Thank Goodness They Failed!

Famous talents found their calling by being in the wrong job at the right time

Not every successful person has had known what they’ve wanted to do right from the get go. Most have failed more times than they’ve succeeded before finding the thing they were truly meant to do. So next time you feel stuck, remember these unlikely but true stories of turning the wrong move in to the right move.

Dr. Seuss

Before becoming the world famous author/illustrator of such classics like Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss helped run his family’s brewery. When that didn’t pan out, he enrolled in Dartmouth College where he became editor-in-chief of their on-campus humor magazine, but after being caught drinking gin with nine friends in his dorm, the Dean of Dartmouth forced Seuss to relinquish the position. Feeling lost and confused, he enrolled in Lincoln College in Oxford with plans to get a PhD in literature. Lucky for us all, he was talked out of it by a good friend who convinced him to focus on illustration. And thus, a legend was born.

But seriously, don't eat green ham. It's probably toxic.

But seriously, don’t eat green ham. It’s probably toxic.

Michael Clarke Duncan

Perhaps best known for his roles in The Green Mile, and Planet of the Apes. Duncan wasn’t always the on screen force America had come to love. Before making it in to the big time, he worked manual labor jobs in Chicago and a few bodyguarding gigs in L.A. for the likes of Will Smith and Notorious B.I.G., he soon found the work too be too much. Then, while working manual labor literally digging holes on the side of the road while his co workers called him “Hollywood,” he took a chance and auditioned for the new Bruce Willis blockbuster Armageddon. He landed the role and went on to become an international sensation.

He was also a beautiful woman. There were many changes in those days.

He was also a beautiful woman. There were many changes in those days.

Georges St. Pierre

The recent explosion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship is largely due to the welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre. Hailing from Canada, he had the body of an Adonis, the face of a model, and fighting skills that made seasoned professionals look like amateurs. Though he is one of the most beloved figures in the organization, he didn’t plan on dedicating his life to full contact sports. In fact, before making the leap to fighter Georges found himself working as humble trash man to pay off student loans. Earning a decent living, he saw his future going exactly this way until he tested his martial arts skills in a full contact bout in 2002. It was so impressive that by the next fight, he won the organization’s championship title. After that, it wasn’t long before the world took notice.

He would later try this move on Jay Hieron.

He would later try this move on Jay Hieron.

Chuck Palahniuk

Best known for penning the generation defining novel “Fight Club,” Chuck Palahniuk wasn’t always a successful novelist. Though it was a passion, writing always came second to being a diesel mechanic, and later a hospice worker. However when he proudly showed up to work with a black eye due to recent vacation shenanigans, no one asked him about it. This angered and frustrated Chuck so badly that he went home and wrote a short story about the rules of a new organization called “Fight Club.” It later became a full-length novel, which then became a cult movie phenomenon staring the likes of Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. To date, he has a legion of die hard fans and continues to write novels which push the envelope of storytelling.

"The first rule of Fight Club is you're supposed to ask me about Fight Club!"

“The first rule of Fight Club is you’re supposed to ask me about Fight Club!”

Will Ferrell

Widely considered one of the funniest people on the planet, Will Ferrell made his mark on the comedy world by breaking in to the mainstream’s eyesight via SNL in 1995. However, before that he earned a degree in Sports Information, but didn’t feel passionate about it to pursue a career. He also worked as a bank teller for two days before being fired for his drawer coming up short. He wasn’t stealing, they were just careless errors due to his heart not being in his day job. After feeling all sorts of lost and confused, his mother encouraged him to move elsewhere and follow his heart, so he packed up for LA where the Groundlings soon made him a staple cast member. These days, it’s hard to go anywhere without someone popping up with a classic Ferrel quote.

Tyler Paterson is a Chicago native that tours the country with his comedy band.  He loves ghost hunting and writing music.  But not writing music about ghost hunting.
Kind of surprised #1 isn't National Do PCP & Steal a Car Day (April 31st, if you're wondering!)

Tyler taught you about more tough jobs that someone’s gotta do in The 5 Hardest Days to be a Cop

More from W. Tyler Paterson

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