Arianna Huffington, a Greek-American author, released her first book, The Female Woman, in 1973, under the guidance of Bernard Levin.
However, her next work, two years later, faced multiple rejections. Thirty-seven publishers rejected her, and, as a result, she suffered depression.
She had to take a loan to keep her going. After 37 attempts, she finally got accepted.
Arianna’s story isn’t one of those success stories where a person grew up in a poor background and scrambled his way up to success.
However, it’s one to be shown in a documentary due to its lesson-packed value. At the end of the story, you’ll see how perseverance can propel you to greatness.
Arianna Huffington was born on July 15th, 1950, in Athens, Greece, to her Greek parents, Konstantinos and Ellia. Kostantinos worked as a management consultant and a journalist.
She grew up with a sister, Agapi, who is now a thriving author and inspirational speaker.
Arianna moved to the United Kingdom with her family at 16. There, she studied economics at Cambridge University. She became the first foreign and third female president of the Cambridge Union.
In the 1970s, she led a romantic life with her then-partner, author Bernard
Levins, who was known as the most famous journalist of his time. Under Levin, she started her career as a writer. She wrote and released her first work, The Female Woman, in 1973.
Arianna had published just a book as an author. She was at the back of another project when something happened that reshaped her life forever.
Her second work, After Reason, is a commentary on Western economic structures in 1975. However, this second time didn’t go as smoothly as the first.
Arianna Huffington was rejected by a total of 37 publishers before being accepted, finally.
Depression set in around the 27th rejection, and it felt like her hard work was going down the drain. Her career, which had barely begun, felt like it was slipping away after every ‘No’ she got.
Any other person might have called it quits even after the first few rejections. But not Arianna. She never thought of giving up on her dreams.
One morning, she walked into Barclays Bank. She requested a loan, which was accepted by the then-bank manager, Ian Bell, even when she had no assets.
Every success story has a hero who changes the life of the protagonist. For Arianna Huffington, Ian Bell was the hero in her fairytale, and she admitted to still sending him holiday cards to date.
With the loan, she was able to keep going for another 13 rejections before she finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel.
Arianna moved to New York in 1980, following Levin’s refusal to raise a family. In New York, she met her future husband, Michael Huffington.
They married in 1986 and had two kids, Isabella and Christina Huffington. Their union lasted for 11 years before a divorce followed.
Arianna wanted to create a new type of news platform. This was the drive to co-found Huffington Post in 2005 alongside Jonah Peretti, Andrew Breitbart, and Kenneth Lerer.
The Huffington Post has a unique model. It was conceived as a site for opinions and is famed for recruiting celebrities to write for free.
The news platform model was seen as controversial by many. As it relied on unpaid contributors, it was a business model not many had seen before.
However, the news platform changed its business model in 2018 and started paying workers.
SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate, injected $5 million worth of capital after the first year.
The sky soon became the starting point for Huffington Post as it released local editions in New York, Denver, and Chicago. The website now has other versions like German, French, Spanish, and Italian versions.
Currently, Huffington Post (now HuffPost) has a broad audience with editions in the UK and Canada.
In 2011, AOL bought the platform for $315 million. Arianna Huffington landed a sum of $100 million from the sale of HuffPost as a 30% equity owner.
After the sale of HuffPost, Arianna became the President and editor-in-chief till 2016, when she departed. Since she departed from HuffPost,
Arianna has focused on her new initiative, Thrive Global. Thrive Global focuses on good well-being backed by scientific solutions.
Through Thrive Global, she hopes to raise awareness of the necessity of a balanced lifestyle.
The behind-the-scenes story behind Thrive Global’s creation was after an incident that happened to Arianna one day at work. In 2007, Arianna
Huffington sustained a facial injury after collapsing at work. She had worked for 15 straight hours for consecutive days.
In an Interview, Arianna said, “It’s that the way we are working isn’t working.” She said, “burnout is the price we pay for success.
But all the recent science shows that when we prioritize our well-being, our productivity goes up.” This principle is the foundation upon which Thrive Global is built.
Arianna started her political career as a Republican. In 1994, she helped her husband in a political campaign for the U.S senate seat, a campaign that later proved unsuccessful. She contributed to the National Review, a conservative journal.
He had lost the election to Dianne Feinstein by a small margin of 1.9% of the vote.
For some time, Arianna Huffington wrote for Bill Maher’s TV show,
Politically Incorrect. However, she began to attract attention to her political stand when she started questioning the U.S intervention in the former Yugoslavia civil war.
Arianna was known for being conservative in her political views and comments, making several television appearances to air her opinion on matters.
During the California governorship election in 2003, Arianna ran against the eventual winner, Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, she withdrew her campaign and ambitions for the position.
Despite stepping down from the election, she received 47,505, 1% of the total votes, as her name remained on the ballot box.
After selling the HuffPost to AOL for $315 million, Arianna was estimated to be worth $100 million as her share from the sale.
In 2016, she founded Thrive Global, which is estimated to be worth $130 million.
Although her rejection by 37 publishers has stolen the headlines in her extraordinary life journey, Arianna Huffington faced other failures. Most of her other failures occurred when running the Huffington Post.
What’s Working was a Huffington Post project that is considered a failure.
Arianna Huffington and her colleagues aimed to cover inspirational news and showcase ideas and solutions.
The public saw the project as a means of revenue generation through ads; hence, it wasn’t welcomed.
HuffPost Live was another project that failed to live up to expectations.
The project aimed to venture into internet broadcasting. HuffPost Live was a project that cost $12 million and was a huge loss.
HuffPost Live was projected to run daily for 8 hours of live streaming.
However, it failed to reach its potential and did not attract attention. Ultimately, in March 2016, HuffPost Live was stopped.
Despite not coming from a miserable background, Arianna Huffington faced many hurdles in her rise to stardom. She underwent what most people would typically give up on.
Arianna Huffington found inspiration from something she experienced after collapsing due to burnout. With a sense of responsibility towards humanity, she opted to chase a career path to help people overcome what afflicted her.
However, she believed in her efforts and, at the same time, submitted herself to fate. There are several lessons to take home from Arianna’s success story:
– Cultivate a die-hard attitude. Never stay down when you get down. You never know if your next push will be your breakthrough step. In an attempt to walk, a toddler stumbles and falls many times. Yet, he tries till he is able to walk. Why should a few rejections sway your beliefs?
– Try new things. Wherever you think your limits are, that’s how far you will go. Think outside the box and set new goals. There’s no limit to what you can achieve with the right mindset.
– Keep the company of like-minded people. If your company does not contain people with your goals, it’s time to change.
She understood she didn’t have much control over the turnout of events.
All she could control were her efforts and beliefs, which she never failed to show. She’s seen failure but never considered it the opposite of success. She sees it as a stepping stone to greater heights. This is the motivating story of Arianna Huffington.
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