Rowland Hussey Macy was an American entrepreneur and founder of Macy’s, the leading name in department store chains. Before starting the store, Macy tried seven different retail ventures, all of which failed. Succeeding in business was no mean feat in the 19th century, but Macy’s tenacity and hard work paid off. He continued looking for innovative ways to make his stores appealing to consumers.
He opened a dry goods shop in New York in 1858 and gradually expanded into different neighborhoods. Beautifully illuminated windows, exhibits, and Thanksgiving Day parades — no other store did publicity like Macy’s. The store chain continually exceeds expectations, even today.
Born in British India in 1965, Rudyard Kipling was arguably among the most well-known Victorian writers of his generation. Things did not come easy for him, despite coming from a family of influence. He experienced vicious bullying at school. He was fired from his job at a newspaper for not knowing "how to use the English language."
Kipling's work as a journalist inspired him to write brilliant poetry and prose. When he returned to England in 1889, his reputation as a literary genius was on par with that of Alfred Lord Tennyson. Kipling wrote classics like "The Jungle Book" and the revered poem "If," and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907.
Wilbur and Orville Wright
The Wright brothers revolutionized aviation. Their efforts symbolize the long, hard, and lonely road to (literally) reaching extraordinary heights. Wilbur and Orville had a clear goal and dream — to build a flying machine that could stay in the air for an extended period. Sleepless nights and countless prototypes later, the brothers had nothing to show for their efforts apart from crash landings and debris on the sand.
Giving up was never an option. They learned from failure to build improved versions of their dream flying machine. In December 1903, Wilbur successfully maneuvered a powered flight for more than 10 seconds. Travel has never been the same.
Elizabeth Arden, born Florence Nightingale Graham in 1878, overcame multiple failures to establish an influential beauty empire by 1929. She dropped out of nursing school because the enormity of the responsibilities scared her. Following that, she tried a variety of jobs, including receptionist, secretary, and bank teller, which all fizzled out.
Her first business venture also failed. Arden then took a loan to set up her next business venture — a cosmetics and beauty salon company. After a 1912 trip to France to learn about beauty techniques, Arden collaborated with a chemist to create a range of superior beauty products accessible to everyone. Elizabeth Arden, Inc. has since surpassed $1 billion in annual sales.
Jerome Allen Seinfeld, better known as Jerry Seinfeld, is a prolific stand-up comedian, actor, producer, and writer. Not many people know that his first stand-up act lasted only three minutes. The audience unceremoniously booed him off the stage. Seinfeld kept doing what he loved, taking his observational humor to clubs, improvs, and open mics in New York City.
In May 1981, Seinfeld made his first appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," and everyone loved him. He appeared frequently on the show and others, such as "Late Night with David Letterman." He and Larry David co-created and co-wrote the sitcom "Seinfeld" — one of the greatest sitcoms in TV history.