Creative Child

10 Numbers To Inspire Grit

by Deborah Song

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Famous Failures

Some people succeed early. Others later. And some, much later. It wasn’t until the age of 62 that KFC founder Colonel Sanders set out with a $105 social security check in hand to pitch his chicken recipe to restaurants. As many as 1,009 people told him he was crazy.

4: 28

Famous Failures
With so many successful missions to Mars, it’s easy to forget that getting there has never been easy. In fact, more missions have been famous failures than success: 28 flops compared to 19 successes.

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JK Rowling

J.K. Rowling worked hard even when she didn’t feel like it. The author of Harry Potter suffered bouts of depression when she found herself divorced and jobless with a child to support. But she managed to write the Harry Potter series during this time.

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When she finished, all 12 major publishers rejected the Harry Potter script. One year later, a small publishing house called Bloomsbury, accepted it. Since then, Rowling has sold more than 400 million copies of her books, and is considered to be the most successful woman author in the United Kingdom.

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Famous Leaders

Despite of humble beginnings, Abraham Lincoln managed to become one of America’s greatest leaders. He’s one of the country’s most beloved presidents, but the public didn’t always embrace him. Lincoln earns a place on this list of famous failures because he failed to get nominated into public office eight times during his journey to presidency.

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Famous Failures
Vera Wang’s behemoth fashion empire towers so mightily that it eclipses her former life as an aspiring figure skater. The number of times Vera Wang made the U.S. Olympic figure-skating team is zero. The couture designer, famously known for her elaborate gowns, has dressed the biggest names in entertainment, business and politics. But her first dream was to become an Olympic figure skater. When that didn’t happen, she pursued another dream.

Next time they miss the last shot of the game, or lose in their race for student council office, remind them of these famous failures. For perfectionists and highly sensitive children, it can be especially easy to lose sight of the fact, but it's true: we all fail—until we succeed.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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