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From nothing to more than millions

As an entrepreneur setting up your new business or as an existing start-up, you can often be overwhelmed with the enormity of it. It can be difficult to keep that momentum you had when the idea to start your own business first popped into your head and that’s normal, you’re only human.

However, if you’re like me it can be quite easy to forget why you started what you have or difficult to remember your end goals. I find that by looking at others, seeing what they have come from and what they have managed to achieve is a great reminder for me to keep on working hard and continuing on the path I started. So here are some wonderfully inspirational stories from key industry entrepreneurs to help push you back on track…

Walt Disney

Disney started off as a humble farm boy drawing cartoon pictures of his neighbour’s horses for fun. When he was old enough, he tried to get a job as a newspaper cartoonist but was unable to find one. He then ended up working in an art studio where he created ads for newspapers and magazines.

Eventually he grew to work on commercials, became interested in animation, and eventually opened his own animation company. Walt Disney went on to make the biggest and greatest theme park ever seen, saying to a colleague, "I want it to look like nothing else in the world". One of the biggest entertainment moguls of all-time, with a relentless spirit and commitment to his vision, Disney is undoubtedly an entrepreneurial all-star…

J.K. Rowling

Today J.K. Rowling is a household name for fans of the beloved Harry Potter book series, but she wasn't always gifted with magic. The truth is, J.K Rowling was at her rope's end before her misfit gang of witches and wizards saved her. Before her bestseller, J.K. Rowling was living on welfare and struggling to get by as a single mother, and her synopsis of Harry Potter was rejected 12 times by virtually every major publisher in the UK over the course of one year. She is the ultimate story of believing in your product and persevering saying ‘I wasn't going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen.’ Today she is estimated to have a net worth of more than £750million.

Oprah Winfrey

As you're probably well aware, Oprah Winfrey is the richest African American of the 21st century, and with a net worth of over £2.1 billion, she is regarded as arguably the most influential woman in the world. Her success however wasn’t just given to her. The daughter of an unmarried teen who worked as a housemaid, Oprah grew up in extreme poverty. Her family was so poor that, as a child, Oprah was teased at school for wearing dresses made of potato sacks. She also was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of family members, which she discussed with TV viewers during a special episode of her show. 

Oprah's first big break was her gig at the local black radio station. Station managers were impressed with her oration and passion, leading Oprah to work her way up the ranks to bigger radio stations, eventually resulting in her appearing on TV as well.

Steve Jobs

We really couldn’t make an inspirational "famous entrepreneurs" list without including Steve Jobs. Jobs dropped out of college because his family couldn't afford the financial weight of his education. After un-willingly dropping out, he was living off free meals from the local Hare Krishna temple and was forced into returning Coke bottles for change just to get by. 

Against all odds, Jobs went on to have an unbelievable career, eventually forming the Apple Computer Company with his childhood friend and electronics expert Steve Wozniak. Not only did he earn the title of "The Grandfather of the Digital Revolution", but Jobs forever changed the consumer electronics industry. At the time of his death, his net worth was over $8.3 billion, and his influence and developments in the digital industry will be felt for many generations to come.

These are just a couple of motivational examples of people starting from humble beginnings and going on to achieve great things. Remember, the only impossible journey is the one you don’t start! Why not come and listen to inspirational keynote speakers at the Northern Business Expo on 17th & 18th March at Manchester Central? It's free to get tickets, and you'll leave feeling motivated!

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