More Success and Failure; Part 2

Following up on my last blog, here are some additional examples of people who “failed their way to success.”

Albert Einstein - did not speak until he was four-years-old and read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. He was expelled from school but was finally admitted to the university where he was the only one of his graduating class unable to get a teaching position because no professor would recommend him.  One professor labeled him as the laziest dog they ever had in the university.

Bill Gates - disn’t seem destined for success after dropping out of Harvard. He started a business called Traf-O-Data which failed miserably.  

Stephen King - had his first book, the iconic thriller, Carrie, rejected by 30 publishers, finally  causing him to give up and throw it in the trash.  His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it. He is now one of hte best-selling authors of all time.

Henry Ford - although known today for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, wasn’t an instant success.  If fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five times. He was advised by countless people not to get into the manufacturing of automobiles because he had neither the capital or know how.

Steven Spielberg - dropped out of junior hight school, was persuaded to go back and was placed in a learning-disabled class.  He only lasted a month and then dropped out of school again. He was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. He eventually attended school at another location, only to drop out to become a director before finishing. Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.

Thomas Edison - was told, by teachers, in his early years he was “too stupid to learn anything.”  Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.  One day, an assistant asked him why he didn’t give up; after all, he had failed over a thousand times.  Edison replied that he had not failed once. He had discovered over 1000 things that don’t work.

Harry S. Truman - was rejected by the U.S. Military & Naval Academies due to his poor eyesight.  Long before becoming a success at anything significant, he was a clerk in a newspaper mailroom, and also an usher in a movie theater.

Vincent Van Gogh -  sold only one painting during his lifetime, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money. He plugged on with painting, sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works that today bring in millions of dollars each.

Fred Astaire -  was told by the testing director of MGM that he “can’t act, can’t sing, slightly bald, not handsome, can dance a little.”  After becoming an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer, he kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.

And, finally, (although there are many more), Babe Ruth. Should he be on this list of famous failures?  Yes, this baseball legend struck out 1,330 times.

My wish for you - Go fail at something.

t the la     © Dick Caldwell 2012