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5 Inspirational Tales of Entrepreneurship

By James Ball | Jan 15, 2016 | Friday Funnies

man watching as money pours over himIf at first you don’t succeed, try TRY again.

Do you have an entrepreneurial streak? Feel like you’re heading for bigger, better things? Got your sights on the World’s Billionaires List?

Greatness might not be on everyone’s wishlist – but I truly believe that everyone has to potential to be great – should they want to be.

You don’t need to be born rich to do well in life and it takes more than a pinch of good luck to reach the heights of super-success.

I think the 5 famous and truly inspirational billionaires on my list prove that.

If you want something… you have to take it!

(Click here to check out some amazing career-related resolutions which will help you achieve greatness this year!)

1. Bill Gates: An Early Failure.

Bill gates cartoonYes, that’s right, Bill Gates wasn’t always the billionaire Microsoft mogul that he is today.

Have you ever heard of a company called Traf-O-Data? If you’re not familiar with Gates folklore then probably not.

Traf-O-Data was created to “read the raw data from roadway traffic counters and create reports for traffic engineers” but failed it’s first demo. (Because it basically didn’t work.)

Facing defeat, did co-founders Gates and his pal Paul Allen give up? No – the world would have been a very different place if they had.

In 1975 Microsoft was born.

Oh, by the way, Gates is now worth over £72,700,000,000.

If you’d like to read more about the legend, click here.

2. Walt Disney “lacked imagination.”

HOLLYWOOD - JUNE 26: Walt Disneys star on Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. This star is located on Hollywood Blvd. and is one of 2400 celebrity stars.The Disney brand has become a household name, recognised by children (and adults) across the world.

But Walt didn’t simply fall into success; he faced numerous failures before finally getting his big break…

In fact, in 1919 he was sacked from his first creative job at Kansas City Star (a newspaper) because he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas” – big mistake, of course.

Then in 1923, after trying to go it alone with a couple of friends, his animation company ‘Laugh-O-Gram’ had to be declared bankrupt.

Finally, Walt and his brother Roy decided to move to Hollywood, where they created the Disney Brothers’ Studio and started making some real money.

And the rest is history!

Want to read more? Click here to check out the rest of Walt Disney’s biography.

3. Oprah Winfrey’s Rise to Fame.

Oprah saying 'success is the best revengeOprah has been dubbed “the Queen of Media” but is most famous for her chat show, in which her caring nature shines through, allowing real, honest and intimate discussion with her guests.

But she didn’t always have such a glamorous lifestyle.

Born into poverty and suffering through a variety of unforgivable abuses during her childhood, Winfrey ran away from home at the age of 13.

Her ‘luck’ changed when she got a job at a radio station. From there, she progressed to co-hosting the News and then eventually hosting her own chat show.

Refusing to sell-out and get her show involved in ‘trashy,’ ‘tabloid’ stories gained her the respect and recognition she deserved and her Empire is ever growing.

Self-made, humble and hard-working, Oprah really is a fantastic inspiration to us all.

Click here to read more about Oprah.

4. The (Mysterious) Tomato Salesman.

Ripe tomatoes in a basket on a nature backgroundOnce upon a time…

A man applied for a cleaning job at Microsoft, but was turned down because he didn’t own a computer or email address.  (That was never going to go down well at Microsoft -was it?)

Disappointed, but spurred on by the rejection, he decided to buy some tomatoes with the last $10 in his wallet – surely he could make at least a little money before the day was through.

After managing to sell his tomatoes (individually) at a 100% profit, he realised he’d cottoned onto a good thing and thus repeated the process, making £100 over a few hours.

Working every day, early morning to late at night, the man soon had enough money to buy his own tomato cart.

His success continued and by the end of his second year, he had a team of employees and fleet of vans at his disposal.

Imagine if he’d had that computer?

5. Barbara Corcoran.

Barbara corcoran rolling her eyesYou may not have heard of Barbara – all you need to know is that she’s one amazing woman.

At the age of 22 years, she decided she wanted out of her waitress job and had bigger fish to fry.

Her boyfriend at the time offered to lend her just $1,000 to set up a Real Estate “business” and together they started selling apartments in Manhattan.

In 2001, the Corcoran Group sold for $66million.

No shrinking violet, Corcoran has continued to thrive, starring in American show ‘Shark Tank’ where she’s invested in 30 companies – oh and she’s also a bestselling author, motivational speaker and new business owner (Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners).

So what does Barbara have to say about all of her successes? “Building a business is little more than a series of quick opportunities followed by a big a series of big obstacles.”

Click here to read more about Barbara’s inspirational story!

Feeling inspired?

It’s pretty clear from these stories (and thousands more) that the path to success never does runs smoothly.

But it’s always so inspiring to hear about people who’ve gone through the good and bad to get to where they are now.

Recruiter Pro Tip.

So what morals can be found in these motivational stories? (There are so many…)

1. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
2. There’s a job and career path out there for everyone.
3. Hard work is absolutely necessary for success.
4. You will come across people and things that will bar your road to success. Be ready.
5. Just because something isn’t glamorous and high-tech doesn’t mean it won’t sell.

For more inspirational insights, click here to check out amazing quotes from other super-successful entrepreneurs!

If you’d like to receive more light-hearted articles like this one (along with funny recruitment stories and confessions) click here to subscribe to our weekly blog!

Good luck!

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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