Failure is difficult. There is no doubt about it. No one is going to deny that. Failure often makes you feel like a disappointment, and it can be discouraging. Yet, failure is inevitable. I know this sounds cliche, but failure can be a stepping stone to success. Think about it: Even the most successful people in the world experienced failure at some point.
A recent Entrepreneur article talked about some of the failures of the world's most successful individuals, both past and present. Their stories are pretty interesting.
College dropouts fuelled by passion
CAVEAT: I would NOT use the following examples to illustrate that school or even post secondary education for that matter is NON essential. But rather, I would hypothesize that the individuals provided below were ALL UBER motivated by the fact that they dropped out or did not finish their degrees and used that to get them out of bed every day to drive them towards their goals.
- Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College to become the father of all things Apple.
- Bill Gates, Microsoft's founder, dropped out of Harvard.
- Larry Ellison, who now owns 98 percent of the Hawaiian Island of Lanai, dropped out of college twice.
- Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, Inc., did not complete his Ph.D. program at Stanford University.
I bet ALL of these guys likely felt like their college failures meant the end of a dream, but as we all know they OVERCAME these failures to become highly successful.
Previous business failures
Statistically, a high percentage of entrepreneurs encounter business failures on their path to success. Perhaps Walt Disney is one of the best examples of this.
For example, at 22, he was fired from the newspaper where he worked because he "lacked imagination."
Later, he started Laugh-O-Gram Studios, which went bankrupt within two years. A few years later, Disney lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who had been Disney's most successful character.
Now, as we ALL know, Disney is the most well-known name in animation.
Another entrepreneurial example, Michael Bloomberg, who has made his way in business as well as politics, was laid off from the company where he had been general partner for years.
DID YOU KNOW that Elon Musk was on vacation when he was fired as the CEO of PayPal.
HENCE: successful people get FIRED TOO.
Rejections - so what, par for the course
Rejection is tough...
But fortunately rejection sometimes opens the door to success elsewhere.
J.K. Rowling is practically the poster child for success after rejection. The initial Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times.
Take chance... make mistakes
There you have it folks... take chances and make mistakes. Don't be scared to fail. Everyone does. Get engaged and start over again. The key to making a failure into a success is figuring out what you can learn from the experience and then making the changes to allow your failure to lead you toward something greater. The question is: What do you do after you fail?
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