How would you feel if you had to move back in with your parents in your 30's?
Simon Cowell is an international television star and music industry power broker. But there was a time when he was broke, desperate and felt like a complete failure.
During his formative years, a bad attitude and resentment for authority got him thrown out of several schools. He also found college wasn't for him, as he dropped out a few semesters short of his degree.
For several years, he bounced from one low paying job to another, with no sense of aim or purpose. Once again, that attitude prevented any long-term success. When his father tried to arrange job interviews on behalf of his wayward son, Simon deliberately sabotaged the meetings.
In a last-ditch effort to help his son, Simon's dad -- an executive at EMI Records -- pulled strings to get Simon a menial job as a mail room clerk at the song publishing arm of the label.
And did Simon finally make the best of his situation? Not quite. He quit when he failed to get a promotion. He spent some time as a real estate sales agent, hated it, and eventually found his way back to EMI.
Finally, Simon decided to apply himself and worked his way up to talent scout, responsible for finding hot new musical acts. He quit that job to form a production company with a former boss from EMI. That didn't quite work out for him either and he left after a couple of years.
Simon soon started a record label and to bring in money he was forced to release odd projects such as exercise videos and Italian orchestra music. It took him three years before he had his first hit song.
Now here's the part where you expect that his career took off and led him to superstardom. Think again.
His record label went bankrupt after four years and Simon was forced to close its doors. He was nearly £250,000 in debt. And he was now on the other side of 30.
Broke, desperate and humiliated, he was forced to move back home with his parents. In fact, he barely had enough money for the cab ride back home and prayed that the fare wouldn't exceed the amount in his pocket -- £5.26.
Simon started over and took a low-level consulting job at BMG Records. This time, he worked his way up and signed a string of highly successful acts for the company, selling more than 150 million records. He also made his first million dollars -- at age 36.
His reputation as a top-level finder of talent landed him a series of increasingly higher profile television gigs over the next few years, from Pop Idol in the UK, to American Idol in the US, to The X Factor worldwide.
Today, Simon Cowell earns over $90 million per year, has worldwide fame and owns homes across the globe. But it took the humbling experience of having to move back to his childhood home to set his life on course.
QUITTING IS NEVER AN OPTION.