They say that the greatest rewards cannot be earned without great risk. Many people take big risks on the road to success, only to fail miserably. But nothing ventured is nothing gained. Some of those people who initially fail are discouraged and never try again. Others pick themselves up and turn their biggest failures into their biggest successes. Here are some great stories of success that came from failure.
J.K. Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter series, which is one of the best-selling series of all time. The first of the incredibly popular books was written by Rowling while she was working as a waitress. Making so little, she was on public assistance. She scribbled the ideas for the first book on a napkin, and later turned them into a manuscript that was rejected by at least 12 publishers. It was finally published when the 8-year-old daughter of a CEO requested it. Now J.K. Rowling is one of the most successful and richest authors in history.
Dr. Seuss, real name Theodor Seuss Geisel, is perhaps the most iconic children’s author of all time, but it was a long journey. Dr. Seuss frequently doodled and daydreamed, and people thought he was wasting his time with nonsense. In school, he was voted “Least Likely to Succeed.” In college, a professor actually suggested he drop out of the English department and school in general. When he wrote his first published book, I Saw It on Mulberry Street, it was rejected by 27 different publishers. Finally, he got the chance and proved everyone wrong.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician who began composing at the age of five-years-old. Now, he is one of the best-known composers all over the world. Unfortunately, during his lifetime Mozart experienced many failures and died without fully experiencing his fame. He didn’t have much support, and Emperor Ferdinand criticized his opera as too noisy and with too many notes. He was fired as a court musician in Salzburg. Mozart’s 600 compositions are considered to be some of the finest ever created, even if he failed to convince others of it during his time.
Albert Einstein’s name is practically synonymous with intelligence and genius. When he was young, however, he was considered anything but. Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4-years-old, and he couldn’t read until he was 7-years-old. He was expelled from school, with teachers calling him “mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” His parents thought he was “subnormal,” and he wasn’t accepted into the Zurich Polytechnic School he applied to. In the end, Einstein ended up revolutionizing what we know about modern physics, and he was a recipient of the Nobel Prize, one of the most prestigious honors he could ever hope to earn.
There are thousands more examples of people – famous or not – becoming successful after facing defeat or failure. Stories like these really do remind us that anything is possible.
Josh Reynolds is an online review tracking professional who shares encouragement for those who have failed to continue their pursuit of success.