We often hear about success stories, but what about those who failed spectacularly? Believe it or not, some of the most successful people in the world have experienced huge failures before achieving their goals. Here are 37 people who failed so spectacularly they almost won.
1. Thomas Edison: It took him over 1,000 attempts to invent the light bulb.
2. Michael Jordan: Cut from his high school basketball team, he went on to become one of the greatest players of all time.
3. Oprah Winfrey: Fired from her job as a television news anchor, she went on to become one of the most successful talk show hosts in history.
4. J.K. Rowling: Rejected by 12 publishers before finally getting her Harry Potter series published.
5. Walt Disney: Fired from a newspaper for lacking creativity, he went on to create one of the most successful entertainment companies in history.
6. Steven Spielberg: Rejected from film school three times, he went on to become one of the most successful directors of all time.
7. Colonel Sanders: Failed at every job he ever had until he started KFC at the age of 65.
8. Vincent Van Gogh: Sold only one painting during his lifetime, but his artwork is now worth millions.
9. Henry Ford: Failed multiple times before finally creating the Ford Motor Company.
10. Albert Einstein: Failed his university entrance exam, but went on to become one of the most famous scientists in history.
11. Bill Gates: His first company, Traf-O-Data, was a complete failure before he founded Microsoft.
12. Elvis Presley: Fired after his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, he went on to become the King of Rock and Roll.
13. Madonna: Dropped out of college and moved to New York with just $35 in her pocket, but went on to become one of the most successful musicians of all time.
14. Stephen King: Rejected by publishers over 30 times before finally getting his first book published.
15. Jack London: Forced to drop out of school at the age of 14, he went on to become one of the most successful authors of his time.
16. Lucille Ball: Dropped from drama school for being too shy, she went on to become one of the most successful comedians in history.
17. Abraham Lincoln: Lost eight elections before finally becoming the 16th President of the United States.
18. Steve Jobs: Fired from Apple, the company he co-founded, he went on to come back and make it one of the most successful companies in history.
19. Richard Branson: Dropped out of school at 16, he went on to create the Virgin Group, one of the most successful conglomerates in the world.
20. Jim Carrey: Lived in a van and performed at comedy clubs for years before finally getting his big break in Hollywood.
21. Harrison Ford: Worked as a carpenter for years before finally getting his big break in Hollywood.
22. George Lucas: Rejected by every major studio before finally getting Star Wars made.
23. Henry David Thoreau: His book Walden was a commercial failure during his lifetime, but is now considered a classic.
24. Harland Sanders (KFC): His chicken recipe was rejected over 1,000 times before finally finding a buyer.
25. Robert Sternberg: Rejected from Harvard three times, he went on to become one of the most famous psychologists in history.
26. Sidney Poitier: Worked as a dishwasher before finally getting his big break in Hollywood.
27. Soichiro Honda: Fired from Toyota, he went on to create the Honda Motor Company.
28. Vera Wang: Failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure skating team, but went on to become a successful fashion designer.
29. Vera Bradley: Her first company failed, but she went on to create the successful Vera Bradley brand.
30. Walt Whitman: His book Leaves of Grass was criticized and ridiculed during his lifetime, but is now considered a masterpiece.
31. Winston Churchill: Failed multiple times before finally becoming the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
32. Woody Allen: His first movie was a commercial failure, but he went on to become one of the most successful filmmakers in history.
33. Milton Hershey: Failed multiple times before finally creating the Hershey Chocolate Company.
34. Michael Bloomberg: Fired from his first job, he went on to create the successful Bloomberg media company.
35. Martha Stewart: Her first catering business failed, but she went on to become a successful businesswoman.
36. Mark Cuban: Fired from his first job, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
37. Madonna Badger: Lost her entire family in a tragic fire, but went on to create a successful advertising agency.