10 inspirational quotes from those who failed before succeeding massively

Failure is something we all try to avoid, but sometimes it’s inevitable. We all fail at something now and again, but it’s having the courage to get back up and succeed that defines us. Here are 10 inspirational quotes from those who failed before succeeding massively.



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He dropped out of college and was weeded out of the Pixar, the very company he founded, but he fought back with a vengeance and went on to become one of the real game-changers in the world of tech, largely thanks to his undying passion for what he did.

‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do’.



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Before he started the Ford motor company, Henry Ford’s early business attempts left him broke. He had this to say about failure…

‘Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently’.



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Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, yet he went on to become the greatest basketball player of all time.

‘I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed’.



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Elon Musk nearly lost it all during the early days of Tesla, but now his electric car company is valued in the billions.

‘When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour’.



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Despite being told he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’, Thomas Edison became arguably the world’s greatest inventor…

‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’.



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Spielberg got rejected from USC’s prestigious film school three times, but he didn’t let this end his dream.

‘Even though I get older, what I do never gets old, and that’s what I think keeps me hungry’.



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During a screen test with MGM, it was noted that Astaire “can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” We hope whoever said that got fired.

‘I have no desire to prove anything by dancing. I have never used it as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance. I just put my feet in the air and move them around’.



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Walt Disney worked for a newspaper editor who told him ‘he lacked imagination and had no good ideas’. How wrong he was. Walt himself believed…

‘All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them’. 



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Einstein couldn’t read until he was 7 and was expelled from school. He pulled himself together in the end.

‘You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else’.



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Chaplin’s act was originally rejected by Hollywood, yet he went on to become the most recognisable film star of the 20th century.

‘We think too much and feel too little’.

Further Reading