5 Famous Failures That Will Inspire You

Famous Failures

Have you ever looked around at someone who has created massive success and think, “Yea, it was easy for them!”?  I used to think that too at times.  The fact is that most people don’t want to fail and they look at rejection as a bad thing that only happens to them and no one else.

However, you must realize that facing failure head-on is the only way to create massive success.  My hopes are that these five famous failures will inspire you to fail more often so that we can one day hear your story! 

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75 Inspirational Quotes

Seven Famous Failures

1. Walt Disney

famous failures

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

When Walt Disney was only 22 years old, he was fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.” His first company, called Laugh-o-gram, went bankrupt.  Mickey Mouse (who doesn’t love him, right?) cartoons were rejected at first because it was said they were, “too scary for women.”  During his lifetime, he was nominated for 59 Academy Awards!  I mean, could you imagine a life without Disney movies and Disney World?  I honestly don’t even want to think about it.   

2. Michael Jordan

famous failures

A former basketball player who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships!!  But, did you know he was originally cut from his high school basketball team?

He missed more than 9000 shots in his career, lost almost 300 games, and on 26 occasions he was trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”


3. Mary Kay Ash

famous failuresWhile her husband was serving in the military, Mary Kay Ash sold books door to door.  When he returned home, they were divorced and she was left with 3 children.  

With the help of her son and her life savings of $5000, she launched her dream business in 1963.  


Throughout her lifetime, she received numerous awards and her company now has a global sales force of over 3.5 million.

According to Forbes, Mary Kay came in at #107 on their list of America’s Largest Private Companies with approximately 4 billion in revenue.   


4. J.K. Rowling

famous failures

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but 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 fail by default.”

J.K. Rowling is best known for being the author of the Harry Potter series.  What most don’t realize is that when she first wrote the book, she was a single mom living on welfare.  

When speaking at a Harvard commencement ceremony in 2008, she said this about failure.  “An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless … By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.” 

Before Harry Potter was published, the manuscripts were rejected by 12 different publishers.  Oh, and she’s now a billionaire!

5. Babe Ruth

famous failuresBabe Ruth is best known for setting the record of the most home runs in a single season.  He was an amazing major league baseball player and will always remain an american icon.  Over his career he hit 714 home runs with the Yankees, won seven pennants and four world series.    

What most don’t realize though is that he also held the record for the most strikeouts until that record was broken in 1964.  Over his career, he struck out 1,330 times!!  

“How to hit home runs: I swing as hard as I can . . . I swing big, with everything I’ve got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.”



So you see, even some of the greatest icons and success stories faced the most brutal challenges and failures before they became big names!  Remember these stories when you feel discouraged and know that everyone will face ups and downs.  I encourage you not to let setbacks keep you from accomplishing great things in your own lifetime.  

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Sherri Brown

Sherri Brown Teaches and Inspires Network Marketers how to create the freedom they deserve!  CLICK HERE for more resources to help you grow YOUR Business. 


  • Sam

    Reply Reply March 9, 2016

    Love this post!!! Very inspiring! Thanks 😀

    • Sherri Brown

      Reply Reply March 9, 2016

      Thank you Sam. 🙂

  • Tuesday

    Reply Reply March 9, 2016

    Failure isn’t a sign of weakness it’s a sign of growth!! Great piece!

    • Sherri Brown

      Reply Reply March 9, 2016

      Thank you Tuesday. 🙂

  • Gordon Attard

    Reply Reply March 9, 2016

    Great Stories Sherrie! Thanks for sharing them.

    • Sherri Brown

      Reply Reply March 9, 2016

      Thanks Gordan and you’re more than welcome!

  • collin

    Reply Reply March 9, 2016

    Its always great to see the people who have failed and built huge business afterwards. Its a big motivation. Thanks for sharing

    • Sherri Brown

      Reply Reply March 9, 2016

      You are exactly right Collin and you’re welcome.

  • Zach

    Reply Reply March 9, 2016

    What a great post Sherri!! Success has many failures! If you quit when you failed you will never truly know your worth! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sherri Brown

      Reply Reply March 10, 2016

      You’re welcome Zach and you’re so right.

  • Keith James

    Reply Reply March 9, 2016

    “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” – Niels Bohr

    Anyone hoping to be successful has to learn that failure is just part of the process. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sherri Brown

      Reply Reply March 10, 2016

      You’re welcome Keith and I absolutely love that quote!

  • Aisha waqas

    Reply Reply March 10, 2016

    These are great success stories and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing

    • Sherri Brown

      Reply Reply March 10, 2016

      Thank you Aisha!

  • Mike

    Reply Reply March 10, 2016

    What an inspiring post, just show stay focused on you vision and you’ll get there.

    • Sherri Brown

      Reply Reply March 10, 2016

      Thank you Mike. 🙂

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