Failure Stories Of Entrepreneurs 2022


We all know that entrepreneurs are a special breed. They are risk-takers, they are passionate, and they are always looking for new opportunities. However, what we often forget is that not all entrepreneurs are successful. In fact, most entrepreneurs have experienced failure at some point in their careers. While failure can be discouraging, it can also be a great learning opportunity. These failure stories of entrepreneurs show us that even the most successful people have faced challenges and setbacks.

7 Inspiring Failure Stories Of Entrepreneurs

Fred Smith

One great example of entrepreneurs who failed early on is FedEx founder Fred Smith. His professor at Yale actually gave him a C on his paper proposing the idea for FedEx, telling him that his idea wasn’t feasible.

Fred Smith - Failure Stories Of Entrepreneurs

Smith didn’t let this failure discourage him and launched FedEx in 1971. However, the high fuel charges and the 1973 oil crisis put the company in danger of bankruptcy. Smith had to resort to blackjack in order to raise enough money to keep the company afloat.

Fortunately, FedEx was able to weather the storm and is now one of the most successful companies in the world. This shows that if initially unsuccessful entrepreneurs like Fred Smith can do it, so can you!

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is one of the most iconic entrepreneurs of our time, but he was also one of the initially unsuccessful entrepreneurs. In 1985, Jobs was forced to resign from Apple, the company he co-founded.

Steve Jobs - Failure Stories Of Entrepreneurs

After leaving Apple, Jobs founded NeXT, a computer company that was eventually bought by Apple in 1996. He also bought Pixar from George Lucas for $5 million and turned it into one of the most successful animation studios in the world.

Jobs’ story is an excellent example of how entrepreneurs who failed used their failures as inspiration for future success.

J.K. Rowling

Before she was a world-renowned author, J.K. Rowling was actually among the entrepreneurs who failed, living below the poverty line as a single mother. She was struggling to get a publisher to publish her Harry Potter manuscript, facing rejection by 12 different publishers.

J.K. Rowling - Failure Stories Of Entrepreneurs

Finally, a small British publisher agreed to publish Rowling’s book, and the rest is history. Harry Potter went on to become one of the most popular book series of all time.

Not just that, but after being picked up by Warner Bros., the Harry Potter franchise has generated billions of dollars in revenue.

J.K. Rowling’s story is a great example of how persistence and determination can lead unsuccessful entrepreneurs to success, even after failure.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful talk show hosts in the world, but she was actually among the entrepreneurs who failed early on in her career.

Oprah Winfrey - entrepreneurs who failed

Winfrey was fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for getting “too emotionally involved” with her stories. She was later demoted to a lower time slot on a local talk show in Chicago.

Fortunately, Winfrey’s career soon took off, and she became one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. Oprah Winfrey’s story inspired many entrepreneurs who failed early on in their careers to stay persistent and keep working towards their goals.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is now known as a visionary entrepreneur, but he was actually one of the unsuccessful entrepreneurs who failed early on. In the early 2000s, Musk co-founded a company called, an online bank that merged with Confinity to form PayPal.

However, the board of directors fired Musk in 2002 as a result of some disagreements. Musk didn’t let that discourage him and went on to found SpaceX, although the company has faced several challenges and failures over the years due to multiple rocket explosions.

Despite these failures, SpaceX has become a leading aerospace company and is now worth billions of dollars. Must went on to co-found Tesla, where he is now the CEO.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, but he actually dropped out of college and failed in his first business venture. In the early 1970s, Gates and Paul Allen founded a company called Traf-O-Data, which failed miserably, making them both unsuccessful entrepreneurs.

Despite this failure, Gates and Allen went on to found Microsoft, which revolutionized the personal computing industry. Microsoft is now one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder of The Huffington Post, but she was actually one of the entrepreneurs who failed in their first business ventures. Ariana’s book, “After Reasons,” was rejected by 37 publishers.

Huffington then ran for governor of California in 2003, but she failed to get the Republican nomination. However, she went on to launch The Huffington Post in 2005, which was later acquired by AOL for $315 million.

Her persistence in the face of failure is a great example of how entrepreneurs can overcome challenges and succeed.

Failure Stories Of Entrepreneurs — Final Thoughts

If there’s one thing all of these failure stories of entrepreneurs have in common, it’s that failure is a necessary part of success. These entrepreneurs all faced challenges and setbacks, but they were able to overcome them and go on to achieve great things.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur who is facing failure, don’t lose hope. Use these failure stories of entrepreneurs as an inspiration and keep moving forward. Remember, failure is only failure if you give up.

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