These famous people will motivate you to never give up

Stay focussed on your dreams and you will turn failure into success.

11 world famous people who refused to allow failure to stop them. They are the epitome of 'Dust yourself off and try again.'

Everyone experiences failure and rejection. What you might not know is that even the world's most successful celebrities, businessmen, authors, inventors, and athletes were once shown the door. The difference between them and you is that they did not let that stop them. They steadfastly pursued their dreams, no matter how embarrassed and insignificant, silly or worthless the world made them feel.

These 11 people were once just like you...


Soichiro Honda‘s unique vision got him ostracised by the Japanese business community. If he listened to the doubters and haters, there would be no Vtecs, S2000s nor any Civics!

Disney World

The mastermind behind the Disney empire that built Mickey Mouse, The Lion King, and Disney World was told he wasn’t creative. A local newspaper editor once fired Walt Disney because he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas.'

Read: 7 quotes to keep you motivated

Harry Potter

J.K Rowling reached rock bottom after her divorce and battled with depression. She is quoted as saying, “It was only when I came to rest it hit me what a complete mess I had made of my life. That hit me quite hard. We were as skint as you can be without being homeless and at that point I was definitely clinically depressed."

Rowling focussed her energy on something she loved: writing.  She was a single mum living off welfare before her book series became best sellers and turned into movies.


Colonel Sanders (better known as the old guy on KFC's logo) was fired from dozens of jobs before founding a fried chicken empire. He lost his job as a fireman, lawyer, and life insurance salesman. He established a company that manufactured acetylene lamps which failed after the electric lamp gained popularity.

He once ran a service station that was closed down due to the Great Depression and he lost his job as a salesman for Michelin when the company closed their New Jersey plant. He worked as a cook in someone else's establishment before opening his own motel. After the motel failed, he took the road with his wife and started striking deals with various restaurants in exchange for his secret recipe.

Today, the secret chicken recipe created an empire so big that there are KFC franchises in more than 100 countries.

Hollywood Royalty

The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts rejected Steven Spielberg's application to enrol at the institution. So he reapplied. And was denied again. And he applied again. And was rejected. But that didn't stop him from pursuing his dream. Spielberg is one of Hollywood's most respected and sought after directors with multiple blockbuster movies under his belt. He directed E.T., Jaws, Jurassic park, Saving Private Ryan, Indiana Jones, and many others.


Henry Ford ruined his reputation after few of his early automobile businesses collapsed leaving him broke at least five times in his life. His persistence in trying new things saw him profit of the assembly line and mass production, speeding up the production process and making cars available to middle class Americans, something that was never done before.

Today, Ford Motors is one of the most successful car companies in the world. 

Dr. Seuss

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers. Instead of giving up and finding a different profession, he persevered and now his books have turned into Hollywood blockbusters, and his characters are portrayed and voiced by Zac Efron and Jim Carrey.

The Queen of Talk

Oprah Winfrey was fired as a TV anchor. It was her first gig in front of the camera and her boss deemed her too emotionally involved in her subjects and stories. Instead of allowing the criticism to consume her, she went on to become the most successful interviewer in the history of America, winning numerous awards and interviewing the world's most interesting and famous people.

Lightbulb Inventor

Thomas Edison‘s teachers once told him he was ‘too stupid to learn anything.’ He was also fired twice by his employers, reportedly because he wasn't productive enough. And that lightbulb he invented, his first 1 000 attempts were complete failures. But it did teach him what not to do which led him to getting it right eventually.

Read: Don't feel like working? Read this!

Van Gogh

The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh only reached success after dying. While alive, he just sold one painting, ‘The Red Vineyard,’ and even that sale was mere months before his death. He remained poor his entire life. Today, he has an entire museum dedicated to his life and work in The Netherlands.


Nelson Mandela initially failed so miserably at ending apartheid, that he was caught and imprisoned. Most would think that being confined between four walls on an island for 25 years would kill his spirit – but no. He went on to become President of South Africa, entering the world's history books as South Africa's first black president, South Africa's first democratically elected president, and Nobel Peace Prize winner. He is also depicted on South Africa's paper currency and remains a symbol of faith, forgiveness and perseverance.

If these once Average Joes possessed the potential to become titans of industry even after getting knocked back several times, then what is stopping you?