The journey from turning an idea into a business that generates consistent income isn’t easy. At times, it is hard to find the inspiration and motivation to continue working towards your dream of owning a successful business.
It’s important to remember that not every successful company had smooth beginnings and many overnight success stories took years of hard work behind the scenes to propel the business forwards. Into the successful companies, you see today.
We have compiled some interesting and inspiring stories of entrepreneurial success to help inspire you.
1. Apple Computers, Inc. was founded on April 1, 1976, by college dropouts Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Apple was started in Jobs’ parent’s garage before quickly outgrowing the space. Whilst the company was an initial success, a few poor business decisions later, Steve Jobs exited the company. This left Apple in a vulnerable position; between 1990 and 1996, many experts believed the company was doomed. However, after Steve Jobs returned as interim CEO, the company rebounded, and Steve Jobs was made official CEO in 2000. During his time as CEO, he revamped Apple’s product offerings and strengthened the brand worldwide; turning it into a global success.
2. Spanx. Sara Blakely was a door to door saleswoman selling fax machines when she came up with the idea for Spanx. Using $5000 (USD) of her savings, she founded her company.
Without any outside funding or debt, she grinded and built her company from the ground up. However what propelled Spanx to a global audience was when Sara sent gift baskets of her products to Oprah Winfrey’s stylist and dresser, Andre Walker.
Sara stated: “I had sent Oprah a gift basket in my very first slot of the prototypes, with a handwritten note, “You’ve been inspiring to me and here, check out my invention”.
Adding, “And just as I was running out of money and just as I was running out of friends, Oprah Winfrey called”. Oprah chose Spanx as her favourite product of the year, catapulting the business to success.
3. WhatsApp. The founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, was born in a small village in Ukraine and experienced poverty. When Koum’s family migrated to California, Koum became interested in computers and in 1997 was hired by Yahoo as an infrastructure engineer. After a decade of working in engineering, he started WhatsApp in 2009, and by 2014 the app had become extremely popular; particularly that it offered end-to-end encryption.
Facebook announced plans to acquire the encrypted communication app in 2014, with the desired purchase price of $16 Billion; $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook shares. However, Facebook ended up acquiring the company for $21.8 billion.
4. Paul Mitchell Systems. John Paul DeJoria is a self-made billionaire who was born in Los Angeles. He found himself in the foster care system, and by ten years of age, he was already selling Christmas Cards and Newspapers. He stated “The only way I could go was up,”; and used economic challenges as the opportunity to work harder.
In 1980, DeJoria joined forces with his longtime friend and famed hair designer Paul Mitchell. Using a $700 loan, he lived in his car and started selling hair products door-to-door. Now, the company Paul Mitchell Systems is a worldwide success, raking in close to a billion in annual sales a year with over ninety products sold in over 100,000+ hair salons throughout the world.
5. Forever 21. Do Won Chang immigrated to the US from South Korea in 1981 and before founding Forever 21 he ground hard and worked three jobs simultaneously for many years. Once he had saved enough money, he opened his first fast-fashion clothing store in 1984; in the first year, sales soared from $35,000 to over $700,000. Now, Forever 21 is a global company with 480 locations and annual revenue of over $3 billion.
Could You Be One of the Next Inspiring Success Stories?
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