Let's talk about the specific challenges or circumstances that some successful people have experienced. Success takes time and effort. If we ask someone famous and successful if they have experienced disappointment, the chances are that we will get a few stories of adversities, blunders, missteps, and setbacks.

For us to persevere in the face of the natural process of achieving any fruitful success, these authentic curated stories might prove inspirational.

If you're in a rut or feel like giving up on creating a future of freedom and success, the following narratives might be for you. After reading these success stories, you will find actual value and gain a different perspective while striving to achieve your goals.

Jack Ma

In 2021, Jack Ma Yun ranked 26th in the "Forbes Global Rich List" with a fortune of US$48.4 billion. He is a Chinese business magnate, investor, philanthropist, co-founder, and former executive chairman of the multinational technology conglomerate Alibaba Group

According to Ma's autobiographical speech at the University of Nairobi, after graduating from Hangzhou Normal University in 1988, he got rejected from the 31 different jobs he applied to. He also claimed to have applied ten times to Harvard Business School and was denied each time.

In 1999, he founded Alibaba, a China-based business-to-business marketplace site in his apartment with 18 friends and 500,000 yuan. Currently, Alibaba Group is a holding company with nine principal subsidiaries:, Taobao Marketplace, Tmall, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing, Juhuasuan,,, and Alipay. 

The rags to riches story of Jack Ma will encourage you never to give up as he himself said, "Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine."

J.K. Rowling

Before Harry Potter, British author and philanthropist Joanne Rowling, known by her pen name J. K. Rowling encountered relative poverty as a single parent, battled depression over her mother's untimely death, and experienced domestic abuse from her first husband. When Rowling completed Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in June 1995, twelve publishers rejected the manuscript.

She refers to herself as "the biggest failure I knew" but credits much of her success to her failure. She is the perfect example that success can come to you if failure gives you focus. At her Commencement Address at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association in June 2008, J.K. Rowling said:

"Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy to finish the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."

J.K. Rowling has enjoyed enormous commercial success as a writer and was named the world's highest-paid author by Forbes in 2008, 2017, and 2019.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Gail Winfrey, "The Queen of All Media," is an American talk show host, author, television producer, and philanthropist with a net worth of $3.5 billion in 2021 and is considered the richest African-American of the 20th century. Winfrey was born to a single teenage mother in rural Mississippi and was later raised in inner-city Milwaukee. She doesn't hide that she was molested during her childhood and early teenage years and became pregnant at 14 and that her son was born prematurely and died in infancy. 

She was fired from her first job as a TV news co-anchor for the local evening news because the show's executives considered her too emotionally invested and improvisational in the stories she reported on. 

Oprah said:

"Failure is a great teacher and, if you are open to it, every mistake has a lesson to offer."

Russell Brunson

Russell Brunson is one of the most popular and most successful online entrepreneurs today and is followed by over a million entrepreneurs. He is a New York Times Bestselling Author and has co-founded the software company called ClickFunnels. 

On his website, a young Rusell Brunson was described as "opting into every business opportunity offer he could find, simply to study the art and science of direct response." In 2003, Brunson had his first success as an online marketer selling ZipBrander, a viral marketing tool. He created a simple DVD instructional course on "How To Create A Potato Gun," launching his career as a top internet marketer. Brunson sold everything from books, coaching, consulting, coupons, t-shirts, technology services, software, shakes, and supplements. He made his first million dollars from his basement within a year of graduating college.

In 2014, Brunson launched a sales funnel software company, ClickFunnels. The self-funded company grew to $100 million in its first three years and currently has over 100,000 active users.

Float Image
Float Image

Leave a Comment 👋

Post Thumbnail
Movies For Entrepreneurs

Which movies about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship are your favorites? It may seem counterproductive to watch a movie to take our minds off the business challenges we face. Still, movies can be excellent sources of inspiration and not just excuses to relax.

Post Thumbnail
Fun Facts: Business

120 fun facts and trivia about business curated from various sources.

Post Thumbnail
The Magic Finger

"The Magic Finger" is an adapted story illustrating the value of self-improvement.