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15 Famous People Who Failed To Succeed The First Time Around

Things not going to plan? In need of a morale boost? Whether you didn’t graduate with the grade you were hoping for this summer, are feeling down about the job hunt, or are clueless as to what job to even hunt for, here’s a list of 15 famous people who didn’t make it the first time around, but still made it big.

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1. Soichiro Honda – The founder of Honda didn’t make the cut for an engineering job at Toyota after The Second World War. But then Soichiro Honda started making motorbikes, started a business, and became a billionaire. Who’s laughing now, Toyota? That’s ‘The Power Of Dreams’ for you.

2. Michael Jordan – The basketball giant failed to make it into his high school’s varsity team during his sophomore year. At 5”11, he was deemed too short to play at varsity level. A tall order to say the least!

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3. Steven Spielberg – This high school drop-out was rejected twice from his dream school, The University of Southern California. Having sought education elsewhere, Spielberg dropped out again and became an unpaid, uncredited intern at Universal Studios. It was here that Spielberg’s talents were finally recognised, and he went on to become a household name.

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4. Beethoven – His music teacher reputedly once told him that he was a hopeless composer. Well, what did his teacher know? Beethoven was clearly a trendsetter.

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5. Charles Darwin – Following in his father’s footsteps, Darwin reluctantly entered into the medical profession. His interests were, however, firmly rooted in the natural world, much to the annoyance of his father, who sent him away to become a parson. Fortunately for us, Darwin defied his father and continued to pursue his passion, going on the make a number of monumental scientific discoveries. Great decision, Charles.

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6. Marilyn Monroe – As an aspiring actress, Monroe worked stints at 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures, both of which failed to renew her contract after six months… their loss!

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7. Henry Ford – It was third time lucky for Henry Ford, as The Ford Motor Co was founded after the failure of his first two businesses.

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8 & 9. Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita – Founders of worldwide electrical corporation, Sony. One of the first products piloted by Ibuka and Morita was a questionable electric rice cooker. The pair only managed to sell 100 or so of these cookers because they tended to burn rice rather than cook it, they’ve come a long way since then!

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10. Abraham Lincoln – Aged 23, Lincoln and a partner bought a small general store which failed, meaning Lincoln had to sell his share. Soon after, he began his political career when he campaigned for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly, and failed that too.

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11. Vera Wang – When Vera Wang failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure-skating team, she took on the fashion industry. Wang became a senior fashion editor for Vogue, before becoming an award winning designer in her own right.

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12. Walt Disney – Fired by the editor of a newspaper because he ‘lacked imagination’ and ‘had no good ideas’. He sure showed them.

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13. Oprah Winfrey – Demoted from her news anchor job because she ‘wasn’t fit for television’. Her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, proves otherwise.

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14. Charlie Chaplin – His act was considered too obscure for the masses, and was initially dismissed by executives.

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15. Winston Churchill – The former British Prime Minister fared poorly in school and had a speech impediment in his earlier years. Initially, Churchill was defeated in every public office he ran for.

“Never, never, never, never give up”
– Churchill

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