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How Failure Can Lead to Success

How Failure Can Lead to Success
December 20, 2018 Kristen

Failure can be brutal!

For most of us, trying to make it in the business world means we’ll undoubtedly encounter significant setbacks. Whether your business concept doesn’t come to fruition, you’re forced into bankruptcy, or things just don’t go your way, a little failure can often lead to great business success. The key is to learn from your mistakes and use the setbacks as motivation.

To inspire your journey to success, here are a few prime examples of people and businesses which launched into something great after being rejected and set back by other major companies.

Walt Disney

Disney began his rollercoaster of a career by being fired by a newspaper for lack of imagination and not being creative enough. Not long after, his iconic Mickey Mouse cartoons were also turned down as they were deemed to be too scary for women. Disney chose not to listen to his critics and used their negativity as motivation to pursue his dreams. After another few setbacks (including being bankrupt four times), Walt Disney believed in himself and built his Disney empire, soon becoming a cartoon and cultural icon of the 20th Century.

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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was known for being a tech legend and the founder of Apple.
But in 1985, Jobs was fired. Apple was Jobs’s baby and he wanted it to be perfect, that sometimes lead him to be a hard leader. Apple and Macintosh’s board of directors removed him as they believed he was difficult to work with and not disciplined enough. Jobs decided to form his own software startup, NeXT and bought a little (at the time) animation studio, Pixar. Soon after, Apple started to lose focus and struggle, leading them to buy Jobs’s startup desperately. Jobs returned to Apple which was suddenly on its way to becoming one of the worlds most valuable public traded companies.
In his 2005 speech at Stanford University, Jobs said being fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to him saying, “the heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

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J.K. Rowling

J.K Rowling was turned down 12 times before she landed a publishing deal with Bloomsbury for her very famous wizardry series, Harry Potter. The well-known author knew her story was one to believe in and had no intention of giving up! Rowling took to Twitter to say, “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen. I had nothing to lose and sometimes that makes you brave enough to try.”

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the 21st Century’s greatest businessmen, yet his career story is actually filled with rejections and failures. Musk didn’t get any traction when he first applied for a job at Netscape in the 90s. A few years later, he was fired from his position as PayPal’s CEO. Facing each rejection he received, Musk went on to build something new; co-founding Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company. He now brings in a net worth of USD 22.1 billion.


In the early 2000s, Netflix CFO, Barry McCarthy and co-founders Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph met with Blockbuster CEO, John Antioco to propose that they run the Blockbuster business online, and become The Blockbuster team laughed the innovative Netflix team out of the office and declined the offer. The Blockbuster directors did not see a future of online video content. Ten years later, Blockbuster wound up filing for bankruptcy when the video company lost $1.1 billion; while Netflix’s worth rose to a massive $13 billion.

Kanye West

In 2009, Kayne and the iconic footwear and apparel brand, Nike announced the release of Air Yeezy 1. The collaboration between the two lasted a total of five years and three sneaker styles. Then in 2013, Nike and West decided to depart ways due to ‘creative differences’. Soon after severing his creative partnership with Nike, Kanye closed a $10 Million deal with Adidas who saw and pursued his creative vision. West and Adidas first dropped ‘Yeezy Boost 750’ in 2015, that sold out within 10 minutes and soon became a must-have fashion piece in the pop-culture industry. Since then, West and Adidas have released another seven sneakers. West now claims he is the highest paid person in footwear, with the Yeezy brand hitting $1.5 Billion in 2018.

You know the saying, “if you don’t succeed, try again!”

Next time you get fired, rejected, or turned down; just remember some of the greatest innovations and companies which exist today went through the same setbacks as you. If you are determined, get back up and try again!

If you’re struggling to push your business forward, a team of digital marketing experts may be the thing you need. Give us a call today and let us help your business launch into the success you have always envisioned.

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