But they never gave up.
See what 14 game changers had to overcome before becoming famous.
Beyoncé lost on “Star Search” in 1993.
Before people bowed down to Queen Bey, Beyoncé and her Houston, Texas-based hip hop group Girl’s Tyme weren’t considered winners on popular talent show “Star Search.”
The group, who would later become known as Destiny’s Child, appeared on a 1993 episode of “Star Search” — but lost to the Skeleton Crew.
Now 20 years later and one half of the most powerful couple in the music industry, Beyoncé included the “Star Search” footage in her new “Flawless” music video off her record-breaking visual album.
Walt Disney was told a mouse would never work
Before Walt Disney built the empire he has today, he was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
In 1921, Disney formed his first animation company in Kansas City, where he made a deal with a distribution company in New York, in which he would ship them his cartoons and get paid six months down the road. He was forced to dissolve his company and at one point could not pay his rent. He reportedly survived by eating dog food.
Also, When Walt first tried to get MGM studios to distribute Mickey Mouse in 1927, he was told that the idea would never work because a giant mouse on the screen would terrify women.
Entrepreneur Walt had a whole slew of bad ideas before coming up with good ones, read about them here.
J.K. Rowling was on welfare.
Before J.K. Rowling had any “Harry Potter” success, the writer was a divorced singled mother on welfare struggling to get by while also attending school and writing a novel.
Luckily, that novel turned into the “Harry Potter” franchise, which has since made Rowling a billionaire as of April 2012.
Oprah Winfrey was told she was “unfit for TV.”
At age of 22, the now-TV mogul was fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for TV.”
Winfrey was terminated from her post as co-anchor of the 6 o’clock weekday news on Baltimore’s WJZ-TV after the show received low ratings. Winfrey has called it the “first and worst failure of her TV career.”
Winfrey was then demoted to morning TV, where she found her voice and met fellow newbie Gayle King, who would one day become her producer and editor of O, The Oprah Magazine.
Seven years after her first “failure,” Winfrey moved to Chicago, where her self-titled talk show went on to dominate daytime TV for 25 years. Winfrey now heads her own channel, OWN.
Jerry Seinfeld was booed off-stage.
As the story goes, the first time the young comedian walked on stage at a comedy club, he looked out at the audience, froze, and was eventually booed off of the stage.
But a determined Seinfeld went back the next night and performed a successful set.
The comedian would go on to create one of the most successful TV sitcoms of all time.
Stephen King received 30 rejections for “Carrie.”
In 1973, Stephen King was working as an English teacher in Maine and selling short stories on the side to make ends meet. That same year, he accepted a $2,500 advance for his first novel “Carrie” to Doubleday but after 30 rejections, King decided to give up on the book.
At the urging of his wife, King later resubmitted the manuscript and now, after having hundreds of books published, King is one of the best-selling authors of all time and “Carrie” is on its second movie re-make.
As of 2011, total sales for King’s books were estimated to be between 300 and 350 million copies.
Before landing “I Love Lucy,” Lucille Ball was widely regarded as a failed B-movie actress and was even dubbed “Queen of the Bs” in the 1940s.
But by 1962, Ball was the first woman to run a major television studio, Desilu, which produced many successful and popular television series.
Throughout her career, Ball won four Emmys and earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors
Director Oliver Stone dropped out of Yale.
Three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone dropped out of Yale to write his first novel, which was later rejected by publishers. When it was finally published in 1998, the novel was not well-received and Stone moved to Vietnam to teach English.
As a result, Stone enlisted in the army and fought a battle that earned him two Purple Hearts and helped him find the inspiration for his later work that often centers around war — such as “Platoon,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” and “Natural Born Killers.”
Oscar-winning actor Sidney Poitier was told to become a dishwasher
After his first audition, Poitier, who grew up poor in the Bahamas, was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?”
Poitier went on to win an Oscar for “Lilies of the Field” in 1964 and 1967’s super successful “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.”
Steven Spielberg got rejected from film school … three times.
Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times.
He eventually attended another school, only to drop out and become a director before finishing.
Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.
“I wanted to accomplish this for many years as a thank-you to my parents for giving me the opportunity for an education and a career,” Spielberg said in a statement. “And as a personal note for my own family — and young people everywhere — about the importance of achieving their college education goals.”
The Beatles were dropped by their record label.
When The Beatles were just starting out, a recording company told them no.
Decca Recording studios, who had recorded 15 songs with the group, said “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. They have no future in show business.”
Hugh Jackman was fired from 7-Eleven.
Before he was Wolverine on “X-Men” or a Broadway star, actor Hugh Jackman got fired from his cashier job at 7-Eleven.
“I got fired after six weeks because the (boss) said I talked too much to the customers,” Jackman explained to Us Weekly.
Fred Astaire was told he “can’t act.”
In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.”
Astaire later insisted that the report had actually read: “Can’t act. Slightly bald. Also dances.” David O. Selznick, who signed Astaire to RKO and commissioned the test, stated in a memo, “I am uncertain about the man, but I feel, in spite of his enormous ears and bad chin line, that his charm is so tremendous that it comes through even on this wretched test.”
Astaire, who went on to become an Oscar-nominated actor, singer and dancer, reportedly kept the negative note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.
Elvis Presley got fired after his first performance.
In 1954, Elvis was still a no-name performer, and Jimmy Denny — manager of the Grand Ole Opry — fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
Elvis went on to become the second best-selling artists of all time.