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Top 12 Success Stories to Help you Tackle your Failures Positively


Everyone faces Failures in their day-to-day life, whether it is in school, job, housework, or life. It is unavoidable!

However, we cannot walk away from our failures, as we have to deal with them. Which is why here we have provided you with a list of top 12 people who have  been there and survived their failures.

As, One of the famous quotes by Henry Ford states, “Failure is simply the new Opportunity to begin again, this time more carefully.”

Well, just to ask you! Have you ever failed so badly that moved you in Depression? As, some failures broke our hearts, which makes us feel like everything is falling apart and many times we get confused and unsure of what to do next. And if you are feeling the same currently, just remember that the most famous failures in the below-list also had such bumps in the road.
And if they could conquer them and turn their lives around, so can you!

Remember, you are not alone in this, everyone in this world has faced failure in his/her life. Like others, overcoming your failures will make you stronger to achieve your goals.
To motivate you, here's an inventory of 12 well-known failures which have succeeded in their lives.

They have overcome their failures, and their success stories will help you attain knowledge about how to tackle failures and turn them into success? 

Let’s dig in to learn about the biggest failures!

List of 12 Famous Failures that will inspire you to fight for your dreams

1. Steve Jobs

About - Steve Paul Jobs was an American Business Magnate, investor, and media Proprietor, who was born on 24 February 1955 in San Francisco. 

He along with his friend started the now revolutionary Apple in a garage. Today, we all know it as a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.

His Failure - Got Fired From the very company he Started!

How did he Overcome it - The firing made him realize that his passion and dedication for his work made him face the disappointment of failure. Later, he joined NeXT and Pixar and with his hardwork and dedication he earned his CEO position back at Apple. 

Later he added that, I didn’t see it the time I got Fired from Apple. But it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

Learning - Don’t be sad, if you lost your job. Instead try hard and you could successfully grab a better position.

2. Bill Gates

About - William Henry Gates III who is known as Bill Gates by the whole world is an American Business Magnate, Software developer, Investor, Author, and a Philanthropist. He was born on 28 October 1955.
Bill Gates doesn't own a college degree; instead he enrolled at Harvard College in 1973 to study pre-law but also gained knowledge related to mathematics and pursued a graduate-level computer science course.
He left Harvard after two decades to start his own computer software company in which he succeeded.

His Failure - Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout and he co-owned a business “Traf-O-Data”, which was a true failure. 

How did he Overcome it - Despite being a failure, Bill Gates with his dedication and computer programming skills turned this failure into the renowned software company Microsoft, and then 31 years old into the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.
Later he shared, “It’s fine to celebrate your success but it is more necessary to take note of the lessons of  failure.”

Learning - Well, this isn’t meant that dropping out makes you a billionaire, but maybe your passion and hardwork can help you succeed and achieve your desired goals.

3. Albert Einstein

About - Albert Einstein was a German born theoretical physicist who is widely known to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. He was born on 14 March, 1979. Einstein is also known for his discovery of the “Photoelectric Effect”, for which he also won the Nobel Prize for Physics in the year 1921.
Along with this, he developed a theory of special and general relativity, which helped to complicate and expand upon theories that were put forth by Isaac Newton over 200 decades prior.

His Failure - Being one of the top scientists, Einstein could not speak fluently until the age of nine.

How did he Overcome it - Albert Einstein had a rebellious nature because of which he got expelled from school. But his earlier setbacks did not stop him from achieving the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1921. He always believed that: “Success is a failure in progress.”
Till present day, his research has influenced multiple aspects of a person’s life including art, religion, culture and much more.

Learning - Keep trying, just because you haven't achieved anything yet, does not mean you can’t be like Einstein. 

4. Abraham Lincoln

About - Abraham Lincoln was an American Lawyer and statesman who served the nation as the 16th president of the United States from the year 1861 until his termination in 1865. He was born on February 12, 1809.

His Failure - Abrahim Lincoln Failed in his business in the year 1821. After which he had a nervous breakdown in 1836. Not only that, he was defeated in his run for president in the year 1856.

How did he Overcome it - After undergoing so many failures, Abrahim didn’t give up and he continued trying his best. He always said that, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are pleased with your failure.”
And he finally got success by becoming the 16th President of the United States of America in the year 1861.

Learning - No matter how much you face rejection, if you try then you can still reach success!

5. Michael Jordan

About - Michael Jordan also known as MJ is an American former professional basketball player and a successful businessman. He was born on February 17, 1963. He enjoyed his playing career in the following years 1984–1993, 1995–1998, 2001–2003.

His Failure - He missed more than 9000 shots in his career and almost 300 games. And around 26 times, his team has shown trus of winning a shot but he missed every time. He has failed many times in his life from which he learnt and achieved success.

How did he Overcome it - His years of efforts, practice and failures have made him a star. 

Learning - You should not give up at any cost. Success comes to those who try, try and try till their last breath..

6. Steven Spielberg

About - Steven Allan Spielberg is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He began his career in the New Hollywood era, and is currently the most commercially successful director. He was born and raised on 18 December 1946  in the United States.

His Failure - Steven Spielberg was not that good at studies in his high school. He also got rejected from the University of Southern California 3 times. 

How did he Overcome it - While he was pursuing his college, he grabbed the attention of some executives at Universal, who signed him as a television director in the year 1969. This meant that he would not complete his college degree for another 33 years.
Despite having a college degree, today Steven Spielberg is regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. He said, “Even though I get older, my work never gets old, and that’s what I think keeps me hungry to do more work passionately.”

Today, Steven Spielberg has directed almost 51 films and has been awarded three oscars.

Learning - Bad grades or Having a degree doesn't matter, you can enjoy success via knowledge, hard work and experience.

Steven Spielberg

7. Walt disney

About -  Walter Elias Disney was an American entrepreneur, animator, writer, voice actor, and film producer. He is still known as the pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. Walt Disney was born on 5 December 1901. He came into limelight with his famous cartoon Mickey mouse. For more read Walt Disney biography.

His Failure - Like every other famous personality, Walt Disney also had a taste of failures in his life. He dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt to join the Army. Not only this, his very first venture “Laugh-o-Gram studios” went bankrupt due to lack of his ability to run a successful business. Further, he got fired from a Missouri newspaper for Not being creative enough.

How did he Overcome it - After facing these many failures, Walt Disney never stopped working hard, which has now made him a star. Today, the world knows him as a genius behind Disney studios who is responsible for making many generations' childhood memories and dreams unforgettable. From Snow white to Frozen, Disney has continued to entertain the world and will continue it for the generations to come.
Walt Disney always believed, “We should not look back, instead move forward, and open new doors that will lead us down the new paths and help us achieve success.”

Learning - Opinions don't matter, you only need to move forward, keep learning and try impatiently. Walking on a new path will lead you to success.

Walt Disney

8. Vincent Van Gogh

About - Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who after death became one of the most famous and influential figures in Western Art History. In a year, he created 2100 artworks, comprising around 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last two years of his life.

His Failure - Vincent Van Gogh suffered mental illness, had failed relationships and tried suicide at the age 37. He has only ever sold one painting in his lifetime. 

How did he Overcome it - Being a mental patient and committing suicide didnot stop him. His enthusiasm and passion for art let him sell a painting that he never felt would become famous years after his death. His art became a hot topic in art classes and his image was going to be used in TV, books and on many other platforms.
In the words of this great, but tragic man Vincent Van Gogh:

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Learning - Sometimes, if you feel low or sad about not being perfect in any art. Don’t let it affect your mind just give it a shot and you never know what your destiny serves you!

Vincent Van Gogh

9. Sara Blakely

About - Sara Treleaven Blakely is an American Businesswoman and philanthropist.She is the founder of Spanx that is an American Intimate Apparel Company with pants and leggings. She was born on 27 February 1971 and completed her education from Florida State University.

Her Failure - Billionaire Sara Blakely was encouraged to fail by her father growing up. Even during weekends her father would ask her, “What have you failed at this week?” After all this, she never let her failure stand in her way because according to her, “Failure meant that you were trying.”

How did she Overcome it - One day while selling fax machines, Blakely realized that the undergarment she required didn’t exist. So, she cut out holes at the feet of her pantyhose, which provoked the idea for a new product. Further, she ended up shopping her idea to multiple manufacturers who thought her idea was crazy.
Hence, they refused to create her product but she kept searching until her luck changed. Then one day one manufacturer who had rejected her had told the idea to his daughter, and eventually he started creating it and that product became a grand success.

Sara Balskely

10. Jeff Bezos

About -  Jeff Bezos is known as a media proprietor, investor, and a computer engineer. He is the founder and executive chairman of Amazon. He previously served Amazon as the president and CEO for years. He was born on 12 January 1964.

His Failure - Before building Amazon, he started a company named zShops, which eventually sparked the idea for Amazon Marketplace. But even at Amazon, he created countless failed products. He has embraced multiple failures in his life.

How did he Overcome it - After facing so much failures, today Jeff Bezos own net worth of approx. $150 billion. As his brand Amazon continues to grow into a popular ecommerce website. His hardwork and dedicated team has made Amazon a biggest online store in the world. Moreover in 2017, Amazon made $177.9 billion in revenue.

jeff bezos

11. Sir James Dyson

About - Sir James Dyson is a British inventor, industrial designer, farmer, and billionaire entrepreneur who founded Dyson Ltd. He is best known as the inventor of the dual cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner that works on the principle of Cyclonic separation. He was born on 2 May 1947.

His Failure - He wanted to create a vacuum design that didn’t need bags to carry the dust. This idea was unique at that time, he took around 5,126 vacuum designs until he finally created one. After the completion of his design, he tried selling his vacuum to manufacturers and was rejected by many.

How did he Overcome it - After multiple rejections, Sir James Dyson succeeded in his plan and his brand made over $1.03 billion USD in profit. Now, Sir James' name comes under the billionaire list with a net worth of over $10 billion USD.

Learning - Always remember, the key to success is constant creation, which means the more you experiment, the more you’ll Grow.

Sir James Dyson

12. Oprah Winfrey

About - Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist and was born on 29 January 1954.

His Failure - Being one of the biggest sensations today, Oprah had a rough childhood that resulted in a teen pregnancy and subsequent miscarrriage. However, she learned to preserve at a very young age.

Not only this, her first television gig producer said she was  “Unfit for television NEWS.”

How did she Overcome it - After such failures, Oprah didn’t stop. She kept on working and after some time. The same producer approached her for a role on another television show named People are Talking, which was a huge success. She then launched and hosted her own television show, which aired for 25 years.
Not only that, she owns her own television network known as OWN. Today, her net worth is $4 Billion. Her name comes on the list of the top 500 richest people in the world.

Oprah Winfrey

What strategies should you use to learn from your mistakes/failures?

Being humans, we should understand that wisdom of learning from failure is indisputable. Like humans, many organizations that do it well are extraordinarily rare. The gap is not due to a lack of learning commitment; instead some of the managers who are knowledgeable and genuinely wanted to help their organizations learn from failures to enhance their organizations future performance.
Moreover, in some cases, the managers along with their team had devoted multiple hours to after action reviews, and postmortems. Your failures and success really depends on what you believe or think about failures.

  • Acknowledge your failures - Some leaders say, “I am sorry you felt that way,” or “I am sorry it didn’t work out.” But being a leader you should understand that blaming other people won’t help. Before you learn from your mistakes, despite blaming the other person you should accept full responsibility for your role in the result. Sometimes, it can be uncomfortable to say “I messed up,” you won’t change or learn from the success stories.
  • Question Yourself - While nobody wants to dwell on his/her mistake, reflecting on them can be productive. To learn from stories of failure, you should always ask yourself some tough questions like:
    • What went wrong?
    • What did you learn from it?
    • What could you do better next time?

Pen down your responses and you will see the situation a little more clearly. This will also help think more logically about an irrational exposure.

  • Make a Plan - Feeling sad or beating yourself up won’t help. Instead you should think about what you could do or plan to ensure to not repeat the same mistake again in the future. You should always try to find a way to hold yourself accountable to make your own success stories.
  • Learn from your Failures - To be successful or to create your own success stories out of any famous failures that are mentioned above. You should always learn from your mistakes and for that failures are important to happen in life.

How Do You Become a Successful Failure?

Nobody likes failures, but if we are honest towards ourselves we would understand that failures are the biggest part of our success.
Great inventors such as Walt Disney experience a lot of failures on their way to a successful cartoon. Like him, even the best basketball players strike out much more often then they hit a home run. Anyone, who desires to achieve any goal or has any goal in his life will make mistakes and wrong decisions. So the main key of success is to expect and accept failure. They are also known as successful failures. Here are some traits mentioned that are related to such persons:

  • Be Optimistic - You should always focus on the benefit in every bad experience. Let’s take an example of Thomas Edison, he redefined the failures in his experiments as “10000 ways that won’t work.” He expected failure and counted it as the cost of finding a solution. Despite so many failures, Thomson kept attempting to find success.
  • Responsibility - Try to change your response to failure by accepting responsibility. It’s obvious that whenever we fail, we blame someone else for the failure. If you are doing so then you are cheating on yourself. Responsibility is more necessary than reputation. And it tends to lead to reward, which can lead to increase ein your responsibility.
  • Resilience - Learn to move on from failures. The ability to move on is the key to continue to attempt great things so that your mind can focus on finding a better solution for your problem to make failure into success stories. Here are five behaviors of people who haven't gotten over past failures:
    • Comparison - Either measuring your failures against those of others, or convincing yourself that your failures are harder than theirs.
    • Rationalization - Telling yourself and others that you have good reasons for not getting over your failures and mistakes. Believing that those failures who encourage you “just don’t understand.”
    • Isolation - Withdraw yourself discrete from others, either to avoid dealing with the issues, or to continue to feel sorry for yourself.
    • Regret - Getting adhered to or trying hard to fix things that cannot be changed.
    • Resentment - Feeling like a victim and blaming others for some negative results.
  • Take initiative - If you are dealing with failures in your life then you should take action and face your fear. Failures make you strong and think better to solve your problems in a better way. This will help you succeed in your situation and help you convert failure to success stories. In case you want to succeed in your life theme you need to act on that belief and take a step forward again in pursuit of your dream. Only then we as a person learn from our mistakes and make progress.

Final Words

You should always learn from your failures and try not to repeat them to avoid the biggest failures. Despite running from your responsibility you should always take responsibility for your failures and try to think of a solution. The above mentioned failures will help you learn multiple ways to deal with your failures and turn them into your success stories.

Our professionals here help you find a job after college as per your desires and interests. You can contact them without any hesitation to know about the Highest Paying IT jobs and IT skills required to grab a post.
Feel free to share your successful failures in Comments!

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    Anusha Tyagi

    She is an expert in writing informative blogs and article. She is best known for IT, Technical trends and career path education. Anusha has been producing distinctive and engaging content for the end-users.


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