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Don't Give Up!

We've hit the halfway mark in the year. The summer weather begs you to slack off and lose focus of your goals. But whatever they may be, you can achieve them.

Don't give up!

These people didn't: 

  • Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade. He was defeated in every public office role he ran for. Then he became the British prime minister at the age of 62. 


  • Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was "too stupid to learn anything." Edison also famously invented 1,000 light bulbs before creating one that worked. 
  • Harland David Sanders, the famous KFC "Colonel," couldn't sell his chicken. More than 1,000 restaurants rejected him. But then one did, and today there are KFC restaurants bearing his image all over the world. 
  • R.H. Macy had a history failing businesses, including a dud Macy's in NYC. But Macy kept up the hard work, and ended up with the biggest department store in the world. 
  • Steven Spielberg was rejected from his dream school, the University of Southern California, three times. He sought out an education somewhere else and dropped out to be a director. 
  • Marilyn Monroe's first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn't pretty or talented enough to be an actress. Monroe kept plugging away and is one of the most iconic actresses and sex symbols of all time.

  • Soichiro Honda was passed over for an engineering job at Toyota, and left unemployed. But then he began making motorcycles, started a business and became a billionaire. 
  • Vera Wang failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure-skating team. Then she became an editor at Vogue and was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. She began designing wedding gowns at 40 and today is the premier designer in the business, with a multi-billion dollar industry. 
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas." Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie Snow White. Today, most childhoods wouldn't be the same without his ideas.
  • Albert Einstein didn't speak until age four and didn't read until age seven. His teachers labeled him "slow" and "mentally handicapped." But Einstein just had a different way of thinking. He later won the Nobel prize in physics.
  • Sir Isaac Newton was tasked with running the family farm, but was a miserable failure. Newton was sent off to Cambridge University and became a physics scholar. 
  • The first time Jerry Seinfeld went onstage, he was booed away by the jeering crowd. Eventually, he became a famous comic with one of the most-loved sitcoms ever. 
  • In Fred Astaire's first screen test, the judges wrote: "Can't act. Can't sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little." Astaire went on to be the most famous dancer of all time and won the hearts of American women forever.

  • After Sidney Poitier's first audition, the casting director instructed him to just stop wasting everyone's time and "go be a dishwasher or something." He went on to win an Academy Award and is admired by actors everywhere.
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn't fit to be on screen. But Winfrey rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows. She's also a billionaire.
  • Stephen King was initially so frustrated with his first novel, Carrie that he threw it in the trash. King's wife found the manuscript in the trash and took it out. To date his 49 novels have sold 350 million copies. 

  • Charlie Chaplin's act was rejected by executives because they thought it was too obscure for people to understand. But then they took a chance on Chaplin, who went on to become America's first bona fide movie star.
  • J.K. Rowling was unemployed, divorced and raising a daughter on social security while writing the first Harry Potter novel. She is now internationally renowned for her 7 book Harry Potter series and is the first person to become a billionaire from writing.
  • While developing his vacuum, Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed prototypes and his savings over 15 years. But the 5,127th prototype worked and now the Dyson brand is the best-selling vacuum cleaner in the United States.
  • Dr. Seuss' first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. He's now the most popular children's book author ever.

(By Ashley Lutz and Noah Plaue via Business Insider

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