Many people fear that they will fail, and herein lies the main reason that they won’t be successful.
Most successful and wealthy people, though, have actually experienced serious setbacks and failures before they became the persons they are today, and they all, to a certain degree, had their failures in the past.
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Steven Spielberg: Steven twice applied to the leading film school of the University of Southern California, and was denied both times. So he went to Cal State in Long Beach, and the rest is history….
Rowland Hussey Macy: His retail adventure could hardly be called a success at first in retail. The first four Macy’s stores that he opened were actually total failures, including the Massachusetts first real Macy’s store. In the period 1843 to 1855, all his stores went out of business due to very poor consumer demand and disappointing sales.
Sir James Dyson: This British inventor established the Dyson Company, and James absolutely believes in failure. He actually sees failure as a key element towards his success, more like the next step toward genuinely innovative solutions. When James Dyson was inventing the first Dual Cyclone vacuums (by the way, the first one to hit the stores came out in 1993), he had been devoting more than 14 years to the creation of more than 5,000 versions that all failed until he had made a vacuum cleaner that worked the way he wanted. The payoff is clear, as he set up an amazing corporation famous for its revolutionary designs and creativity.
Thomas Edison: This is the man who was giving us so many inventions, such as the light bulb. Success from failure is what characterizes Thomas Edison very well. He understood very well that success requires earlier failure, and that this would not stop him.
Tim Ferris: This is the man who created the ‘the 4 Hour Workweek,’. He has been changing the way many people look at life and work, and Tim’s work was actually rejected by almost thirty publishers until one offered him a chance to publish his great work. Well, The 4 Hour Workweek has been on every bestsellers list nor for years, and the book is available across the world. His last book, The 4 Hour Body, also went immediately to the top position on the bestsellers listing of the New York Times.
What can we learn from this? Well, there’s a sort of learning curve that affects practically every sort of business. For Rowland Macy, the retail business was actually not different. What probably made him successful was the fact that he decided to open a store at a top location in New York City, rather than in locations where demand was weak. Anyway, the fact is that Mr. Macy went through his first failures with his eyes wide open and that he had learned enough lessons to be able to not make the same mistakes later in his career.
What we see is that it’s not wise to stop trying if you have the feeling that success is so far away. Just remain focused, work hard, and have a little faith in yourself. Generally, there will be no success if you did not fail before, and you better learn to deal with it as it is just one of the facts of life.