Inspiring Stories from Famous People Who’ve Gone through the Best and the Worst in Life

From failure to success, these stories will inspire you to keep moving forward.

Tough times make or break a person. And it’s up to us which road to choose. The following inspirational stories from famous names proved that despite the everyday failures, there is that light at the end of the tunnel, patiently waiting.

What were your ups and downs? What failures have you conquered?

Inspiring stories

Below is a compilation of the top inspirational stories from famous people who didn’t let failure define their goals. We all start small but with perseverance, they have earned their reward.

#1. Steve Jobs

Imagine being fired from your own company! Before Apple computer became a huge hit, it has suffered huge losses and was being scrutinized for all its flaws. The invention of Steve Jobs failed to satisfy the customers, so he decided that it was time to cut his ties from the company. Jobs invested his money on Pixar and Next, and collaborated with Walt Disney to create animation videos. When both companies became great success, Jobs returned to Apple, and came back with a blast of innovative tech products.

#2. J.K. Rowling

Before selling millions of copies worldwide, Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by twelve major publishing houses in America. At that time, Rowling was divorced, jobless, and penniless. Luckily, a couple of years later, Bloomsbury gave Rowling’s manuscript a shot and the rest is history.

#3. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey’s early life was anything but glamorous. As soon as she turned fourteen, Oprah got pregnant, but the child died just hours after birth. Despite poverty, Oprah went to college with the help of her dad, and found a career in media. But things didn’t go as smoothly as she hoped. She was deemed unfit for television and was fired by the producer. Later, Oprah moved to Chicago and started hosting a low-rated talk show, and just within few months, the ratings skyrocketed and became the number one talk show at that time. This led to this talk show being renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, which is now watched by thousands of American families across the US.

#4. Walt Disney

The creator of Sleeping Beauty, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Winne the Pooh, first tasted the bitterness of failure before landing a multi-million career in animation. He filed for bankruptcy after his cartoon series failed. His friends whom he trusted with his business turned against him. He and his brother then moved to California and started a new animation company.

#5. Thomas Edison

The inventor of the light bulb, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor, literally failed more than a thousand times. As his famous saying goes, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

#6. Chris Gardner

A lot of bad things happened to Chris that one could easily think he is cursed by a bad omen. His medical business took a bad turn, which led him to suffer poverty and homelessness. It was when he applied as an intern at Dean Witter’s brokerage firm in San Francisco that his life took a 360-degree spin, leading him to become one of the most influential speakers and businessmen, and author of the memoir, The Pursuit of Happyness.

#7. Henry Ford

Before Ford became known for the innovative assembly line of American-made cars, his business left him broke that he had to file for bankruptcy five times! Henry was raised in a farm and started as an apprentice in a machine shop. He became the chief engineer and built his first car in 1893. Henry’s passion eventually led him to founding the successful Ford motor company.

#8. Bill Gates

Bill Gates dropped out from Harvard University, and then got into a business partnership with Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert. The company that they built did rake a little bit of money, but the machinery that they used to process the data flopped. However, it was fortunate that their first company led them to founding Microsoft, now a multibillion-dollar company.

#9. Albert Einstein

It was said that his teachers regarded Albert as mentally handicapped because it always took him forever to answer when he is asked a question. Einstein didn’t make it to higher education and was rejected from Zurich Polytechnic School, but Einstein caught on pretty well. He altered the face of modern physics and won the Nobel Prize.

#10. Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe’s early life was not all glitter and gold. She was sexually assaulted by the age of seven and was raped by the age of eleven. It was out of sheer luck that a photographer found her and helped her build a new career in modelling. She dyed her hair blonde, became a renowned model, and eventually landed an acting career in Hollywood.