10 Entrepreneurs Who Bounced Back After Failure

Failure is a part of business, as you learn a new lesson with every failure. It is a case of whether you are going to get up and try again or let it defeat you. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have failed time and time again to land where they are today. If you are feeling a little deflated, or things aren’t going quite as planned with your business, here is a list of some of the most successful businesspeople who have had failures, rejections and mistakes but have believed in their vision so much that they have powered through to achieve their goals.


Arianna Huffington

Before launching The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington had a bit of trouble getting people to read her work. Her second book was rejected by 36 publishers!

Richard Branson

Richard failed to convince a major publishing house to buy out his Student Magazine. While they wanted to focus on distribution methods and details, he explained his vision for a whole host of new student enterprises, from magazines to travel companies to banks, they ran a mile. Richard is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.

Jeff Bezos

Before Amazon became the huge success that it is today, Jeff had an array of failed ideas. One of the most notable was an online auction site, which evolved into zShops, a brand that ultimately failed. Down the road, CEO Jeff Bezos would repurpose the idea into what would eventually become the Amazon Marketplace.

Lawrence Ellison

Ellison’s company, Oracle, has had its share of ups and downs. After Ellison dropped out of college and worked as a programmer for eight years, he co-founded the company with his former boss. But Oracle struggled for years before making it big. Ellison even had to mortgage his house to obtain a line of credit to keep the business afloat during that time.

Tim Ferris

The author of “The 4-Hour Workweek” was turned down by almost 25 publishers before finding one who actually agreed to publish his work, which later became a best-selling title.

Peter Thiel

Before starting PayPal and investing in companies like Facebook, Thiel’s early hedge fund, Clarium Capital, lost 90 percent of its $7 billion assets on the stock market, currencies and oil prices.

Morten Lund

In 2009, the Danish entrepreneur filed for bankruptcy because of some less-than-stellar investment decisions. Lund now invests in up-and-coming companies like pitchXO and CapitalAid Ltd., and has made some successful investments in the past in companies like Skype and eBay.

Fred Smith

Fred Smith is the founder of FedEx. Although it is a highly successful company, his college professor didn’t believe in the business model. He received a poor grade on an assignment where he pitched the idea for the company.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney created more than 81 feature films and hundreds of shorts. He earned more than 950 honors, including 48 Academy Awards. He founded the California Institute of the Arts. And he built Disneyland. Prior to all of his success, Disney was reportedly fired by a newspaper editor for not having good ideas and no imagination.

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg is known for directing mega hits that include Jurassic Park and Jaws. Before he began his career, Steven was rejected three times from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television.


Even though these are some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world today, they are still human. Sometimes in business, failure can be our best motivator. Let these examples serve as encouragement learn from your mistakes and don’t let the fear of failure stop you.