Power Players

Media icon Arianna Huffington faced 37 rejections before kick-starting her career

Arianna Huffington speaks onstage in "Digital Detox" on day 2 of POPSUGAR Play/Ground on June 10, 2018 in New York City.
Brian Ach | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Arianna Huffington is celebrated for her publishing prowess.

The Greek American businesswoman is the founder of international news and opinion site The Huffington Post. She is also a renowned journalist and author of 15 books.

However, her path to success wasn't without its hurdles, as Huffington keenly revealed in a recent LinkedIn post.

The 68-year-old wrote of how, as a young, aspiring author living in London, she faced 37 rejections before finally securing a publishing contract for her second book.

"One of the low points in my life was when my second book was rejected by 37 publishers," Huffington wrote.

"By rejection 25, you would have thought I might have said, 'Hey, you know, there's something wrong here. Maybe I should be looking at a different career,'" she noted.

But, instead, Huffington chose to persevere with her dream.

At the time, she had one published book under her belt and was working as a journalist. So she walked into a local Barclays bank — "armed with nothing but a lot of chutzpah" — and asked for a loan to tide her over until her writing aspirations were realized.

Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, in London in her early-twenties.
Arianna Huffington

Fortunately, her persistence paid off, and the bank manager decided to support her request.

"Even though I didn't have any assets, the banker — whose name was Ian Bell — gave me a loan. It changed my life, because it meant I could keep things together for another 13 rejections," she continued.

"And then I got an acceptance," said Huffington. The book was "After Reason," a commentary on Western economic structures. Huffington was 28 at the time.

Huffington shared her story last week in an unconventional "throwback Thursday" post, sometimes referred to as "tbt" for short. In her post, she sought to turn the culture of self-promoting social media posts on its head.

"Our social media feeds are often a non-stop highlight reel of our successes. This week, I wanted to share a different kind of #tbt, one about rejection," she wrote.

The post was part of Huffington's ongoing efforts to promote healthier attitudes toward work and well-being.

Huffington has been on a mission to extol the virtues of a balanced lifestyle after collapsing at work in 2007 due to exhaustion. In 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a media platform aimed at dispelling some of the myths about modern work culture and combating burnout.

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