Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger is the inspiration behind one of the most uplifting underdog stories ever told. His true story of overcoming the odds, rejecting the limitations placed upon him, and chasing his dreams despite the naysayers, is a masterclass on achieving success through sheer determination.
This Rudy story can benefit us in a variety of ways; his story can inspire us to dream a little bigger, push a little harder, and fight a little longer. In fact, Hollywood took note of Rudy’s inspiring journey and went on to create the 1993 movie, Rudy, which would go on to become a huge blockbuster success.
With that said, if you haven’t seen Rudy yet, and you have 116 minutes to spare, you should definitely watch it. However, in this article, we aim to touch on the key aspects of Rudy’s inspiring story that you can take and use for your benefit today.
THE RUDY STORY OF SUCCESS
The Rudy Story: The Making of a Fighter
Rudy was born on August 23, 1948 in Joliet, Illinois, the state’s third largest city. He was raised in a modest middle-class home with thirteen other siblings to parents Daniel and Betty Ruettiger. He was was the first boy in his family, and was the third child. His father was a hardworking blue-collar miner, and his mother an equally hardworking master-homemaker.
His father’s love of football, particularly Notre Dame football would rub off on the young Rudy Ruettiger. The Fighting Irish would be admired from the Ruettiger living room every game-day weekend during the college season.
There was a reverence for Fighting Irish football in the Ruettiger household. And it was this reverence that would eventually inspire Rudy’s dream of playing for Notre Dame — making the accomplishment one of the greatest glories he could aspire to achieve.
Unfortunately, the odds were stacked against Rudy from the very beginning. Thus, the chasm between him and his dreams would appear nearly impossible to bridge. Not only did Rudy come from a disadvantaged household, where attention and financial resources were hard to come by. But, he also struggled academically. And, as much as he loved football, he was not genetically gifted with superior speed, strength, or size.
Fortunately, what he lacked in physical prowess and academic exceptionalism, he made up for with heart. As a high school football player he would lead his team in tackles, and earn all-conference and all-areas honors as a cornerback, accomplishments that are not just handed out to anybody, nor easy to achieve.
Rudy was a good football player. Of course, he also knew he wasn’t the strongest or the fastest, but he didn’t let these disadvantages completely kill his dreams. He remained hopeful, but he knew he would have to get practical once he got out of high school; as such he enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduation in 1968.
In fact, while in the Navy he spent two years overseas in Vietnam, a military experience which he gives credit to for changing his attitude around who he was and what was possible for him.
Rudy Ruettiger: The Dreamer Who Wouldn’t Quit
In 1970, after spending two years in the Navy as a Yeoman, Rudy would head back home to work in the local power plant. However, after witnessed his best friend get crushed to death before his very eyes, he felt called to leave and follow his dream.
It was at this point that he decided to take advantage of his newly earned G.I. Bill. As such, in 1972 he devised a strategy to put it to use to help him fulfill his lifelong dream of playing for the Fighting Irish. So, he enrolled in Holy Cross College in Indiana which was just across the street from the Notre Dame campus. His plan of attack was to get good grades and then transfer to Notre Dame as soon as he could so he could try out for the team.
Rudy Ruettiger set the plan in motion, but it wouldn’t come without setbacks. Rudy would eventually learn that he suffered from a learning disability known as dyslexia while studying at Holy Cross. When Rudy first applied to Notre Dame was denied. But he got back to work, focused on improving his grades and tried again, but again was met with another defeat.
He even tried a third time, but yet again, he was told “No.” But, Rudy was determined not to quit. So, after some time he applied for for a fourth and final time, and as fate would have it, his fourth attempt was the charm. Rudy was finally accepted to Notre Dame, and began his studies there in 1974.
Rudy would then focus all of his efforts on fulfilling his dream of playing football for the Fighting Irish. He tried out for the team, and after the coaches took a liking to his tenacity and high-effort on every play, they accepted him on their scout team.
Respect Earned, Not Given
Rudy Ruettiger would play his heart out at every scout practice for the team. His indomitable will and pure dedication to the team began to influence his fellow teammates and coaches.
They all took notice, as such, Rudy would eventually succeed in making the team of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Despite Rudy making the team, however, he still had unfinished business. Rudy was determined to make it on the field and play in a game before his time at Notre Dame came to an end. So, he pushed forward to continue earning the admiration of his teammates and coaches.
He would put forth maximum effort, hard work, and perseverance until he finally earned the respect of the whole team. And similar (but not exactly) to what transpired in the movie Rudy, where team members put down their jerseys to request Rudy play in the final game, a single team member by the name of Pat Sarb, went in to the coaches’ office and requested the Rudy take his place so he could dress out for the game.
In addition to this, the team captain, who spoke for the entire team, petitioned the coach (Dan Devine) to allow Rudy a chance to play in the final game.
The Dream, The Struggle, The Victory
As such, when Rudy’s final game arrived on November 8, 1975 when Notre Dame would go head-to-head against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, — after 99% of that final game had already transpired, coach Devine would finally call out to Rudy to put him in. Rudy was ready!
In those final seconds of that final game, Rudy would fulfill his dream of playing for the Fighting Irish. He jumped in on the kick off team at the coaches request. After the kick off, he was allowed to continue on as a defensive end.
On the first play, Rudy’s initial opportunity to tackle the quarterback was close, but Rudy Allen, the quarterback for Georgia Tech was able to get the ball off just after Rudy would come off his block. The next and final play of the game however, Rudy zipped around the corner and sacked the quarterback on the final play of the game. Notre Dame would win that game against Georgia Tech, 24 – 3, and Rudy would gain a win against the odds.
However, the the true victory, was Rudy’s ability to inspire an entire team, community, and countless Fighting Irish fans. And even though he only got on the field for three plays, his struggle allowed him to become the first player in Notre Dame history to be carried off the field by his teammates.
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The Rudy Story In Summary….
- Play Football for The Norte Dame Fighting Irish
- Grew Up In Poverty, In 16 Person Household
- Was Extraordinarily Undersized For a Football Player At 5 Feet 6 Inches
- Was Dyslexic
- Served 2 Years In Vietnam
- Hustled For 2 Years At A Power Plant
- Witnessed His Best Friend’s Death
- Was Rejected From Notre Dame 3 Times
- Persisted For 2 Years On A Football Team Despite Little Promise Of Play Time
- Played Football For The Norte Dame Fighting Irish
- Was The First Norte Dame Football Player to Ever Be Carried Off The Field
- Had a Movie Made About His Inspiring Journey
“No matter what your background, your grades, your size — you can find a way. It won’t come easy. The message is clear that you need to struggle, you need to prepare to earn your Dream. It’s all about The Dream, The Struggle, The Victory!” – Rudy RuettigerTweet Quote
Sometimes, a Winner is a Dreamer Who Just Won’t Quit
Rudy Ruettiger has since gone on to motivate and inspire people all across the world as a motivational speaker and author. He runs Rudy International, a motivational business that is dedicated to inspiring others to never give up.
Rudy only stood at 5 feet 6 inches, but he possessed a giant-sized dream. A dream the size of a football field that would inspire him to overcome dyslexia, poverty, a small stature, and countless other obstacles and disadvantages.
Related: Rudy Ruettiger Net Worth
Rudy’s determination, heart, and tenacious commitment to never quitting, helped him finally fulfill his dream of playing football for the Fighting Irish.
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But even more astonishingly, Rudy’s unwavering pursuit of his dream, and his life in general, has taught the world one of the most important life lessons ever given, and that is…. that a winner is just a dreamer who will not quit.
So, the next time you feel like giving up on something that is important to you, just remember Rudy, and the power of determination.
Till you reach your aims,
TOP 15 INSPIRATIONAL SUCCESS STORIES TO KEEP YOU STRIVING FOR YOUR DREAMS
Success, it’s something we all strive for in some form or fashion, but what is it? What is success? There are multiple definitions these days. However, there seems to be one common thread that most people do agree on about success. And that is this; that success is a biproduct of persisting in the face of failure while progressively realizing a worthy goal. So, if you’re looking for an inspirational success story that perfectly highlights the heroic attempts of overcoming the odds, you’ll find plenty of them in this special collection of success stories.
Our purpose in sharing these success stories is to encourage you to keep striving towards your dreams, and to help you continue believing that achieving the “impossible” is actually possible. So, if you’re ready for some inspiration that’ll keep you moving in the direction of the success you’re after, then let’s dive right in to these classic success stories to help you out.
INSPIRING SUCCESS STORIES TO HELP YOU SUCCEED
1. Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone has one of the most inspiring success stories. Before he made it big, he was essentially a starving artist. For many years during and after his college years, he worked odd jobs to pay the bills. And he would do so while simultaneously taking on any acting roles he could find to keep his dreams of becoming a successful actor alive.
It was a struggle that Stallone would endure for many years, seven in fact. Throughout all of those seven challenging years, he would gain a few small roles in a handful of movies. But, none of them were grand enough to get his career launched.
During those seven long years of striving, he came face-to-face with near poverty. Stallone was so desperate for money at one point, he had to sell his wife’s jewelry. He even had to sell his dog because he couldn’t keep him fed. Things got so bad that he even had to endure homelessness for a short period of time.
But, his days of struggle as an aspiring actor would not last forever. After facing seemingly insurmountable odds for over seven years, he would finally get his big break. And this break would come after he managed to get a script he wrote in a three day flurry of inspiration, in front of two big-shot directors in Hollywood.
It was this defining moment that would turn the tide for Sylvester Stallone, and his career would skyrocket after he negotiated the lead role in the film that would come to be known as ‘Rocky’.
Success eventually comes to those who always dream of her. For a more complete account of Sylvester Stallone’s inspiring success story, you can find it here.
2. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey’s success story is very unique. From a very early age she experienced a level of adversity and poverty that most people would struggle to overcome. She was born into poverty and a broken home in rural Mississippi. Her parents who were just 18 and 19 when they had her, split soon after she was born. This lead to her being taking in by her grand mother.
And her grandmother was not your typical warm and fuzzy grandmother. No, she was a hard-nosed grandmother who was an extreme disciplinarian who discipline her for even the slightest offenses. But, the poverty and disciplined lifestyle didn’t last forever as she moved back with mother at the age of six.
Oprah would then experience sexual assault at an early age, having been molested as early as 9 by some of her family members. Having been emotionally abandoned, abused, and molested, she eventually started part-taking in extremely risky behaviors. Behaviors which eventually led to her becoming pregnant at the age of 14.
Then, because she got pregnant her mother kicked her out of the house. Oprah would go on to live with her father, only to then lose the baby a week after he was born.
Needless to say, Oprah’s early life was chockfull of struggle, adversity, and tragedy. But, regardless of all of her unfortunate experiences, she decided to turn her life around after she lost her baby. So, she committed herself to getting an education, becoming her best, and to going after her dreams.
She decided to start trusting herself again, and loving herself, and making choices that would improve her life versus destroy it. One day, she garnered enough confidence to participate in a beauty pageant. And it was her participation in this pageant that would eventually lead her into a job working for a radio station doing the news.
Oprah’s love for speaking to an audience set the stage for continued success as she would go on to become a news anchor, which she would eventually leverage to host a TV chat show in Maryland, which ultimately led to her having her morning talk show in Chicago.
And as they say, the rest was history. Oprah overcame massive challenges in her youth. Challenges that side line all too many people. She chose to turn her wounds into wisdom, and went on to become one of the most successful talk show hosts in history (by helping many others do the same) with her own self-named talk show, The Oprah Winfrey show. Oprah is now one of the richest self-made women in America.
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Considering Arnold Schwarzenegger is the epitome of the self-made man, we wouldn’t dare exclude him from our success stories collection. Arnold was born and raised in Austria. He grew up at a time where the country was still healing from it’s defeat in World War II.
Alcoholism was rampant, defeatism was the norm, and big dreaming scoffed at in his environment. The odds were certainly stacked against young Arnold.
But Arnold didn’t care. He knew he didn’t want to live the traditional Austrian life his parents wanted for him. He also knew he wanted to move to America because it was the land of the free.
As such, he hatched a plan to become a success in body-building. Then to leverage that success to get into movies. And sure enough he did just that. He went on to fulfill his vision by becoming the youngest man to ever win a Mr. Universe competition, and then on to win five Mr. Universe titles and seven Mr. Olympia titles.
After reaching what he set out to do in the sport of bodybuilding, he then went on to commit himself to the acting career he had always dreamed of. And sure enough, he would go on to conquer the film industry to the same degree that he conquered the body building world. Going on to star in multiple blockbuster movies that would gross over $3 billion, and earn him one of the most sizeable net worth’s in Hollywood.
You can find a more complete account of Arnold’s inspiring success story here.
4. JK Rowling
J.K Rowling had a dream of becoming a writer early on. But, she would have to persist for many years before her dream of becoming a published author would materialize. Almost as soon as she decided to get to work on putting her ideas down on paper for her book, she would be sidetracked by her mother’s death.
The depression that would ensue left Rowling seeking out a job as a teacher in another country. Soon after, she married and had a child, which would delay her aspirations even further.
But things weren’t done going off the rails for Rowling, as her marriage would abruptly end just one year after it began. This lead to her being jobless with a child, and a barely surviving off of unemployment benefits.
However, despite her challenges, Rowling would persist in the creation of her book. And she did so by seizing every spare moment she could while her child slept to write. Until finally the day came when she completed her manuscript.
Of course, even after Rowling finished her manuscript obstacles still remained. 12 different publishers rejected her novel. The rejection took a toll on her spirits, and she almost quit. Fortunately, she tried one more time. And it was at that moment, that J.K. Rowling’s luck turned around. She finally found a publisher would accepted her manuscript.
Now, J.K. Rowling is now one of the best selling authors of all time. She is also the highest paid novelist in the world. Her books have been translated into over 80 different languages with over 600 million sold. Clearly, persistence and patience pays off in the long run.
5. Steven Spielberg
Most people don’t know this, but Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times. But he didn’t let those rejections stop him, and he kept applying till he got accepted. Eventually Cal State, Long Beach would accept him into their film program.
Fortunately for Spielberg, he would then go on to leverage his opportunity at Cal State to land an unpaid internship at Universal Studios.
Of course, this internship wouldn’t last forever, but it lasted just long enough for him to learn how sneak in to the studios undetected so he could continually gather intel on what it would take to become successful in the business.
Finally, the day would come that he managed to get a film he created in the hands of film executives. But, he had to first overcome the film executives multiple attempts to make him give up.
After being told that the film size was not the right size multiple times, and remaking the entire demo to the recommended sizes every time, the executives finally relented and gave him his film a shot. The movie would go on to win major awards, and solidified Steven Spielberg’s place within the industry.
Steven Spielberg is now one of the most influential film makers in history. On top of this, he’s now also one of the wealthiest. And out of all of our inspirational stories of success, his story in particular, shows, that if you knock long enough and hard enough, the doors of opportunity will eventually swing open for you.
Related: 5 Steps to Start Living Your Dreams
“All good ideas start out as bad ideas, that’s why it takes so long.” – Steven SpielbergTweet Quote
6. Mary Kay Ash
Mary Kay Ash has a truly inspiring success story. She was born in a small town in Texas and got married and started a family at the young age of 17. She would go on to have three children with her husband who was in the military, but they eventually got a divorce.
Mary Kay would struggle for years to take care of her children on her own. But she took on various sales jobs in the direct selling industry, and strived to climb the corporate ranks.
However, after many years of selling various products, along with a few middle management and trainer roles, she started to feel like she was being overlooked for the more prominent leadership roles she aspired to because she was a woman. As such, she eventually decided to take matters into her own hands.
Once her kids were out of the house and on their own, at the age of 45 Mary Kay Ash decided to become her own boss. So, she started her own cosmetic company. She started off very small, but in just a few short years, she manage to transform Mary Kay Cosmetics into a multi-billion dollar corporation that still serves and empowers people all over the world to this day.
Despite being past what most people consider their prime, Mary Kay went on to author multiple best-selling books like The Mary Kay Way, Miracles Happen, You Can Have It All, as well as a few others, and she became an inspiration to countless women. And due to the success of her business and her aim to inspire as many people as possible, she became a multi-millionaire and eventually named as ‘The Greatest Woman In American History’.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo grew up in a household that was barely getting by. As a child, he had to share a room with three of his siblings due to their meager financial situation. There were even times where they didn’t have enough money to buy a soccer ball just so he could play in the streets. But Ronaldo did not let his environment dictate his destiny.
No, instead he would find ways to play the sport he loved even without the ball. He would use bottles, rags, or pretty much anything he could find to make a makeshift ball just so he could play.
Eventually, Cristiano would get so good at soccer, that he would have to make the ultimate sacrifice at the age of 11 to move over 500 miles away from his family to train with a prestigious soccer academy. It’s a good thing he did too, because by doing so, he put himself on track to eventually become on of the best players in history.
Cristiano Ronaldo is now known as the greatest Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football federation. Millions of soccer fans all across the globe believe him to be the greatest of all time.
In addition to this, he is the first soccer player ever to earn over $1 billion dollars, while generating one of the largest net worth’s among professional athletes.
If you’re looking to learn more about Cristiano’s inspiring success story, you’ll love this.
“Dreams are not what you see in your sleep, they are the things that don’t let you sleep.” – Cristiano RonaldoTweet Quote
8. Lionel Messi
While on the topic of soccer, we must also mention Lionel Messi’s success story because it’s every bit as inspiring. Here’s why, at age of 11, Messi was cut from his soccer team because they thought he was too small. And he was small, but it was because he had a growth hormone deficiency which made him a lot smaller than all the other kids his age.
Fortunately, Messi didn’t let this deter him. Instead, he would place himself on a strict regimen where he would inject growth hormones into himself. And he would go on to do inject himself with this hormone for seven days in one leg, and then seven days in the other.
Messi would keep this routine up for six years.
The great news is, Messi’s sacrifice and persistence paid off. Because now, he is one of the highest paid soccer players with a staggering net worth, and is considered by legions of fans to be one of the best soccer players of all time due to his winning soccer’s highest achievement, ‘The Ballon d’Or’ six times.
Success requires sacrifice.
“You have to fight to reach your dream, you have to sacrifice and work hard for it.” – Lionel MessiTweet Quote
9. Michael Jordan
Since we mentioned the greatest of all time in soccer, we can’t leave out the man many consider to be the greatest of all time in basket ball. Now, most people aren’t’ aware of this, but when Michael Jordan was merely a sophomore in high school, he already had big dreams of being a great basketball player.
So he did something brash and tried out for the Varsity team. But, his coaches cut him from the team. They didn’t see his value nor did they think he was ready.
This rejection hit Jordan especially hard because of his oversized dreams and expectations. In fact, the rejection hit him so hard he went home afterwards and cried in his closet.
Even though that rejection still bothered Jordan, he dusted himself off and went all in for the JV team. He trained like no other in the off season and grew four extra inches. And the following year he tried out for the varsity team again. But this second time around, he made it.
Not only did he make it, but he went on to become the team’s MVP, making the All-American Team, and eventually earned himself a college scholarship. And from there, well, you know the rest of the story.
Michael Jordan became the man who would score 32,292 points in a basketball career. Jordan became the man who acquired 6 NBA championships. The man who also collected 5 MVP titles, and is now considered the greatest basketball player of all time.
For all the success stories we’ve covered, this one clearly shows the importance of having great expectations, and resilience after rejection.
10. Paulo Coelho
Over 30 years ago a book titled ‘The Alchemist’ was published and hardly anyone noticed. The author of this book was a man named Paulo Coelho, and he was told by the first bookseller to carry his book, that only one person bought a copy after it was released. As bad as it was to hear about the grim results Coelho remained confident in his work.
Paulo Coelho waited for better results to appear. Unfortunately, six months passed before he sold his next copy. Oddly, the person who bought his first book was the same person who bought the second.
After that first year the publisher decided the book was a flop and ended Coelho’s contract. Fortunately, though, Coelho shrugged off that initial defeat. He made up his mind to not give in, and so he doubled down to pursue his vision with even more fervor by finding another publisher.
Now, finding this new publisher was no easy task for Coelho, as he was met with rejection after rejection. But, after many repeated rejections, he finally landed that new publisher, and with it, another opportunity to capture his dream.
From that point forward Coelho’s dreams started to come true. At first, he only sold three thousand books. But the sales kept trickling in. And as time went by, he would sell ten thousand, and then 100 thousand, and so on and so forth.
Coelho’s luck has yet to run out, as his books sales continue to grow year over year, with now over 150 million and counting copies of ‘The Alchemist’ having been sold. Even more staggering is the fact that he sold over 320 million books when including all of his other works. But, it all started with that first book!
Paulo Coelho’s success story shows that if you truly want something bad enough, all the universe really will conspire to help you achieve the impossible.
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” – Paulo CoelhoTweet Quote
11. Abraham Lincoln
Most of us know of this great man because of what he did for those who were in bondage in the United States of America. He delivered the Emancipation Proclamation; a massive accomplishment which ultimately led to the abolition of slavery.
But, what most don’t realize about Abraham Lincoln, is that he has one of the most impressive rap sheets when it comes to overcoming defeat.
In short, his success story consists of a list of failures and set backs so sizable, that you would hardly think it belonged to one of the most accomplished and respected presidents of the United States of America.
Here’s a great example of the many failures Lincoln endured, with a few victories he managed to sprinkle in over his lifetime:
1832: Lost his job
1832: Defeated for legislature
1833: Failed in business
1834: Elected to legislature
1835: The woman he loved died
1836: Had a nervous breakdown
1838: Defeated for Speaker
1843: Defeated for nomination for Congress
1848: Lost re-nomination
1849: Reject for Land Officer
1854: Defeated for Senate
1856: Defeated for nomination for Vice-President
1858: Again defeated for Senate
1860: Elected for President of The United States of America
To be sure, Lincoln virtually failed his way to success, and his recorded failures helps us realize the truth behind the Michael Jordan quote we mentioned earlier, and that is…that the key to success is through failure.
Out of all of these success stories, this one in particular should convince you that just because you’ve yet to succeed in life, it doesn’t mean you never will. So, keep pushing and preparing for your big day, because it will come, so long as you keep eye on the prize and keep moving forward.
12. Tom Brady
One of our favorite inspirational stories of success comes from Tom Brady. Brady didn’t follow the typical athletic path into the NFL. While most athletes begin getting groomed for the sport by the 3rd grade, Tom Brady wouldn’t set foot onto the grid iron until the 9th grade.
In fact, his debut into actually getting onto the football field didn’t come until his Sophomore year. His moment came when the starting quarterback for the JV team quit. Fortunately for Brady, that opportunity helped him capture the starting Varsity QB role by the time his Junior year arrived.
After finding success at the high school level, Brady would eventually go on to become a Michigan Wolverine. But success wasn’t a given for Brady at this level. Nope, he had to earn it.
In fact, Brady came into the program as an underdog, with seven quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart. After almost requesting a transfer to another school, Brady’s determination eventually won him the coveted starting position by the time he was a Junior.
The obstacles Brady would face continued on even into the Pros. Brady had his mind set to play in the pros, unfortunately there was little interest in him during the draft. In fact, he was chosen in the 6th round as the 199th pick, barely making into the league.
Pretty much every coach in the league grossly underrated and underestimated Brady. His draft report from 2000 NFL draft actually stated the following qualities:
- Poor Build | Skinny
- Lacks Great Physical Stature and Strength
- Lacks Mobility and Ability to Avoid The Rush
- Lacks a Really Strong Arm
- Can’t Drive The Ball Down Field
- Doesn’t Throw a Really Tight Spiral
- System-Type Player Who Can Get Exposed if Forced to Adlib
- Easily Knocked Down
Remember, Tom brady was not the highest rated quarterback, he wasn’t the most well groomed for the sport, nor was he the best athlete. In addition, he didn’t have the best numbers, or even the best mechanics. However, Tom Brady did have the most heart and determination.
Thus, through sheer willpower, he pushed himself to becoming one of the greatest football players of all times. And he has proved his case with the following accolades:
- Most NFL Championships By a Player (7x)
- Most Games Won By a Quarterback
- Most Games Played By a Quarterback
- Most Combined Passing Yards
- Most Touchdown Passes
- Most 4th Quarter Comebacks
- Best Touchdown to Interception Ratio
- 5 Time Super Bowl MVP
- 3 Time MVP of the NFL
- 2 Time NFL All-Decade Team Player
- Only Player to Win a Super Bowl for Both The AFC & NFC
13. Sarah Blakely
This success story is about Sarah Blakely, who was once crowned one of the youngest self-made billionaires by Forbes. Her story begins with her love of the firm look that panty hose offered, but her hating how they looked when she wore open toe shoes.
Blakely’s annoyance with panty hose would lead to her always cutting the feet off of her panty hose to pull of the look she was going for. But, after noticing that many other women were doing the same thing, she had a lightbulb moment. And she started to contemplate the creation of a product that would solve this problem.
One day after watching an inspiring Oprah show, Sarah decided to take massive action on her idea. So, she risked it all by investing her entire $5,000 life savings to move to Atlanta, GA. Once there, she would kickstart the production of her product idea for the masses.
Blakely experienced tons of resistance at first. Nobody wanted to manufacture the product she was trying to create. They thought it was too risky and a potential waste of time. Her patent officer even found it difficult to take her idea seriously, thinking it to be a dud.
But, after two years of planning, countless late nights, and lots of no’s, she finally found success. Her lucky break came when a factory agreed to manufacture her products. And when Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales took a risk on her by listing her products for sale at their stores.
Her first year in business she sold over $4 million in revenue. And every year there after her sales would grow exponentially. Sarah’s courage to go all in, and her persistence to bring her idea to the world helped her become a billionaire by the age of 41.
14. Grant Cardone
This next story helps drive the point home, that it’s never too late to be what you might have been. It’s also a good reminder that no matter where you come from, or where you’ve been, you can change. It’s a testament that anyone can clean up their act, and can find massive success in the process.
This success story is about a man who grew up poor in Louisiana, lost his father at a young age, and was raised a single-parent household with four other siblings. It’s a story about a man named Grant Cardone.
Cardone is not your typical celebrity. He didn’t come from money. He’s not a Hollywood superstar,. Nor does he possess some amazing talent, like script-writing, politics, or athleticism. However, what he does possess, is something that is available to us all, and that is a determination to succeed.
Grant Cardone found himself in bad company in his youth. He was involved and addicted to drugs, and was stuck in a downward spiral for over a decade. After getting robbed at gun point, getting beaten to a bloody pulp with a gun, and then getting kicked out of his mother’s house, he finally decided to change his life.
At the age of 25 Grant Cardone decided to clean up his act. He cut all negative influences from his life, got sober, and took the first job he could land. That job was as a car salesmen. It wasn’t a job he was particularly thrilled about. But he made due given that his options were limited because of a slow economy at the time.
Cardone committed to becoming the best salesperson he could be. So, he invested heavily in his own self-improvement by reading books and studying his craft and his industry.
After committing to becoming his very best, his income quickly doubled. And soon thereafter, he would become one of the best car salesmen in the country. He eventually moved on to running his own business, and was extremely smart and disciplined with his money.
Cardone only spent money on what was absolutely necessary for food our housing. He would place anything left over into an investment fund just for real estate.
Grant Cardone’s focus on learning more so that he could earn more, along with having the discipline to invest his extra money, instead of wasting it on frivolous things, helped him become a self-made millionaire just five years later by the age of 30.
Cardone has since gone on to become a prominent international businessman, speaker, and the owner of Cardone Capital, a $1.5 billion investment firm. He’s authored the New York Times bestselling books If You’re Not First, You’re Last, and other notable books like The 10X Rule, and Axiom Award winning Sell or Be Sold. In addition to this, he also founded Cardone University, a popular sales training platform that has accrued over 50,000,000 and growing users.
It took Grant Cardone only five years to completely revolutionize his entire life. With the right mindset and a good dose of willpower, just imagine what 5 years could do for you.
15. KEVIN HART
Every body knows of and loves Kevin Hart. He’s been making us laugh and keeping us highly entertained for many years now. But, what most people don’t know about Kevin Hart, is that he had to overcome some major obstacles before he became one of the most beloved comedians in the world.
Hart had to overcome a negative homelife with a father who was reckless, toxic, and always causing trouble. He had to overcome the challenges of a 2 hour commute for years.
Hart endured naysayers often. In fact, someone he highly respected in the industry told him that he should quit comedy. He had to outlast the boos, the heckling, and getting chicken wings thrown at him due to his performances.
Kevin Hart had to turn countless setbacks into comebacks. He had to choose time after time, to not quit. He chose to keep pushing for his dreams, to ignore the critics, the naysayers, and anyone who doubted his dreams.
Eventually though, Hart’s persistence and commitment to his vision would pay off. The tide would turn for Kevin Hart after years of career stagnancy, rejection, and close calls with defeat.
Kevin Hart is now one of the world’s top 10 comedians. He’s also one of the richest too. So, if you think you can’t do something, just think about Kevin Hart’s success story and all he went through. Because if he can do it, so can you.
Hopefully these success stories help you realize that while success may be elusive, it is not unattainable. We also hope that through these handpicked stories, you’ve come to understand that success is both a journey and a destination.
But most importantly, we hope you walk away knowing that in order to achieve success, you’ll have to first go through your share of struggles, rejections, and even disasters.
So, keep your feet on the ground and your eyes on the prize. Keep moving towards your dreams no matter what. Do this, and your success will be just around the corner.
Till you reach your aims,
PS – Every success story is unique and can inspire in a different way. That said, if you’re looking for even more success stories about how others achieved success and riches, then you’ll love these Strive Stories too.
THE DAVE RAMSEY STORY OF SUCCESS
Dave Ramsey is one of the most inspiring and well-known personalities when it comes to personal finance. He’s also a best-selling author of multiple popular personal finance books like ‘Baby Steps Millionaires’, ‘The Total Money Makeover’, ‘More Than Enough’, and the massively successful ‘Financial Peace’. And he hosts a radio program that airs on over 670 radio stations across the U.S. giving him a reach of over 80 million listeners each month. To top it all off, Dave Ramsey is also a multi-millionaire. Needless to say, Dave Ramsey is a success.
So what is his secret? Well, we believe success leaves clues. It’s the reason why we publish the success stories of inspiring icons like Dave Ramsey. We know every success story contains little gems of insight that can teach, guide, and lead us towards our own version of success. So, with that being said, if you’re ready to explore Dave Ramsey’s inspiring life and career, let’s dive in to his story.
THE DAVE RAMSEY STORY
Dave Ramsey was born on September 3rd, 1960 in Antioch, Tennessee. His parents were both real estate agents and developers. And like many ambitious folks striving to be self-made, his parents were into self-improvement, positive thinking, and goal setting.
In fact, they would often have Dave and his sister listen to motivational tapes on family vacations and road trips. They also aimed to instill in them responsibility and the need for having a strong work ethic.
One example of how Dave’s parents aimed to ensure he become responsible and self-reliant, can be traced back to a moment when Dave, at the age of 12 asked his father for some money, and his father’s response to his request was essentially, that he didn’t need money, what he really needed was a job, because that’s where money came from.
It was this type of encouragement which helped Dave become entrepreneurial and business savvy at a young age. He was essentially forced to tap into his resourcefulness.
This is what led him down the path of eventually starting his own lawncare business, bracelet selling business, and various other small ventures to earn a buck in his youth.
Then, by the age of 18, he would turn his ambition towards selling real estate.
Dave Ramsey’s need to make his own money in his younger years was a form of real-world business education. He learned how to transform his ambition for money into a value-adding services that helped him acquire more of it.
Once Dave graduated high school, he would turn his sights on acquiring a formal education in the realm of business. Thus, he enrolled at The University of Tennessee.
And he enrolled while still maintaining a job selling real estate for over 40 hours a week.
Thus, after a few grueling years of blood sweat and tears, his hard work eventually paid off. He graduated with degrees in Finance and Real Estate and with zero debt.
Living The Dream
Once Dave graduated things really started taking off for him. He got married at the age of 22, end then went all-in in the real estate business. And it wasn’t long before his real estate venture started growing dramatically.
In fact, he was pulling in $250,000 a year, which would come out to around $680, 000 a year in today’s money. On top this, he had simultaneously reached millionaire status by the ripe young age of 26.
For all intents and purposes, Dave Ramsey was living the dream. He had an income, net worth, family, and career that most people would be envious of. However, he also possessed something else, and it contained the seeds of his dream’s destruction; debt.
That’s right, Dave Ramsey’s ambitious business dealings in his early career led to his accruing more debt than he should have to fund his real estate investments. Things really started to fall apart for Dave after the Banking Act of 1986 was passed.
This new act saw many banks change their rules for ownership and the types of risks they were willing to take.
Over-Leveraged Leads To Loss
And in their eyes, Dave Ramsey was over-leveraged and looked like a big risk to the banks. As a result, many of the banks that Dave Ramsey had loans with called on them.
Meaning, they wanted their money back A.S.A.P. They eventually gave him 90 days to unload over $1.2 million dollars, and when he couldn’t unload the debt, he defaulted.
All in all, Ramsey had over $4 million in debt. And after struggling to repay his called debts for over two and a half years, and getting very near to paying them all back by trimming it down to just $378K, he eventually capitulated.
On September 22, 1988 Dave decided to call a bankruptcy attorney to keep the Sheriff out of his house. So, to ensure the rest of his furniture and personal belongings that his family needed weren’t seized, he filed bankruptcy the next day.
After essentially loosing everything due to the bankruptcy, Ramsey decided to start all over again. But this time, he opted to learn everything he could about money so that this would never happen to him and his family again.
He begin studying everything he could get his hands on that related to money and it’s proper management. He also begin seeking out the advice and wisdom of elders in his community. And he eventually turned his sights towards seeing what he could learn about money from the Bible.
After pooling all of his new knowledge about money together, he slowly begin his climb back into prosperity and determined to never get into debt again.
As fate would have it, Dave was asked by a fellow church-goer for advice on how to improve his downward spiraling financial situation so he could avoid bankruptcy. Dave jumped at the opportunity to be of service, and word eventually go out about the pragmatic and wise financial council he was able to offer others.
And as they say, the rest was history. Before Dave knew it, his advice began to be sought out by more and more people from his church, and then the local community.
Dave, took advantage of the the growing interest and decided to start teaching classes about budgeting, personal finances, which eventually led him to the launching of his own financial education company, ‘The Lampo Group, Inc.’
Soon there after the opportunity arose for him to get on a radio show to share his financial advice, and the people love him. So, stay on air to scale up the amount of people his financial advice could impact. The radio show grew slowly and steadily, but didn’t make a profit for the first 10 years.
However, with every show Dave Ramsey did, and every new person whom he helped financially, his popularity grew, and with it, his influence and his fortune. His show is now called ‘The Dave Ramsey Show’ and it airs all over the country. He also has a podcast and a YouTube channel where he publishes recorded versions of his talk show.
His YouTube channels have over 2.7 million subscribers, and his show now reaches over 80 million per week. Having committed to never allowing himself and his family to experience the hardship he put them through all those years ago, as well his commitment to serving as many people as he can with his financial knowledge, he’s become a multi-millionaire and extremely successful once again.
Related: Dave Ramsey Net Worth
Success Ethos | Dave Ramsey Success Story
So, how did Dave Ramsey become successful? From observing his success story it should be apparent that a good share of his success is due to the strong encouragement and positive programming he received from his parents at an early age.
In addition this, much of his success is directly related to his own ambitious efforts to make money, as well the many risks he’s taken in his career to accelerate his financial standing.
Lastly, it could be said that Dave’s Ramsey’s success, especially his more recent success, is a bi-product of his ability to help and serve large amounts of people. Dave knows how to manage money, and more importantly, he knows how a person should NOT manage money if they want to avoid financial ruin.
Thus, it’s his ability leverage the airways to help millions and millions of people learn of his message and advice, that affords him the massive success he’s achieved.
Success In His Own Words
Having said, that here are a handful of insightful words of wisdom from Dave Ramsey. We believe they also provide clues as to what he believes it takes to find success in life.
“When you believe, you can do a lot of things that really don’t make a lot of sense.” – Dave RamseyTweet Quote
“Every person falls down at some point. Successful people choose to get back up!” – Dave RamseyTweet Quote
“Earning a lot of money is not the key to prosperity. How you handle it is.” – Dave RamseyTweet Quote
In summary, success is bi-product of belief, persistence, overcoming failure, and being smart with the management of your money.
Related: Dave Ramsey Quotes
More Dave Ramsey Success Insights
Below is a powerful video of Dave Ramsey’s story. Its worth watching if you want to be inspired, or if you just want to learn even more about Dave and his amazing success journey. Enjoy!
Video Credit: The Ramsey Show (Subscribe Here)
Having gone from being a millionaire to broke, and then back to becoming not just a millionaire again, but a multi-millionaire, Dave Ramsey knows a thing or two about success and how to make a comeback in life.
He also knows a great deal about how to be smart with your money. So, if you need a little inspiration when life gets hard, don’t hesitate to come back for some encouragement. Or, if you’re looking for some ways to improve you financial situation, be sure to check out his show. Without exaggeration, it’s a treasure trove of financial wisdom.
Having said that, now it’s up to you to take what you’ve learned from this Dave Ramsey success story, and get out there and create your own abundant and financially secure future.
Till your reach those aims,
THE WALT DISNEY SUCCESS STORY
Walt Disney was an innovative American animator, film producer, and visionary entrepreneur. Being the founder of Disneyland and all things Disney, he hardly needs an introduction as most people know who he is. However, what most people don’t know about Walt Disney, was that before he became the American icon that everyone has come to know and love, he was the product of a true rags-to-riches story. So, that’s exactly what we aim to unravel in this Walt Disney Success Story.
Every successful person leaves a blueprint, and more often than not, their journey leaves small clues that we can all benefit from, if we look closely enough. Every success story we publish about visionaries, success icons, and high achievers Walt Disney, aims to reveal some of those clues for you.
So, if you’re ready dig into Walt Disney’s story to see what can be learned for the benefit of your own personal journey, then let’s get started:
THE WALT DISNEY STORY
Walt Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois in December of 1901. His father was a construction worker, but also dabbled in a variety of businesses like mail delivery, orange grove farmer, newspaper delivery, and carpenter. And his mother was a grammar schoolteacher and a homemaker.
Walt was the fourth youngest of five kids. And his family moved around quite a bit in his formative years. As a kid, he lived in Chicago for a few years, then a farm in Missouri, then eventually Kansas City, Missouri, wrapping his final years in high school back in Chicago.
The family bounced around to make ends meet. That, and Walt’s father was restless, but he was hard worker. He often put Walt to work, getting him to assist him with his newspaper delivery route. His father’s hard-driving ways, with little to show for, actually pushed his two of his brothers to run away from home early on.
But Walt stuck around, at least for a while. At the age of 16, he set his sights on joining the military to help the war effort during WW1. After getting declined because of his age, he signed up with Red Cross and was shipped out to France.
Stumbling To Success
Walt Disney didn’t spend much time overseas, as he caught the tail end of WW1. Barely a year later, he found himself back in the United States looking for work.
Following his interest in drawing, which was a skill he grew fond of growing up, he found work with the Kansas City Star newspaper in Kansas City, MO. It was one of his first jobs, but he was fired shortly after starting, as his editor felt he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.
Walt Disney stumbled, but he dusted himself off and quickly found work with a Commercial Art Studio. Just a year later, in 1920, Walt Disney and a friend named Ub Iwerks, decided to go out on their own, and start their very own business as commercial artists.
They named their company the Iwerks Disney Commercial Artists.
Unfortunately, the enterprise failed miserably after just one month of being in business. This forced both entrepreneurs to get a job.
Fortunately, they found work with the Kansas City Slide Company, which was essentially an advertising firm. With this new job, Disney was able to pay the bills, while simultaneously improving his craft of drawing and animation while at work.
He was also known to experiment with different drawing and animation styles while at home.
Not being one to rest on his laurels, Walt Disney believed that the animation style he had been practicing at home was superior to the style that was being used by his employer.
So, at the age of 20, after having his suggestions to implement this new style shot down at his place of work, he decided to strike out on his own again. This time, his business would be focused on creating short entertainment films known as Laugh-O-Grams.
Walt aptly named his new venture, Laugh-O-Gram Studios. The goal of this studio was to produce short entertaining films that incorporated advertising, using the animation style he had been working on.
The venture started off strong with Disney being able to secure a few contracts. But the money soon dried up and they found themselves in financial trouble.
Disney eventually found himself sleeping in the studio and being forced to eat dog food, as he couldn’t afford to pay rent for his own place or a decent meal. In 1923, just after two years of being in business, Disney’s venture went bankrupt.
With just $40 in his pocket and a dream to start fresh as a film director, Walt Disney bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, California. He moved in with his Aunt, Uncle, and his brother Roy, but Walt was still determined to become a success.
Just 2 months after getting settled in at his new home, Walt Disney was contacted by a film distributor in New York who was losing her rights to a few silent films that belonged to her. Being aware of Disney’s talent, she connected with him to contract out a new series.
It was at this moment that Walt Disney Studios was born. The company was initially named the Disney brother studios, as Walt and his brother Roy founded it together, but it would eventually take on the name of just Walt Disney.
The studio produced its first set of works from his Uncle’s garage. Worked soon picked up, and Walt Disney eventually created a cartoon character that skyrocketed his success.
The character’s name was Oswald The Rabbit. Unfortunately, Walt’s string of failures wasn’t over. After partnering with Universal Studios to distribute this hit character far and wide, Walt learned that his character was secretly patented by them.
Walt soon lost his artists, as Universal Studios hired them away, and they refused to pay him.
Persisting In The Face of Failure
Despite Walt Disney’s setbacks, he persisted. He went on to create even more characters and story lines. And the public soon fell in love with his hit creation, Mickey Mouse.
After Disney aligned his studios with Columbia Pictures and United Artists, his business and fame began to improve. But his biggest break would come at the age of 37, after Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs went viral, becoming the most successful motion picture of 1938.
And for the next 20 years, Walt Disney would grow the number of characters produced by his studio, as well as the stories; and with it his fame and fortune.
His persistence eventually led to him and his studio winning multiple Academy awards for their films. They also achieved over 3 Golden Globes, and an Emmy Award.
Walt Disney’s persistence would also eventually help him open one of the largest entertainment parks in history, Disney Land. Legend has it, that he was denied over 300 times by financiers and bankers, before he was given the green light to build Disney Land.
Walt Disney studios now owns Pixar, Buenavista, Miramax, Marvel and more.
Persistence in the face of failure and rejection paid off. And that’s Walt Disney’s success story in a nutshell.
Success Ethos | Walt Disney Success Story
It’s easy to see what character traits lead to Disney’s staggering success over time, but sometimes it’s best to get success insights straight from source. So, here are a handful of Walt Disney’s best thoughts on what it takes to succeed in life:
“All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt DisneyClick To Tweet
Related: Walt Disney Quotes
More Walt Disney Story Insights
And if you’re looking for even more insights related to Walt Disney’s inspiring story and massive success, then you’ll enjoy this video. So, if you want to dig even deeper, it’s worth the watch:
Video Credit: Biographics (Subscribe Here)
There you have it, Walt Disney’s story of success and achievement. We covered his past, how he stumbled through multiple failures, setbacks, and bankruptcies, and how he ultimately persisted in creating one of the world’s most famous brands.
Here’s a quick recap with regards to Walt Disney’s success. These are, in our estimation, the three success qualities of his, that you may want to emulate:
Use Your Talents | Chase Your Dreams | Never Give Up
That said, we hope you’ll take the insights and inspiration you’ve gathered from this success story and use them to help you unleash your unique gifts into the world.
And of course, persist. Because it’s the only thing that’ll annoy failure enough for it to get out of the way of your success.
Till you reach your aims,
PS – If you enjoy this Walt Disney Story then you may also find this related article interesting: Walt Disney’s Net Worth.
THE NICK VUJICIC STORY
Nick Vujicic is a highly successful motivational speaker, international bestselling author, entrepreneur, and investor. But what makes Nick so remarkable isn’t just his accomplishments in the world of business and speaking; it’s his incredible story of overcoming adversity.
Despite being born without arms and legs due to a rare birth condition, he’s managed turn his obstacles into opportunities and achieve a wildly successful life. As such, we aim to zero-in on the mindset and methods he used in this Nick Vujicic Story.
In this story, we will take a closer look at Nick’s journey and showcase how he’s become a beacon of hope for millions of people all across the world. By understanding the steps he’s taken to become successful, we can better apply his principles to our own lives and hopefully conquer our own mountains.
With that said, if you’re ready to learn about the mindset of one of the inspiring humans alive, let’s dive right in to Nick Vujicic’s story.
THE NICK VUJICIC SUCCESS STORY
Nick was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1982. He was born with a disorder known as tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare condition that leaves the newborn without limbs.
From the first day he was born, he faced the realities of a hard world. His own mother struggled with his condition, and refused to hold him as a newborn.
It took his family some time to come to terms with his condition. They left the hospital as soon as they could, to avoid the unwanted attention caused by Nick’s condition.
The family struggled with Nick’s condition at first, but they eventually realized they had to deal with it, and raise their young child as best as they could.
Nick’s parents would go on to encourage him to be optimistic, and look for the silver lining in all-things. Of course, he would struggle with his peers because of how he looked.
He would even get bullied and mocked from time to time. The teasing strengthened Vujicic, but, it almost killed him. Especially when Nick considered what perceived as a hopeless future, where he’d never be able to hold a job, have a family, or get married.
In fact, when Vujicic was just 10 years old he considered taking his own life. He attempted to drown himself in his bathtub. But, the thought of how much it would pain his parents to take his own life, on top of the fact that they already had child born with such challenges, caused him to opt out.
Change Of Heart
As Vujicic grew older, he began to see the light. For years he was bitter, and angry at the world and God for his condition. Often times crying out to God, begging him for a miracle, that his arms and legs might reappear.
But, after stumbling across a specific chapter (chapter 9) in the Gospel of John, he had a change of heart. Instead of being angry and upset because of his situation, he started to look at the purpose behind his challenges.
He realized that much of his suffering was due to his attitude, the incorrect assessment of his value, and his perceived limitations. He found a new hope.
Thus, as a teenager he began sharing his message of hope, purpose, and the benefits of resilience with people at his school. He then began giving inspirational speeches at schools and events throughout his community.
A Star Is Born
Once Nick Vujicic accepted the truth of his value, the truth of his purpose, and the truth of his destiny, a star was truly born.
Nick’s change of heart opened up all sorts of opportunities for him. His message and his empowering mindset became infectious to all who would listen.
Before he knew it, Nick was being asked to give speeches not just across town, but across the country. Then, across the ocean, then the world.
Nick’s courage and tenacity for life would help him become one of the most in-demand and successful motivational speakers in modern-history. He’s since travelled to 78 countries and counting, has presented on over 3,500 different stages, and touched the hearts of hundreds of millions of people.
He’s also become a best-selling author of multiple books, a family-man with four children and a beautiful wife, and has started his own international non-profit ministry, Life Without Limbs.
On top of it all, he managed to become a multimillionaire, achieving an estimated net worth of approximately 2.5 million. It’s safe to say, Vujicic has achieved massive success.
Success Ethos | Nick Vujicic’s Story of Success
Nick Vujicic’s story is an inspiration to many. His life has been filled with many obstacles, but his willingness and ability to reframe his challenges, has helped him become the success he is today.
That said, here are just a few of his best and wisest words. Words that perfectly encapsulate the mindset that’s helped him surmount obstacles and achieve so much:
Related: Nick Vujicic Quotes
Video Credit: 60 Minutes Australia (Subscribe)
There you have it, the inspiring story of Nick Vujicic. A story of redemption, realization, and transformation. A story of a man born without arms and legs; who went from feeling hopeless, depressed, and confused, to leaning into his challenges and living out his true purpose.
Certainly, we could all learn from Nick’s positive attitude and powerful mindset. And use him as an inspiration to live our lives on purpose and to their full potential.
Till you reach your aims,
THE ROBERT HERJAVEC STORY OF SUCCESS
Robert Herjavec is a highly successful author, venture capitalist, and motivator. On top of this, he’s one of the most popular entrepreneurs in North America, especially after he earned himself a spot as one of the key panel members on the hit reality T.V. show, ‘Shark Tank’. Having sold multiple IT companies, authoring multiple best-selling books, and making it into the entertainment business, it’s safe to say that Herjavec knows a thing or two about success. As such, we aim to unravel some useful insights for you in this Robert Herjavec story of success.
We’ve noticed that success leaves clues, and every success story contains a blueprint for achieving success for those who look close enough. And, because it’s our aim to help you find more success and fulfillment in your life, we’re publishing this article.
Of course it’s ultimately up to you to follow what you learn. So, if you’re to ready to discover what success gems Robert Herjavec’s success story contains, then let’s dive into his story:
THE ROBERT HERJAVEC STORY OF SUCCESS
Early Struggles | The Robert Herjavec Story
Robert Herjavec was born in the eastern European country of Croatia in 1962. Back then, the country was part of Yugoslavia, which was a one-party socialist state governed by Communists. Herjavec’s father was a tough and brave man who was willing to speak out against the ruling regime, and their unjust governing.
Not surprisingly, his father’s vocal anti-communist sentiment was more often than not met with incarceration. And, after being thrown in jail over 22 different times, his father finally had enough. So, he escaped his captors, and then fled the country with his family.
Robert Herjavec’s family relocated to Canada with only $20 to their name, but his father eventually found work in a factory. The money wasn’t great, but it was just enough to raise a family.
Herjavec was only 8 at the time, but his experience with the totalitarianism of the communist state of Yugoslavia, along with the dire economic conditions, and the hopelessness that his father raged against, had a lasting impact on his psyche.
In fact, he learned very early from his father, that complaining was wasteful, demonstrated a lack of appreciation, and that he should never do it, especially in light of all the sacrifices his father was making and had already made to provide him and his family with a better life.
After growing up in near poverty, Herjavec around the age of 14, became determined to contribute to a better life for his family and himself. As such, he made up his mind that he would be successful.
With a head full of hope and a heart full of ambition, he would eventually make his way to college, go on to graduate with degrees in English Literature and Political Science from the University of Toronto, and then dive into the working world.
Getting To Work
Herjavec had lots of dreams growing up. He wanted to be a detective, a vet, and even a race car driver at one point. Like most of us, he was ambitious, but a bit unfocused.
A such, his first few jobs were menial and didn’t pay much. He worked a variety of gigs such as waiter, debt collector, newspaper deliveryman, and even landed a very short-lived job as an assistant director and field producer.
Eventually, Herjavec found himself working in the computer industry, selling IBM mainframes.  He landed the job after a friend of his told him how much the salary was, and that he didn’t get the job. So, Herjavec, being extremely impressed with the $30,000 starting salary, applied for the computer job and managed to land it!
After learning the ropes of the computer business, he decided to try his hand at entrepreneurship, and started BRAK Systems, a company that focused on security integration. Herjavec’s business would thrive, and it quickly grew into one of North America’s top companies for security integration. And, fortunately for Herjavec, AT&T wanted to buy his company, which he promptly sold for approximately $20 million.
Herjavec would then leverage that experience into an executive position with a company known as RAMP Networks. As the VP of Sales for one of the first developers of VPN technology, he helped grow the company till it was acquired by Nokia for $225 million.
The 2nd Round
After experiencing such high levels of success in the business world, and getting filthy rich; Robert eventually decided to become a stay-at-home-dad. But, after three years, he became listless and wanted something more.
So he started another business and named it the Herjavec Group. And similar to his first company, he quickly grew it into a dominant player in the information technology industry. After a recent merger with Fishtech Group, his company is now known as Cyderes and is one of the largest cyber security companies in Canada.
After experiencing so much success as the founder of two businesses, and participating in multiple buy outs that made him a multimillionaire many times over, the next-phase of Herjavec’s life would begin.
After claiming to pay over $10 million dollars for a mansion in the early 2000’s, he caught the attention of writer from the National Post. And it was this publication and media exposure that eventually garnered him the attention that helped him land a role on Dragon’s Den, an earlier and Canadian version of Shark Tank.
The show was a hit in Canada, and Herjavec starred on the show from 2006 till 2012. In 2009 before he completely ended his run with The Dragon’s Den, he also worked out a contract with ABC’s Shark Tank. And the rest has been history.
Since then he’s been permanent fixture of the show, and his popularity and celebrity status continues to grow.
Related: Robert Herjavec Net Worth
Success Ethos | Robert Herjavec Story
Robert Herjavec has proven himself to be a dynamic entrepreneur. Having built multiple businesses from scratch, to selling a few for hundreds of millions, he has a strong grasp on what it takes to succeed. So, what it is Herjavec’s success ethos? What’s his secret sauce to success?
After studying Herjavec’s achievements closely enough, you’ll likely notice that he loves his work. He seems to always have a passion for what he is doing. And that passion and enthusiasm he has, has lent to his strong work ethic and his unrelenting drive to convert his vision into reality.
In addition to this, Herjavec has also pointed at the fact that success is a biproduct of being exceptional at what you do, having a willingness to take action and calculated risks, as well as having a vision you can stick with.
Here’s how he has put it, in his own words:
Related: Robert Herjavec Quotes
There you have it, the Robert Herjavec success story that describes his journey of growing up in a land of limited opportunity, to experiencing near poverty in his youth, to then creating and selling multiple profitable businesses.
His penchant for success has allowed him to build a fortune that’s over $200 million, publish many best-selling books, and become an international celebrity. With that said, we hope you gathered a few success nuggets from Robert’s story.
But most importantly, we hope this Robert Herjavec story of success inspires you to dream more, believe more, and do more when it comes to going for your dreams.
Till you reach your aims,
PS – If you enjoyed this Robert Herjavec Story, then you’ll may equally enjoy some of the success stories of fellow sharks:
THE RHONDA BYRNE STORY OF SUCCESS
Rhonda Byrne is the highly successful Australian television producer and writer who created the hit film, ‘The Secret’. She also published her ideas in book form, which also became a best-seller and further popularized the law of attraction concept. Rhonda Byrne wasn’t always a household name or the posterchild for the mysteries of attracting success. In fact, she stems from humble beginnings, which is why we’ve decided to publish this Rhonda Byrne story.
We believe success leaves clues. We also believe that every story possesses hidden insights and some inspiring truths that can benefit us in a variety of ways. This is why we cover inspirational people like Rhonda Byrne.
So, if you’re ready to see what this Rhonda Byrne story can teach you, then let’s dive right in to the beginning of her inspiring journey:
THE RHONDA BYRNE STORY
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Rhonda Byrne was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1951. She is the oldest of five girls, and had an upbringing that was very modest. Her family didn’t have a lot of money, but she felt like she grew up blessed, stemming from a secure household where her mother and father were both madly in love with each other.
Byrne attended public schools and didn’t attend any prestigious institutions of higher education. Her early career was in radio production, but she eventually moved into video production.
After a few years in the business, she would eventually become an executive producer for television.
Her father passed away in 2004, and she took it pretty hard. Her mother especially struggled with the passing of her father, and was having a difficult time moving forward. At the same time, Byrne was expressing lots of stress with the production of a handful of crime-related movies that she was responsible for fulfilling.
After suffering numerous setbacks on her ‘Sensing Murder’ production, including going over budget, she was on the verge of losing everything. Thus, her financial stressors combined with her being grief stricken due to the loss of her father, led to her virtually collapsing in despair.
This low point in her life, led to what would eventually become her rebound. On a day when her whole world seemed to be collapsing, her daughter handed her a book, as way to help her overcome some of her financial challenges.
The book was ‘The Science of Getting Rich‘ by Wallace D. Wattles, and it would become the basis for would later become Rhonda Byrne’s ticket to turning her whole life around.
Rhonda Byrne read the book her daughter handed her. And she acquired much wisdom and comfort from reading the insights contained within Wattles’ masterpiece.
But the big secret that lead to her eventual break through can be summed up in one word, surrender. Byrne’s life was on the verge of spiraling out of control and she didn’t know how to fix the grief she was experiencing nor the bankruptcy she was facing.
But, once she surrendered, her entire outlook on life changed. In that moment of surrender her biggest inspiration had finally arrived. And as a result, everything in her physical life would dramatically change for her as well.
Taking the inspiration she gathered in her moment of surrender, along with the inspiration from the book that helped her break through her negative mindset, she got to work on producing a video that could help others do the same. The video was titled ‘The Secret’, and was published in 2006.
Later that year should would follow up that video with the book by the same name. Her results were miraculous. Just one year later, the sale of the book reached over 19 million copies sold, and the video with a few million as well.
At the age of 55, Rhonda’s life went from rock-bottom to being on top of the world. She was invited to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show, was named one TIME Magazine’s most influential people, and even made it on to Forbes Magazine.
In almost the blink of an eye (a little over a year), she went from near bankruptcy to multimillionaire.
Rhonda Byrne’s Enduring Success
Rhonda Byrne discovered the secret, shared the secret, and achieved an enduring peace of mind and a substantial level of success as a result. Even though years have passed since she first published her breakout book, she’s still living out the secret and sharing her wisdom with people all over the world.
She has since created multiple books and videos like ‘The Power’, ‘The Magic’, ‘The Greatest Secret’, and many more. In addition to these, she’s also produced popular films like ‘The Secret: Dare To Dream’.
Needless to say, she’s still practicing what she preaches, and is reaping the rewards that comes from helping so many people. That said, here are some of her wisest words regarding success and achievement that you can gleam from her short of reading her books:
“Everyone visualizes whether he knows it or not. Visualizing is the great secret of success.” – Rhonda ByrneTweet Quote
Related: Rhonda Byrne Quotes
There you have it, the Rhonda Byrne Story story of success. Her story demonstrates that even in our darkest hours, or during our biggest life challenges, the seeds to a miraculous new future can be planted.
Byrne’s story also shows us that it doesn’t matter how old we are. We can be in our 40’s or 50’s, or any age for that matter, and that things can completely turn around for us. So, if you’ve yet to experience your big break in life, just know, late doesn’t mean never.
Till you reach your aims,
PS – If you enjoyed this story about Rhonda Byrne’s success journey then you’ll love John Paul DeJoria’s story of success.
THE DAVID GOGGINS SUCCESS STORY
David Goggins is a former Navy SEAL and USAF Tactical Air Control Party member who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is also a world-renowned ultramarathon runner and triathlete. But what makes David so remarkable isn’t just his accomplishments in the military or the fitness world; it’s his incredible story of overcoming adversity.
In this story, we will take a closer look at David’s life story and showcase how he became one of the fittest men on Earth. By understanding the steps he took to become successful, we can better apply his principles to our own lives and hopefully achieve our own slice of greatness.
With that said, if you’re ready to learn about the mindset of one of the hardest men alive, let’s dive right in to this David Goggins Story.
THE DAVID GOGGINS STORY OF SUCCESS
How It Began | David Goggins Story
David Goggins’ beginnings were challenging, starting in the home. He endured a violent and controlling father, a family divorce, and poverty, all by the age of 8 years old. These adversities ended up manifesting as problems such as memory and attention issues as well as a stutter.
Despite having a rough home life in his youth, David had longed for a fresh start after he moved to Indiana with his mother and brother. He longed for a place where he felt safe. Nevertheless, Goggins did not anticipate the pain he would suffer during his first days at school, where he would eventually get bullied because of his unique appearance, and because and he didn’t know how to read.
Goggins didn’t appreciate the bullying, and as a result, he began skipping classes in order to escape the ridicule that was constantly lobbed at him by his classmates.
Needless to say, Goggin’s youth was not filled with sunshine and rainbows. It was a very tough and challenging way to grow up. Fortunately, those hardships didn’t break him, and instead made him stronger in the long run.
Once Goggins completed his schooling, he gave the military a shot. Unfortunately, after a failed attempt to join the Air Force’s as an elite pararescue team member due to sickle cell anemia, he became defeated for a very long time. But, Goggins persisted.
Despite the diagnosis, he refused to give up. “I wanted to feel something besides defeat. I wanted to just go the distance,” David said.
Eventually, he made his way into the Air Force, but as part of a different squad. This time around he made the cut to become part of the United States Air Force Tactical Control Party. But after a servicing for 5 years, he left the Air Force.
From a Nobody to a Somebody
After his 5 year stint in the Air Force, David found himself barely able to make ends meet. He worked as an exterminator, ate tons of junk food, and gained lots of weight. David’s life started to spiral in a downward direction and he began living an uninspired life.
Fortunately, David watched a documentary about the Navy SEALS one day, and found something to be inspired by. The challenge of becoming a seal, and having the mental and physical toughness of the program participants, gave David something to aspire towards.
Serendipitously, that show inspired Goggins to want to do more with his life. It inspired him to strive to become something more, something great. He was tired of being a nobody who just watched the lives of other great people on TV.
So, in was in that sudden moment, that he had found the motivation that would help him go on to lose more than 100 pounds in under three months. He discovered a newfound fire and energy. Thus, he channelled his driven to finally get fit and apply for the program.
He reflects that “It made me reflect on my fears, my insecurities. I saw real men who were overcoming adversity.”
In order to get in shape, David joined a gym. Despite his intentions, he was unable to run more than a quarter mile on his first day. As a result of his psychological defeat, Goggins returned home crying and turning to food for emotional support.
Despite the minor regression, this man wasn’t the same as the person who was unmotivated to grow.
So, he got back on his proverbial horse and kept moving forward. He began to cycle and heavily restructured and restricted his diet and successfully brought his weight down to be able to apply for the Navy SEALS within 3 months.
The rest, as they say, is history.
The Turning Point
David Goggins held strong to his commitment and entered Navy SEAL training. Despite tremendous progress and growth in the program, he particularly struggled with the infamous “hell week”, an intense week-long training session where SEAL candidates are forced to move with minimal sleep and food.
Despite failing this grueling week the first time around due to a case of pneumonia, and the second time due to a stress fracture injury, he responded by completing two successful “hell weeks” in the same year. This shattered his limiting beliefs around his performance abilities and further fueled his progress.
This was the lightbulb moment for Goggins where he realized he needed to acquire a strong mental toughness in order to maintain a strong physical toughness. He dedicated himself to training both the body and the mind from this point forward.
His career in the military lasted for two decades and he received the “Top Enlisted Man” award for his efforts.
Related: David Goggins Quotes
Challenges Along the Way
One of the most challenging moments in Goggin’s life was when a helicopter, containing several of Goggins’ close friends inside, crashed during Operation Red Wings in 2005.
He used this devastating tragedy as fuel to drive him further. He raised money by long-distance running and donated the proceeds to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which grants educational scholarship opportunities to students who had lost their parents in the special operations sector. He has raised over 2 million dollars for charity.
David became an ultra-marathoner as a way to add momentum to his tragedies. The Badwater 135 is a grueling 135-mile run beginning in Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level, and ending at an elevation of 8,374 feet. To add to the excitement, it takes place in July, when Death Valley is at its hottest.
His qualification race was a one-day 100-mile run in San Diego, which he completed in 19 hours with little preparation. Upon finishing, he spent an entire year training for the Badwater 135 as hard as he could. Taking fifth place, he completed it in 30 hours.
He would next face challenges with his personal health. When David’s doctor examined him for a routine checkup in 2010, he found a birth defect called an atrial septal defect. Due to a hole between two of the atrial chambers of the athlete’s heart, the organ wasn’t able to operate at its maximum capacity. He was also struggling with progressive muscle weakness and wasting.
In order to save his life, David began to work intensely on rehabilitating himself. With consistent daily stretching, his body began to heal itself and realign. His heart also had time to restore and grow stronger.
Related: The Warrior Mindset
According to Goggins, his success is attributed to his “day one, week one” mentality. Every day he lives as though it was the first day of his new job. According to him, even though this mindset rubs people the wrong way, it works and makes him show up completely and with integrity.
He has also learned to never get comfortable with his accomplishments. He has stayed hungry for more and believes that if you are not continually challenging yourself, then you will never be satisfied with life.
David Goggins states that every day is an opportunity for achievement, and he doesn’t feel complete unless he has strived for that. His discipline is internally motivated, and unshakeable by any external standards. He aims to hold his standards higher than others do in order to achieve what others deem is impossible.
One of the most important things that David Goggins learned over his years of training and competing is the importance of mental toughness. This was a lesson that he learned early on when he first joined the Navy SEALs, but it has stuck with him throughout his life.
Goggins believes that strength of mind is what sets people apart from each other in their ability to accomplish goals and achieve success.
Related: David Goggins Net Worth
Heavy To Hardcore
If you have a few minutes to spare, here’s a short video that provides additional insight on the mindset that helped David Goggin’s go from being over 300 pounds to becoming a hardcore Navy Seal.
Video Credit: CNBC Make It (Subscribe)
David Goggins story is an inspiration for all of us who are looking to challenge ourselves mentally and physically, and change our lives in the process. He has now shared his story with many people around the world and has inspired an entire community of individuals to challenge and push themselves to achieve the impossible.
These days, David Goggins also shares his message with people all over the world through his motivational speaking business, where he uses his life stories to inspire audiences everywhere to get off their butts and get disciplined, to push their limits, and most importantly, to stay hard.
With that being said, we hope you learned a few of those strong life lessons from this David Goggins story. Namely, that if you want to achieve our full potential, we have to rid our lives of laziness and stop making excuses for our lot in life.
PS – If you enjoyed this David Goggins Story of success and hardcore persistence and overcoming adversity, then you’ll love this inspiring article on the true story of Rudy.
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