The founder of Success Magazine was a failure. At least, he was for periods of time during the first half of his life. Orison Swett Marden was born to humble and poor parents in the mid-1800s, and lost both parents by the time he was 8 years old. In poor health, Marden worked hard at abusive foster homes until he saved up enough money to go to school for periods of time, and eventually founded a few businesses. “Marden knew very few joys greater than the one he felt at overcoming financial difficulty,” wrote his biographer, and this ethos drove him to become one of the most successful motivational writers and publishers in the United States.