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Celebrating Failure

This article also appeared in Finweek magazine in their 6-Sep-2012 issue

The American author Theodor Geisel, who wrote under the pen name of Dr. Seuss, was rejected by 27 publishers when he submitted his first manuscript. When he finally found a publisher, his 46 books including “Cat in the Hat”, and “Green Eggs and Ham” went on to sell nearly half a billion books worldwide.

Renowned writer JK Rowling shares a similar story. Her first book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was submitted to 12 publishing houses. All 12 rejected it. But then the number 13 turned out to be an incredibly lucky one for Rowling and the Bloomsbury publishing group. Rowling went from living on social security to being a self-made billionaire. In its 2011 world billionaires’ list, Forbes estimated Rowling’s net worth at US$1bn.

Looking at these phenomenal turnarounds, there are a number of critical lessons we can take away:

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