Recently, I got the chance to sit next to a CEO of a small company on an airplane. At first, our conversation started with him talking about traveling to beautiful cities like Paris, Buenos Aires, London and Santiago. After a while, I started asking him details about the company and we got to talking about some setbacks he had before it really took off.
Before he started his company, his girlfriend broke up with him because she "did not see him going anywhere" and one of his partners for the company backed out and withdrew his investments. However, despite people telling him starting his own company was foolish, he continued on.
A few months after one of his two partners dropped out, the company got its first contract.
After I got off the airplane and was in the car on the way home, I started thinking about just how wise this CEO was. Thinking about it, I realized just how many successful people failed before they made a major breakthrough.
When I got home, I decided to do some research and found an article on Business Insider that listed 29 successful people who failed before they succeeded. Here are just a few examples from the article:
"Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor felt he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas."
"Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts multiple times."
"Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was 'too stupid to learn anything.'"
"J.K Rowling was a single mother living off welfare when she began writing the first Harry Potter novel."
I was shocked to learn just how many had failed before they succeeded. In addition, it also showed me that despite obstacles and the ever-looming word of "impossible", I can do anything I set my mind too.
So stop being afraid of failure. Embrace it. Even when others tell you what you are trying to do is stupid or will never happen, continue anyway.
As corny as this saying is, it is absolutely, astoundingly true: "Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you will land among the stars."