ones who have failed the most. As spectators, we usually get to know about their success but do not recognise the immense struggle they go through to reach there. Here in this blog, we have given the examples of six famous icons of success who had to face many failures in their earlier lives. But instead of getting afraid of them, they utilised them as a tool to know about their weaknesses.

Read on the interesting stories of these eminent people:

Albert Einstein

You would be surprised to know that this Nobel Prize award-winning scientist who is well known for his contribution to the field of quantum mechanics was branded as “dumb” by his teachers. As a child he didn’t start speaking until he was four, reading until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicapped due to his inability to communicate well with anyone. In fact, he was unable to speak fluently until the age of 12 and was expelled from his school when he was 16 for failing in several subjects. Later at the age of 18, he realised his interest in calculus and physics and used his unconventional mind to formulate the ground-breaking theory of relativity and changed the face of modern physics.

Thomas Edition

As a child, Thomas Edition was a failure in his school and other students used to mock him. He did not meet success at the workplace too, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive. As an inventor, he failed 1000 times before he actually came up with the electric bulb in the 1001st attempt.

Steve Jobs

Even if we now consider the iPhone, Mac, or iPad an essential part of our lives, a decade ago Apple was a non-reliable brand. Apple III computer, the early model of the Mac, was so crudely designed that it earned a reputation as an unreliable machine that can crash anytime. After the failure of Apple III, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of this company was fired for his poor performance. But he did not give up, and soon designed the NeXT hardware, which sold poorly at first but later became the foundation for future Apple products. And the rest is history.

Bill Gates

Before launching Microsoft, Bill Gates co-founded a failed company Traf-O-Data. Driven by his passion for computer programming, Gates built what would become the world's largest software company. In its first ten years, the company embraced many failures but Gates used them to improve the quality of the PC. Embracing failure, according to Gates, is what allowed Microsoft to flourish in its early years.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney, the famous animator who designed Mickey Mouse was fired from his job at a newspaper as he was considered less creative. In an interview, he said that it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young because it makes you aware of what can happen to you.

Oprah Winfrey

She’s a billionaire with her own TV channel and a penchant for giving away cars but you would be hardly knowing that she had to struggle a lot to get her first job as most TV Channels of that time did not like to have an anchor or newsreader who was black. Although she succeeded to get her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore, Oprah was fired as the group found her to be too emotional. But failure did not stop her, and she kept on rising day after day.

Final thoughts: We can say that failure is not something to be afraid of and it is not the opposite of success. Rather, it is simply a stepping stone to success. Everybody has to face it but the difference lies in how we handle it. It’s easy to get bogged down and lose motivation when things don’t go as per plan. But instead of this, students should use failure as a mechanism to reset their perspective, or embark on a new, much-needed direction.

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