15 Famous Celebrities who Found Success after Failures and Rejections


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There is a famous proverb saying ‘Most people give up when they are very near to success” and successful are those who surpass this. People who fight their misfortunes and strive hard to achieve their dreams are the ones who eventually find success. Success is not something which you can achieve with drop of a dime. Hard work, determination, and desire to walk extra mile are the factors that determine your success.

In today’s post, we bring to you a list of 15 famous celebrities who have found success after going through a series of failures and rejections. After being neglected by the world and left broken, they never allowed destiny to take control of their life. With their untiring efforts, dedication and undying spirit, they turned the time in their favor and ultimately rose to become what they are today. We salute their spirit.

1. Michael Jordan

Very few people know that the great basketball player was not selected in his high school basketball team due to lack of potential.  After being rejected he went to his home, locked himself in room and cried the entire day. Many of us would do the same, forget about the fact and carry on with our life. However, what he did next is something to lookout for. He took it as a challenge for himself, went out, practiced lot harder, and came back with more chutzpah to become one of the most famous basketball player for American national team.

2. Steve Jobs

After starting a company at a very young age, he was unceremoniously exited from his own company at the age of 30. He was left devastated and depressed. However, he was someone who was not scared of starting from the scratch all over again. He did, again. He used his anger only to prepare himself to stage a grand comeback with ‘Apple’. Now people swear by his company’s products and iPhones, iPads and iPods have become a part of our life. Today Steve Jobs is an iconic figure and everyone wants to emulate him.

3. Walt Disney

He co-founded ‘The Walt Disney Company’ (formerly known as Walt Disney Productions)  after being fired from the job at a newspaper agency for his lack of imagination and original ideas. Getting fired from a job can dent anybody’s confidence, more-so if fired for such a reason, it can break even the strongest of persons. But Walt Disney was different. With iconic characters like Mickey Mouse, he showed not only his former employer but entire world about his imaginative skills.

4. Oprah Winfrey

The most celebrated media personality has a black past. Her childhood was spent in poverty. She was raped at the age of 9, and got pregnant at 13. She came back and became a news anchor but was later demoted for being not fit for television. She rose again, and now is the highest paid media personality in the world with a salary of $290 million per annum.

5. Albert Einstein

Unlike most children, he didn’t speak till he was 4 years old. When he started studies, he failed in Grade 1st and his teachers were never too optimistic whether he would even be able to complete his studies. But the man has different thoughts in mind. He proved the teachers wrong and went on to give world a series of theories and formulas like e = mc2 that even the greatest of scholars find difficult to prove.

6. Eminem

Initial days of the pop icon were spent in poverty where he struggled for life’s basic needs. Then he fell into the trap of drugs and was dropped out of school which forced him into an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Despite so much negativity in life, he came out as a legendry pop icon.

7. The Beatles

The most famous band in the history of music was once rejected by a music company called Decca Recording Studios saying their music is crappy and the band has no future in the same genre. And years later, there came a time when the music releases of the same studio never culminated the size of audience that every single show of Beatles did.

8. Colonel Sanders

The brand KFC was a small startup with only 1 employee, Sanders himself. He started his dream when he was 65 with just 105$ in hand. He used to go to every restaurant and house to offer his chickens, and sleep in his car when his work gets over. He got many rejections. He got his first Yes after a disheartening 1009 Nos.

9. Vincent Van Gogh

The famous painter has worked on more than 800 painting. Nobody liked his paintings when he was alive and he sold only one in his entire lifetime and that too to one of his friend. And now, everyone wants to buy them. His most expensive painting is valued over 142 million. Just multiply it with 800 and see the figure it reaches.

10. JK Rowling

The author of Harry Potter had her manuscript rejected several times. Many rejected it without reading the complete novel. But she kept her head high, and continued to knock on the doors of the publishers. Finally, Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury agreed to publish the book but asked her to provide other services as well. Would have she succeeded if denied the proposal or stopped after a few refusals. She went the extra yard, took the pain and humility of rejection, and that’s why she one the most celebrated authors in the world. She is the first author to become billionaire by selling books.

11. Steven Spielberg

The director of movies like Saving Private Ryan and Jurassic Park is someone, who can teach lessons of film making to best of professors, was once denied admission in University of South California Film School. He then went to California State University and did his graduation. In 1994, he received honorary degree from the same college which rejected him once. He now has a new worth of $2.7 billion. Steven Spielberg would never be known to us if he had stopped after first rejection.

12. Bill Gates

The success story of Bill Gates is known to one and all. He was a college dropout who has seen failure of many businesses before he went on to find Microsoft. He went on to prove that you don’t need college degrees but persistence, vision, and hard work to achieve success. He is the owner of the software that revolutionized the computing world i.e. Microsoft Windows.

13. Charlie Chaplin

We think of comedy and the first name that strikes us is that of Charlie Chaplin. Although many decades old, still there is a raw yet polished charm in Charlie Chaplin that keeps us glued to our TV screens. But when Charlie Chaplin initially approached to Hollywood Studio chiefs, he was rejected saying that his comedy is brainless and would not sell.

14. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, who is still considered as one of most beautiful and sensual actress in Hollywood was rejected and told to pick career as a secretary.  Imagine a woman who was born to be a star being rejected and discouraged. Although, she faced a tragic death at a very young age, still she is considered as a star.

15. Oliver Stone

It is tough to believe that the first novel of three-time Oscar winning filmmaker was rejected by publishers. Even when his book was finally published in 1998, it was not successful. Oliver stone thought of giving up writing and went to Vietnam to teach English.  He was then enlisted in Vietnam army and fought a battle which gave him the inspiration for his movies which were based on wars.

If all of these famous celebrities would have taken a back step, there wouldn’t be iPads and Macs to enjoy music and do things, no Tom and Jerry and Mickey Mouse to watch and laugh, no Harry Potter to enjoy and no E=mc2 to do most vital calculations of Physics. Success always comes to one who fights bad times and never give up.


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