Everyone seems to have a secret for success. Some sell it, some write books about it, some may even share it for free. But there are no secrets to success, really. Why do we read inspirational success stories? Not for the secrets, but for the reminder: If you work hard, face your challenges, and push forward for your dream – there’s no stopping you either. Here are some people who did exactly that – and the inspirational success stories behind their achievements.
J.K. Rowling was a newly divorced mother on welfare when she wrote Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone – on a typewriter. She couldn’t afford to photocopy the manuscript, so each time she submitted it to a publisher, she had to type out the 90,000 words again. It was rejected time after time after time, until a publisher’s daughter read it and fell in love.
Jim Carrey lived in a VW on a relative’s lawn at 14 years old. At age 15, he performed his first comedy act…which spectacularly fizzled. At 16, he moved to Los Angeles. As motivation, he wrote himself a $10 million dollar check for “acting services rendered.” It was dated Thanksgiving, 1995. And right before that date passed, he starred in Dumb and Dumber.
Before he owned the Yankees, or was satirized on Seinfeld, George Steinbrenner bankrupted his first sports team. In 1960 he purchased a basketball team called the Cleveland Pipers, and they folded in 1962. He took over the Yankees in the 1970s and the failure seemed to keep coming. He is famous for hiring, firing, hiring, firing, hiring, reassigning, and firing the same manager. And yet, the Yankees went on to incredible successes in the 1990s and 2000s both on the field and financially. The Yankees are one of the inspirational success stories of pro sports – and the man who rebuilt the team into a powerhouse is too.
Hershey’s chocolate is world famous, but it took Milton four tries to create a successful company – his first three failed. Hershey wasn’t always successful even after his fourth company made it – in his later years, Hershey had burned out his taste buds from smoking cigars, and tried to launch a beet flavored candy. It nearly sunk the company.
Steve Jobs was once fired from his own company. Apple actually let Steve go when he was 30 years old. Undeterred, Jobs started another computer company, which was eventually acquired by…Apple. Back at his old company, Steve Jobs went on to revolutionize home computers, laptops, cell phones, portable music players, the music industry, hardware design, and software design too.
Colonel Harland Sanders
Col. Sanders never cooked a chicken commercially until he was 40 years old. He started in a gas station he owned during the Great Depression. When the Interstate was built through the town, traffic dried up, and Col. Sanders went bankrupt. He searched for a franchise partner instead…and was rejected over a thousand times until he found one. The result, as you may have heard, was finger lickin’ good.
Walt was fired from a newspaper because he “lacked creativity.” His first animation company, Laugh-O-Gram Films, failed. Disney moved to Hollywood and continued to flounder until his films caught on. Today, Disney is both a movie studio and a genre, and boasts theme parks and so much more to its name. Disney creates inspirational success stories, but its founder IS one.
Emily had a terrible stutter from ages 7 to 14. “I was a smart kid, and had a lot to say, but I just couldn’t say it. It would just haunt me. I never thought I’d be able to sit and talk to someone like I’m talking to you right now,” she said in an interview with W magazine. This changed when a teacher encouraged her to try acting in a school play. By using accents and changing voices, she was able to overcome her stutter, and went on to Golden Globe nominations and more.