6 Entrepreneurs who failed before achieving success

Failure isn’t the opposite of success, instead, it is just a stepping stone. Every failure may seem devastating but there are a number of things a budding entrepreneur could learn from failure.

Here’s a list of some industry biggies who have failed in life before making it big:

1. Bill Gates

Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, didn’t have it easy before making Microsoft a big-time successful company. He dropped out of school at a very young age because of financial issues. People hardly know that before Microsoft, he set up Traf-O-data, started with his partner P. Allen, which aimed to process and analyse data from traffic. Unfortunately for him, Traf-O-data was a big-time failure which buried him in debts. He took this failure as a lesson and went on to start Microsoft and the world is aware of the rest.

2. Steve Jobs

This man’s story is truly inspirational as it has its fair share of failures and victories alike. Jobs dropped out of college after his first semester to make it big on his own. Very early on, he achieved success when Apple was doing well, but, the board of directors decided to fire him in ’85 due to his shortcomings. He claims that getting laid off from Apple was the best thing that happened to him as he got enough time to work on his next venture, NeXt, which was later acquired by Apple. Apple hired Jobs back and he worked very hard to get Apple to reach where it stands today.



3. Colonel Sanders

Kentucky Fried Chicken is an absolute favourite with everyone who loves fast food. Colonel Sanders is the man you see on the tub of fried chicken. He was a 56 year old aspiring entrepreneur when KFC actually worked for him. Before that, his recipe was rejected over 500 times till a restaurant finally picked it up. What one can learn from this man is to believe in your idea even if the world doesn’t agree with you.

Related Post: 7 Things I learned from my first startup failure

4. Thomas Alva Edison

Every aspiring scientist wants to be like this man who is the holder of over 1000 patents and inventor of the most popular devices such as the phonograph and the movie camera. However, he had also tasted failure while trying to work on the concept of the light-bulb. He tried over 10,000 ways to make the simple light bulb work and was on the verge of giving up when a new idea suddenly struck him. To motivate more people to keep trying new things and not be afraid of failure, he claimed that during those 10,000 tries, he discovered 9000 ways a simple light bulb would never work.

5. Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is the woman behind the very successful Huffington Post. However, she is one entrepreneur who had failed miserably before her start-up could make it big. Her second book was rejected by 36 publishers which left her very dejected. When Huffpost came alive to mixed reviews, she was bothered by a few negative ones. Still, she managed not to dread failure and continue to make her venture big till she actually scraped out the negative reviews.

6. Milton Hershey

Hershey’s is the most popular brand of chocolate worldwide. The founder of Hershey’s, Milton Hershey didn’t have it all sorted from the beginning. Very early on in his life, he was fired from a printing apprenticeship. Failure hit him hard when he was forced to watch three of his candy ventures go down the drain. What’s inspiring is that he never gave up and let his love for milk chocolates drive him until he came up with a very successful venture.

Related Post: 10 things every entrepreneur needs to learn very early



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Niharika Nandi

Author: Niharika Nandi

Aspiring start-up writer who loves traveling. I'm also a self-confessed potterhead and a professional bathroom singer who likes to bake and devour hazelnut shakes in my free time.

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