As we all know, some people are handed everything on a silver platter. They start out rich and they get even richer! But, just because someone is at the top doesn’t mean it was always that way. Many of the wealthiest people in the world started their journeys in slums and orphanages. They worked their way up from nothing. A majority of successful entrepreneurs credit their hardship with giving them the motivation, understanding, and personality required to make it to the top. So, if you need inspiration, these men and women will certainly give it to you.
5 Inspirational Rags To Riches Stories That Will Motivate You
1. Oprah Winfrey
Born to unwed teenage parents in Mississippi, this media mogul wore dresses that her grandmother made out of potato sacks. After being molested, she ran away at the age of 13 and became a mother at 14, but her son died in infancy. Sent to live with her father, a barber in Tennessee, she got a full scholarship in college, won a beauty pageant, and was discovered by a radio station. Her empire is now worth $2.7 billion which she shares with the world through her philanthropic works.
2. Chris Gardner
Born without knowing his real father, he was driven out of his home by his abusive stepfather. He enlisted in the Navy and later became a medical supplies salesman. Due to the slump in his job and with his own family to support, he became interested in stock broking after seeing a stockbroker with a Ferrari. His travails of sleeping in a subway station bathroom, being homeless, passing the licensing exam for stockbrokers, and becoming employed by Bear Sterns was documented in his memoirs, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” which became a hit movie as well.
3. Ursula Burns
Ursula Burns grew up in a housing project in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a hub for gangs. She was raised by her Panamanian-immigrant single mother who ran a daycare center at her home and ironed shirts for a fee so that she could send Ursula to Cathedral High School. She earned her Mechanical Engineering degree at NYU and became an intern at Xerox. Ursula Burns became the first African-American woman to ever lead a Fortune 500 Company and the 14th most powerful woman in the world.
4. Roman Abramovich
An orphan at the age of four, this Russian business tycoon was raised by his uncle and grandmother. His first break came from an expensive wedding gift given by his in-laws. He dropped out of college to pursue his business, which included selling imported plastic ducks from his Moscow apartment. Abramovich then ventured into managing the oil giant Sibneft after taking it over in 1995. He continued to flip his investments with profitable ventures such as Russian Aluminum and the steelmaker Evraz Group. Now the 5th richest person in Russia, he owns the $1.5 billion yacht “Eclipse,” the largest private yacht docked in New York City and the Chelsea Football Club, among others.
5. J.K. Rowling
Joanne Rowling, a native of Yate, Gloucestershire in England moved to Porto, Portugal in 1990 when her mother died. The seven-year period that followed entailed a divorce from her husband in 1993, a move to Edinburgh, Scotland, and a life with a daughter living on welfare while suffering from clinical depression. During this turbulent chapter in her life, she managed to write “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in 1997. She was able to finish it by writing on scraps of tissue paper from the numerous cafes they visited to let her daughter sleep. With over 400 million books sold and the worldwide success of the Harry Potter franchise, J.K. Rowling’s net worth is now roughly $1 billion.