34 People Whose Lives Can Challenge You


Your failures today do not determine your future. You have not failed forever. You might know why? Learn from the following people.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford is widely known today for his innovative mind in line and American-made cars. He wasn’t an instant success and his early businesses failed and left him broke five time.  He later founded the successful Ford Motor Company. He is now a successful person in his business.

R. H. Macy

Macy started business and failed seven times before finally hitting big with his store in New York City. Most people are familiar with this large department store chain. On the side of Macy, he didn’t always have it easy.

F. W. Woolworth

Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores in the U.S. Young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.

Soichiro Honda

Honda is the billion-dollar business. Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. He was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer and left him jobless for quite some time. He is now a successful person.

Akio Morita

Morita is the Sony. Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice so much. This first setback but didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.

Bill Gates

Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard School and started a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. Today, he is a successful in his business model (Microsoft).

Harland David Sanders

Sanders is better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. He had a hard time selling his chicken at first. His famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it. He is now a testimony.

Walt Disney

Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world today, though Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. When he was fired by a newspaper editor because he thinks Disney lacked imagination and had no good ideas. Then, he started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy. He eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

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Albert Einstein

Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven. His teachers and parents think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. As a result of this, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. Later on, most people caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.

Charles Darwin

Darwin gave up on having a medical career and was often chastised by his father for being lazy and too dreamy. Darwin today is well-known for his scientific studies.

Robert Goddard

Goddard today is hailed for his research and experimentation with liquid-fueled rockets. During his lifetime, his ideas were often rejected and mocked by his scientific peers. Rockets and space travel don’t seem far-fetched at all today due largely in part to the work of this scientist who worked against the feelings of the time.

Isaac Newton

Newton was undoubtedly a genius when it came to math, but he had some failings early on. He never did particularly well in school and when put in charge of running the family farm, he failed miserably, so poorly in fact that an uncle took charge and sent him off to Cambridge where he finally blossomed into the scholar we know today.


Socrates is one of the greatest philosophers of the Classical era. His new ideas, in his own time was called “an immoral corrupter of youth” and was sentenced to death. Socrates was not discouraged and didn’t let this stop him. He kept right on until he was forced to poison himself.

Robert Sternberg

Sternberg received a C in his first college introductory psychology class with his teacher telling him that, “there was already a famous Sternberg in psychology and it was obvious there would not be another.” He eventually became the President of the American Psychological Association.

Thomas Edison

Edison was “too stupid to learn anything.” as his teacher said. Even as an inventor, He made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Today, he is a successful inventor.

Orville and Wilbur Wright

They are brothers with depression and family illness before starting the bicycle.. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, they finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

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Winston Churchill

This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. He was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation. His life wasn’t so easy. In his youth, he went to war a captain and returned a private. Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed businesses and was defeated.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah was known as one of the most iconic faces on TV. He is one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position but endured a rough and often abusive childhood.

Harry S. Truman

Truman is the Senator, Vice President and eventual President found success in his life. He started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing – seemingly a success at first – only go bankrupt a few years later.

Dick Cheney

Cheney is the Vice President and businessman made his way to the White House but managed to flunk out of Yale University, not once, but twice. If you drop out, you get to be the vice president.” He is now a successful.

Jerry Seinfeld

Seinfeld looked out at the audience, froze and was eventually jeered and booed off of the stage. Seinfeld knew he could do it, so he went back the next night, completed his set to laughter and applause. He is a successful man.

Fred Astaire

Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer and kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.

Oliver Stone

Stone as an Oscar-winning filmmaker began his first novel while at Yale. A project eventually caused him to fail out of school. After dropping out of school, Stone moved to Vietnam to teach English and later enlisted in the army and fought in the war and helped him find the inspiration for his later work.

Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money.Van Gogh was never a success during his life and he plugged on with painting. Today, they bring in hundreds of millions.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson is a commonly read and loved writer. In her lifetime, she was all but ignored and had fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.

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Jack London

London is a well-known American author. He wasn’t always such a success. While he would go on to publish popular novels like White Fang and The Call of the Wild, his first story received six hundred rejection slips before finally being accepted.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart started composing at the age of five. He was writing over 600 pieces of music. Yet during his lifetime, Mozart didn’t have such an easy time, and was often restless. He struggled to keep the support of the aristocracy and died with little to his name.

Elvis Presley

Elvis has become a household name even years after his death. But back in 1954, he was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You aren’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.” He is now a successful man.

Igor Stravinsky

In 1913 when Stravinsky debuted his now famous Rite of Spring, audiences rioted, running the composer out of town. Yet it was this very work that changed the way composers in the 19th century thought about music and cemented his place in musical history.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Young Beethoven was incredibly awkward on the violin and was often so busy working on his own compositions that he neglected to practice. Upon his love of composing, his teachers felt he was hopeless at it and would never succeed with the violin. Beethoven was not discouraged and kept plugging along. He succeeded at last.

Michael Jordan

Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. Today, Jordan has succeeded in basketball.”

Stan Smith

Smith is also a tennis player who was rejected from even being a lowly ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because event organizers felt he was too clumsy and uncoordinated. He was not discouraged and he was successful.

Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth run record (714 during his career) and held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this, he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” She is a successful woman.


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