How Six Famous Billionaires Failed Before Succeeding


Before their success, some of the world’s most famous billionaires experienced some epic failures.  We often think of failure as doing something wrong or not being good enough but failure is often a critical part of the journey to success.   

Before launching Microsoft, Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout and the co-owner of a failed business.  He learned some valuable lessons from his failed traffic data company, launched Microsoft and went on to donate more than $28 billion to charity.      

Jeff Bezos believes that failure and success often go hand in hand. This attitude has made him one of the richest men on earth after a rocky start.  He invested in a failed startup and started a failed auction site before founding Amazon. 

Oprah Winfrey went from being a victim of abuse and losing an unborn baby at the age of 14 to being the first African-American billionaire.  She was fired from her first job on TV as an anchor and was told she was “unfit” for television. Her attitude is that failure is just life trying to move you in another direction. It certainly moved her along, enabling her to donate millions of dollars to charity.

Elon Musk believes in the power of persistence. From being bullied at school and giving up a PhD at Stanford, he has become the founder of some of the most forward-thinking companies in the world. He experienced plenty of failure while taking Paypal, SpaceX and Tesla to success and his philosophy is that if you’re not failing, you’re not innovating. 

Jack Ma regards giving up as the greatest failure. He has become one of China’s richest men after suffering plenty of rejection in his earlier years. His Harvard application was rejected 10 times. 

Andrew Carnegie spent his childhood in poverty, and worked in menial jobs before founding the Carnegie Steel Factory and becoming a leading philanthropist. 

What we can learn from these billionaires is that everyone who achieves success faces challenges. What makes a person is how they react to these roadblocks or obstacles in their lives. 

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