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15 Highly Successful People Who Failed On Their Way To Success

15 Highly Successful People Who Failed On Their Way To Success

Before their success, some of the world’s most successful people experienced epic failure. We celebrate their success but often overlook the path that got them there. A path that is often marked with failure.

As American writer Elbert Hubbard said:

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

So get motivated, and accept failure as merely a chance to learn.

Here are 15 highly successful people who failed (for a couple of times) before they were recognized by their glorious success.

1. Sir James Dyson

    You know that frustrating feeling when you don’t get something on the first attempt?

    Multiple that by 5,126 because that’s the number of failed prototypes Sir James Dyson went through over the course of 15 years before creating the eponymous best-selling bagless vacuum cleaner that led to a net worth of $4.5billion.

    2. Steven Spielberg

      His cinematic output has grossed more than $9 billion and brought him three Academy Awards, but the master of the blockbuster was rejected TWICE by the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

      As their way of saying “Oops, I guess we were wrong about you” the school built a building in honor of Spielberg.

      3. Thomas Edison

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        In what might be at once the most discouraging statement and worst teaching practice of all time, Thomas Edison was told by his teachers he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’.

        Edison went on to hold more than 1,000 patents, including the phonograph and practical electric lamp. Death most likely spared his teachers the ignominy of their incorrect assessment.

        4. Walt Disney

          Can you imagine your childhood without Disney? Well it could easily have been if Walt had listened to his former newspaper editor. The editor told Walt he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas’. Undeterred, Old Walt went on to create the cultural icon that bears his name.

          Disney’s take on failure:

          “I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young… Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it I’ve never had any fear in my whole life when we’ve been near collapse and all of that. I’ve never been afraid.”

          5. Albert Einstein

            His name is synonymous with intelligence yet it wasn’t always that way for Albert Einstein. As a child he didn’t start speaking until he was four, reading until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicapped.

            He went on to win a Nobel Prize and altered the world’s approach to physics. I guess he was just thinking of the right thing to say for those first four years…

            6. J.K. Rowling

            JK

              Before there was a wizard, there was welfare. Rowling was a broke, depressed, divorced single mother simultaneously writing a novel while studying.

              Now one of the richest women in the world, Rowling reflects on her early failures:

              “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

              7. Abraham Lincoln

                Lincoln’s failures were broad and numerous. He achieved the unique feat of leaving for a war a captain and returning a private (the lowest military rank).

                He next took failure in his stride during multiple failed business attempts. Undeterred, Lincoln marched into the political realm, where he launched several failed runs at political office before his ascendance to President.

                8. Jerry Seinfeld

                  Before the show about nothing, Seinfeld was a young comedian on the stand-up circuit. His first time on stage didn’t go so well. On seeing the audience he froze and was booed and jeered off stage.

                  His choices: pack it in and accept comedy isn’t his thing or return to the same stage the following night and have the audience in hysterics. He opted for the latter and went on to become one of the most successful comedians of all time.

                  9. Theodor Seuss Geisel

                    Known to generations as Dr Seuss, the much-loved children’s author had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers.

                    His books that weren’t good enough for these publishers went on to sell more than 600 million copies worldwide.

                    10. Oprah Winfrey

                      She’s a billionaire with her own TV channel and a penchant for giving away cars but Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore.

                      In 2013, Oprah reflected on her experiences during a Harvard commencement speech:

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                      “There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”

                      Creating your own TV channel is a sure way never to get fired again!

                      11. Stephen King

                        In another instance in the never ending series “Book Publishers Making Dumb Decisions”, mega novelist Stephen King had his first book Carrie rejected 30 times.

                        Dejected, King dumped the book in the trash. His wife retrieved it and implored him to resubmit it which led to his first book deal and spawned his illustrious career.

                        12. Vincent Van Gogh

                          A Van Gogh painting will cost you upwards of $100 million nowadays. But in his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh couldn’t get rid of the things.

                          He sold just one painting, ‘The Red Vineyard’, during his lifetime, and the sale came not long before his death. Unfortunately for Vincent, others got to enjoy the financial spoils of his lifetime of toils.

                          13. Elvis Presley

                            “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

                            These are the words that greeted Elvis Presley after his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, after which he was promptly fired. Disposing of the keys to the truck, Presley went on to become the world’s biggest star with a legacy that endures.

                            14. Michael Jordan

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                              Either he was part of the greatest high school roster of all time or his coach made a huge mistake in cutting Michael Jordan from his high school basketball team. Six Championships and five MVPs later, Jordan became arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.

                              Jordan famously said:

                              “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

                              15. Charles Darwin

                                The man credited with much of how we came to understand the world today, Darwin was considered an average student and abandoned a career in medicine as a result.

                                Darwin embarked on a lifetime study of nature that led to the seminal ‘On the Origin of Species’ and forever altered the way humankind looks at our existence.

                                Final Thoughts

                                These famous and highly successful people’s crowning achievements stem from drive and determination as much as ability.

                                Persistence and certitude are the difference between success and failure. So if you want to succeed, don’t be afraid to fail.

                                Fail often, fail fast and learn from your mistakes. The more times you fail, the closer you’re getting to success.

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                                Featured photo credit: Kal Loftus via unsplash.com

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                                Sebastian Kipman

                                Entrepreneur and Communication Expert

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                                Last Updated on November 3, 2020

                                20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                                20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                                Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

                                There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

                                This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day.

                                What Makes For the Best Productivity Apps?

                                Beyond productivity tips, there are dozens of productivity apps to choose from too. With that in mind, here are some of the core aspects of ideal productivity apps that have formed this list.

                                • Non-intrusive – you want a productivity app to weave seamlessly into your workflow and not cause disruptions. From using the app to the overall display, it shouldn’t cause any interruptions.
                                • Good interface – Again, you want to be able to use these apps easily and have them benefit you. The easier you can navigate around these apps, the better.
                                • Fair pricing – Many of these have free trials that allow you a good chance to test before you buy. If you do decide to pay for it, the monthly pricing plans should be reasonable for what you are getting.

                                1. Todoist

                                  Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                                  Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                                  If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                                  Download: Todoist

                                  2. 1Password

                                    You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                                    1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                                    You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                                    Download: 1Password

                                    3. Bear

                                      Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                                      It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

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                                      Download: Bear

                                      4. Hazel

                                        Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                                        For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                                        Download: noodlesoft

                                        5. Alfred

                                          Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                                          For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                                          It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                                          Download: Alfred

                                          6. TextExpander

                                            TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                                            For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                                            An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                                            Download: TextExpander

                                            7. Backblaze

                                              If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                                              Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                                              Download: Backblaze

                                              8. Keyboard Maestro

                                                Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                                                Download: Keyboard Maestro

                                                9. Snagit

                                                  There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                                  Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                                  10. Bartender

                                                    Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                                    If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                                    Download: Bartender

                                                    11. Otter

                                                    Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                                    Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                                    Download: Otter

                                                    12. Flux

                                                      Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                                      Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

                                                      Download: Flux

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                                                      13. PDFpen

                                                      If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                                      PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                                      Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                                      14. OmniFocus

                                                        OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                                        It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                                        A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                                        Download: OmniFocus

                                                        15. Franz

                                                          It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                                          Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                                          Download: Franz

                                                          16. MindNode

                                                            If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                                            The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                                            Download: MindNode

                                                            17. Focus

                                                              The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

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                                                              This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                                              Download: Focus

                                                              18. CleanMyMac

                                                                Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                                                Download: CleanMyMac

                                                                19. Grammarly

                                                                  A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                                  This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                                  A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                                  Download: Grammarly

                                                                  Focus To Do

                                                                    Focus to-do is one of the top productivity apps for your iPhone around. It even has a desktop client that you can connect to effortlessly. The app is built around two things: the Pomodoro technique and task management. It achieves these things with amazing balance. All that you have to do is create a task and then set the timer right within the app itself.

                                                                    There is also great flexibility with the Pomodoro technique as well. You can choose whether to take a 5 minute break, take a longer one, or even skip it. On the task management side, you can also create reoccurring tasks, reminders, and place a priority on tasks too.

                                                                    Download: Focus To Do

                                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                                    These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                                    Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

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                                                                    Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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