Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Sometimes, you jump out of the gate with a great idea that you can polish and run with. Everything’s going well — until you get hit with a failure. Failure punches you in the gut, leaving you with throbbing wounds and the inability to do anything but moan about what might have been. Oprah Winfrey: But take heart — failure isn’t the end, unless you let it be. Failure means you’re on the road so many others have taken to success. Don’t believe me? Here are 5 people who lived through failure before going on to become names known around the world:
1. Milton Hershey: The man who blessed us with the sweet milk-chocolate treat we all love wasn’t a hit the first time around. Before launching his own candy business, he had worked for a local candy factory. But when he decided to go out on his own, he failed miserably. Despite two more failures, he returned to the family farm and perfected the art of making delicious milk-chocolate candy, which we enjoy in the form of Hershey chocolate today.
2. Theodor Giesel: This author struggled to write a novel that publishing companies would call something other than pure rubbish several times — 27 to be exact. The man just wouldn’t quit, though. One fateful night, he ran into an old friend who had recently taken over as a children’s literature editor. The friend agreed to publish Giesel’s work. Better known today as Dr. Seuss, Giesel was never again called a failure after his first book struck it big.
3. Albert Einstein: Despite being known as a true genius in the present day, this intellectual didn’t have a great start (to say he was running behind is an understatement). As a kid, he didn’t begin to speak a word until he was 4 years old. A few years later, his elementary school teachers considered him lazy because he would ask abstract questions that made no sense to others. He kept on anyway, eventually formulating the theory of relativity — something most of us still can’t understand today.
4. Benjamin Franklin: A founding father, the inventor of bifocals and the lightning rod and elementary-school dropout — it sounds crazy, but this is an accurate description of Franklin. His family couldn’t afford to finance his education after his 10th birthday, but that didn’t stop him. He read books like crazy and took every opportunity he could to learn. Ironically, Franklin is now found in the history books that 10-year-old kids around the world read every day.
5. Stephen King: king is a best-selling writer (currently 350 million books sold and climbing) whose work has been made into several motion pictures. However, his first work was rejected 30 times, which lead to King throwing it in the trash. Thankfully, his wife made him keep working at it, and — from that inauspicious start — Carrie was born.