15 Highly Successful People Who Failed On Their Way To Success

Famous Failure, Elvis Presley

Before their success, some of the world’s most successful people experienced epic failure. We celebrate their success but often overlook the path that got them there. A path that is often marked with failure.

Their crowning achievements stem from drive and determination as much as ability. Persistence and certitude are the difference between success and failure.

Here are 15 highly successful people whose glorious succeses are remembered but their failures are lesser known.

Get motivated, accept failure as merely a chance to learn, and remember the words of American writer Elbert Hubbard:

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

1. Oprah

oprah

She’s a billionaire with her own TV channel and a penchant for giving away cars but Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore.

Last year, Oprah reflected on her experiences during a Harvard commencement speech:

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”

Creating your own TV channel is a sure way never to get fired again!

2. Steven Spielberg

His cinematic output has grossed more than $9 billion and brought him three Academy Awards, but the master of the blockbuster was rejected TWICE by the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

As their way of saying “Oops, I guess we were wrong about you” the school built a building in honor of Spielberg.

3. Thomas Edison

In what might be at once the most discouraging statement and worst teaching practice of all time, Thomas Edison was told by his teachers he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’.

Edison went on to hold more than 1,000 patents, including the phonograph and practical electric lamp. Death most likely spared his teachers the ignominy of their incorrect assessment.

4. Walt Disney

Disney

Can you imagine your childhood without Disney? Well it could easily have been if Walt had listened to his former newspaper editor. The editor told Walt he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas’. Undeterred, Old Walt went on to create the cultural icon that bears his name.

Disney’s take on failure:

“I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young… Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it I’ve never had any fear in my whole life when we’ve been near collapse and all of that. I’ve never been afraid.”

5. Albert Einstein

His name is synonymous with intelligence yet it wasn’t always that way for Albert Einstein. As a child he didn’t start speaking until he was four, reading until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicapped.

He went on to win a Nobel Prize and altered the world’s approach to physics. I guess he was just thinking of the right thing to say for those first four years…

6. J.K. Rowling

JK

Before there was a wizard, there was welfare. Rowling was a broke, depressed, divorced single mother simultaneously writing a novel while studying.

Now one of the richest women in the world, Rowling reflects on her early failures:

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

7. Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s failures were broad and numerous. He achieved the unique feat of leaving for a war a captain and returning a private (the lowest military rank).

He next took failure in his stride during multiple failed business attempts. Undeterred, Lincoln marched into the political realm, where he launched several failed runs at political office before his ascendance to President.

8. Jerry Seinfeld

Before the show about nothing, Seinfeld was a young comedian on the stand-up circuit. His first time on stage didn’t go so well. On seeing the audience he froze and was booed and jeered off stage.

His choices: pack it in and accept comedy isn’t his thing or return to the same stage the following night and have the audience in hysterics. He opted for the latter and went on to become one of the most successful comedians of all time.

9. Theodor Seuss Geisel

Known to generations as Dr Seuss, the much-loved children’s author had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers. His books that weren’t good enough for these publishers went on to sell more than 600 million copies worldwide.

10. Stephen King

In another instance in the never ending series “Book Publishers Making Dumb Decisions”, mega novelist Stephen King had his first book Carrie rejected 30 times.

Dejected, King dumped the book in the trash. His wife retrieved it and implored him to resubmit it which led to his first book deal and spawned his illustrious career.

11. Vincent Van Gogh

A Van Gogh painting will cost you upwards of $100 million nowadays. But in his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh couldn’t get rid of the things.

He sold just one painting, ‘The Red Vineyard’, during his lifetime, and the sale came not long before his death. Unfortunately for Vincent, others got to enjoy the financial spoils of his lifetime of toils.

12. Elvis Presley

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

These are the words that greeted Elvis Presley after his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, after which he was promptly fired. Disposing of the keys to the truck, Presley went on to become the world’s biggest star with a legacy that endures.

13. Michael Jordan

MJ

Either he was part of the greatest high school roster of all time or his coach made a huge mistake in cutting Michael Jordan from his high school basketball team. Six Championships and five MVPs later, Jordan became arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jordan famously said:

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

14. Charles Darwin

The man credited with much of how we came to understand the world today, Darwin was considered an average student and abandoned a career in medicine as a result.

Darwin embarked on a lifetime study of nature that led to the seminal ‘On the Origin of Species’ and forever altered the way humankind looks at our existence.

15. Sir James Dyson

You know that frustrating feeling when you don’t get something on the first attempt?

Multiple that by 5,126 because that’s the number of failed prototypes Sir James Dyson went through over the course of 15 years before creating the eponymous best-selling bagless vacuum cleaner that led to a net worth of $4.5billion.

Source: lifehack.org ~ By: Sebastian Kipman ~ Image: pixabay.com

Five Ways To Make Peace With Failure

Five Ways To Make Peace With Failure

Let’s face it.  We all make mistakes.

Most of us know that failure is a reality of life, and at some level, we understand that it actually helps us grow. Intellectually, we even acknowledge that the greatest achievers — past and present — also routinely experienced colossal failures.

But still, we hate to fail.  We fear it, we dread it, and when it does happen, we hold onto it.  We give it power over our emotions, and sometimes we allow it to dictate our way forward (or backward). Some of us go to great lengths to avoid failure because of all the pain and shame associated with it.

Why is it so hard to let go, forgive ourselves and move on?  And how can we keep failure – or the fear of it — from derailing us?

Here are five strategies:

1.  Don’t make it personal.  Separate the failure from your identity. Just because you haven’t found a successful way of doing something (yet) doesn’t mean you are a failure.  These are completely separate thoughts, yet many of us blur the lines between them.  Personalizing failure can wreak havoc on our self-esteem and confidence.

There was a man who failed in business at age 21; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at 24; overcome the death of his fiancée at 26; had a nervous breakdown at 27; lost a congressional race at 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed to become Vice President at age 47; lost a senatorial race at 49; and was elected as the President of the United States at the age of 52. This man was Abraham Lincoln. He refused to let his failures define him and fought against significant odds to achieve greatness.

2.  Take stock, learn and adapt. Look at the failure analytically — indeed, curiously — suspending feelings of anger, frustration, blame or regret. Why did you fail? What might have produced a better outcome? Was the failure completely beyond your control? After gathering the facts, step back and ask yourself, what did I learn from this?  Think about how you will apply this newfound insight going forward.

Thomas Edison reportedly failed 10,000 times while he was inventing the light bulb. He was quoted as saying, “I have found 10,000 ways something won’t work. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” The Wright brothers spent years working on failed aircraft prototypes and incorporating their learnings until they finally got it right: a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

3.  Stop dwelling on it. Obsessing over your failure will not change the outcome. In fact, it will only intensify the outcome, trapping you in an emotional doom-loop that disables you from moving on. You cannot change the past, but you can shape your future. The faster you take a positive step forward, the quicker you can leave these debilitating, monopolizing thoughts behind.

Don Shula is the winningest coach in the NFL, holding the record for most career wins (including two Super Bowl victories) and the only perfect season in NFL history.

Shula had a “24-hour rule,” a policy of looking forward instead of dwelling on the past. The coach allowed himself, his staff and his players 24 hours to celebrate a victory or brood over a defeat. During those 24 hours, Shula encouraged them to feel their emotions of success or failure as deeply as they could. The next day, it was time to put it behind them and focus their energy on preparing for their next challenge. His philosophy was that if you keep your failures and victories in perspective, you’ll do better in the long run.

4.  Release the need for approval of others.Often our fear of failure is rooted in our fear of being judged and losing others’ respect and esteem. We easily get influenced (and spooked) by what people say about us. Remember, this is your lifenot theirs.  What one person considers to be true about you is not necessary the truth about you, and if you give too much power to others’ opinions, it could douse your passion and confidence, undermining your ability to ultimately succeed.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job because someone thought she was “unfit for TV.” Stephen King’s first book, Carrie, was rejected by 30 publishers. Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because he “lacked imagination and good ideas.” Winston Churchill failed sixth grade and was considered “a dolt” by his teacher. Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage the first time he tried comedy. Soichiro Honda was rejected by an HR manager at Toyota Motor Corporation when he applied for an engineering job, leaving him jobless until he began making scooters in his garage and eventually founded Honda Motor Company. ‘Nuff said.

5.  Try a new point of view.  Our upbringing – as people and professionals – has given us an unhealthy attitude toward failure. One of the best things you can do is to shift your perspective and belief system away from the negative (“If I fail, it means I am stupid, weak, incapable, and am destined to fall short”) and embrace more positive associations (“If I fail, I am one step closer to succeeding; I am smarter and more savvy because the knowledge I’ve gained through this experience”).

Indeed, one can hardly find an historic or current-day success story that isn’t also a story of great failure.  And if you ask those who have distinguished themselves through their achievements, they will tell you that failure was a critical enabler of their success.  It was their motivator.  Their teacher.  A stepping stone along their path to greatness.  The difference between them and the average person is that they didn’t give up.

Michael Jordan said it best: “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Source: forbes.com ~ By: Susan Tardanico ~ Image: pixabay.com

How to Overcome Failure: 9 Powerful Habits

Overcoming Failure

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”
C. S. Lewis

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Michael Jordan

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett

Oftentimes things go OK or even better than that.

But on some days they don’t.

You make a mistake, have setback or you simply fail. It’s no fun. But you can’t avoid it either unless you avoid doing anything at all.

So what’s needed is a smart and self-kind way to handle such situations instead of letting them lead to vicious self-beatings and to them dragging you down into negativity for the day or month.

This week I’d like to share 9 habits that’ve helped me with that. I hope they will be useful for you too.

1. First, just accept how you feel.

When you’ve just failed it will most likely hurt. Sometimes a bit. Sometimes a lot.

That’s OK. Don’t try to push it away by distracting yourself or by trying to push the responsibility onto the rest of the world (if you deep down know that this one’s on you partly or fully). And don’t try to paint it over with a smile.

I’ve found that it works better to not let yourself be lead away by those options or impulses.

But to just be with what I’m thinking and feeling. To try to accept it, to let it in and to hurt for a while instead of trying to reject it all and to keep it away.

Because when you let it in and accept it then it will go faster and in the long run be less painful to process what has happened.

If you reject how you really feel then those emotions will pop up at unexpected times later on and can make you moody, pessimistic, angry or sad.

2. Remember: you’re not a failure just because you had a setback.

When you’ve had a setback it’s very easy to start thinking that you will always keep failing in this area of your life. It’s easy to start thinking that YOU are indeed a failure.

Don’t fall for such a destructive and sometimes seductive self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, remind yourself that:

  • Just because you failed today or yesterday doesn’t mean that you’ll fail the next time.
  • The truth is that this won’t last for the rest of your life if you keep moving forward, if you take action and you keep learning and it doesn’t label you as some kind of failure (except if you decide to create that label in your own head).

Seeing what’s negative as a temporary thing instead of something permanent is an essential key to an optimistic attitude and to keep going forward in life.

3. Be constructive and learn from this situation.

See it more as valuable feedback and something you can use to improve rather than only a big blow and setback.

I’ve found that the simplest and most helpful way to do that is to ask myself better questions (instead of the common ones that send you off into a negative spiral).

Questions like:

  • What’s one thing I can learn from this?
  • How can I adjust my course to avoid this trap/making the same mistake and likely do better next time?
  • What’s one thing I can differently the next time?

Take some time with these questions and be honest with yourself as you answer them. There’s no rush and while some of the answers may be immediate others might take an hour, day or even a week to pop up.

The important thing is to start thinking about the situation from this perspective and to be constructive about things instead of getting stuck in denial or negativity and apathy.

4. Remind yourself: anyone who wants to do things of value in life will fail.

We often mostly just hear about people’s successes. But the path to those milestones tends to have many setbacks. The story of someone’s success may seem only bright and fast-moving in what’s told in the media or we see in our minds.

But the reality – and the useful way to approach setbacks – is most often more like this quote by Michael Jordan:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

5. Let it out into the light.

Another powerful way to handle the emotional fallout and the thoughts that come from a failure is to not keep it all bottled up inside.

But to let it out into the light by talking it over with someone close to you.

  • By venting about it while the other person just listens you can sort things out for yourself, help yourself to accept what happened instead of pushing it away and release that inner pressure.
  • By having a conversation about the situation you can see it from another perspective and through someone else’s eyes. This person can help you to ground yourself in reality again, to encourage and to perhaps even to find a way forward.

6. Find inspiration and support from your world.

A conversation with someone close to you can be very helpful.

Another thing you can do is to learn from those who’ve gone where you want to go. Read about how they handled setbacks and low-points before or during their success in books, on websites or online forums.

Or you can simply tap into the enthusiasm or motivation of someone else by listening to a podcast or audio book for maybe 30-60 minutes. This may not be specifically about your current challenge but can help you to shift your mood and mindset back towards optimism again.

7. Move forward again, don’t get stuck in mulling this situation over for too long.

Processing the situation and accepting it is essential.

But I know from experience that it’s also easy to get stuck in the same thoughts going around and around for week or a month.

The habit that has helped me with this trap is to take what I learn from questions like the ones I shared in tip #3 and to make a small rough plan for how I want to move forward from here.

So I take some time to sit down and write that one out.

8. Take action on that plan right away after you’ve drawn it up.

The plan you come up with will just be a start. You can course-correct later on, along the way.

So you don’t have to make it perfect. Trying to do that can sometimes just be a way to procrastinate because you fear failing again or because it is hard to start moving after this rough and disorienting thing that happened to you.

Split your start of a plan up into small steps and then take action on just one of them.

If you still have a hard time to get going then go for a very small step, just 1-5 minutes of action forward. The important thing is to get started and moving forward again so make that easy on yourself.

9. Improve your self-esteem.

A last thing that has helped me in general to handle setbacks is to improve my self-esteem.

  • By doing so failures don’t become something that so easily drags me down and I recover more quickly from them.
  • It also makes it easier to see what happened with more clarity and to take responsibility when I am responsible but also to see when someone else is partly responsible or when I just had bad luck that I could honestly not have predicted. And that helps me to not think that everything that goes wrong in my life is 100% my fault.

But how do you improve your self-esteem?

A good start would be to use much of what you find in this article. Like remembering that YOU are not a failure, that everyone have setbacks, to be constructive in the face of adversity and so on.

By doing these things over and over and making them habits your self-esteem improves.

And over time a smaller setback may just bounce off of you and a larger one will not be the same blow as it used to and the shock and climb back up from what happened becomes easier and not something that is as paralyzing anymore.

Source: positivityblog.com ~ By: HENRIK EDBERG ~ Image: pixabay.com

The Millionaire Mindset – 5 Traits All Millionaires Share

Many of us are interested in becoming millionaires. However, that goal sometimes seems rather far away. You don’t have to be born rich, or inherit a fortune, to become a millionaire. If you have the right stuff, you can work your way into your millions. But it helps to know what traits often make a millionaire. Here are 5 traits that many millionaires have — and that you can develop:

1. Frugality

Not all millionaires are frugal. However, many of those who are self-made millionaires practice some form of frugality. Even billionaires like Warren Buffett have some frugal habits. Frugality is about look for ways to get the best value for your money. It doesn’t always mean getting the cheapest thing; it’s more about the best value. It also means that you don’t waste your money on things that you don’t need or want. Practicing frugality can help you keep more of your money for the future.

2. Willing to Make Wise Investments

Most millionaires know that it takes money to make money. Millionaires understand the power of compound interest. They study out how to make wise investments. Whether it’s taking good care of themselves so that they aren’t spending money on health care later, investing in a good education (not necessarily college, though), starting a business, or finding solid stocks to buy, millionaires study out what is likely to bring them a return. They make solid investments after considering the options.

3. Focus and Discipline

If you want to be a millionaire, it helps to know what you want, and then have the discipline to go after it. When you set a goal, you focus on it, and pursue it. This means that you don’t get sidetracked by less important matters. If you know that you need to set $1,000 a month aside in order to meet your millionaire goal within an allotted timeframe, you focus on that. You cut expenses or, better yet, look for ways to increase your income, so that you can meet your goal. Sometimes it’s not fun, but millionaires usually stick with it.

4. Optimism

You might find, when speaking with millionaires — especially self-made millionaires — that there is an element of optimism and joie de vivre. Many millionaires know that if things go wrong, it is possible to find the bright side, learn from mistakes, and move on. Additionally, many millionaires know how to enjoy life as well. Many successful and happy millionaires understand that there is more to live than just amassing wealth; sometimes you need to spend time with your family and friends, eat good food and relax a little. However, the ability to find a silver lining, and to have the persistence to try again, is one of the defining traits of a millionaire.

5. Willing to Get Their Hands Dirty

Sometimes, it takes a little elbow grease to get there. Or, if you are running a business, it might take some late nights. Millionaires are willing to work hard, and do things for themselves when they need to. Millionaires are also willing to do what it takes, even if it means taking on an unpleasant job. A millionaires also knows that this includes taking responsibility for his or her financial destiny, refusing to blame other for misfortunes and finding ways to make sure income streams are diverse.

Is Becoming Wealthy Really that Simple?

Earn money, spend less than you earn, save, invest, repeat the process. Embrace the Millionaire Mindset. After that it’s just a matter of time. Even if it takes years or decades, the process really is that simple. Of course, it may not seem as easy as I laid it out here, but it really is. Remember, this is not an overnight get rich quick scheme. It takes time, planning, and a little luck along the way.

Get started. If you want to become a millionaire, you need to decide to do it and get started. If you are not be able to save money right now because of debt or other financial obligations, you should work on those issues first. A good place to start is with Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps. This is a tried and true method for setting up an emergency fund, paying down debt, and beginning your investments. Once you have that started, you can begin your million dollar journey.

What will your millionaire story be?

Source: cashmoneylife.com ~ By:  ~ Pixabay.com

8 Tips to Become a Millionaire This Year

Becoming rich has more to do with restraint and tenacity than it does brilliance or luck.

Millionaire. It’s a title that plenty of us would love to have. But, is that actually feasible?

Believe it or not, becoming a millionaire is a goal that can be achieved this year. In my life, I have been a millionaire several times. Most of the time before my 30s I gambled it away on cars, homes and living a life I had no reason to be living.

Despite blowing millions, the process to becoming a millionaire has been consistent over the years. If you follow these eight priceless pieces of advice, I can guarantee you that eventually you will become a millionaire. Here’s to making this happen this year!

1. Develop a written financial plan.

One of the main reasons why someone can never become a millionaire is because they haven’t written a financial plan. Developing a financial plan forces you to take action, instead of just talk. It also guides you in making the right decisions in order to achieve all of your dreams and goals.

Financial planner Scott D. Hedgcock says that “when planning for a more secure future there are two inputs that are indispensable:” how much money you have and how much money you spend.

“The basic point I want to stress about these two inputs is that they are absolutely fundamental to all financial planning regardless of how large either of them is,” he says.

“In my experience, the biggest difference between those on the right path vs. those on the wrong path was the amount of time and effort they put into devising a plan for their finances.” When you take the time to create a plan and see it through, “is the one thing all financially successful people have in common.” Hedgcock also says that “the success experienced by those who do this occurs regardless of their relative wealth. Likewise, the failure of those who do not follow a plan is unrelated to their wealth.”

When creating a financial plan, consider the following:

  • Focus on what matters most and don’t obsess over the past.
  • Focus on what you control by listing your known expenses first in your budget, and then with the income leftover you should list the discretionary categories.
  • Focus on your future by anticipating how much your future self will need to survive.

2. Focus on increasing your income.

“In today’s economic environment you cannot save your way to millionaire status,” writes Grant Cardone, who went from being broke and in debt at the age of 21 to becoming a self-made millionaire by 30. “The first step is to focus on increasing your income in increments and repeating that.

“My income was $3,000 a month and nine years later it was $20,000 a month. Start following the money, and it will force you to control revenue and see opportunities.”

3. Take advantage of Uncle Sam’s generosity.

“The best way I know to become a millionaire is to put the power of compound interest on your side. By giving your money more time to compound and keeping your rate of return as high as possible, you greatly increase your chances of reaching a seven-figure net worth,” writes Brian Feroldi on The Motley Fool.

“Of course, earning a high return on your nest egg is easier said than done, as many factors to create that return are outside of your control. However, all investors do have control over two huge factors that can put a serious drag on long-term returns: investment costs and taxes. If you want to become a millionaire, focus on keeping both as low as possible.”

Feroldi goes on to write that if you have “a 401(k) or 403(b) through work, then any money you contribute to the account can grow tax-deferred, allowing your money to compound more quickly.” He also suggests opening up a traditional or Roth IRA, because they “keep Uncle Sam away from your money, either now or later.”

You should use a broker or brokerage firm “that charges very little per trade — and not to trade too frequently.”

“If you want to become a millionaire, you need all the help you can get,” he says. “Making sure your investment fees and tax bill are as low as possible will go a long way toward helping you achieve your goal.”

4. Increase your streams of income.

After studying millionaires for five years, author Thomas Corley discovered that 65 percent of self-made millionaires had three streams, 45 percent had four streams, and 29 percent had five or more streams. This could include starting a side-business, working part-time, investments, and renting everything from your home to your car to household items.

5. Automate your savings.

If you want to become a millionaire, then you absolutely need to get into the habit of saving by contributing to your 401(k), Roth or traditional IRA, and an emergency fund that’s been placed in a money market. However, the way to make this is by automating your savings. This will automatically withdraw a percentage of your salary and place it into your contributions without you ever seeing it. It’s suggested that you should put 10 percent towards investments and 5 percent towards savings.

6. Upgrade your skills and knowledge.

“Read at least 30 minutes a day, listen to relevant podcasts while driving and seek out mentors vigorously,” writes Tucker Hughes, who became a millionaire at just the age of 22. “You don’t just need to be a master in your field, you need to be a well-rounded genius capable of talking about any subject whether it is financial, political or sports-related. Consume knowledge like air and put your pursuit of learning above all else.”

7. Live below your means and lay-off the credit.

It’s widely known that the wealthiest people in the world are frugal. They don’t spend excessively on designer and luxury items. They use coupons. And, they’re known for living below their means by purchasing modest homes and vehicles.

They’re also known for keeping their debt under control by using credit sparingly. Take a cue from T. Boone Pickens, who only carries around as much cash as he needs for what he intends to buy.

8. Associate with millionaires.

“In most cases, your net worth mirrors the level of your closest friends,” writes Steve Siebold for Business Insider. This isn’t exactly a new philosophy. It’s been around ever since Andrew Carnegie embraced the Master Mind principle.

“Exposure to people who are more successful than you are has the potential to expand your thinking and catapult your income,” says Siebold. “We become like the people we associate with, and that’s why winners are attracted to winners.”

“The reality is,” he says, “millionaires think differently from the middle class about money, and there’s much to be gained by being in their presence.”

Source: entrepreneur.com ~ By: John Rampton ~ Image: pixabay.com