Why the Best Success Stories Often Begin With Failure by Amy Crawford
One writer’s unexpected bout of unemployment inspired him to catalogue the misadventures of those who came before him
Long before the iPhone made him the god of gadgets, Steve Jobs launched his tech career by hacking land lines to make free long-distance calls.
Bob Dylan’s band, the Golden Chords, lost a high-school talent competition to a tap dancing act.
Behind every success story is an embarrassing first effort, a stumble, a setback or a radical change of direction. It’s these first clumsy steps on the road to fame and fortune that fascinate writer Seth Fiegerman, who edits the blog OpeningLines.org, a collection of case studies on the origins of famous careers.
“When you see someone who’s very successful, you almost imagine that it was a foregone conclusion, that they’re a genius, that they were destined for great things,” says Fiegerman, who began the blog in 2009, after an early setback in his own career. “I think the big takeaway is failure and setbacks, far from being uncommon, are in many ways essential.”
…Success, he learned, was less a matter of innate talent and more the product of perseverance, a willingness to stumble and stand up again and again.
….While he has less time for the blog, he hopes his collection of origin stories will help other young people realize it’s OK to fail.
How People Learn to Become Resilient by Maria Konnikova
How Successful People Stay Calm by Travis Bradberry