Getting fired can be demoralizing, but some people with their never giving up attitude proved that it’s possible to bounce back Getting a pink slip can be demoralizing, to say the least. Luckily, these successful people prove that it’s possible to bounce back.Clearly, Mark Cuban was destined to become more than a computer store salesman, and J.K. Rowling wasn’t passionate about her job as a secretary. Steve Jobs went through a crisis and eventual transformation after the company he created fired him. For some, getting fired is exactly what they needed to launch them into the success stories they are today. Here are the 10 people who got kicked before getting famous.
10 – Steve Jobs
When Jobs was in his 30s, the very company he created fired him. “I was out — and very publicly out,” Jobs said in a 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. “What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.” Jobs spent the summer of 1985 in a “midlife crisis” trying to decide what he wanted to do from entering politics to becoming an astronaut, said Alan Deutschman, author of “The Second Coming of Steve Jobs.” During his time away from Apple, Jobs co-founded computer company NeXT, which was later acquired by Apple, and launched Pixar Animation Studios. When he returned to Apple nearly a decade later, he brought the innovation of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
9 – Walt Disney
In 1919, Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star. According to his editor, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” That wasn’t the last of his failures. Disney then acquired Laugh-O-Gram, an animation studio he later drove into bankruptcy. Finally, he decided to set his sights on a more protable area: Hollywood. He and his brother moved to California and started producing a successful cartoon series.
8 –J.K. Rowling
Rowling worked as a secretary for the London office of Amnesty International, but she dreamed of being a writer. She secretly wrote stories on her work computer and daydreamed about a teenage wizard named Harry Potter. Her employers finally got fed up and gave her the boot. Her severance check helped support her over the next few years, when she finally decided to focus on writing. Today, she’s the multi-billionaire author of one of the most successful book series of all time.
When Madonna dropped out of college and moved to New York to find fame, she had a rough start. Strapped for cash, she took a job at Dunkin’ Donuts in Times Square. She didn’t even last a day. After squirting jelly filling all over a customer, her managers gave her the boot. The Material Girl went through several fast food and waitressing jobs before she was introduced to the city’s punk rock music scene in 1979. These low-paying gigs were necessary at first, but Madonna knew she was meant to be a star.
6 – Oprah Winfrey
As an evening news reporter, Winfrey couldn’t help but get emotionally invested in her stories. The producer of Baltimore’s WJZ-TV got fed up and pulled her off the air. As a consolation, he offered her a role on a daytime TV show. Winfrey was initially heartbroken. At the time, daytime TV was a huge step down from the evening news. Her sadness quickly faded as the show, “People Are Talking,” became a hit. That success helped Winfrey find her true calling as a talk show host.
5 –Howard Stern
Stern was a controversial DJ on WNBC, but he crossed the line with one particularly racy sketch. NBC pulled him off the air. Fortunately, he found XM was a better home for his talent. After his show debuted, millions of devoted Stern fans switched to Sirius. He now pulls in about $70 million a year.
4 – Elvis
Elvis may be the king of rock ‘n’ roll but he hit some major setbacks on his way to the top. After one performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, the concert hall’s manager told the singer he was better off returning to Memphis and his old career, driving trucks. Luckily for modern music, he didn’t. Presley continued to book shows in the area and eventually landed a spot on a tour with Hank Snow, the then biggest star in country music.
3 –Thomas Edison
Until one night in 1867, when Edison spilled some acid that ate through his entire floor. He got canned and decided to pursue inventing full-time. Edison received his first patent two years later, for the electric vote recorder.
2 – Anna Wintour
The Vogue editor started her career in New York as a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. She made waves for her innovative shoots, but editor Tony Mazalla thought they were a little too edgy. She got canned after a mere 9 months. Getting fired was a great learning experience and never held back her style. “I recommend that you all get fired,” she told fashion students. Shortly after leaving Harper’s, she became a fashion editor at Viva.
1 – Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg was a partner at Salomon Brothers, an investment bank. In 1998, they were bought out by the company that eventually became Citigroup. Bloomberg was let go, but not before receiving a hefty severance check. He used that money to start his own financial services company. Today, he’s the country’s 18th richest person and, of course, the mayor of New York City.