The names are known, the faces are familiar and their stories are inspirational. However, while we know who they are now, we ignore the failures they went through to get to where they are today. From Oprah Winfrey to Henry Ford, all these greats went through struggles to get to where they are now. Here is looking at the struggles the people who changed the world went through early on in their life.
1. Oprah Winfrey
Before Oprah became the first Black female billionaire, she led a really hard life. Her childhood was filled with struggles and heartache. Born to a working class family (her mother was a daily wage worker and her father was a construction worker,) Oprah not only lived in poverty, but was also abused at the age of 9 and 13. To make matters worse, she ended up with an unfortunate pregnancy at the age of 14. With her childhood bieng anything but glamorous, Oprah fought hard and long to get to where she is right now. From getting fired for being unfit for television to becoming one of the most inspirational faces in the world, Oprah truly came a long way. Struggling through everything life threw at her with grit and determination, Oprah’s sturggles to success are an inspiration to everyone!
2. Walt Disney
It may have all started with a mouse on paper. However, did you know that before his rise to success, Walt Disney failed not once, but several times? At the age of 20. Disney was fired from his first because his editor thought he lacked imagination and creativity. The first rejection did not stop him and he went on to create Laugh O’ Gram, a startup which went bankrupt months after its inception. In fact, even after creating the now famous Mickey Mouse, Walt could not find distributors for his seemingly unique product. It was only until sound made its way into the world of cinema that Disney became the sensational phenomanon it is today! If Disney gave up after the first bankruptcy, the world would have been a very different place!
3. Henry Ford
Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, was more than just a successful entrepreneur. While everyone knows what Ford is, not many know he failed two times and filed for bankruptcy both those times! In 1900, Ford formed his first company, the Detroit Automobile Company with backing from the famed lumber baron, William H. Murphy. The company went bankrupt. His second attempt was in 1901, when he formed the Henry Ford Company, which he ended up leaving with only the rights to his name. This particular company was later renamed to the Cadillac Automobile Company. However, it was Ford’s third try, with the Ford Motor Company which hit the proverbial nail on the head. The rest, as they say, is history!
4. Colonel Sanders
Yes, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is finger licking good. However, do you know how many fingers went into making the chicken so delectable? Founded by Colonel Sanders, the special chicken recipe was rejected a grand total of 1009 people! Before he broke the perfect chicken recipe, he tried his hand at every odd job which came his way. From being a fireman to being a tier salesman, Sanders did it all. A broke and hungry Sanders came up with the idea of frying chicken with the right sauces, a recipe created to perfection over time. He set up his first Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant in 1952 and from then on, the success rate was stupendous. In 1964, at 72 years, Sanders sold the the company for $ 2 million dollars to a group of investors led by Jack C. Massey and John Y. Brown Jr. He retained the rights to the Canadian franchises and stayed on as a salaried goodwill ambassador to the company. They say a happy tummy makes a happy person and Colonel Sanders rise to success proves just this point!
5. Thomas Alva Edison
We know the story all too well. Edison tried over 10,000 times to get the idea just right. His primary focus? Inventing a commercially viable electric bulb which would give people all over the world the power of light and electricity. From his teachers to his peers, everyone thought Edison could not succeed with his life. If he had given up at the young age of 5, the world really would be very different.
The world is filled with wonderful inventions and creations. From tech related products to electricity related inventions, these were only possible because the inventors and the creators refused to give up their dream. If you think we missed out on any great inventors or creators, please feel free to comment and let us know!
Famous People Who Turned Their Failures Into Success Stories
Struggles and failures are a part of everyday life. However, it is how you deal with the failures which makes you a great person. Every great entrepreneur has had their fair share of lows before they rose up stronger than before. From Richard Branson to Dhirubhai Ambani and to Steve Jobs, every great success story started off with nothing. Here is our list of entrepreneurs who went through major failures before becoming some of the most famous people in the world!
1. Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington had one dream in life and one major drawback for achieving the dream: she didn’t know how to speak the English language. Everyone around Huffington thought her dream was going to be just that. Language was a major hindrance for her and even when she got into Cambridge, life wasn’t easy. She had to learn the language by reading and listening to everything in English and slowly, by speaking in the language she wasn’t sure of, Huffington started overcoming her fear.
While not a direct failure, her lack of the knowledge definitely acted as a major roadblock. Coming from a life where she and her mother had to work to make ends meet, Huffington led a constant life of struggle. Despite working through the day, Arianna still wanted to overcome her inabilities by working on her English pronunciation skills. From not knowing the language to mastering it so much that she could write her first book, The Female Woman, Huffington’s life saw an inspirational rise.
Even through all the roadblocks and mind blocks, Huffington pushed past her struggles to become the CEO and founder of the extremely famous Huffington Post. Even after that, the struggles just refused to stop. From fainting out of sheer exhaustion to realising sleep was important, Huffington addressed very issue with skill and talent. A woman who has grown through all the hurdles thrown at her in life, Arianna Huffington has shown that no block is too great and every barrier can be overcome!
2. Steve Jobs
More than a decade ago, when Jobs released the first ever iPhone, he changed the way the world used smartphones. While the average audience was quite taken in by this cool new toy, there were more skeptical people than those who were in favour. How can a company which didn’t have any experience in dealing with the production of phones, make waves with something like an iPhone? However, the success of the phone was greater than what people would have expected and overnight, the future of Apple and Jobs changed forever.
Before Jobs made Apple the massive success it is today, he had more than his fair share of failures. Dropping out of college and with no formal education, he led quite an exciting life. Despite all the rejections he faced in various phases of his life, Jobs never stopped working on making his dream come true.
From hiring John Sculley as the CEO of Apple (a move which brought the Company down,) to launching various failed products and to not knowing where to market the Next Computer, Jobs led an interesting journey to the top. Today, Apple has a valuation of more than a trillion dollars and with one impressive innovation after another, everything produced by Apple is one of a kind. Ironically, the fact that he was ousted from Apple didn’t stop Jobs from growing. He took this so hard, he considered this as one of the major failures in his life. However, despite all the things which went wrong, Jobs always said he was who he was because of the failures.
3. Walt Disney
When Walt Disney started his journey as a caricature artist, a lot of people told him he just didn’t have it in him to make a mark in the world. However, he stuck through with his creations and started weaving stories with the creations he made. While Mickey Mouse was the first ever caricature he designed that became famous, his other creations became just as famous in the coming years.
Despite being fired by only a junior editor from his first job, Disney worked on his skills so much, he slowly but surely started making a mark. Did you know that when Walt Disney first created Mickey Mouse as a character, he wanted to name it Mortimer Mouse? Mickey Mouse was also drawn as an aftermath of a deal gone wrong. One of the first animated series Disney was working on, called Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, fell through as a result of a disagreement between Universal Studios and Disney.)
The only way Disney knew to deal with the situation was by drawing out his pain! However, had it not been for his wife’s timely intervention, the world would not have fallen in love with one of the most adorable characters of Disney’s history, Mickey Mouse! When Walt Disney died, his personal valuation stood at a whopping $ 35 million, making him one of the richest men in the world, without the shadow of a doubt.
4. Richard Branson
Richard Branson, a serial entrepreneur and now the 5th richest man in the world, also had his fair share of troubles. Branson had the business selling streak from a very young age. At the age of 16, he started his own magazine called Student. While the magazine did really well, it also set the stone for his record label, Virgin Records. However, despite the record label taking off in the first few years, trouble started brewing. Without giving up, Branson kept thinking of how to make the most of what he had.
It was only when a flight of his got cancelled on the way to Virgin Island, that inspiration struck Branson. From selling tickets worth $ 29, to redefining the way people flew, a cancelled flight was quite literally Branson’s ticket to freedom. With people not liking the clothes offered by his clothing brand and a record label which failed to succeed, Branson refused to give up. Everything Branson did over the years was to ensure that nothing he did was without enthusiasm. So much so that he wanted the entire world to experience what he felt when he lost his virginity!
Failure is a part and parcel of life. There is nothing that is truly stopping you from achieving your dreams. Stop thinking about what was done and lost and start thinking about how to make a difference in your life. If you think we missed out on any other stories like these, comment and let us know!
Why Is Risk Taking A Stepping Stone To Success
Risk taking and entrepreneurship almost go hand in hand. Everytime you start and stop yourself from achieving the impossible, think of what your idols did and look at how they overcame their roadblocks. From Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg and to Jeff Bezos, everyone has had their share of troubles and disparities. However, it was only because they decided to take risks and move out of their comfort zone that they could become the successes they are today. If you still aren’t convinced, here’s why you should definitely take risks to do better!
1. Hidden opportunities come to light
Often times, taking risks is looked at as a negative thing. While the risks you take may not really pan out the way you want them to, the end result is always a good one. Take, for example, the story of Oprah Winfrey. If she hadn’t decided to make a move and jump out of the life she was used to, there was no way she could have become one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in the world today! Every opportunity she saw, she took. Everything happening in life was a lesson worth learning and this was one of the primary ways that Oprah jumped
2. Taking risks has a certain order
While taking risks may seem like an ad hoc and a spur of the moment decision, it really isn’t. There is a certain order to the madness and if you plan everything perfectly, then taking the risk is worth all the effort. Do your homework, understand the situations and get your bearings in order. Only after you have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed, can you see what the end result of taking risks looks like!
3. There is nothing scarier than doing nothing
From Steve Jobs to Travis Kalanick and to Mark Zuckerberg, every successful businessman has taught one important thing. Doing nothing doesn’t push you forward but keeps you rooted in the same place, with no growth happening. Putting yourself in situations you did not expect not only helps you deal with the future, but will also help you overcome your fears in a way you thought wasn’t possible. For years, society has been telling women they cannot do anything, that their position is only in the kitchen. If an entire gender hadn’t rebelled and said no, they had to do things their way, change wouldn’t have happened. Defy the norms. Show people you can do what you want and make sure you always stand out. No matter what.
4. Risks help you get over your fears
One of the most common roadblocks to you achieving your success is fear. The more vulnerable and fearful you are, the more you realise you can’t achieve you want. “Success in life comes from taking risks,” Push yourself to move away from the fear and reach a point where taking risks seem not only fun, but worth it in the long run!
5. Embrace your failures
Like Arianna Huffington said, “failure is not the opposite of success but a stepping stone to success.” Learn to live with your failures and accept that whatever happens, happens for the right reasons. Deal with all the lemons life throws at you and always know that you can turn them into a really delicious lemonade! Just like all the extremely successful entrepreneurs who have quite literally slammed the door on failure.
Often times in life, you tend to stop yourself from achieving the goals because you are terrified of going the extra mile. When you think of how the grass is greener for the other person, take a moment to think about how they got to that point. If you think we missed out on any other reasons as to why taking risks is important, comment and let us know!
Liliane Bettencourt And What To Learn From The Woman Behind L’Oréal
Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress to L’Oréal, was, when she died, the richest woman in the world and the 14th richest person in the rest of the world. While fashion and cosmetics were the center of Liliane’s world, there was a lot more to her than just looking chic and pretty. Everything about Liliane’s life has been under public scrutiny and everything she did, helped her push L’Oréal to an unforeseen and unprecedented level. While the rest of the world remembers for her very public and ugly feud with her daughter, we would like to remember her for the way she built the Company up!
1. Her dedication to business
From companies like Sun Pharma, to Foxconn and to L’Oréal, all major family run businesses have one thing in common: dedication to the business. With Liliane Bettencourt, the addiction and the conviction to the business was so strong, it was almost infectious. In fact, she said exactly that in a statement shortly before her death, “My life is L’Oréal. I have always been involved in the development of the company, and I will protect it to the end.” At another time, during the early days of Liliane’s role as a CEO Of L’Oréal, someone suggested using Isabella Rossellini as the brand ambassador. The moment Liliane heard the news, her response was. “But, ambassador of L’Oréal, it’s me!” Sticking true to her dedication to the Company, Liliane always thought of her business first, then anything else.
2. Family and stability always go hand in hand
Despite having a very public war with her daughter, over property and money, among other disagreements, Liliane always believed that family comes first. Further, one of her other concerns came from the fact, she wanted the control of the business within the family. In fact, when Nestlé bought a majority stake from L’Oreal, Liliane ensured that at least 30 % of the shares were within the Company and not sold. This helped make sure, no matter what, as long as Liliane was alive, one third of the control was going to be in the family! If family and stability was not the center of Liliane’s growth strategy, then L’Oreal wouldn’t be what it is even after her death!
3. Keep expanding and growing
When L’Oréal started, it was a small cosmetics chain where most of the products were sold domestically. With every product sold and every sale made, the profits L’Oréal earned through the years, propelled it to the top! Growing from having almost nothing, to earning € 26 billion as revenue in 2016, L’Oréal grew exponentially. Further, the shares which Bettencourt sold back to Nestlé before she died, increased the value of L’Oréal by at least a 100 times, making the Company one of the richest ones in the world!
Liliane Bettencourt led an eventful life. With a journey full of ups and downs, she made sure, no matter what she did, her business was always her focal point. A journey rooted deep in family and values, Liliane Bettencourt’s life stopped short at the ripe old of 94. A woman who fought tooth and nail to make a mark, she most certainly has left a strong legacy behind.
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