Most of us have one dream or the other but the mere thought of failure sends shiver down the spine of so many “would have been successful’’ people.

Our minds and instincts are good conceivers of great ideas whilst our egos crave attention, praise, love and appreciation from other people. As human we live to learn, experiment and expand.

This thinking will encourage you to take a bold step forward and stand out with your dreams. Dreams remain dreams until you start taking actions and making them reality.

Failure is not a bad thing, rather failure is a good thing. It just simply telling you that something needs to be done that you omitted earlier.

Come to think of it, it absolutely incredible how failure can make and unmake a person, it all depends on how you accept it.

As a person we gain strength and wisdom by learning from the failures and success of people who came before us.

Many uber rich millionaires has proof that failure is not bad so many times by sharing their life stories and we are sharing few outstanding successful people who started like you.

Jack Ma

jackma business ethicsWe all know or have come across the Alibaba Group online, the company has so many online service from ecommerce, payment processing to hosting services.

However, the founder has failed in so many instances:

– Primary school examination 2x
– Middle school examination 3x
– University Entrance exams 2x
– Harvard University 10x
– Job 30x
– Police officer
– Chinapage (Close down due to lack of funding)
– Raising funds from Silicon Valley was rejected on ground the business model is unprofitable unsustainable.

After the series of failures comes the successes:

Goldman Sachs: $5 million
Softbank: $20 million
Yahoo (2005): $ 1 Billion for 40% stake in Alibaba
IPO (2014): $ 25 Billion

Jack is worth $ 39 Billion and he is the 2oth richest person in the world.

Jan Kuom

jan kuomHe was born in communist Ukraine 1976, into a household of no running water. His parents rarely talked on the phone just in case it was tapped. The family live in constant fear of the secret police. “The walls had ears and couldn’t speak freely”

He migrated to USA in 1992 with his mum and grandmother. His mother took up babysitting to make ends meet. Soon his mother was diagnosed with cancer.

They were forced to live off welfare and food stamps. He taught himself about computers by hiring manuals from a local store, returning each one after reading it.

He didn’t have the money to buy a computer before the age 19, they were too poor to afford phone calls back to his father in Ukraine.

His father plan to join them in America but died in 1997 before seeing his family again. And then his mother died from cancer 2000. He then applied to Facebook and Twitter.

Both companies rejected his applications. With a friend he designed an instant messaging app in 2009.Their companies first office was two cubicles in another company’s warehouse.

Employees has to wrap blanket around themselves for warmth. They started growing organically without any marketing.


  • 5 year later Facebook purchase WhatsApp for $19 billion, which is known as one of silicone valleys biggest acquisitions ever.
  • Part of Facebook board of directors
  • Estimated net worth $10 Billion.

Elon Musk

elon musk business failureElon Reeve Musk was born in 1971 in South Africa. He thought himself computer programming at the early age which allow him to develop and sell his first software at the age of 12.

He created Blastar which was a space game and was sold for $500.

Elon left home at the age of 17 and settled in USA believing that it is the place where great things are possible.

Elon moved to California to pursuit a PhD in energy physics at Stanford University. He quit after two days of the program.

Elon and his brother launched a software company called Zip2 in 1995, with investment of $28000which was their father’s money.

Zip2 had contract with the major players in the publishing industry including the New York Time and Chicago Tribune but things at zip 2 was not smooth.

Elon wants to be the CEO but the board stand firm against him and in 1999 the board sold the company to Compaq for $307 million along with $34 million in stock options. In the sale Elon received 7% valued at $22 million.

Later that same year Elon musk cofounded an online banking company using $10 million from sale of Zip2. Year after that the Dot-com bubble fully popped and preponderance of tech companies closing their virtual doors, acquire Confinity/PayPal.

Another online financial services firm and it money transfer services called PayPal. It quickly became clear that PayPal is the most important product of the company. focused on the service and 2001 it quickly become the online payment system of choice with the few 1000 users multiply to $1 million users in just a few months.

But again the board troubles continued with concentration on the future architecture of the service. Again those battles were followed by a sale and this time to

$1.5 billion in stock changing hands, Elon received $165 million for his 11.7% stake in PayPal. Even before the PayPal deal has closed Elon began dreaming that he can land on mars.

He decided to start a company called SpaceX that will build affordable rockets using vertical integration and modular approach of software engineering. SpaceX was launched in 2002.

He funded the project alone with $100 million. The Company later made money in 2006. NASA contracted SpaceX to travel up falcon 9 space vehicle, which followed up again with $1.6 billion contract in 2008 but beyond headlines and profits.

Elon see SpaceX as fulfilling a vital need.

He brought the same public idealism to the brand that made Elon Musk to rise to fame. Tesla motors: initially Elon came in as a lead investor with $7.5 million into the nascent car company in addition to bringing his reputation and cash.

Elon took an active role in the company managing the design of the Tesla roadster and insist on a carbon fiber body.

He continue to invest in the following year and later took a role in Tesla motors as CEO in 2008. The company’s first car Tesla roadster sold 2500 vehicles in 31 countries.

Later Elon came up with idea of SolarCity which his cousins cofounded in 2006, the company designs and installs solar panel.

SolarCity also construct electric car charging station in collaboration with Tesla motors.

In 2013 he release a proposal for hypothetical machine that will carry people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 35 minutes or less.

He calls it the Hyperloop, and he estimate it would cost $6 billion to build. Elon faced his toughest challenge when his 3 companies start failing and things that appear unneeded has to be close down.

He closed down Tesla and later SolarCity started staggering and the bank that back their leases pulled out of the deal.

Elon decided to raise $40million out of his own pocket to keep the company going and keeping the dream alive, but some years of advancing and funding his own company.

His fourth launch of SpaceX was huge success and ever since there is no stopping to Elon musk. Today most of Elon’s ideas, dreams and innovative ideas have come through learning failures and losses.

Charles K. Kotoko is an entrepreneur and a social media expert, web developer with a background in business and online marketing across various platforms.