It is often said that before you can really achieve any of your goals, you must experience failure first.

In fact, in Robert Kennedy’s famous Day of Affirmation Speech in Cape Town on 6th June 1966, he said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

This concept of only being able to succeed after experiencing failure is a very popular one in many industries.

From finance to sport, politics to the arts, you can find a quote about learning from our failures from every corner of the working world. Just take a look at this great piece from Forbes which has plenty of examples.

Despite our general acceptance that failure is merely a part of success, when discussing incredibly successful people, we often assume it happened for them overnight.

When it comes to genuine investors or industry trailblazers like Edison, Dyson, Zuckerberg or Jobs, we immediately assume that it was their relative genius that brought them success rather than hard work and many previous failures.

Of course, this is far from the truth. There are many incredible stories of success and failure involving some of the most celebrated minds of the last century, it’s just not enough of us are aware of them.


Thankfully Silverdoor has put together this great infographic which charts a number of massively successful men and women whilst giving us a flavour of some of their biggest failures.

Titled ’10 Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before They Found Success’, this infographic offers up a number of tales which you will hardly believe are true.

For example, it is hard to believe that the world’s most successful fried chicken chain KFC founder Colonel Sanders had his special recipe chicken turned down by over 1,000 different potential investors before finding his way to success.

For more interesting tales about the failures of some extremely successful people, take a look at the infographic below for yourself.