Picture this image of Jeff Bezos in his cheap office space working day and night selling books online. 24 years later Amazon is a 100 billion dollar multi-national corporation selling everything from toilet paper to power tools. Even better is it’s a surprisingly common story:
Phil Knight: Knight and an old friend each put up $500 dollars to start a shoe company. 50 years later the proud chairman of Nike is worth an estimated $86 billion.
Larry Page: Page and Sergey Brin started running a search engine software on their university’s servers while they were doctoral candidates. When it started taking up too much bandwith they left and started Google. It’s now a 101 billion dollar company used by millions everyday.
Ingvar Kamprad: Used some money his father gave him to sell replicas of his uncle Ernst’s kitchen table. IKEA went on to become a 35 billion dollar company.
Bill Gates: A university dropout who used his life savings to start a software company that nobody else thought was a good idea but in 1985 Microsoft Windows was born and now runs on 91% of computers worldwide.
J.K. Rowling: Rowling was on government assistance and could barely afford to feed herself and her child. She worked diligently on a book after her child was asleep. The book went on to be on a series of international bestsellers and blockbuster movies.
Oprah Winfrey: The news reporter turned talk show host was so poor as a child she had to wear potato sacks for clothes.
The list goes on and on, a little web research shows this. Even on a less grand scale neighborhoods and cities are full of stories of people who went from rags to riches. What they all have in common is hard-work and determination. All of these self-made billionaires ignored their doubts and critics and persisted even when things were dismal. Their stories are a reminder that no matter how unlikely success might seem it is always possible.