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63 Successful People Who Saw Failure As Temporary Defeat And Succeeded

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Success Stories, Failure, Temporary Defeat, Famous People, How To Fail Your Way To Success, Examples, Motivation for Success

"There is no FAILURE. That which looks to be failure is usually nothing but temporary defeat. Make sure that you do not accept it as PERMANENT!" - Napoleon Hill

This Napoleon Hill sets our mindset for this article. Usually people connect failure with being unsuccessful, and if you check the antonym for success indeed it is failure. But if you study some of the most famous people success stories, you'll find that before success there was huge failure, and that those same failed attempts were the starting point of something that led them to become hugely successful.

The reason behind it, is that they didn't saw failure as the end of their attempts to being successful. They saw failure as a temporary defeat, that sooner of later, if they didn't stop doing what they were supposed to and got better with the process, eventually they would be successful in the long run.

To prove you this, and to motivate you to succeed when the thought of failure strikes you, we've selected 63 Successful People Success Stories that, at least one time in their lives, met failure but saw it as temporary defeat, didn't stopped, and went on to succeed:

Successful People Who Saw Failure
As Temporary Defeat And Succeed


1. Sylvester Stallone 

Successful People That Failed: Sylvester Stallone, Rocky, selling dog, turned down, uninspiring movie

2. Galileo Galilei 

Success People Who Failed: Galileo Galilei, heliocentrism, inquisition, house arrest, successful

3. Michael J. Fox

Successful People Who Failed: Michael J. Fox, Parkinson's Disease, Raising Millions, Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson's Disease

4. Henry Ford

Successful People Who Failed: Henry Ford, Model T, Ford, Automobile Industry, Rejections,

5. Steve Jobs

Successful People Who Failed: Steve Jobs, Apple, Fired, Return, Ipad, Ipod, Imac, Iphone


6. Steven Spielberg

Successful People Who Failed: Success story, Steven Spielberg, Jaws, Opportunity,

7. U2

Successful People Who Failed: U2, Success story, Rejection letter, Top International Act, Island Records, RSO Records

8. Soichiro Honda

Successful People Who Failed: Soichiro Honda, Success story, Bike engines, Honda, Japan, World War

9. Tim Allen

63 Successful People Who Failed: Tim Allen, Success story, Drugs, Alcohol, Sitcom, Return, Revived career.

10. Jim Rohn

63 Successful People Who Failed: Jim Rohn, Success Story, Millionaire, Motivational Speaker, creditors calling, no money in the bank, land of opportunity


11. Sir Isaac Newton

Successful People Who Failed: Sir Isaac Newton, Success story, not good in school, farming, scientists

12. Howard Stern

63 Successful People Who Failed: Howard Stern, Success Story, Fired, Comeback, NBC, DJ

13. Thomas Edison

63 Successful People Who Failed: Thomas Edison, Success Story, left school, hearing problems, 1093 patents, failure

14. Madonna

63 Successful People Who Failed: Madonna, Success story, waitress at dunkin donuts, backup artist, Breaktrough

15. Albert Einstein  

63 Successful People Who Failed: Albert Einstein, Success Story, "never will he get anywhere", school, moved.


16. Martin Luther King Jr.

63 Successful People Who Failed: Martin Luther King Jr., Success Story, Arrested 30 times, civil rights movement, failures, segregation, discrimination,

17. Sidney Poitier 

63 Successful People Who Failed: Sidney Poitier, Success Story, North American Negro Chicken Club, rejected by audiences, tone deafness, unable to sing, Bahamian accent, First African-American to win an Oscar

18. Stan Smith

63 Successful People Who Failed: Stan Smith, Success Story, Adidas, "too clumsy and uncoordinated", ball boy, Davis Cup, No1, Tennis player, 2 Grand Slams

19. Fred Astaire

63 Successful People Who Falied: Fred Astaire, Success Story, RKO Radio Pictures executives, "Can't sing. Can't act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little.", Ginger Rogers, Hollywood Musical Films

20. Winston Churchill 

63 Successful People Who Failed: Winston Churchill, Success Story, 2nd World Ward, Speeches, Tactics, Inspiring his country, poorly in school, rejected by Oxford and Cambridge


21. Tony Robbins

63 Successful People Who Failed: Tony Robbins, Success Story, King of Life Coaches, Self-Help Empire, Violent Household, Overweight, depressed, broke

22. Charles Darwin

63 Successful People Who Failed: Charles Dawrin, Success Story, failure at school and college, "a very ordinary boy, bellow the common standard of intellect, nature and species, scientists

23. Gabriel Garcia Marquez

63 Successful People Who Failed: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Success Story, "Leaf Storm", commercial failure, Nobel prize in literature 1982,

24. Harrison Ford

63 Successful People Who Failed: Harrison Ford, Success Story, rejected, radio voice overs, fired, "he'd never succeed in the movie business", Star Wars, auditions, lines

25. Will Smith 

63 Successful People Who Failed: Will Smith, Success Story, Grammy award, owned the IRS 2,8 million dollars in taxes, bankrupt, profitable Hollywood actors


26. Larry King

63 Successful People Who Failed: Larry King, Success Story, WTVY, "menace to public", grande larceny, talk show hosts,

27. Kanye West


28. Akio Morita

63 Successful People Who Failed: Akio Morita, Success Story, Sony, tape recorder, not having materials, 2nd World War, K7 player, playstation,

29. Katherine Hepburn

63 Successful People Who Failed: Katharine Hepburn, Success Story, The Philadelphia Story, 4 Oscars, "box office poison", movie flop

30. Bill Gates

63 Successful People Who Failed: Bill Gates, Success Story,Trail-O-Data, Microsoft, personal computer revolution


31. Babe Ruth

63 Successful People Who Failed: Babe Ruth, Success Story, Strikeouts record, Home-runs record, failure

32. Bruno Mars

63 Successful People Who Failed: Bruno Mars, Success Story, flopped big, color of his skin, 18 years old, 4 Grammy awards,

33. Jerry Seinfeld

63 Successful People Who Failed: Jerry Seinfeld, Success Story, Booed off stage, Seinfeld sitcom, most popular sitcom

34. Les Brown

63 Successful People Who Failed: Les Brown, Success Story, broke and sleeping on the floor of his own office, educable mentally retarded, motivational speaker, epic

35. Charlie Chaplin

63 Successful People Who Failed: Charlie Chaplin, The Tramp, alcoholic father, ailing mother, rejections by Hollywood studio chiefs.

36. George Lucas

63 Successful People Who Failed: George Lucas, Success Story, THX 1138, American Graffiti, Star Wars almost didn't got made,

37. Marilyn Monroe

63 Successful People Who Failed: Marilyn Monroe, Success Story, Famous movie star, sex symbol, pop icon, unattractive, couldn't act, dropped, 20th Century-Fox

38. Katy Perry

63 Successful People Who Failed: Katy Perry, Success Story, unsuccessful Gospel album, dropped by 2 major labels

39. Oliver Stone

63 Successful People Who Failed: Oliver Stone, Success Story, Platoon, 2 Oscars, Best Directing, dropped Yale twice, Vietnam war

40. Mahatma Gandhi

63 Successful People Who Failed: Mahatma Gandhi, Success Story, struggle to alleviate poverty and to liberate women, imprisoned, accused of conspiracy, India independence in 1947


41. Charles Schultz

63 Successful People Who Failed: Charles Schultz, Success Story, rejected cartoons in high school, Walt Disney Studios rejected, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Cartoonists,

42. Clint Eastwood

63 Successful People Who Failed: Clint Eastwood, Success Story, stiff manner, hissing, fired by studio, trademark, enduring cultural icon of masculinity,

43. Monet

63 Successful People Who Failed: Claude Monet, Success Story, mocked, Paris Saloon, artistic elite, millions of dollars paintings,

44. Barbara Corcoran

63 Successful People Who Failed: Barbara Corcoran, Success Story, straight D's student, "failure is my specialty"

45. Michael Jordan

63 Successful People Who Failed: Michael Jordan, Success Story, cut from high school team, 7 years to win a tittle, can't shoot, can't play defense, the best basketball player of all time


46. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

63 Successful People Who Failed: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Success Story, restless, court musician in Salzburg, 600 works, best music pieces ever to be created

47. Elvis Presley

63 Successful People Who Failed: Elvis Presley, Success Story, "You ain't going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck", fired, best selling artists of all time.

48. Conan O'Brien

63 Successful People Who Failed: Conan O'Brien, Success Story, NBC, Jay Leno, conflict, 9 months, debut on cable, led all audiences

49. The Beatles


50. Jim Carrey



51. Mark Cuban


52. Lauryn Hill

63 Successful People Who Failed: Lauryn Hill, Apollo, hard crowd, booed and cried off stage, Fugees, solo career

53. Maria Callas

63 Successful People Who Failed: Maria Callas, Success Story, voice rejected, excessive weight, famous opera singer

54. Mariah Carey

63 Successful People Who Failed: Mariah Carey, Success Story, coat check girl, waitress, fired numerous times. focused in her music, listen to her demo in her walkman, successful singer

55. Socrates

63 Successful People Who Failed: Socrates, Success Story, Socratic problem, no direct sources, biggest philosopher of all time


56. The Wright Brothers

63 Successful People Who Failed: The Wright Brothers, Success story, first plane ever, prototypes failures, depression growing up, first ever plane to say in the air, legends

57. Jack Canfield

63 Successful People Who Failed: Jack Canfield, Success Story, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, books rejected by 144 different publishers, huge impact

58. Ludwig Van Beethoven

63 Successful People Who Failed: Ludwig Van Beethoven, Success Story, hearing problems, got deaf, hopeless as a composer, most famous and influential of all composers

59. Lady Gaga

63 Successful People Who Failed: Lady Gaga, Success Story, dropped by Island Def Jam, "cried so hard she couldn't talk", songwriter, vocal abilities, Interscope Records

60. Zach Galifianakis

63 Successful People Who Failed: Zach Galifianakis, Success Story, major in Communication, dropped college, house cleaner, busboy, nanny, stand up comedy, tv and films.

61. Stephen King

63 Successful People Who  Failed: Stephen King, Success Story, "Carrie" early draft, threw away, most popular writers of our time

62. Dr. Seuss

63 Successful People Who Failed: Dr. Seuss, Success Story, struggled to get his first children's book published, "And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street, rejected by 27 publishers, most popular children's books of all time, 600 million worldwide

63. Jay-Z

63 Successful People Who Failed: Jay-Z, Success Story, couldn't get a record deal, rejected by labels, drug traffic, created his own label, huge success

Hope you were motivated by this great examples from successful people on how to see failure as temporary defeat and succeeded.
Fell free to share this article with your friends and colleagues, MOTIVATE THEM as well! 
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