This success chart by Demetri Martin rings so true. Everyone seems to face unexpected obstacles and detours in their career path — those it’s-always-darkest-before-the-dawn moments.

A few fun facts from a slideshow of 26 people who failed at first:

* Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
* Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “had no good ideas.”
* Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 different publishers.
* The first time Jerry Seinfeld went onstage, he was booed away by a jeering crowd.
* Oprah Winfrey was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn’t fit to be on screen.

What were your WTF moments on your path to success? Alex dropped out of college for a semester and lived with his parents. I went to law school for a year and was a mess. Elvis was initially a truck driver! It always feels like the end of the world when it’s happening, but next time, just picture this chart:)

(Photo of Woody Allen by Philippe Halsman; illustration by Demetri Martin from This Is a Book)