Hooks: Famous Failures

Contributed by: Phil Trotter

Just because you have failed at something, doesn’t mean you are a failure. Here are some famous people who have suffered rejection and failure. You can use their stories to spark discussion about topics such as self-esteem and depression.

Michael Jordan

After being cut from his high school basketball team, he went home, locked himself in his room and cried.

The Beatles

Rejected by Decca Recording Studios, who said “we don’t like their sound”… “They have no future in show business”


A high school drop out, whose personal struggles with drugs and poverty culminated in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

Steve Jobs

At 30 years old he was left devastated and depressed after unceremoniously being removed from the company he started.

Walt Disney

Fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas”…

Oprah Winfrey

Was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television”.

Albert Einstein

He wasn’t able to speak until he was almost 4 years old and his teachers said he would “never amount to much”.