26 Successful People Who Failed At First

1. Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade. He was defeated in every public office role he ran for. Then he became the British prime minister at the age of 62.

2. Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Edison also famously invented 1,000 light bulbs before creating one that worked.

3.Harland David Sanders, the famous KFC “Colonel,” couldn’t sell his chicken. More than 1,000 restaurants rejected him. But then one did, and today there are KFC restaurants bearing his image all over the world.

4. R.H. Macy had a history failing businesses, including a dud Macy’s in NYC.But Macy kept up the hard work and ended up with the biggest department store in the world.

5. Steven Spielberg was rejected from his dream school, the University of Southern California, three times. He sought out an education somewhere else and dropped out to be a director.

6. Charlie Chaplin’s act was rejected by executives because they thought it was too obscure for people to understand. But then they took a chance on Chaplin, who went on to become America’s first bona fide movie star.

7. Marilyn Monroe’s first contract with Columbia Pictures expired because they told her she wasn’t pretty or talented enough to be an actress.

8. Soichiro Honda was passed over for an engineering job at Toyota and left unemployed. But then he began making motorcycles, started a business and became a billionaire.

9. Vera Wang failed to make the U.S. Olympic figure-skating team. Then she became an editor at Vogue and was passed over for the editor-in-chief position. She began designing wedding gowns at 40 and today is the premier designer in the business, with a multi-billion dollar industry.

10. Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Several more of his businesses failed before the premiere of his movie Snow White. Today, most childhoods wouldn’t be the same without his ideas.

11. Albert Einstein didn’t speak until age four and didn’t read until age seven. His teachers labeled him “slow” and “mentally handicapped.” But Einstein just had a different way of thinking. He later won the Nobel prize in physics.

12. Charles Darwin was considered an average student. He gave up on a career in medicine and was going to school to become a parson. But as Darwin studied nature, he found his calling.

13. Sir Isaac Newton was tasked with running the family farm but was a miserable failure. Newton was sent off to Cambridge University and became a physics scholar.

14. Dick Cheney flunked out of Yale twice. George W. Bush once joked: “So now we know –if you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president.”

15. The first time Jerry Seinfeld went onstage, he was booed away by the jeering crowd. Eventually, he became a famous comic with one of the most-loved sitcoms ever.

16. In Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the judges wrote: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire went on to be the most famous dancer of all time and won the hearts of American women forever.

17. After Sidney Poitier’s first audition, the casting director instructed him to just stop wasting everyone’s time and “go be a dishwasher or something.” He went on to win an Academy Award and is admired by actors everywhere.

18. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn’t fit to be on screen. But Winfrey rebounded and became the undisputed queen of television talk shows. She’s also a billionaire.

19. Lucille Ball spent many years on the B-list and her agent told her to pursue a new career. Then she got her big break on I Love Lucy.

20. After his first film, Harrison Ford underwhelmed the producer and was told he would probably never succeed. But today Ford is the third highest-grossing actor of all time.

21. Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his entire life, to a friend. He sometimes starved in order to create the 800 paintings he’d eventually do. Today, his works are priceless.

22. Dr. Seuss’ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers. He’s now the most popular children’s book author ever.

23. Henry Ford’s first auto company went out of business. He abandoned a second because of a fight and a third went downhill because of declining sales. He went on to become one of the greatest American entrepreneurs ever.

24. While developing his vacuum, Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed prototypes and his savings over 15 years. But the 5,127th prototype worked and now the Dyson brand is the best-selling vacuum cleaner in the United States.

25. J.K. Rowling was unemployed, divorced and raising a daughter on social security while writing the first Harry Potter novel. J.K. Rowling is now internationally renowned for her 7 book Harry Potter series and is the first person to become a billionaire from writing.

26. Stephen King was initially so frustrated with his first novel, Carrie that he threw it in the trash. King’s wife found the manuscript in the trash and took it out. To date his 49 novels have sold 350 million copies.


the important things

Credit for this ingeniousness goes to  http://theburiedlife.tumblr.com/


Sing in the shower.

Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

Watch a sunrise at least once a year.

Leave the toilet seat in the down position.

Never refuse homemade brownies.

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

Plant a tree on your birthday.

Learn 3 clean jokes.

Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.

Compliment 3 people every day.

Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.

Leave everything a little better than you found it.

Keep it simple.

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.

Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

Floss your teeth.

Ask for a raise when you think you’ve earned it.

Overtip breakfast waitresses.

Be forgiving of yourself and others.

Say, “Thank you” a lot.

Say, “Please” a lot.

Avoid negative people.

Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.

Wear polished shoes.

Remember other people’s birthdays.

Commit yourself to constant improvement.

Carry jumper cables in your truck.

Have a firm handshake.

Send lots of Valentine cards.

Sign them, “Someone who thinks you’re terrific.”

Look people in the eye.

Be the first to say hello.

Use the good silver.

Return all things you borrow.

Make new friends, but cherish the old ones.

Keep a few secrets.

Sing in a choir.

Plant flowers every spring.

Have a dog. <Or cat :)>

Always accept an outstretched hand.

Stop blaming others.

Take responsibility for every area of your life.

Wave at kids on school busses.

Be there when people need you.

Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter.

Don’t expect life to be fair.

Never underestimate the power of love.

Drink champagne for no reason at all.

Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.

Don’t be afraid to say, “I made a mistake.”

Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”

Compliment even small improvements.

Keep your promises no matter what.

Marry for love.

Rekindle old friendships.

Count your blessings.

Call your mother.


Ashley + Jack = happily ever after

Jack and Ashley said “I do!” a little over one month ago! We were so happy to be there to capture their once-in-a-lifetime day! It was everything a photographer could ask for – a gorgeous couple, a rock star wedding party (they had us laughing ALL day long!) and a beautiful September day in Minnesota. Not to mention all of Ashley’s awesome DIY decorations, including the red lips and mustaches that even WE couldn’t put down!

We asked Ashley and Jack a few questions about their wedding day – here are the answers they gave us!

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Ashley: Seeing jack for the first time! Dancing with my Jack, my dad, and my grandpa was very memorable too. My grandpa even shed a couple tears he was so happy for us and that was just too cute.
Jack: Seeing Ashley for the first time and when she walked down the isle.
Any advice for future bride/grooms?
Ashley: Don’t let the little things get to you…something is always going to go wrong, just don’t let it bother you.
Jack: Make sure your officiant shows up on time, and just relax.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Ashley & Jack: Shannon’s ( Jack’s sister) speech! It couldn’t had been anymore perfect but it was hilarious and we are still laughing about it. (she was so emotional – she could hardly get out a peep….well…maybe that’s all she got out!? :))
If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Ashley & Jack: No, not at all. (wouldn’t have planned it on duck opener… oopsy 🙂 )

Where did you go/are you going on your honeymoon:
Ashley & Jack: As of right now we went to the cabin for a week and it was amazing we got to enjoy some amazing fall weather. We went four-wheeling, fishing, lounged around/relaxed, and even did a little bit of hunting. It was perfect. We want to take a tropical trip but we have no plans yet.


The love between these two shines so bright it’s almost blinding. They are best friends, soul mates, and well…now they’re husband and wife! Here’s a few (OK, more than just a few…) photos to prove all of my blabbing about these two awesome love birds! Hope you enjoy!

Ashley and Jack, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for choosing us to spend that incredible day with you! Love you both to the moon!

with love, erin + andi


brian + ashley {engaged!}

When I found out that Brian popped the question to Ashley, I didn’t believe it at first. We have all been patiently waiting for this moment for 8 years, and never thought it would happen! I couldn’t be more excited for my sister in law and her future husband, I know they are going to have a wonderful marriage, and we all can’t wait to celebrate their big day in 7 short months! Congratulations you two, we are so happy for you both!


ASHLEY ***Future Mrs. Brown*** TANEY - October 30, 2012 - 7:59 pm

ahhh!!! AMAZING!!!! You guys rock!!!!!! These are so fun!!! thanks for everything!!!! BIG HEART YOU BOTH!!!!

What’s in a name?

We have been meaning to post about this for quite some time now. No really, at least once a month someone asks or *better yet*, it clicks in their brain just exactly what our name means…so here’s a little background into erin and i photography.

MANY moons ago….okay maybe about 9 years ago (OMG do I feel old saying that)…I (Andi) was planning on graduating high school. OK, I wasn’t exactly planning it, I was COUNTING on it. Counting the minutes, the hours, the DAYS until I was FREE. Until I was an adult (ha, little did I know that graduating high school BARELY made you an adult :))  A major part of graduating is having some killer senior portraits. Well it just so happened that my older (and wiser) sister had this sweet Nikon film camera, a rockin’ talent of making anything and everything look beautiful and she volunteered to use me as a model. My parents were especially thrilled because that saved them a LOT of dough!

Fast forward a few months, Erin and I would ask to “borrow” our friends’ kids to take their photos. Soon we realized that not only did we work amazingly well TOGETHER taking photos for people and making kids and babies smile, but we really LOVED it. Like the kind of love that you feel when you know something is just plain…right. We love people, we love kids, we love teenagers about to start their path into adulthood (have fun paying bills kiddos….that part of growing up SUCKS!) and we LOVE LOVE LOVE couples in LOVE!

After stealing enough babies (we gave them back…well, MOST of them), we decided we should start a business. First off, our business needed a name. We thought and thought, and jotted and noted, but nothing really stuck out to us right away. We didn’t want to use just one of our names, because we’re a team. We do this TOGETHER. So during one of many long boring English classes of mine (I remember this like it was yesterday), I was doodling on my notebook, writing our names, etc, blah, blah….and it HIT me. erin and i….the ‘and i’ being MY NAME. It was PERFECTION. I ran it by Erin, and she loved it as much as I did. We had a name, we had a passion…ladies and gentlemen, we STARTED A BUSINESS!

After this long in the “biz”, we still know it’s our calling. It’s not something you can explain – you just know it in your heart. We’re happy when we’re working (who can say THAT?!) and we work so well TOGETHER that it’s almost sickening. We have had the pleasure of meeting SO many amazing people. Young, old, or right in between 🙂  We thank our lucky stars everyday for what we have. What we’ve built. What our clients, no – OUR FRIENDS have allowed to happen. Because without them, we’d be nothing. Without their inspiration, without their confidence in us and without their word of mouth, we would not be here right now. Lucky doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel each and every day <3

So there you are folks. Our name in a nut shell. Some people get it right away and some have probably never thought about it before! But now you know the meaning behind erin and i photography!

I’ll leave you with a photo of us <3  (too bad I don’t have any of my senior photos to show….)

xoxo e+a

Sandy Knight - October 11, 2012 - 10:16 pm

Absolutely cherish the wonderful *family* pictures that you took for us back in the summer of 2009. They are irreplaceable!

brenda - October 11, 2012 - 10:32 pm

So glad you consider us your friends makes my heart happy! Not many people can say they have fun at their & you 2 do work absolutely well together like pb & jelly!! Erin captures the moment & you andi are so amazing at getting some of the most amazing smiles i have seen come out of my son & what tickles me pink is you guys really WORK for your clients & that is why i think you are worth every penny<3 I cant wait to fill my future house with canvas upon canvas of your fabulous work!

admin - October 11, 2012 - 10:43 pm

Sandy – your family means the world to us and not a day goes by that we aren’t thankful for having met you and having been a part of your lives!

Brenda – your words are like music to our ears! Seriously, that’s WHY we do what we do. Because of amazing people like you guys!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!