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4 Failures Who Became World-Famous Success Stories.

We’re just gonna say it: failure stinks. But in the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” Here are a few folks you may have heard of who had some mega-fails, but who never gave up.

1. After getting rejected again and again, Norman Vincent Peale threw his manuscript in the trash. His wife was the one who dug it out and brought it to the guy who ended up publishing it. The book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” became a best-seller. It was translated into over 40 languages and sold millions of copies.

2. In 1978, a student dropped out of college to pursue a dance career. Soon, she was working at Dunkin’ Donuts to make ends meet. She got fired from that job and tried to pursue dance again, showing up in New York City with nothing but $35 and a big dream. In 1982, she was signed and released her first record: “Madonna.” Today, Madonna is the best-selling female recording artist of all time.

3. Did you know George Washington actually lost more battles than he won? It’s true. But he went on to become a Founding Father and the first president of the United States.

4. In the early ’90s, J. K. Rowling was jobless, battling clinical depression, and living on welfare. Her first book was rejected by every publisher she submitted it to. A year later, one publisher finally agreed to give it a shot, but advised her to get a day job, because she’d never make money writing children’s books. In 2004, J. K. Rowling became the world’s first billionaire author.


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This story was originally shared in InspireMore’s daily newsletter, Morning Smile. Click here to subscribe!