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 1989, 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 hame 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 onwards, 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 Edison
We know the story all too well. Edison tried over 10,000 times to get the idea just right. His main focus? Inventing a commercially viable electric bulb which would give people all over the world the power of light. 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!
Elon Musk Works 120 Hours a Week, Stays In Factory For 4 Days
In an interview with The New York Times, Elon Musk said he has been working 120 hours a week. It is more than three times the national average work week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As the CEO of two major companies, Tesla and SpaceX, Musk seems to be having a hard time delegating his work. This is making him overworked.
“The classic problem as an entrepreneur is that they have a hard time delegating,” Robert Pozen senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management. “But that’s really crazy. Recruiting other executives is critical, so is dealing with customers and dealing with regulators. Those are functions that only the top founders can do.”
Silicon Valley has been criticized for glorifying overworking. “A culture of overwork is damaging because it turns brief binges of hard work into a long-term strategy, and, worse still, an expectation. When managers start measuring the worth of their employees according to how quickly they return emails at 3 a.m., that particular work culture is broken,” said Adam Alter, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Musk realised that this behaviour is harmful and has been affecting his life drastically.
“There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days – days when I didn’t go outside,” Musk said. “This has really come at the expense of seeing my kids. And seeing friends.”
Elon Musk also revealed that he has not been on vacation since 2001, he has spent his most recent birthday at work. Musk added, he has trouble sleeping “it is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien.”
It has been reported that the Tesla executives are looking for a number two, to take on some of Musk’s daily responsibilities. Musk said that he is not aware of this search and has no plans to step away from his many roles at Tesla.
As the CEO of two major companies, Musk is known to keep an intense daily routine. Inc. previously reported that the CEO ignores most phone calls, abstains from getting stuck dealing with emails, and breaks his entire day into a series of five-minute slots. But apparently, he’s still there for 120 hours a week.
Signs Your Job Is Killing You
Picture this, you walk into your work thirty minutes late because you woke up at the time you actually had to be there. You have a large cup of coffee in your hand which is your substitute for breakfast, your shirt is dishevelled. Your colleague sitting next to you gives you an over enthusiastic “GOOD MORNING” and you mumble to yourself “yeah right.”
For the rest of the day, you spend it by checking your watch every ten minutes, but the time does not pass faster. There are no new posts on Instagram and Twitter, you have already scrolled through them a million times. Every day you go for lunch ten minutes early and come back ten minutes late. You can not wait to get home, but when you are home all you are doing is being stressed about work the next day. The night is spent stress watching Netflix.
If this sounds a lot like you, I think it is time to re evaluate your job situation.
In his book, Dying for a Paycheck, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Ph.D, a specialist in organizational behaviour at Stanford Business School, makes a bold statement “the workplace is killing us and nobody cares.” The Japanese have a word for death from overwork it is called “Karoshi”. In Japan over 10,000 managers, executives and engineers die annually from being overworked.
A hostile work environment is the number one cause for work related stress. One in four workers complain about their jobs being the most stressful part of their lives.
Being constantly exhausted due to work is a serious problem, it cannot be cured simply by getting a new job, Pfeffer explains. Also, finding a job is no small task. “If you are physically or psychologically drained by workplace stress, then you’re not going to have the capacity to go out and look for another job,” he says.
Even though all of this sounds grim, there are steps you can take to make your life less stressful and maintain a healthy relationship with your work.
Eating well is crucial, make sure you get in all the nutrients you need for your daily work day if your job needs more physical labour, eat accordingly. On the other hand, if your job barely involves any kind of physical movement, you need to make sure you get in some exercise before or after work. Exercise does not have to be hardcore, a light jog or some yoga can help you calm down while getting the exercise you need in.
In this world of go, go, go; people barely get any time to relax and get enough sleep. Sleep helps you rejuvenate and start fresh the next day. If you are not getting enough sleep it will make you feel lethargic the next day and therefore less productive.
It is very important for everybody to find ways they can wind down, some people read, meditate or even game. Everybody utilises different techniques to relax. It does not matter what it is, just make sure you have a way to relax.
Communication is proven to be very effective to reduce stress, you can have a meaningful conversation with your friends and family or just laugh and make jokes.
If nothing works, know when you can seek counselling and getting help from a professional.
In an interview, Pfeffer said, “I look out at the workplace and I see stress, layoffs, longer hours, work family conflict, enormous amounts of economic insecurity. I see a workplace that has become shockingly inhumane.”
There are various ways in which an employer can reduce stress in a work place environment. The employer can align workload with the capability and capacity of the workers. By making room for workers to grow and use talent in their positions, will help the employees stay creative and make them feel in control. If the workers have a say in the work they are doing, will help increase job satisfaction.
Not all work situations can be ideal, it is important to know, you have a choice, you do not have to stay in a job forever if you do not enjoy it. The opportunities are endless. Remember you always have the power to pave your own path.
Life Lessons To Learn From Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook is getting a lot of bad publicity lately, but we can not deny the enormous power it holds. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of this massive platform, is undeniably successful. There are definitely things we can learn from this mastermind about working hard to make your dreams a reality.
Have a tunnel vision
Mark Zuckerberg had a vision for Facebook, he dropped out of Harvard to pursue his goal. Having a vision for your life in the future is important, giving you a sense of direction. It helps you understand what you want to accomplish in life by allowing you to see more clearly at the opportunities which are going to benefit you in the long term. Beyond this, having goals are strong driving forces to help us get through harder times and look forward to achieving your goals. They act as motivators to make every single day productive, this way it can lead you to reach your goals faster.
Dealing with stressful situations
A fancy word for not losing your calm while in a stressful situation is called equanimity. Mark Zuckerberg when under pressure approaches the situations calmly. Having full control over the situation this way, with a clear head, results in making better decisions. To improve relationships with employees and colleagues, equanimity is a great asset to have under your belt.
Work in silence
When Zuckerberg was working on Facebook, he did not create a lot of fuss around it, just created something about which he was passionate. He set up the entire website from his dorm room. If you are passionate about something you will continue to work on it without needing attention or approval from others.
Zuckerberg said, “I feel that the best companies are started not because the founder wanted a company but because the founder wanted to change the world… ”
Do what you are passionate about
You can only follow the above step if you are passionate about what you are working on. Zuckerberg said “I think that people just have this core desire to express who they are. And I think that’s always existed.” If you are working on a project and it requires a lot of commitment and does not have any monetary incentive; it means, you have a strong idea of what you want and will do anything to have it. An office job, sometimes, is a necessity, it feeds you and clothes you, but it should not stop you from following your passion. For some people, the office job might be their passion.
People throw rocks at things that shine
Do not let other peoples’ opinions get you down. Zuckerberg doesn’t let his critics get to him. It is a skill to block out the noise and keep doing what you are. Use other peoples’ criticism to motivate you to do bigger and better things. Knowing what you want in life and how you are going to accomplish and just sticking to it, is critical.
By incorporating these mentioned active choices to change your life, they would help you live a more fulfilling life.
- Elon Musk Works 120 Hours a Week, Stays In Factory For 4 Days
- Signs Your Job Is Killing You
- Life Lessons To Learn From Mark Zuckerberg
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