1) J.K Rowling’s debut novel "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone" was submitted to twelve publishing houses, all of which rejected the manuscript.
2) In 1958, Achebe sent his novel manuscript “Things Fall Apart” to the agent recommended by Gilbert Phelps in London. It was sent to several publishing houses; some rejected it immediately, claiming that fiction from African writers had no market potential. Finally it reached the office of Heinemann, where executives hesitated until an educational adviser, Donald MacRae – just back in England after a trip through West Africa read the book and forced the company's hand with his succinct report: "This is the best novel I have read since the war"
3) “I had so many rejections” Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie in her 2009 CNN interview on “African Voices” with Lola Ogunaike.
4) Here’s part of Jhumpa Lahiri’s biography online…Lahiri's early short stories faced rejection from publishers "for years"
5) Here’s part of Michael Jordan’s biography…He tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 5'11" (1.80 m), he was deemed too short to play at that level. His taller friend, Harvest Leroy Smith, was the only sophomore to make the team.
6) Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o played two test matches for French club Le Havre in the mid nineties but wasn’t signed and rejected, so he moved to Spain. At Real Madrid, he made just three starts the whole of his first season so he moved to Real Mallorca on loan. Who doesn’t know the rest?
7) In school, Walt Disney was told he could never write a good story.
8) In school, Notorious B.I.G’s teachers told him he would never “amount to nothing”, His club banger “Juicy” is a dedication to all those teachers.
9) 2pac’s first solo album, “2pacalypse now” was not even a classic. It had just mild success at the time of its release and didn’t generate any “Top Ten” hits.
10) With no major label to give him a record deal, Jay-Z sold his CDs out of his car and, with Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs, created Roc-A-Fella Records as their own independent label in 1995.
11) Barack Obama contested for the US Congress in 2000 and lost. In 2001, when he told his friend he wanted to run for the US presidency someday, his friend told him it was impossible for him to win the US presidency because he was black and his name Obama was one letter short from the name of America's number one enemy...He did -twice.
12) Abraham Lincoln's failures before becoming president are well known. He lost a congress election, lost a senate election, lost a vice presidential election and won a presidential election at the age of 60