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35 Famous People Who Were Painfully Rejected Before Making It Big

Kimani Patrick

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As an entrepreneur, your entrepreneurial life will be faced with many rejections, which sometimes happens on an everyday basis. You can be rejected from your customers, employees, partners, friends, family… They are your reality and you can’t escape them.

While you need to learn how to deal with it and move on, it is not as easy as it sounds. Some people cope with rejection really well. They just brush it off, and learn from it. Others give up, or let the fear of further rejection hold them back. Let’s look at how you can be that first kind of person. If you’re facing rejection, you’re not alone. below is a list of 35 people who faced rejection and still made it big. (list first appeared on thought catalog)

1. Walt Disney
Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because, his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

2. JK Rowling
She got fired when working at the London office of Amnesty International because she would write stories on her work computer all day long.

3. Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg was let go when he was working as a partner at Salomon Brothers, an investment bank. Specifically, it was after the company was bought out by the company that eventually became Citigroup in 1998. His severance check is what he used to jumpstart his career, which has now led him to become the 18th richest person

4. Anna Wintour
While a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Wintour did lots of shoots, but apparently Tony Mazalla thought they were too edgy, and so she got fired after 9 months. After which she became fashion editor at Viva.

5. Madonna
She dropped out of college, moved to new york, and took a job at Dunkin’ Donuts in Times Square, where she apparently didn’t last a day. What sealed the deal was when she squirted jelly filling all over a customer

6. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was an evening news reporter and apparently got fired because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories. Eventually she was fired from the producer of Baltimore’s WJZ-TV.

7. Jerry Seinfeld
He was fired after a poor performance on his very minor role on the sitcom Benson. Apparently no one told him he had been fired and he only found out about it when he showed up for a read-through and discovered his part was missing from the script.

8. Truman Capote
He dropped out of high school to take a job as a copy boy for the New Yorker. He was eventually fired by the New Yorker, not because he was a bad employee, but because two years after being hired he went to go see Robert Frost read and, deeply sick, Capote left in the middle of the performance. Apparently Frost was deeply insulted and, knowing where Capote worked, demanded that he be fired. Which he was.

9. Howard Stern
He was fired by NBC when he was working as a DJ on WNBC. Then he found XM and the rest is history.

10. Elvis

After a performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Elvis was told by the concert hall manager that he was better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks (his former career).

11. Thomas Edison

He worked at Western Union where he used to secretly conduct experiments. Then, one night in 1867, he spilled some acid and it ate through the entire floor. He was fired and subsequently decided to just pursue inventing full time.

12. Kerry Washington
Before making it on Scandal, she had done two pilots. The shows of those pilots got picked up, but unfortunately Kerry was replaced in both shows by a different actress.

13. Steve Jobs
Jobs was fired from his own company.

14. Lady Gaga
When she was finally signed onto a major record label, Gaga was dropped and only after three months of being signed.

15. Wilco
When Wilco released Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2001, an album that wasn’t quite in line with their previous music, their label Reprise Records refused to release the album and dropped Wilco from its roster. Wilco ended up streaming the album on their website for free and it was eventually given a commercial release in 2002.

16. Bill Gates

When he dropped out of Harvard he started a business with Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data, which flopped. Luckily, they tried their hand at business again and this time Microsoft was born.

17. Albert Einstein
He didn’t speak until he was four and didn’t read until he was seven. He was subsequently expelled from school and was not admitted to the Zurich Polytechnic School. Long story short, he came around.

18. Charles Darwin
Darwin was not hell-bent on becoming a scientist his whole life, thanks to his dad, who called him lazy and too dreamy. Darwin once wrote, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.”

19. Isaac Newton
Sure Newton was a wiz at math, but he did not excel when it came to other subjects. He never thrived in school and when he was once put in charge of running the family farm, he failed terribly. That was when he was sent off to Cambridge and the rest is history.

20. Socrates
He was a visionary but at the time he was living, his innovative ideas labeled him an “immoral corrupter of youth” and lead him to his death sentence. Despite this, he persevered until the moment he was forced to poison himself.

21. Abraham Lincoln
When Lincoln was young and entered war, he entered as a Captain but came back as a much lower Private. Later on, he tried to start up a ton of businesses, all of which failed, and before becoming president, he lost several runs for public office

22. Lucille Ball
Before her iconic show I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball was considered a failed actress, a B-list actress. So much so that her drama instructors urged her to try another profession.

23. Marilyn Monroe
When she was trying to start her career, modeling agencies told her she should consider becoming a secretary.

24. Vincent van Gogh
It’s hard to believe, but during his lifetime Van Gogh received hardly any acclaim for his work. While alive, he only sold one of his paintings, and that was to a friend for a very small amount of money. Despite this, he continued working throughout his life, never seeing success himself, though his paintings now are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

25. Emily Dickinson
Though loved now, Dickinson was not so during her waking hours. In fact, while alive, less than a dozen of her poems were published out of about 1800 complete works.

26. Steven Spielberg
Ironically, Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. He was eventually accepted by another school, a school which he dropped out of to pursue directing. In 2002, Spielberg finally completed his BA.

27. Stephen King
King’s most renowned and first book, Carrie, was rejected thirty times. King decided to toss the book, which his wife then went through the trash to rescue and convinced him to re-submit it.

28. Claude Monet
While alive, Monet’s work was mocked and rejected by the artistic elite, the Paris Salon.

29. Michael Jordan
He was cut from his high school basketball team. He once said, “I have missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the gam winning shot, and I have missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

30. Babe Ruth
His home run record is 714 during his career. But he still had a total of 1330 strikeouts. At one point, he held the record for strikeouts. He once said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

31. Don Imus
The talk show host on MSNBC was fired in 2007 because he referred to Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.”

32. Stephen Glass
He was fired in 1998 from associate editor of The New Republic because he fabricated all or parts of twenty-seven reported pieces

33. Robert Redford
He was fired from his job as Unskilled worker for Standard Oil in 1954 because he was found asleep in an oil tank he was supposed to clean.

34. Rudyard Kipling
He was fired as his role as contributor to the San Francisco Examiner in 1889 because he was told by an editor, “I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.”

35. Henry Hudson
In 1611, he was fired from his role as Commander of the Discovery while exploring the New World because he was suspected of favoritism and food hoarding. Apparently the crew members rebelled, setting him, his son and others off in a skiff in what is now the Hudson Bay. TC mark

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Executive Editor for Inversk, Former Coffee Advocate & Corporate Publishing Consultant. My hobbies are 🎤📃🚵‍🏂 and ✈.

Business

Optiven Foundation Feted For Transforming Lives Across Kenya

Inversk Review

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Optiven Foundation has been feted for it’s role in transforming the society. This was at The Voice Awards held at the Louis Leakey auditorium in Parklands Nairobi on 16th August 2019. The event which was the first to be held in Kenya by it’s owners based in Netherlands, attracted a number of dignitaries and was officially addressed by the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto.

The award to Optiven Foundation was received by the Optiven Group General Manager, Mary Wacukah who is also a trustee of the Optiven Foundation. Speaking shortly after receiving the award Mrs. Wacukah “this award is a true reflection of what the foundation stands for which is to make a difference in the lives of the community.

” She commended all those who support the endeavors of the foundation which she noted has been a great input towards ensuring that the community we live in is a better place saying, “The Optiven Foundation is supported by Optiven Limited and well wishers who come together to ensure that our brothers and sisters live in dignity and their lives are transformed.

Truly when giving you do not just do it for the other person, but it also teaches us to be grateful for what we have.” While appreciated the trustees and philanthropists, she added that the foundation is wholly supported by Optiven Limited where 5% of all profits from real estate are used to cater for the myriad needs of the Optiven Foundation.

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Mrs. Wacuka was accompanied at the event by the Chairman of Optiven Foundation, Mr. George Wachiuri, Ms. Jerusha Abasalom – the Diaspora Manager, top associates of Optiven Limited and who are also philanthropists in their own right Mr. James Mugo and Mr. John Owiro and Ms. Joyce Njambi, the team leader for the Optiven Foundation among others.

Ambassador Pastor Elvis Iruh, the founder of The Voice Magazine in the Netherlands and who partners with Moving Minds Africa to bring the award to Kenya congratulated the team from Optiven Foundation saying their impact in society cannot be underestimated. Ambassador Iruh further noted that the team from Optiven had been receipient of another award which was bestowed to the Chairman Mr. George Wachiuri in 2019 at the Le Koning Hotel at the Hague in the Netherlands in 2018.

He added that both Mr. Wachiuri and the Optiven Foundation had been leaving print marks in the lives of people across the world with the work they are doing in transforming lives through philanthropy. He singled out the efforts to renovate and rehabilitate children living at the Soweto Children’s Home in Kayole where the Optiven Foundation has built classrooms and dormitories as well as provided the daily needs for the children who are fully dependent on the foundation.

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ABOVE: Partners visiting with the Optiven Foundation ahead of The Voice Awards ceremony at the Louis Leakey Auditorium on 16/8/2019

The Optiven Foundation works with the less fortunate in society in order to make their lives better.  Since it’s inception, the foundation has worked in the areas of environment, health and education among others. With key partnerships with different counties, the foundation has been involved with various cleanups including in Kajiado County and Nairobi County.

In adherence to the UN Millenium Development Goals, the Optiven Foundation has adapted environmentally friendly models on all it’s projects including use of biodigesters to save on water, afforestation to increase forest cover as well as participating in community projects that ensure sustainability. With regard to education, the Foundation launched the Soaring Eagles Program with the key mandate to provide opportunities for education for students who have challenges in paying for their education but are keen on performance.

Over the years, Optiven Foundation has given scholarships to students across the country and in every country. On matters health, the Optiven Foundation has provided support to communities through hosting medical camps, monetary support to cover health matters, civic education on the importance of insurance especially covering medical matters as well as community facilitation to persons living with disability. Through it’s Mobility that Brings Smiles campaign, Optiven Foundation has been able to partner with different associates to provide those living with disability with wheelchairs.

Through partnerships with individuals of good will, the foundation has since donated wheelchairs to deserving cases in Nairobi County, Nyeri County, Machakos County and Kiambu County. As the need for the said wheelchairs is immense the foundation is seeking partners to further spread the mobility that brings smiles through enabling persons living with disability to be able to be mobile.

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UN Appoints Uganda’s Winnie Byanyima as UNAids Executive Director

News Team

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The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has appointed Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima as the UNAIDS Executive Director and United Nations Under-Secretary-General. Her appoinmtment follows a comprehensive selection process that involved a search committee constituted by members of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board. The UNAIDS Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations made the final recommendation on the appointment to the Secretary-General.

Ms Byanyima has been the Oxfam executive director for six years since her appointment in January 2013. She takes over the UNAids roles from Malian Michel Sidibé who stepped down in May, following accusations of serious mismanagement. Mr Sidibé was also accused of creating “a patriarchal culture tolerating harassment and abuse of authority.”

In her acceptance, Ms Byanyima, 60, said she was “honoured” to be joining UNAids “at such a critical time in the response to HIV.”

“I am honoured to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” said Ms Byanyima. “The end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is a goal that is within the world’s reach, but I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead. Working with all its partners, UNAIDS must continue to speak up for the people left behind and champion human rights as the only way to end the epidemic.”

Ms Byanyima began her career as a champion of marginalized communities and women 30 years ago as a member of parliament in the National Assembly of Uganda. In 2004, she became the Director of Women and Development at the African Union Commission, working on the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, an international human rights instrument that became an important tool for reducing the disproportionate effect of HIV on the lives of women in Africa.

She holds an advanced degree in mechanical engineering (in energy conservation and the environment) from the Cranfield Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Manchester.

Source: UNAIDS

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Agribusiness

The Solution To Battling Army Worms In Kenya

Inversk Review

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The ministry of Agriculture requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to try and stop the crop-eating caterpillars known as fall army worms that are a threat to maize farming as they may affect food security. The assistant director of Agriculture has said.

“We have requested the Treasury to allocate us an additional Sh320 million because the fall army worm invasion is bigger than initially thought,” said Clement Muyesu. These funds will help farmers access identified pesticides which are considered costly and also use insecticides effectively.

About The Worm

One theory explaining about its origins states that the eggs or the caterpillars themselves hitched a ride in some imported produce, or even made it on board commercial flights. The armyworm whose binomial name is Spodoptera exempta also called okalombo, kommandowurm, or nutgrass armyworm, is a moth.

This worm is a very dangerous pest, capable of destroying entire crops in a matter of weeks. The larvae feed on all types of grasses, early stages of cereal crops like, corn, rice, wheat, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, and occasionally on coconut.

The army worm gets its name from its habit of “marching” in large numbers from grasslands into crops. They tend to occur in very large numbers during the rainy season, especially after periods of prolonged drought. The worms breed fast and can migrate 100 kilometers a day.

Kenya is suffering from a drought that has left about 2.7 million people in need of food aid and driven up the inflation rate.

“The rainfall was better this season so we all expected a very good harvest. The outbreak of fall army worm undermines what we expected would be a different story,” Mulila Mitti said by phone from Nairobi, where the FAO is held a meeting to discuss the infestation.

Still in the same meeting experts said that spotting the pest early when it is still a larva is key to prevention. They also warn that unless the spread of the fall army worm is contained, the attack is likely to result to a crisis.

Counties that have been invaded by the worms are Nakuru, Trans Nzoia,Kwale, Uasin Gishu, Taita Taveta, Busia and Bungoma.

Why it is considered a threat

It is of unknown origin – Governments, communities and farmers have no previous experience of dealing with the new pest. In other words there hasn’t been a permanent way of dealing with the pest since its origin is unknown.

It travels over a long distance – The adult moth migrates long distances and that’s how it spreads to many places in the world.

It is very invisible – The fall army worm goes right into the stem of maize plants, concealing itself from being seen and preventing farmers from spotting the problem early.

It is very destructive – This pest targets maize and other cereal crops, but it also attacks cotton, soybean, and potato and tobacco crops. When it does invade, up to three-quarters of the crop can be destroyed.

Some solutions have been suggested according to a BBC new report such as use of insecticides in its early stages, burning the crops, digging trenches, employing natural predators, like birds, to eat the worms.

A long term solution should be decided to avoid Kenya being banned on exporting its agricultural products, like other countries which have been confirmed with outbreaks, have faced.

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