10 Celebrities Who Failed Before They Succeeded

On 28 January 2015

10 Celebrities Who Failed Before They Succeeded

We all have our ups and downs, but we have to perseverate, to be confident and follow our passion. These celebrities failed, but they found a way to succeed by following their passion. See 10 inspirational stories of famous people:


Oprah Winfrey

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time.”

Oprah was fired from her first job as a television anchor in Baltimore, because she was too "emotionally involved" with the news stories. But she wasn't discouraged and succeeded in television. She became a cultural icon and one of the most influential women in the world, according to Forbes.


Jim Carrey

“Life opens up opportunities to you, and you either take them or you stay afraid of taking them.”

Comedian Jim Carrey had a rough childhood and, even more, his first standup routines were a failure. Even so, he proved to be confident and he continued to invest time and passion into his art and in this way he caught the attention of Rodney Dangerfield, who supported him and helped his career flourish.

Now he's one of the best actors with roles in movies like Dumb and Dumber, the Ace Ventura series, Liar, Liar, The Truman Show and much more. He proved that doesn't matter how you start, you have to be passionate, determinated and confident.


Marilyn Monroe

“If I’d observed all the rules I’d never have got anywhere.”

Columbia Pictures told her she wasn’t talented enough to pursue an acting career, and a modeling agency advised her to become a secretary because they thought she wasn’t pretty enough. If she'd listen to them, today wouldn't exist all the memorable stories about this beauty icon. Even if she was told that wasn't pretty enough, now she's considered one of the most beautiful women of all time, and her beauty continues to inspire women of all ages.



“Successful people have a bigger fear of failure than people who’ve never done anything because if you haven’t been successful, then you don’t know how it feels to lose it all.”

Jay-Z was born in a notorious neighborhood in New York, surrounded the drugs. He and his three siblings were raised by their mother, after their father abandoned them.

He began freestyling and writing lyrics at a young age. Later he recorded his music and tried to get the attention of many records labels, but had no successs. He didn't give up and created his own record label, Roc-a-Fella records, and now he is one of the best selling artist of all time, having sold more than 100 million records, while receiving 19 Grammy Awards for his musical work. Even more, in 2014, Forbes estimaed Carter's net worth at nearly $520 million.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

Genuis Mozart was born in 1756, and at age 5, he could perform on keyboard and violin for European royalty. At only 17, he was hired on as the court musician in Salzburg. But Mozart was a restless man, and he couldn't stay in a place for too long. This led to constant job hunting and consecutive dismissals from his employers.

Mozart didn't live a good life with his incoming and died with little to his name, yet his music acclaimed as some of the best ever created.



“I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams.”

Madonna reinvented the pop music. She became queen of pop, a true performer, a style icon and a good actress. We can't talk about pop music, without mentioning Madonna.

The "Like a Virgin" singer was rejected by the music producer behind Dirty Dancing's soundtrack the year before she debuted her first album. A line from the rejection letter reads: “I do not feel that she is ready yet, but I do hear the basis for a strong artist.” The letter is almost comical now, seeing as it describes one of the “strongest artists” in the world.


The Beatles

“We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow’s nest of that ship.” – John Lennon

The 1960s rock band had a huge success, releasing hit after hit and being loved by fans all over the world. It's hard to believe that they were rejected by a record company. On 1 January 1962, before they reached international stardom, the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records. In what is considered one of the biggest mistakes in music history, Decca decided to reject the band, selecting instead Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. Decca told them “guitar groups are way out of style.”

Thankfully, The Beatles were undeterred by the rejection and were signed by another lable three months later.


J.K. Rowling

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

Before becoming one of the richest women in the world for her Harry Potter series, Joanne Rowling was a single mother struggling with depression and poverty. But her conditions didn't stop her and she succeeded to make time for her creative writing.

One day as she was riding on a delayed train from Manchester to London, the idea of Harry Potter came into her mind. Atfer a number of rejections, she finally sold the book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, for the equivalent of $4.000.

Today the Harry Potter brand is estimated to be worth $15billion thanks to millions of dedicated fans all over the globe. Moreover, Rowling is one of the most appreciated writers, because she put magic into our childhood.


Henry Ford

“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.”

Henry Ford’s early businesses all failed and left him broke five times before he founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903. Though he failed many times, he believed in himself and in his passion, and he revolutioned our lives.


Steve Jobs

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Steve Jobs failed at his early business ventures and was fired from Apple in 1985. He founded a company called NeXT, which collapsed, so he returned to Apple in 1997. In 2000 he became Apple's CEO.

With a huge determination and passion Jobs breathed new life into the brand and make it to achieve today's success.


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