No one enjoys failure. When you experience a setback in life or in your career, it’s hard not to feel discouraged or to lose motivation. But for many successful people, failure has played a major role in their eventual rise to the top. Here are five famous icons who prove that it’s never too late to achieve your goals.
1. J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is a world-renowned author and the brain behind the wildly successful Harry Potter franchise. But when she started writing the first installment of the book series, she was a single mother living on welfare benefits in Edinburgh, Scotland. When she could find time, and get her daughter to sleep, she would work on her writing in local cafés. Seven books and a film franchise later, she is still writing.
2. Oprah Winfrey
After landing her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore, Oprah Winfrey was fired for “getting too emotionally invested” in her stories, and was demoted to a daytime talk show position. She took it in stride and went on to become a TV icon. She now has a net worth of $3.1 billion, according to Forbes.
3. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is one of the most famous icons in sports history, and arguably one of the most talented basketball players the NBA has ever seen. But long before he made it as a pro, he experienced a setback in his basketball career when he was cut from his high school basketball team as a sophomore. Obviously, this did not stop him from pursuing his love for the game. He credits his success to his perseverance, saying, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
4. Lucille Ball
Everyone loves Lucy. But before Lucille Ball was the star of a well-known television show, her career mainly consisted of rolls in B movies. She was often told that she would never make it big, but the comedic actress stuck to her guns. Her determination paid off — after over 50 years of being off the air, I Love Lucy is still in syndication
5. Dr. Seuss
Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, has played a key role in the childhoods of many. But before his success as a children’s book author, he experienced rejection — a lot. His first book was turned down by 27 different publishers. Today, his books have sold over 600 million copies.
The next time you feel discouraged when you experience a setback, remember that failure is a part of the process. These five individuals are a testament to that fact.
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