5 Inspiring Stories of Success After Failure

Last Updated on December 5, 2022

We all want to succeed in life. 

But do you feel as if every time you try to reach success, you fail? 

In this post, let’s talk about inspirational stories of people who became successful after failing. 

This way, you’ll know you’re not alone — there are people who failed, too. In fact, there are people whose experiences are considered “famous failures”. But because they didn’t give up, they got the ultimate reward: 


People who rose from failure and crafted their success stories

1. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company

Steve Jobs RIPPin

Steve Jobs was extraordinary — had a brilliant mind, believed in himself, and always identified opportunities. He was cut out for greatness. And never did he entertain doubts about his potential to make it big.

The problem? He was on his own. Not everyone could see he was extraordinary. People considered him weird.

Despite most people’s opinion of him, though, he persevered. He built the company, Apple, from scratch.

With his leadership, guidance, and passionate spirit, Apple became successful. What started as a small company based in his family’s garage grew to a massive company with a multi-floor office and hundreds of employees.

Things went peachy for a while. Years later, though, he refused to be on the same page with the rest of Apple. His colleagues weren’t on his side when he wanted to achieve greatness and perfection. Because he wasn’t in the position to make executive decisions, he was asked to leave. 

It broke his heart, of course. At one point, he felt like the biggest failure. He was one of the pillars of Apple. And it was the company he put most of his time, effort, and energy in.

He was angry at how events turned around. But he decided to move on to other things. This is what he said:

“Sometimes when you innovate, 

You make mistakes. 

It is best to admit them quickly.”

He worked for a different company. Soon, a representative from Apple approached him and offered him a job there. It wasn’t long until he moved up the ranks and regained control of the company.

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2. Mark Cuban and his famous failures

Mark Cuban, the owner of Dallas Mavericks, arrives at Mercedes Arena before the Shanghai match against Philadelphia 76ers during the NBA China Games in Shanghai, China, 5 October 2018.

Mark Cuban is now a highly-respected businessman. From a boy who aspired to achieve success, he earned his place in life. He has countless investments and has his very own basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks.

What makes him an inspiration to many people is his passion to always be a great person and have a better life. His honest character is also admirable. Even as a child, he wanted to have a financially rich life. According to him, his own life wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t good either.

While most kids his age relied on their parents to provide for them, he took the initiative to provide for himself. That’s the reason that even at such a young age, he already possessed the heart and mind of an entrepreneur.

He would work, sell his possessions, generate money-making ideas — basically, everything he can to afford what he wanted. While he deserved praise for always trying, many of his ideas were comical. And he knows it.

“I tried to sell powdered milk. 

I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all. 

I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how many times you failed. 

You only have to be right once. ”

He would level up his financial status. But this improvement only came temporarily. After a few months, he was still bankrupt. He realized his short-sightedness needed work.

Fortunately, he learned from his experiences. It took him years to get to where he is now. And he’s proud of it.

3. Michael Jordan’s failure to make a game-winning shot

American basketball superstar Michael Jordan, owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets, listens at a press conference for the 2015 NBA China Games in Shenzhen city, south China’s Guangdong province, 11 October 2015. The Charlotte Hornets made several key acquisitions this offseason, including trading for Nic Batum and drafting Frank Kaminsky. But if Michael Jordan, the team’s principal owner, is asked the biggest move they made this offseason was¡­ Jeremy Lin. From the Xinhua News Agency, quoting MJ during his time in China for the NBA Global Games 2015 recently: Jordan made specific mention of Jeremy Lin, who joined in the Hornets from the LA Lakers this summer. Jordan saw it a successful deal, “We just got Jeremy Lin, who I think is going to be our biggest acquisition. His penetration, his shooting capability, his point guard savvy, he can really pass the basketball, his energy about the game of basketball something,” Jordan said.

Since he was a little boy, Michael Jordan enjoyed playing basketball. He enjoyed the sport so much he aspired to become a legendary basketball player one day. He played casually and figured he’s equipped with the skills to play for his high school’s team.

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So when a coach told him he doesn’t have what it takes to be a great basketball player, he was devastated. He was denied the opportunity because he wasn’t good enough.

If he had the spirit of most boys his age, he would’ve let discouragement get the better of him. Fortunately, he wasn’t like most boys. Instead of crying his heart out, he wiped his tears away. He practiced playing basketball until he was good enough.

Soon, he embarked on a journey to play professional basketball. The road to getting successful in his career was tough. There was no such thing as instant success and he learned it first-hand.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

He experienced moments of rejection during his journey, sure. There were instances when he was trusted to make game-winning shots and he failed. 

But one thing nobody can ever take away from him is his winning attitude. His attitude helped him overcome obstacles — one after another. And his perception of life always made him victorious.

4. Scarlett Johannson’s success story

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 03: Actress Scarlett Johansson attends ‘Under The Skin’ Premiere during the 70th Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2013, in Venice, Italy.

Scarlett Johannson is on the verge of success. Her well-established career earned her fame — and fortune that keeps on coming. Things go so well for her that you’d think she’s the kind of person who always gets what she wants.

But that’s not the case. Both in her professional ambitions and personal life, she would always earn her way.

The reason she gets what she wants? She fights for them.

In her career, for one, she was hardly given movie roles. It’s even more challenging considering she would constantly get rejected.

In her own words, she was always the second choice. And it was almost as if she made a career out of getting the second spot.

You get lazy if you’re not slightly terrified that you’re going to fail all the time.”

For most people, getting rejected feels like it’s the end of the world. Not for her, though.

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If not for her unwavering perseverance, she wouldn’t be as successful as she is today.

5. How Ariana Huffington became a huge success

arianna huffingtonPin
ATLANTA, GA, USA, MARCH 5, 2014 – Twitter founder Biz Stone and Huffington Post Media Group President Arianna Huffington (left) at Microsoft Convergence conference panel discussion in Georgia World Congress Center on March 5, 2014 in Atlanta, GA

Ariana Huffington is many things rolled into one. She authored over 10 books and is a successful businesswoman. More than anything, she’s best known as the woman behind the wellness site, Thrive Global, and New York city-based news aggregator, HuffPost.

Even at a young age, she would long for a better life. She always looked up to successful people and wanted to be like them. That’s why working hard for the things she wanted was almost natural for her.

Sadly, she made a couple of wrong turns in her career. One of her most famous failures is when she overworked herself. She wanted to do it all so she did.

When overworking resulted in over-exhaustion, she collapsed. And right then and there, she decided to approach her situation differently.

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes — understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”

She began prioritizing rest and avoided overworking at all costs. It was then she realized she was the best version of herself.

Final thoughts

It’s understandable to feel bad after failing. It’s a normal response.

Don’t look at your situation as the end of the road, though. Instead, look at it as a silver lining.

Because you experienced failure, you can understand where you went wrong. Then you can readjust your mindset and try to chase after success once more.

And if you play your cards right the second (or third, fourth…) time around, success will be yours. 

Want proof? The people above, with their famous failures, can give it to you!

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