When we think about successful entrepreneurs, we often applaud them for their glorified achievements but not the hard work that was put in to accomplish them. Successful entrepreneurs travel a painful journey that teaches them to cope with failure and become who they are today.
Somehow, a part of you wants to believe that shortcuts to entrepreneur success do exist. We hate to break it to you, but failure and sacrifice are an integral and essential part of the pursuit of success.
Here are 5 inspiring stories from successful entrepreneurs to keep you motivated in the pursuit of your dreams.
1. Apple, founded by Steve Jobs
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
The man who created Apple. The man who revolutionized technology on a whole new level. The brain behind the reinvention of companies.
Jobs was an entrepreneur who created innovative technology such as Apple, Macintosh, Pixar, NeXT, TheCube, and many more. The incredible ups and hectic downs that Jobs endured has turned his efforts into accomplishments.
As Jobs struggled to get by while unofficially attending classes at Reed, he did odd jobs for money such as returning Coke bottles for food. He crashed at his friends’ apartments and faced health issues from getting into drugs such as LSD and marijuana.
However, the experiences from these setbacks are part of what made him a world-class entrepreneur.
His life journey was about lessons, hardships, and moments of his success. Jobs inspired himself to meet his goals and influenced his employees positively to achieve a stronger desire for hard work and a clearer vision for success.
2. Under Armor, founded by Kevin Plank
Motivation, passion, and focus have to come from the top.
Kevin Plank, founder of the world-renowned sportswear brand, Under Armor, built up the brand from scratch in his grandmother’s basement at the young age of 24.
Despite the challenges and struggles, he faced throughout the years, Plank turned a small business into a global company with a net worth of USD 5 billion.
Plank had trouble naming his company as he had issues with trademarking. His brother gave the name Under Armour while they were casually conversing, which led to the birth of the company’s current name.
Plank faced issues financially while he was a fresh graduate. He used his own money, his credit cards, and bank loans to finance the launch of the business.
Despite the issues, Plank hit his huge milestone in 1996 with $17,000 in sales. In less than 20 years, Plank has built one of the most successful sportswear companies in the world.
That’s the kind of success all entrepreneurs would love to have. There is no such thing as waiting for the right time, making excuses, and being afraid!
3. Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckerberg
The question isn’t, ‘What do we want to know about people?’ It’s, ‘What do people want to tell about themselves?’
One of the world’s youngest billionaire entrepreneur, Mark Zuckerberg (net worth: $62 billion) created a social media network “Facebook” in 2004 with his friends at college as he wanted a platform for their schoolmates to communicate easily.
Zuckerberg publicly announced seven personal challenges he set for himself, one for each year. One of his challenges was to wear a tie to work every day for a year.
After the recession, Zuckerberg wanted to send a message to everyone at Facebook that it was a serious year and his tie was a symbol of how serious and important that year was. Zuckerberg managed to overcome the fear of failure, inspire confidence and build support in new possibilities.
His success stories have inspired many people to take a leap of faith and chase their dreams. The truth is that there is no such thing as an overnight success. Part of life’s journey is going through every chapter and writing your own success story.
4. Alibaba, founded by Jack Ma
The very important thing you should have is patience.
Ma owns one of the largest e-commerce marketplaces, Alibaba (net worth: $25 billion). Ma grew up poor, failed his university entrance exams twice, was rejected from dozens of jobs, and knew nothing about programming or doing sales.
He was introduced to the Internet in the United States in 1995 and was surprised that China is not part of the global online network. Ma’s first online search was “beer,” but there were no Chinese beers in the results. It was then when he decided to be the one to impact the internet industry of China.
His never give up attitude has helped him to form a 4-dimensional perspective and take notice of opportunities that others have failed to identify. Ma has presented many motivational speeches to the media about his early innovative years and emphasizes having the right attitude in everything.
His self-made success story is widely shared across social media platforms, inspiring others with his life experiences that made him who he is today.
5. Microsoft, Co-founded Bill Gates
We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.
Co-Founder of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates (net worth: $90 billion), is an American programmer, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Gates struggled with self-confidence and feared that his business would go under.
Gates did not lose hope in the many challenges faced and continued launching various inventions. His perseverance led him to invent the Windows operating system, which helped Microsoft build its success.
Gates’ greatest goal was to help others. He achieved this by launching Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to nurture progress in education, nutrition, family planning, and raising people from poverty.
Being an entrepreneur can be a fulfilling journey as you would grow to recognize your potential and learn to leverage other’s abilities. Gigworks is a freelance platform that helps entrepreneurs solve arising and existing business’ obstacles by providing in-demand professional services. Join us to emerge and succeed in the competitive global market.