Try, Try Again: A Failure Can Lead To The Ultimate Success Story

girl holding umbrella

Sometimes trying to be both a resource and a support system can be a challenging line to straddle. IFB wants to motivate you, help you, inspire you and make you the smartest, most successful blogger you can be.

Recently we've been talking a lot about dealing with the negatives that come with blogging (and just about any bold endeavor, am I right?). From handling and growing from rejection and criticism to tackling Internet bullies, the life of a blogger is certainly not all photoshoots and cupcake Instagrams.

To twist a line from an Ice-T song, bloggin' ain't easy (but somebody's gotta do it). Anyone who tells you that it's not hard work to produce great content and get it in front of already over-saturated audiences and convince them it's amazing – is a damn fool. Really, they are. Here's the thing about it, too: For all that hard work, you still might fail.

Ahhhhhh! What!? Fail!? Me, the greatest, most talented blogger ever!?

Bare in mind, though, that failure is sort of an ambiguous term in blogging. If growing your traffic, building your following, establishing relationships with brands and networking with your peers isn't something you want to achieve from your blog, and you're just doing it for fun or a hobby – then congrats, you will never fail!

What we're here to tell you is: don't be afraid to fail. Work your you-know-what off to make things happen and to achieve your goals – but don't freak out if Plan A (or B or C or D…) is a total bust. Seriously. We came across this very inspiring article from Business Insider the other day that listed 26 people who failed at first and went on to succeed in huge ways.

Here are just a few of our favorite notable success stories:

  • Dr. Seuss' first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. He's now one of the most popular children's book authors ever.
  • Charlie Chaplin's (1899-1977) act was rejected by executives because they thought it was too obscure for people to understand. But then they took a chance on Chaplin, who went on to become America's first bona fide movie star.
  • Marilyn Monroe's first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn't pretty or talented enough to be an actress. She kept plugging away and is one of the most iconic actresses and sex symbols of all time.
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn't fit to be on screen. But Winfrey rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows. (She's also a billionaire.)
  • Vera Wang failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure-skating team. Then she became an editor at Vogue and was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. She began designing wedding gowns at 40 and today is the premier designer in the business, with a multi-billion dollar industry.
  • The first time Jerry Seinfeld went onstage, he was booed away by the jeering crowd. Eventually, he became a famous comic with one of the most-loved sitcoms ever.
  • J.K. Rowling was unemployed, divorced, and raising a daughter on social security while writing the first Harry Potter novel. She is now internationally renowned for her seven-book Harry Potter series and was the first female billionaire author.

We aren't here to be the judges or the police of who is failing and who is succeeding. We can't exactly quantify it, and in most cases it will come down to a personal decision based on what you think is best. You may find yourself uninspired by your content and want to expand, narrow your focus, or change directions. Go for it!

There's no rule that says your first attempt (or second, or third…) has to be the one. The worst thing you can do for yourself and your blog is spend time on something that isn't making you happy or isn't delivering what you wanted to get out of it. There's always time to start over, re-vamp, re-do, and wipe the slate clean. (This is the Vera Wang way, apparently!)

Here's the other side of the coin: If you're completely happy and motivated and excited about what you're doing – and no one else is – whatever! Just keep doin' your thang (Like Monroe and Seinfeld). Other people will always want to put in their opinion, to judge you or try to convince you that they know what's best. It's your life and your blog, and what becomes of it is completely in your control.

So what's our point here? Don't be discouraged. Sometimes failure is just success that hasn't happened yet.

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29 Responses

  1. Ashley Laurel

    This is a great pick-me-up piece! Thanks for the positivity.

  2. Sharon

    Love this post and I love those examples. I have been having bouts of wanting to throw my hands up and quit, but reading this really made me rethink. I just need to sit down and reevaluate my goals and how I plan to achieve them. Love this!!!!

  3. Maria Losch

    I look at what we perceive as “failure” to be an “experience” because nothing is truly a failure. I see these experiences as taking steps up a ladder and one day you finally reach the top. Thanks for the positivity and motivation!
    xo, Maria

  4. Auie

    This is an awesome article especially for newbies like us. And even to the more established ones. I always thought that you don’t have to check if you’re failing today than yesterday, because everyday you should always strive to be better than yesterday. But this article reminds us that everyone started somewhere before they became huge household names and icons. Thanks for the article! 😀

  5. TerranceJ

    Yet again, another bookmark-worthy read! I can attest to the fact that each and every principle here stated is so true. The worst thing a blogger can do for themselves is to stop trying. Thanks for the read IFB <3

  6. Toni Styles

    Lovely and encouraging post. The most important thing is to always take care of your own happiness, so that your readers at the very least, can respect the fact that you genuinely enjoy what you’re doing – and maybe leave a little happier too.

  7. Anna Paula

    Love this article… I have never been so happy doing my blog:)

  8. WorkOfStyle

    I think all these stories are really inspiring! Many people will reject you but only people who keep going will succeed! Sometimes you’ll be rejected for no reason – sometimes there will be a very good reason and you have to learn from your mistakes. You know what they say, life’s a moutain … 😉

  9. shilu

    i loved and appreaciated the post. thank you so much for awakening our mind once in while.

  10. Jade

    I think hearing about such successful people who struggled to reach the level of success they eventually achieved is so inspiring! It’s good to know that hard work, dedication and self believe can help you achieve your goals and dreams 🙂

  11. moiminnie

    Such an inspiring article!
    I always try to look at the bright side when what I’m dealing with at the moment is not so pretty. Thanks for sharing those beautiful stories, I’ll have them on my mind if/when something goes down the fail-way!

  12. Jessica

    OMG this is such a great article.
    It couldn’t have come in a better time. This is what I was thinking all along, to keep going. Thanks so much for this positive article.

  13. Sarah

    What an inspiring and well timed article! I knew that’s how Vera Wang started (actually by watching her segment on Oprah with my mom years ago…ha!) but had no idea about the others. I recently failed at my plan A and almost had a mini breakdown because I realized I had never made a plan B. But you know what? I made one. And a plan C. And sometimes I don’t have a plan. It’s all okay, I think, as long as you are doing what you like. Sometimes success will just fall into place.

  14. Aves Gry

    A really inspiring post and the fact that you also gave stories of successful people who didn’t make it at first is really uplifting. Thank you!

  15. Chrome

    Thank you!

    I’m not even a blogger right now but I feel like this can go into all other areas of your life.

  16. DaintyJea

    Very inspirational post! One thing I learned is to go with your gut and don’t give up. Motivation is the key to success. Love it!

  17. Emily Jenny

    I always find myself discouraged when it comes to my blog because I believe I post great content that is just not noticed! At the end of the day I always tell myself that I am doing it for me…hey maybe one day ill make it big..in the mean time I like to dress up and shoot for myself!

    Emily Jenny


  18. Maria

    J.K. Rowling was unemployed, divorced and raising a daughter on social security while writing the first Harry Potter novel, which was rejected by 12 publishing houses.

    That’s the point of the story!

  19. TheAsiaMonique

    YES!!! YES YES YES! All things we need to hear! Thank you for such an awesome, encouraging article!

  20. Mode Plus

    Great list of inspirators. Being a 30+ style blogger isn’t always an easy road. It encourages to know Vera Wang re-invented her career at 40. Well, the sky is the limit I say.

  21. Carissa

    Good article! Exactly what I needed for motivation. It becomes very discouraging when I blog and no one comments, but I enjoy doing it. I will continue blogging and maybe eventually I will get noticed.



  22. Wendy@ Salt and Wine

    Great article! I wrote about something similar a few weeks back. It was in relation to Sara Blakely and her dad’s philosophy of failing big ( very eye opening).

    I love how you used such iconic people as examples of not giving up. Thank you for the extra motivation, this morning!


    Success is a process. Failures lead to corrections and corrections lead to success .
    But the important think is to determine success. I have a long term goal and a strategy. I try to achieve my short term goals and work hard every day to get better.

  24. catherine

    It’s always awesome to read about people who have endured with their passions + hopes and achieved. I got the chills reading through this, so thank you.

  25. PrettyGossip.com

    Saving this article to look back on it whenever I’m thinking “WTF.”
    Thanks. xoxo
    Mindy from PrettyGossip.com

  26. David Parker

    Something amazing….very well done the author.

    Made me rethink about my success plans…..