For most of us, success is one of our biggest career aspirations. However, success comes in many shapes and sizes and is conceived differently by each of us. Whatever success means to you chances are that hard work, dedication and most importantly perseverance will be necessary.

When things go awry, begin to fall apart and failure is imminent quitting is easy. Perseverance is the one trait that allows us to dust ourselves off and jump back on that proverbial horse we hear so much about.

Despite the obviously negative connotations associated with the word, failure is very often a precursor to success for those that are not afraid to try and try again. Here are 10 very successful and influential people throughout history that should inspire us to conquer our goals even in the face of the most dismal of odds and dim prospects.

successHenry Ford- Ford innovated industrial production with the assembly line. However, before founding the extremely successful Ford Motor Company he was previously bankrupted and left penniless 5 times from failed ventures.

Harland Davis Sanders- Before becoming Colonel Sanders, determined Harland submitted his now world famous fried chicken recipe to 1,009 restaurants before finding a buyer.

Walt Disney- Walt Disney has entertained children all over the world for nearly a century and created a billion-dollar merchandising empire. Mr Disney was fired from his first job at the Kansas City Star because”he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” In an ironic turn of events years later the Walt Disney Company acquired the Kansas City Star with the purchase of parent company ABC.

Albert Einstein- Although the name Einstein is now almost exclusively associated with genius, young Albert was not viewed as much of a prospective scholar. His parents and teachers began to think he was mentally handicapped and socially awkward due to that fact he did not begin to speak until the age of 4 or read until he was 7. Einstein was eventually expelled from school and denied entry to Zurich Polytechnic School.

Socrates- Widely considered one of the greatest thinkers the Classical Era philosopher Socrates ideas were not always regarded in such a positive light. In fact, he was sentenced to death because his “new-age ideas” branded him “an immoral corrupter of youth”. Although his death prevented him from continuing his work history has immortalized his work.

Thomas Edison- Considered unteachable as a youth, the inventor changed the world with his invention of the electric lightbulb. Before this great accomplishment, Edison discovered over 1,000 ways he could not build a light bulb.

Vincent Van Gogh- Van Gogh’s Starry Night ranks among the most recognized paintings. Throughout the to artists life he only sold one painting to a close friend. That didn’t stop him from painting over 800 other pieces while starving and often destitute. Today Van Gogh’s “unappreciated” work sells for hundreds of millions dollars.

Jack London- White Fang and Call of the Wild are revered literary classics. In his early career, London submitted his first story over 600 times before being accepted by a publisher.

Elvis Presley- Before becoming a household name, Elvis was fired by Jimmy Denny, then manager of Nashville’s Gran Ole Opry after one show saying “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

Steven Spielberg- After high school, Steven Spielberg was rejected three times from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television. After attending California State University, Long Beach he subsequently dropped out and pursued directing without a degree.

These ten examples prove that no matter what curveball life throws, success is just around the corner for those brave enough to persevere.

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