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15 Rich & Famous People Who Were Fired Before They Became Successful

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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In recent years, the economy has suffered and a lot of us have fallen on hard times. So how can ‘getting fired’ be the best thing that could ever happen to someone? Well, a lot of successful people were handed the pink slip before they found their place in the world.

Read on and find out why losing your job can be the most unlikely stepping stone to greater things just like these rich and famous people found:

Rich & Famous People Who Where Fired Before They Made It

 

1. Lee Iacocca: Trailblazing Pioneer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His journey to the top was not without roadblocks, one of the being fired from Ford Motor Company after butting heads with no less than Henry Ford II. As early as the 40s, he already had a flourishing career in sales and marketing and even became the company’s president by the late 70s.

After getting fired from Ford in 1978, Iacocca quickly moved on to Chrysler, whom he saved from bankruptcy by asking the United States Congress to bail them out. Eloquently describing the loan guarantee as a “safety net”, he was able to save Chrysler from certain doom. He then went on to release the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant as well as re-invented the Imperial which had features ahead of its time.

 

2. J.K. Rowling: The Daydreaming Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a famous rags-to-riches figure in the literary world, millions of teenage (as well as adult) readers have gobbled up her seven-volume saga of the boy wizard who also came from humble beginnings like JK. Rowling.

But what you probably didn’t know was that she got fired from her job as a secretary in Amnesty International before she hit it big. Back then, she was already forming the foundations of Harry Potter in her mind, along with the characters and situations he would be faced with. Soon enough, all that daydreaming led to her getting fired, which put her on the path to becoming one of the world’s most celebrated authors.

 

3. Steve Jobs: The Comeback King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recently departed technocrat didn’t just get the boot back in the day – he got fired from his own company. That’s right: the co-founder of Apple was actually exiled from the very empire that he helped build from the ground up.

But as everyone knows, it worked out pretty well for Steve Jobs and his legacy. Getting fired gave him the opportunity to work on other things, such as creating NeXT, a computer company that catered to the business crowd as well as a division of Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division which later became Pixar. His triumphant return to Apple several years later heralded the creation of the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

 

4. Lady Gaga: Getting Back On The Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dropping out of Collaborative Arts Project 21 (a New York-based musical school), the unconventional singer did some small gigs around town until she gained a loyal following in the downtown Lower East Side club scene. She finally caught the eye of Rob Fusari, a music producer who then collaborated with her to cut some tracks in the studio that they shopped to other people in the music industry.

Things took a nasty turn when Lady Gaga was suddenly dropped only after three months of being signed onto a major label. Not content to wallow in misery, she soon picked herself up and continued using her previous material with Fusari for performances, particularly one at Lollapalooza where she gained critical fame.

By 2008, she was already signed onto another label and released her debut album “The Fame” which has become one of the most successful albums in pop history.

 

5. Walt Disney: Father Of The World’s Most Loveable Rodent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The revolutionary animator went through a string of failures before he created one of the biggest entertainment companies on the planet. He had a short-lived career as a newspaper artist, drawing political cartoons and comic strips. Soon after, Walt Disney hopped from one job to another until he put up Laugh-O-Gram Studio, which gained popularity but went bankrupt.

After setting up another company called Disney Brothers Studio, Walt finally struck animated gold after creating the classic short called “Steamboat Willie” which catapulted Mickey Mouse as one of the most recognized cartoon characters in the world.

 

6. Truman Capote: Literary Rebel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the famous author wrote classics such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood”, Capote worked at The New Yorker as a copyboy who sorted cartoons and clipped newspapers. He held this unassuming job for a full two years until he was fired, thanks to an angry whim by Robert Frost who convinced the magazine to let him go.

Fortunately for Capote, this planted the seeds for what was to become a prolific writing career. After writing a series of short stories, he managed to sign a deal with Random House who published his first novel, “Other Voices, Other Rooms” which put him on the path to becoming one of America’s most memorable cultural icons.

 

7. Annabelle Gurwitch: Bouncing Back From Insult and Inury

 

 

 

 

 

 

The comic actress and hostess of the famous cooking show “Dinner and a Movie” had to endure verbal abuse from none other than her idol Woody Allen who fired her for not living up to his expectations. Allen even went so far as calling Gurwitch “retarded” before kicking her to the curb.

But she went on embark on a successful career in showbiz, playing various parts in TV and movies. Ironically, she was responsible for the 2007 documentary “Fired!” which featured a number of people (including herself) who were axed from their respective jobs before becoming successful.

 

8. Jerry Seinfeld: The Creator of The Show About “Nothing”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unhappy with Seinfeld’s performance, the bosses behind the sitcom Benson decided to cut the comic genius from the show – he was the last to know about it. After showing up for rehearsal, he found that his character had been erased from existence without any warning.

No matter – he sucked it up and returned to doing stand-up gigs at local venues. Eventually, his hilarious performances impressed the likes of Johnny Carson and David Letterman. In time, his career took off to incredible heights, having starred in nine solid seasons of his hit show “Seinfeld” for almost a full decade.

 

9. James Hetfield: Sticker Printer Turned Metal God

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before becoming the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for one of the most epic rock bands of the 20th century, James Hetfield worked in a sticker printing factory. Ultimately, he lost his job but he went on to collaborate with drummer Lars ulrich to form the face-melting, ear-shattering heavy metal act known as Metallica.

Since Hetfield joined the band in 1981, his band has created a total of nine studio albums featuring classic rock anthems that their countless fans headbang to until today. That sure beats printing stickers!

 

10. Oprah Winfrey: The Media Juggernaut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s easily recognized as one of America’s most successful media figures, having been a talk show host, actress, and producer throughout her career. But no one gave her any hand-outs during her journey to success. Oprah Winfrey’s turbulent family life led her to carve out a self-made career as a television personality, even when she was let go as a news reporter for Baltimore’s WJZ-TV.

The good thing about getting fired though was that Winfrey moved to Chicago which was a pivotal move for her professional life. This was where she became host of AM Chicago, an unremarkable talk show which quickly climbed TV ratings. It was later renamed as the “Oprah Winfrey Show” which ran for 25 seasons over the course of 25 years.

After 4,561 episodes, Oprah Winfrey has not only become the wealthiest black person in the last century, she’s also one of the country’s leading black philanthropists.

 

11. Anna Wintour: Fashion Icon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This edgy fashion journalist first got her feet wet at Harper’s & Queen, a magazine where she served as one of its very first editorial assistants. Thanks to her work, the publication came out with groundbreaking photo shoots with the likes of Helmut Newton and other innovative photographers in the industry.

Anna Wintour often clashed with another editor, and she moved on to work as a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. Unfortunately, her shoots were deemed too much by the editors and got subsequently kicked out in less than a year. However, Wintour eventually became the editor-in-chief of Vogue and has occupied that position for a running total of 23 years.

She continues to be an influential force, not just within the fashion world, but also beyond the industry. Wintour reportedly even talked Donald Trump into letting Marc Jacobs to use the Plaza Hotel as a venue for one of his shows!

 

12. Bill Belichick: Coaching Prodigy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Belichick had been a defensive assistant, special teams coach and defensive coordinator for the New York Giants for 12 years. It was in 1991 when he became head coach for the first time for the Cleveland Browns until he was fired from his position four years later. After that however, Belichick was named head coach of the New England Patriots in 2000 and was responsible for the team’s five appearances at the Super Bowl. Since his removal from the Browns back in 1995, he was also designated as the AP NFL Coach of the Year three times.

 

13. Dave Mustaine: Rising From The Ashes

The former Metallica guitarist got kicked out of the band in 1983 for excessive partying and alcoholism, and Mustaine used the anger from this incident to form his own metal act called Megadeth. In the same year, he created enough material which Mustaine then used for his new band, giving birth to their debut album “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!”

His career soon took off, with Megadeth extensively touring the U.S. and Canada. On one occasion, they even played at the same venue as Dave Mustaine’s former band. To date, they’ve released 13 albums and have a worldwide fan base as fiercely loyal as that of Metallica’s.

 

14. Howard Stern: Terrorizing The Airwaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Widely known as a “Shock Jock”, Howard Stern gained notoriety as a radio talk show host in the 90s because of his blunt style and controversial topics. He particularly gained fame during his time as a host for both WWDC and WNBC and greatly increased their respective ratings during his time there. However, Stern found himself fired by both stations because of the raunchiness of his material, touching on sensitive topics such as sexuality and religion.

Getting the suits worked up over his unorthodox style proved to be a beneficial career move for Stern since it opened the door to bigger things. In fact, he was named, Nationally Syndicated Air Personality of the Year from 1994 until 2002. Since 2006, he’s switched to satellite radio where he’s free of FCC regulations and continues to entertain his millions of devoted followers.

 

15. Madonna: The Queen Of Pop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone who’s even remotely knowledgeable about music knows who Madonna is, and to date she’s sold over 300 million records as the top female pop performer of all time. On Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, she’s right up there with the likes of The Beatles and her influence in the world of music is second to none.

Before she achieved any of that however, Madonna first worked in various diners and fast food joints while she was starting out. In one particular job, she quickly got fired for dousing a customer with donut jelly on purpose. Although her potential career in the food industry crashed and burned, this paved the way for her to become one of the most recognized faces in the history of music.

 

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances.I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 200 million lives in the last 10 years.

Success Advice

10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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5 Changes in Your Habits That Will Help You Thrive

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We’ve all found ourselves at the bottom at least once in our lives. We thought that everything’s ruined and there’s no going back. The truth is – there’s always going back. Moreover, it takes one to fall many times and feel like everything’s ruined to succeed in life. (more…)

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