Some of the CEO’s or top successful people started out in dirt poor and today, we know them as one of the most inspiring personalities. They remind us that through grit, sheer determination, and a little bit of luck anyone can overcome the circumstances and can achieve their desires & extraordinary success.
So when you are down and in need of inspiration, read these amazing real life tales which will help you relate and focus ahead.
- Larry Ellison
Capture line: He grew up in a poor Chicago neighborhood before co-founding Oracle
Net worth: $73.4 Billion
Ellison was born on the Lower East side of New York City i.e. in Brooklyn. When he was just a baby, he contracted pneumonia due to which his mother left him under the care of his Aunt and Uncle who raised him. He moved to Chicago’s South Shore, then a middle-class neighbourhood. He has never met his birth father and did not meet his biological mother again until he was 48. In fact, he didn’t even know that he was adopted until much later in life.
After his aunt died, Ellison dropped out of college and moved to California to work odd jobs for the next eight years. In 1977, he co-founded a database management company called Software Development Laboratories. They changed the name to Relational Software in 1979, and in 1982, it became Oracle, which is now one of the largest technology companies in the world.
Today, he is one of the wealthy businessperson as the executive chairman and chief technology officer (CTO) of Oracle Corporation. Overtime, he amassed all the toys you could expect a billionaire to own – yachts, planes, multiple mansions, and even an entire Hawaiian island.
- Do Won Chang
Capture Line:Forever 21 founder Do Won Chang worked as a janitor, as a gas station attendant, and in a coffee shop when he first moved to the U.S.
Net worth: $800 Million
Do Won Chang and Jin Sook, Husband and wife, is the team behind Forever 21, didn’t always have it so easy. When they moved to the U.S. from Korea in 1981, Do Won had to work 3 jobs at the same time to make ends meet, as a janitor, a gas station attendant, and in a coffee shop. Eventually, the couple opened their first clothing store in 1984.
Forever 21, which is one of the women’s clothing favorite store, is now an international, 480-store empire that rakes in around $3 billion in sales a year.
Chang is proud to have added his chapter to an American classic: the immigrant success story. “Forever 21 gives hope and inspiration to people who come here with almost nothing,” said Chang, who lives in a $16.5-million home in Beverly Hills and never went to college.
Don told the LA Times: “And that is a reward that humbles me: the fact that immigrants coming to America, much like I did, can come into a Forever 21 and know that all of this was started by a simple Korean immigrant with a dream.”
- Howard Schultz
Capture Line: Starbucks’s Howard Schultz grew up in a Brooklyn housing complex for the poor.
Net worth: $4 Billion
In an interview with British tabloid Mirror, Schultz says: “Growing up I always felt like I was living on the other side of the tracks. I knew the people on the other side had more resources, more money, happier families. And for some reason, I don’t know why or how I wanted to climb over that fence and achieve something beyond what people were saying was possible. I may have a suit and tie on now but I know where I’m from and I know what it’s like.”
He excelled at sports and thus ended up winning a football scholarship to the University of Northern Michigan and went to work for Xerox after graduation. Enamored with coffee, he then took over a coffee shop called Starbucks, which at the time had only 60 shops. Schultz became the company’s CEO in 1987 and grew the coffee chain to more than 21,000 outlets in 65 countries worldwide.
- Lakshmi Mittal
Capture Line: Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal came from modest beginnings in India.
Net worth: $10.5 billion
A 2009 BBC article says the Arcelor Mittal CEO and chairman, who was born in 1950 to a poor family in the Indian state of Rajasthan, “established the foundations of his fortune over two decades by doing much of his business in the steel industry equivalent of a discount warehouse.”
From modest beginnings in India, the 58-year-old’s razor-sharp understanding of the steel market enabled him to create an empire that spanned the globe. Today Mittal runs the world’s largest steel-making company and is a multibillionaire.
- John Paul DeJoria
Capture Line: the man behind a hair-care empire and Patron Tequila, once lived in a foster home and his car.
Net worth: $3.1 billion
Before the age of 10, DeJoria, a first-generation American, had rough beginnings and sold Christmas cards and newspapers to help support his family. He was eventually sent to live in a foster home in Los Angeles and even spent some time in a gang before joining the military.
He tried his hand as an employee to Redken Laboratories and then took off with a $700-dollar loan with which he created John Paul Mitchell Systems and sold the company’s shampoo door-to-door while living in his car. The quality of the product could not be denied and thus it made annual revenues of nearly $1 billion. He later started Patron Tequila, and now invests in other industries such as diamonds to mobile phones.
So Dear Readers,
Have Faith, keep your heads high, and work diligently towards your goal. The Power of Nature is always there to witness your Hard Work. Realize your goals and take 100% responsibility for your actions.
Kanan is a fine writer with over 2 years of exposure in all processes of SEO, with strong analytical skills and a customer focussed outlook. She is a people’s person and believer that problems can become opportunities when the right people come together. She loves reading success stories and wishes to publish a book!