To many, the idea of failure is a negative one. We’re afraid to try something new for fear that it won’t work out. We’re afraid to leave our jobs to go off on our own because we’re certain it’s not going to work out. But, here’s something to ponder: when people take on a new project, they know that inevitability they will probably fail at some point, especially when it comes to business. Most new start ups fail, yet entrepreneurs still feel a need to try, despite that chance of failure.
The need to try despite fear is what makes us great, and it is that feeling that will help you succeed even after you do inevitably fail. Because everyone does at some point. Here are the failures of three hugely successful people and what they learned from those failures.
Oprah Winfrey: You might have heard of her. Her accomplishments are almost too great to list. Yet she has had many public failures. In 1998 she developed the movie “Beloved” with an $80 million dollar budget, which she starred in, and it lost opening weekend to the “Bride of Chucky.” This failure was very personal to her. Despite all her successes, she eventually stepped away from movies until 2013’s “The Butler.” Of her failure she said: “It taught me to do whatever you’re going to do, and release all expectations for it.”
Henry Ford: He’s the creator of the modern day assembly line; he revolutionized the automobile industry and the labour industry itself, but his first five business ventures were complete failures, which left him completely broke. Yet he never gave up and went on to start the Ford Motor Company, which still exists today.
Thomas Edison: Perhaps there is no more fitting metaphor for failure than Thomas Edison. He was fired from numerous jobs and told by teachers that “He was too stupid to learn anything.” Yet he kept trying and trying. In fact, it took over 1000 tries for him to successfully create the first light bulb. He learned to face failure with tenacity and determination until he was successful!