A single divorced parent, another bankrupt, a drug addict near retirement and a 16 year old high school drop out with more great losses and rejections left, right and centre. Today not only making a success of their life they’ve all made history…
You know the feeling with taking one-step forward two steps back – or worse? Life becomes more like Groundhog Day and you’re left wondering is this it? Successful people recognise when something’s wrong and put the wheels in motion – they can see what could be, take a risk and make a big life change.
What makes someone successful? Is it money? Fame? Reputation? Doing what you love? Wikipedia defines success as achieving your goal with a level of social status and the opposite of failure. But how do we really appreciate or know what we have without failing?
We’ve all failed at something in life – it’s about how you pick yourself up that makes you really appreciate success. Life to me at the end of the day is about learning and growing, being a better person and helping others.
I thought I’d share some of my favourite true stories of well-known successful people who persevered and created their own mind blowing achievements. Life took some twists and turns but they had the courage to succeed and are now living their dream and helping others.
Would you like to know what history making successful people never do?
J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter books selling over 400 million copies making it one of the most successful and lucrative book and film series ever. However, like so many writers she received endless rejections from publishers. Many rejected her manuscript outright for reasons including ‘it was far too long for a children’s book’ or because ‘children books never make any money’. J.K. Rowling’s was a divorced single mum on welfare when she started, a true inspiration, changing many lives.
Walt Disney is one of the greatest business leaders who created the global Disney Empire of film studios and theme parks. Walt helped make dreams come true for children and adults yet he didn’t start off successful. Before his great success came a number of failures. Believe it or not, Walt was fired from an early job at the Kansas City Star Newspaper because he was not creative enough! In 1922 he started his first company called Laugh-O-Gram. The Kansas based business would produce cartoons and short advertising films. In 1923, the business went bankrupt. Walt didn’t give up; he packed up, went to Hollywood and started The Walt Disney Company. The rest is history.
Rockstar goddess Blondie was a heroin addict and was one of only a handful of people who escaped serial killer Ted Bundy in the 1970’s. She launched her solo career age 36 when many were starting to call it a day. Now in her 60’s she’s living an amazing and healthy life performing for thousands of fans. A living legend who’s triumphed over personal adversity.
Henry Ford – the pioneer of modern business entrepreneurs and the founder of the Ford Motor Company failed a number of times on his route to success. His first venture to build a motorcar was disbanded a year and a half after it was started because stockholders lost confidence in Henry Ford. Ford was able to gather enough capital to start again but a year later pressure from financiers forced him out of the company again. Despite the fact that the entire motor industry had lost faith in him he managed to find another investor to start the Ford Motor Company.
Richard Branson – is an amazing entrepreneur with so many successful ventures to his name including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Music and Virgin Active. However, when he was 16 he dropped out of school to start a student magazine that didn’t do as well as he hoped. He then set up a mail-order record business, which did so well that he opened his own record shop called Virgin. Along the way to success came many other failed ventures including Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, Virgin Clothes, Virgin Vie, Virgin cards… Richard even owns his own island.
Oprah Winfrey – who ranks No 1 in the Forbes celebrity list and is recognised as the queen of tv entertainment based on an amazing career as iconic talk show host, media proprietor, actress and producer. In her earlier career she had numerous set-backs, which included getting fired from her job as a reporter because she was ‘unfit for television’, getting fired as co-anchor for the 6 O’clock weekday news on WJZ-TV and being demoted to morning TV.
Bill Gates – co-founder and chairman of Microsoft dropped out of Harvard and set up a business called Traf-O-Data. The partnership between him, Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert was based on a good idea (to read data from roadway traffic counters and create automated reports on traffic flows) but a flawed business model that left the company with few customers. The company ran losses between 1974 and 1980 before it was closed. However, Bill Gates and Paul Allen took what they learned and avoided the same mistakes when they created the Microsoft Empire, now a household name.
There are so many more examples…
Milton Hershey failed in his first two attempts to set up a confectionary business.
H.J. Heinz set up a company that produced horseradish, which went bankrupt shortly after.
Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company he founded. Only to return a few years later to turn it into one of the most successful companies ever.
The secret to their success? They never gave up.
Sometimes we need a fresh perspective to bring new energies in. Life is what you make it >>
Do you have an amazing life story you’d like to share with a dream you didn’t give up on?