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Rudy Ruettiger

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 success through 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 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 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: 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.[1]

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 his 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.[2]

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.[3]

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.

Rudy Ruettiger - Don't Ever, Ever Quit

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 his efforts to 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.[4]

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.[5]

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.

Video Credit: Tjnd88 (Subscribe)

The Rudy Story In Summary….

The Dream:

  • Play Football for The Norte Dame Fighting Irish

The Struggle:

  • 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

The Victory:

  • 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

Rudy Story Final Thoughts

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.

Video Credit: Movie Clips (Subscribe)

“Sometimes, a Winner is a Dreamer Who Just Won’t Quit.”

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.

Till next time,


PS – If you enjoyed this inspiring true story of Rudy Ruettiger, then you’ll love these inspirational Rudy Quotes.

The Strive Team is made up of everyday people and experts from all sorts of different callings and professions, each contributing their best advice and unique insights to help you navigate the challenges of success, and support you as you strive to dream big, work hard, and achieve the impossible.

Strive Stories




Mel Robbins Success Story

Mel Robbins is a former television host and lawyer, as well as a best-selling author, a popular podcaster, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. She’s written countless books and has sold millions of them already, including the New York Times Best-Seller ‘The High 5 Habit’ and the ‘The 5 Second Rule’. In short, Mel Robbins knows a thing to two about success and achievement.

So what is her secret? Well, every high achiever leaves a blueprint, and more often than not, their journey leaves small clues that anyone can pick up on, if they look close enough. Every success story we publish about visionaries, success icons, and high achievers like Mel Robbins, aims to unravel and reveal some of those clues for you. So, if you’re ready to see what Mel Robbins’ success story can teach us, then let’s dive right in:


Mel Robbins Story of Success

Early Days

Mel Robbins was born in 1968 in Kansas City, Missouri to Robert and Marcia Schneeberger. She and her family eventually moved to the Midwest when she was young. She was raised in the small town of North Muskegon, which resides in West Michigan, just outside of Grand Rapids.

Her parents were college sweethearts who married young. Her mother dropped out of school her sophomore year to marry her father and raise Mel and in due time, her brother. Initially her mom would work nights for the IRS, while her father attended Medical school. Eventually, her father graduated and become a Doctor, who specialized in neuromuscular medicine.[1]

Both of her parents played a significant role in raising Mel to place a high value on having a strong work ethic, appreciating enthusiasm, and a commitment to service.

After graduating high school, Mel attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where she earned herself a degree in History. She then went on to attend Boston College’s Law School, where she eventually graduated with a professional degree in law in 1994.[2]

From Law to Life-Coach

Mel’s early career consisted of working for a Large corporate firm in Boston. She then went on to work for three and a half years as a public defender for violent felony criminal offenders in Manhattan, and as an executive in two technology companies. She also bought, ran and sold successful franchise businesses with her husband.

But, after practicing law for a handful of years, Mel started having second thoughts bout being an attorney. It was stressful, it caused her lots of anxiety, and it was a title wasn’t really excited to be associated with when people would ask her “So what do you do?”.

So, she hired a life coach who would ultimately encouraged her to become a life coach herself. And in 2001 she launched her own self-help coaching company that focused on personal development and executive business coaching.

Her business grew as she started to acquire clients all over the country. She eventually created her own radio show, blog, and things were humming along for Mel, at least for a while.

Transforming Trials Into Triumph

However, it was around 2008, when Mel Robbins experienced a serious inflection point in her life. Like many other Americans at the point in time in history, Mel Robbins life’s started to unravel as well.

Her husband’s restaurant business was on the verge of failing, she was over $800K in debt, her marriage was on the rocks, and she felt like she was on the cusp of losing everything.[3]

In addition to this, she was suffering from bouts of depression and anxiety that had her not wanting to get out of bed.

She used a ‘5 second rule’ which she invented to help herself get moving and get into action. The idea behind the rule, is that during any moment of hesitancy, or moment when you know you need to do something, you automatically start counting down from five, and once you get to one, you take immediate and deliberate action on that “thing” you were avoiding, or know you need to do.

This rule became an effective method that allowed her to overcome the inertia that had a grip on her life. And it helped her get land a job with Cox Media, which transformed into an opportunity on television.

Her enthusiasm attracted the attention of one of CNN’s chiefs, which paved the way for her becoming a high profile legal analyst for CNN. She especially made a name for herself at CNN after covering high profile cases, particularly, the George Zimmerman trial.

Mel Robbins would go on to transform her growing celebrity star power into in various shows. She even did a Ted Ed talk which eventually garnered over 29 million views.


Mel has since authored multiple New York Time’s best selling books that have reach millions of people. All of which has helped her with becoming one of the world’s most-booked motivational speakers, thus allowing her to create a multi-million dollar enterprise in the process.

Mel also landed for a short period of time, her own syndicated talk show, ‘The Mell Robbins Show.’[4] However, these days, she’s leaning heavily into her podcast and YouTube channel which has garnered nearly 100 millions views and over 1.55 million subscribers.

Success Ethos

So what’s Mel Robbins’s secret to success? Well, her story shows she is no stranger to taking action and leaning into things. Having gone from law school, to being an attorney, to coaching, to writing books, building and selling businesses, to doing speaking events, and her more recently venturing into podcasting and managing a YouTube channel, it’s clear, she’s highly ambitious and always on the go.

So, we’d have to pinpoint much of her success to her drive, ambition, and worth ethic. It’s also clear that her infectious enthusiasm and energetic personality has very likely influenced her ability to land jobs in the entertainment world.

Having said that, here’s a few of her own takes on success in her own words:

Related: Mel Robbins Success Quotes

Success Insights

If you’re looking for even more success insights related to what Mel believes leads to success, then you’ll enjoy this video she created. In it she reveals a handful of science-backed methods you can start using to begin manifesting more success and riches into your life. Enjoy!

Video Credit: Mel Robbins (Subscribe Here)

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the Mel Robbins Success Story which covers her unique success journey and some of the success strategies she has used to change her life and achieve her goals.

It’s clear that much of her success is related to her enthusiasm, magnetic personality, and a commitment to helping people solve their problems. But, she’s also tapped into her work ethic, drive, and ambition to take massive action. And the combination of this things have seemingly made all the difference in creating the inspiring life she now leads.

That said, we hope you’ve gathered at least a handful of helpful ideas from this write-up that you can use to inspire and improve your own life. To learn more about Mel Robbins, just visit her page here.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this Mel Robbins Story of Success, then you may also enjoy learning about the success journey of fellow motivational speaker, Tony Robbins (no relation) or the likes of Jen Sincero.

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Strive Stories




Dave Ramsey Success Story

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.

“Most Really Big Things, Start With a Pretty Simple Story.”

– dave ramsey –

So what is his secret? Well, we believe success leaves clues, and it’s the reason why we publish the success stories of inspiring icons like Dave Ramsey. We know every success story contains its 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 Success Story

Early Days

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.[1]

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.

Dave Ramsey Success Story Quote

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. And it 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.


No doubt, 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, while still maintaining a job selling real estate for over 40 hours a week.

After a few grueling years of blood sweat and tears, his hard work eventually paid off, as 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.[2]

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.[3]

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.’

Leveraged Impact

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.[4]

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.

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.

Dave Ramsey Story of Success 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 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)

Final Thoughts

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.

Now, 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,


PS – If you enjoyed this Dave Ramsey Story, then you’ll likely enjoy reading about the success stories of fellow financial icons like Robert Kiyosaki, Warren Buffett, or even Grant Cardone.

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Strive Stories




Joes Polish Story of Success

Joe Polish is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Genius Network, one of the highest level groups in the world for entrepreneurs. He hosts three of the top-ranked business and marketing podcasts on iTunes, including I Love Marketing, 10x Talk and Genius Network.

While Joe’s journey is one of entrepreneurial success, his story goes much deeper than the surface. In order to achieve what he has, he had to overcome many obstacles in both life and business, beginning in his childhood.

The Joe Polish Story of Success

Joe Polish Success Story

Early Days

Joe Polish was born in 1968 in El Paso, Texas. When he was only four years old, Joe’s mother died of cancer, leaving his father alone to parent him and his brother. His family moved frequently throughout childhood to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

During that time, Joe was sexually assaulted by a caretaker and bribed not to speak about it, an early trauma which shaped much of his life that would follow.

His family eventually settled in Mesa, Arizona when Joe was in high school, during which time he started experimenting with drugs. Beginning with marijuana, Joe progressed into full addiction, frequently doing cocaine, crystal meth, LSD and other drugs.[1]

After graduating in 1986, Joe weighed 105 pounds despite being 5’10”. Feeling his life was at risk, Joe left his friends behind and moved into a trailer with his father in New Mexico for six months to get sober.

Finding Recovery and Early Experiences in Business

After quitting drugs cold turkey, Joe started exercising and lifting weights. He found that being active helped to keep his trauma at bay and soon thereafter he got a job selling gym memberships. Through a connection he made at the gym, he got another job at a mental hospital which involved driving recovering addicts to local AA meetings.

Though he never went to any 12-Step groups voluntarily, sitting in on meetings was transformative, and made him realize that he was an addict who wanted to stay sober.

After two years long years of holding odd jobs, Joe decided to invest all of his savings of only $1,500 on equipment and supplies to start a carpet cleaning company. This new venture would be a nice change up for him. However, the new carpet cleaning venture didn’t solve all of his problems.

Joe enjoyed being in business for himself, and he worked really hard at it. But, like many new business ventures, it was extremely difficult to gain traction and he found himself getting deeper and deeper into debt.

Fortunately, a turning point came after meeting a successful real estate investor who asked Joe if anyone in his industry was making money. After replying that there were successful people in carpet cleaning, the investor replied: “Then the business isn’t the problem. You’re the problem.”[2]

Joe Polish Quote on Success

From Carpet Cleaning to Marketing Mastermind

Considering the investor’s advice, Joe worked harder at improving aspects of his business that would make things marketable again. To begin, he read countless books about building business and self-development, improving the best parts of his company to make everything more profitable in the process.

Eventually, inspiration struck: the best path forward was to systemize the company’s marketing, which was what generated the most money. After hiring a copywriter with borrowed money, Joe created the Consumer’s Guide to Carpet Cleaning, a free informational marketing product distributed to teach people about his business.

After seeing his monthly revenue 10x after that, Joe shifted his focus to marketing and quickly grew into a million-dollar business. From there, Joe founded his company Piranha Marketing, and began selling his copywriting and marketing services to other businesses to help them grow as well.

From Piranha Marketing to Genius Network

As his reputation grew, Joe worked with major clients on high-profile marketing projects, including fitness expert Bill Phillips’ book Body for Life and helping Make-A-Wish raise the most money they ever had in a fundraiser.

His program “Piranha Marketing” became Nightingale-Conant’s number one selling product for nearly a decade, and his company continued releasing audio and visual training programs and hosting seminars and super conferences about marketing.[3]

Still, despite his outward success, Joe continued to secretly struggle with trauma from his childhood and live a double life. Behind the scenes, Joe struggled with toxic relationships, embezzlement from a former employee and his father’s death. Through it all, Joe was also hiding a sex addiction from the world which stemmed from his early childhood experiences.

In 2004, Joe’s client Robin Robins paid him for two hours of marketing consulting for $6,000 and suggested he start a year-long business group to bring together the world’s best marketing minds. When asked how much to charge, Robins suggested $25,000—and shortly after that conversation, Genius Networks 25K Group was formed.

Related: Creating Your Own Genius Network

Genius Network and Beyond

After forming Genius Network, Joe’s focus shifted once again to his truest strength as a connector, bringing together experts in many different fields. As the organization grew, he added the 100K Group for the most advanced entrepreneurs in his networks. Finally, in 2015, Joe publicly revealed everything he had ever struggled with to his members—and the mission of his companies changed forever.

Joe Polish Story of Success Quote

Though Genius Network began as a marketing and business organization, it has since expanded to discuss issues of trauma, addiction, mental health and physical health issues, all with the mission of building a better entrepreneur and creating easy, lucrative and fun lives and businesses.

Lessons of Joe’s Life

In overcoming abuse, addiction and financial hardships, Joe’s story demonstrates how powerful the human spirit can be—and how important it is to upgrade one’s thoughts and beliefs through self-development in order to be successful.

Similarly, Joe’s story teaches again and again that our success can be multiplied by connecting with other people and genuinely wanting to help others first, a topic he covers at length in his book What’s In It For Them?.

Finally, Joe’s approach to teaching business is unique in integrating physical, emotional and spiritual lessons in addition to marketing and sales principles. As his own life has shown, it is still possible to overcome incredible hardships and generate enormous success and wealth without resorting to being ruthless or exploitative.

In fact, much of Joe’s success is attributed to teaching other entrepreneurs how to help others first and to make the world a better place by any means possible.

That said, we hope you enjoyed our Joe Polish story of success and apply the success lessons it reveals to finding more success in your life.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this Joe Polish success story, then you’ll probably enjoy these inspiring success stories as well.

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Successful Young Entrepreneurs Stories

If you’re searching for some inspiring young entrepreneurs stories then you’ll enjoy this page.

The term ‘entrepreneur’ often conjures up images of experienced, successful individuals who had arrived at a point in their lives when they felt confident to take new risks and face new challenges. Harland David Sanders was 62 when he launched Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Robert Noyce was 41 when he founded Intel. Even research shows that the average age of an entrepreneur today is 40.

But success can come at any age. And many ambitious youngsters are going against the grain to launch their own startups during their 20s and 30s… and some while they’re still in school! If you’re a young person with a big idea, it’s important to know that you don’t have to wait until you’re older to put your plans into action. Having said that, here are 10+ inspirational young entrepreneur stories that might motivate you to get started:


Successful Young Entrepreneur Stories

1. Nicholas Boehnlein

Boehnlein’s inspirational story shows that passion and determination are more powerful than age or experience, with the young entrepreneur’s rising star shining amongst the more seasoned professionals.

Graduating with an MBA from the EU Business School in 2017, Swiss-born Nicholas Boehnlein is now one of India’s most promising young entrepreneurs. Alongside business partner Ankit Chaudhari, Boehnlein founded Aiisma; one of the world’s first data marketplaces that is successfully changing the way consumer data is used, and working to transform data sets into essential, usable business assets.

Boehnlein had little doubt about his future, having grown up in a highly competitive and entrepreneurial household in Switzerland, inspired by his father’s and grandfather’s own entrepreneurial journeys. Yet despite success being in his blood, he states that the path to success ‘is not always rosy’, especially for ambitious youngsters trying to compete against seasoned professionals experienced in the industry.

The secret to his success? “As a young entrepreneur, having one foot in education and one foot in the professional life is an absolute must”, says Boehnlein. He achieved this by taking back-to-back online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration followed by an MBA – which allowed him to expand his theoretical knowledge while also gaining valuable practical experience out in the field.

2. Keiana Cave

Cave’s inspirational story shows that women really can have it all. She’s the example many young girls need, demonstrating how it is possible to juggle high school, extracurriculars, and business success.

Aged just 18, Cave is one of the youngest honorees on the Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list for 2021. Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Cave is the Founder of Sublima Pharmaceuticals, where she acts as CEO and Chief Scientist. The female-led startup is on a mission to launch the first non-hormonal birth control pill in the United States in a bid to provide women with more choice and control over their own bodies.

While Cave enjoyed life as a regular high school student, participating in ballet, track, and cheerleading, her passion for nanotechnology proved overwhelming. Her story fully begins in 2014, when she was awarded $10,000 – presented by NFL Quarterback Drew Brees – during the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, allowing her to conduct research into the BP Gulf oil spill that attracted the attention of Chevron.

Having raised $1.2 million from the partnership, Cave drove the funding into her research at the University of Michigan, where she gained a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Entrepreneurship.

Today, Cave and her team are committed to building a community that both educates and empowers women to take back control of their own healthcare and bodies.

3. Mozia Bridges

Mozia Bridges’ inspiring entrepreneur story demonstrates that age doesn’t matter when it comes to business, all that matters is whether or not you can create something people want.

Mozia Bridges is the 21-year old Founder, President, and Creative Director of Mo’s Bows, a hand-made bow-tie company he started when he was just nine years old. His company now makes bow-ties, neck ties, pocket squares, and other fashion oriented apparel.

Mozia secured the mentorship of Daymon John after getting onto to the hit reality show ‘Shark Tank’. And since the start of his company, it’s grown by leaps and bound and is now an international company, he has a country with the NBA, and his products can be found in big name retail outlets all over the world.

4. Henry Burner

Burner’s inspirational story shows that not even a learning disability can slow down a great entrepreneur. He’s living proof that you don’t need to get top grades to build a successful business from the ground up.

Although he’s still in school, Henry Burner has already enjoyed quite the entrepreneurial journey, having gone from regular schoolboy to Founder of a company supplying Walmart within just a few years.

With the help of his family, Burner launched Buttonsmith in 2013; a company selling pinback buttons in a range of designs, including political pins and buttons inspired by famous artists like Van Gogh and Monet.

What makes Burner’s journey all the more inspirational is that the young entrepreneur had long struggled at school. Diagnosed with dyslexia, Burner found academia to be challenging and worried about his future.

The young boy, however, found that he had a very business-focused mind, and began selling his buttons at a local farmer’s market before moving into eCommerce with his own website.

With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, Burner’s business went from strength to strength. Today, Buttonsmith operates a physical store in Carnation, Washington, and 1600 Walmart stores across the US now stock Tinker Reel badge reels.

Despite still being in education, Burner oversees 18 employees, and is inspirational proof that struggling at school doesn’t mean you can’t succeed.

5. Espen Larsen-Hakkebo

Larsen-Hakkebo’s inspirational story shows that even when things seem challenging, it’s worth battling through. Despite financial difficulties during the early years, he now co-owns a thriving tourism business.

Alongside Agnes Arnadottir, Espen Larsen-Hakkebo is the Co-Founder of Brim Explorer; a cruise company that offers voyages onboard its silent, pollution-free, hybrid-electric vessel of the same name. In 2019, Larsen-Hakkebo and Arnadottir were together crowned Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in front of King Harald of Norway at the Nor-Shipping awards, and today the young businessman acts as CFO of the firm.

However, it wasn’t always this way. Larsen-Hakkebo earned his Bachelor’s degree in European Studies, followed by a Master’s in Innovation and Technology at the University of Oslo in Norway, and went on to work as a business consultant specializing in public affairs, and as a Project Manager for a political youth organization Jeunes Europeens Federalistes before finding his passion for sustainable tourism in his 30s.

Speaking to Nor-Shipping, he described his entrepreneurial journey as “a bit of a battle”, relying on donations from friends and family to get the business off the ground before later receiving funding from ENOVA and Innovation Norway. It was two years before the firm took delivery of their first vessel.

Larsen-Hakkebo is proof that it’s never too late to make a change and to follow your dreams.

Related: Quotes For Entrepreneurs

6. Jack Parsons

Parsons’ inspirational story shows that where you come from doesn’t have to dictate where you’re going. Once a vulnerable young person, Parsons now supports those growing up in similar circumstances.

20-something Jack Parsons is the Founder and CEO of The Youth Group; a UK-based global initiative that supports young people as they strive to reach their full potential. What’s so inspirational about Parsons is that he was once a vulnerable young person in need of support himself, having experienced a difficult childhood and a lack of school support. Today, he’s in charge of a company of more than 155 people.

By age 26, Parsons had recognized the value of learning from failure, and he became motivated to take his own experiences and use them to help others. He launched The Youth Group as a way to build strong professional networks and secure placements, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities for those that lack academic qualifications. To date, the initiative has helped 1 million people around the globe.

Parsons’ tips for other budding entrepreneurs? Focus. “You may feel overwhelmed, feel like you want to stop, that you no longer want to be an entrepreneur, this is why it’s so important to be present in the moment and in the task you’re completing”.

Parsons believes in taking things one step at a time and never losing sight of your vision; two techniques that have helped him get to where he is today.

7. Mariia Plotkina

Plotkina’s inspirational story shows that one person really can make a difference. The young entrepreneur is changing the face of Russian education because she was brave enough to take action.

Mariia Plotkina launched Geek Teachers in her native Russia back in 2018, and just two years later was recognized as Female Entrepreneur of the Year (Europe) by Youth Business International. The organization offers online classes to support teachers as they incorporate new technology into their lessons, and Plotkina was awarded $5000 from Citi Foundation in 2020 to develop her enterprise.

Plotkina’s professional story begins with graphic design and later moves into education. Her entrepreneurial story, however, begins in a computer science classroom in Russia, where the young teacher began to feel ‘deflated’ by the current state of education across the country. Keen to make a change, Plotkina, with zero business experience, launched an innovative firm… all before age 30.

Today, Plotkina is in charge of a team of 15, with more than 40,000 users across Russia logging in to training masterclasses with the former teacher to build their confidence using technology in the classroom. And as a young entrepreneur, Plotkina believes she still has a long way to go, with big plans to expand into the United States and create a form of ‘exchange program’ with American establishments.

8. Fung Lam

Lam’s inspirational story shows that small beginnings can lead to big things. He’s living proof that taking even the smallest steps towards your goals can form solid foundations for growth and development.

He’s only in his 30’s, but Melbourne-based Fung Lam has already been crowned Australian Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and has a place on the Young Rich List for 2020. Lam is the Founder and Executive Director of New Aim; a small startup that grew to be one of Australia’s leading online retailers, reporting a growth rate of more than 40% over the past decade and with an annual turnover of $300 mil.

Lam’s story starts with a Bachelor’s degree in information technology, which was obtained from Monash University in 2003. Lam put his IT knowledge to good use, using the web to upsell low-cost products on eBay sourced from Melbourne’s two-dollar stores.

Drawing on product-sourcing networks in his native China, Lam transformed his startup with no external funding into a leading marketplace supplier.

The hardest part about moving from graduate to business leader, according to Lam? Managing people. “Data doesn’t have emotion; it doesn’t change what it says. Understanding human behavior is difficult but you need to understand why people think the way they do”.

Today, Lam’s business employs upwards of 300 people, supplying marketplaces like Amazon with thousands of products like tools and furniture.

9. Adelle Archer

Archer’s inspirational story shows that success can be born in the strangest and most unusual of ways. Archer is proof that groundbreaking ideas and true passion can hit you when you least expect it.

Adelle Archer may only be young, but she’s already become one of the leading names in the grief wellness industry having founded Eterneva back in 2017. Based in Austin, Texas, Archer’s company turns ashes into diamonds; a process that takes around 8 months. A self-confessed mission-driven person, Archer has featured on Shark Tank and now acts as CEO of her firm, transforming the death care sector.

Archer’s inspirational story begins with the untimely death of a close friend and mentor, and the disappointing, impersonal experience she had from another company when turning the ashes into a keepsake. The former Product Manager and Business Development consultant decided to put her Master’s in Entrepreneurship and Business Administration to good use, starting her own company.

Although Archer comes from a long line of what she calls ‘enterprising, stereotype-busting ladies’, she believes that the true secret to success is driving your energy into something you’re really passionate about. “I work on something that feels aligned with my passion and my values. Whenever I encounter hardships, they seem more surmountable because the motivation is deeper” says the California native.

10. Grace Beverley

Beverley’s inspirational story shows that your natural, inherent talents don’t always have to be the pathway you follow. The British entrepreneur is proof that you get to choose your own destiny.

Grace Beverley is the 20-something founder of sustainable fitness label TALA. Which is inspiring enough on its own. Add in the fact that Beverley achieved this while at the same time studying at England’s prestigious Oxford University, and the inspiration is even greater. Today, Beverley acts as CEO of the company, which promotes slow fashion and offers fitness wear for all different body shapes and sizes.

Originally planning on becoming a musician, Beverley studied violin at the Royal Academy for Music at the University of London before becoming a music major at Oxford. However, a passion for sustainability took her down a different path.

Gaining a Sustainable Business Strategy certification from Harvard Business School, Beverley went on to launch TALA, and was a Forbes ‘30 under 30’ honoree at age 23.

One of the hardest aspects of being a young entrepreneur, according to Beverley, is not how other people see you, but how you see yourself. Beverley has openly discussed feelings of imposter syndrome, often feeling like she doesn’t belong amongst others who have achieved great things at a young age. Her advice is to believe in yourself, and understand that age isn’t a barrier when it comes to success.

11. Claire Cleary

Cleary’s inspirational story shows that it’s OK to not know exactly what you want to do with your life in your teens, and that it is possible to become a young, successful entrepreneur following a career change.

Author of popular articles such as 7 Ways to Get and Stay Motivated, New Jersey-based Cleary is the Founder of Claire Cleary Coaching; a self-improvement business offering life coaching and personal training to help women achieve their goals. Cleary has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, Fox News, and Business Talk Radio, where she’s shared her story with the world.

And her story is truly inspirational. Despite seemingly having it all, Cleary began to feel ‘stuck’ in her 30s; as though she could achieve more, but didn’t know how, or even where to start. She bravely made the decision to step away from the stability of the corporate world to focus closely on her passion for fitness and, having found a way to realize her own dreams, is now on a mission to help others realize theirs.

“Even when people feel physically strong and healthy, some are still stressed, unfocused, and unhappy” says Cleary, who felt that way herself. Today, Cleary is a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer, behavior change specialist, corrective exercise specialist, and performance enhancement specialist, and is one of only 300 certified High Performance Life Coaches in the world.

12. Fraser Doherty

Fraser Doherty’ entrepreneurial story shows how small a passion, can transform into an amazing business opportunity that revolutionizes your entire life.

Fraser was only 14 years old when he started his first business. He took what his grandmother taught him about making marmalade, and transformed it into a recipe and brand he called SuperJam.

His jam product consisted of 100% fruit and after selling it to friends, neighbors, farmers markets and people around his community, people fell in love with his product.

As demand grew, he decided to get onto the shelves of his local supermarkets. He devised a production plan, and got to work.

And it wasn’t long before word spread far and wide about how delirious and healthy his sugar-free jam was. Doherty’s business exploded with his products flying off the shelvs. He’s since sold millions and millions of his special SuperJam. And with all those sales, he’s also become one of U.K.s youngest ever self-made millionaires.

Related: How to Start a Business With No Ideas

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Many people – particularly young people – have big ideas, yet feel held back by their age or lack of experience. But as these inspiring entrepreneur stories show, some of the world’s most innovative and transformative new companies have been built by those who are still in school, or by those who have completely shifted their career path to follow their passions.

Today, you are reading these stories. But tomorrow, you could be one of these stories. It’s never too early – or too late – to follow your dreams.

Till next time,


PS – If you enjoyed these inspiring young entrepreneurs stories and if becoming an entrepreneur is something that is interesting to you, then you’ll likely love this article on the top reasons to become an entrepreneur.

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Strive Stories




Master P Success Story

Master P, a.k.a. Percy Miller, is one of the most successful rapper’s, record-executive’s, and record producer’s in American history. He’s an entrepreneur, actor, and multi-millionaire who inspired countless others, rising rapper’s and inner-city kids alike to go after what they think their worth. His music defined an era, and his iconic work-ethic helped many others dream bigger and hustle harder. Needless to say, Master P understands success, which is what we aim to highlight in this Master P Success Story special.

We believe success leaves clues, which is why we cover icons like Master P. Every story contains hidden insights that can teach, guide, and benefit us in unimaginable way. That said, if you’re ready to see what Master P’s story can teach you about life and success, then let’s get started.


The Master P Story

Early Days

Master P was born in 1970 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up rough in the inner-city’s third ward and the notorious Calliope projects; which had a reputation as one of the most dangerous and violent projects in the United States.[1]

In fact, he only five years old when he was first acquainted with the rough world he was born into, having witnessed a man get murdered just outside his window.[2]

P and his four other siblings were split into different household after his parents divorced in his younger years. He and his brother Kevin lived with his father, and the other siblings with his mother. But, the family would also bounce around between his grandparent’s house and his mother’s house daily.

That said, struggle was an everyday experience for P and his family. Growing up in a the projects with a house full of siblings and extended family, with parents struggling to make it made for lean times. Poverty was real for P.

In fact, Master P once stated that he felt as if he was always hungry growing up, and that it was as if they always had a house full of people yet always an empty refrigerator.

Fortunately, sports helped P survive the streets. In fact, he was known for being a pretty good basketball player. So good, that he earned himself an athletic scholarship to the University of Houston. Dreams of becoming a pro basketball player and helping his family get out of the projects was a huge motivator for Master P.

Tore Up Dreams

Master P would go on to leave the hood to chase his basketball dreams in Houston. However, things didn’t work out as planned, and P eventually dropped out after he tore his ACL during that first year.

Devastated by the injury, he quickly found himself back in the Calliope projects. At first he tried making money in phone sales, but success was slow to come. So he eventually turned to dealing drugs.

His grandmother got wind of what he was up to, and started to pressure P to turn away from that life. He was slow to take heed of her advice, but shortly after P had his own son, he started thinking differently about his life’s trajectory.

Seizing Opportunity

So, he packed up his son and his wife and moved to Richmond, California to get out of the drug game and make an honest living. While driving down the street one day, P noticed a long queue of people wanting to get into a local record store, and decided to get into the music business himself.

Having recently received $10,000 from a malpractice lawsuit related to his grandfather’s death, he leveraged this money to open up his own record store.

Like all businesses though, gaining traction was a challenge at first. In fact business was so slow in the beginning that he had to move his family into the record store to make ends meet.

Times were tough at first, but P didn’t give up. Instead, he doubled-down and starting looking for ways to make his venture work. He soon noticed that there was a demand for Gangster Rap, but there were very few other record stores selling it. So, he made his move to fill this void, and began offering his customers the high-demand product.

Master P Success Story Quote

Eyes Wide Open

Success soon followed, and Master P’s small record store became a hit. His store became the local go-to-place for obtaining the latest and greatest gangster rap music.

Gaining insight into the mindset of rappers, P started to notice that many of these rappers were simply telling their struggle stories of life in the streets. And P, having lived his fair share of surviving the game, decided to rap about his experiences too.

Knowing he had a built-in distribution center with his record store, P dove into the music making business, and launched his rap career in short order.

After connecting with a few local music producers, P started making his music. Just his record business though, his first few tracks were not instant successes. But, he kept at it.

His brother Kevin Miller, was murdered in New Orleans, and this event really catalyzed P’s hustle. Vowing to save his two other brother’s and his son, he poured everything into making his rap career take off. He brought his brothers into the T.R.U. (The Real Untouchables) fold and started shooting for the stars in the music industry.

Relentless Hustle

Master P and his No Limit Soldiers started turning out track after track with a relentlessness unseen by any other local groups. P decided to get serious about making money, so he started traveling across the country to do shows. He also began giving away his music and merch to influencers to establish brand recognition. Master P was trying to go viral.

After connecting with a few high profile music producers during his travels, Master P realized he needed to get even more strategic about his business efforts. So, he started studying business administration at Merritt Junior College.

In addition to this, P also began bringing in more business minded partners into the fold to help him gain more exposure and strategically capture market share. Master P was committed to having his rap label take off.

Everything changed for P when he dropped his hit single ‘The Ghettos Tyrin’ to Kill Me’. He followed this success up with ’99 Ways to Die’, and sold over 250,000 copies. He then went on to produce ‘Ice Cream Man’ with his newly hired in-house producers ‘Beats By The Pound’, which helped him eventually hit No. 3 on the Billboard album charts. Master P had arrived.[3]

The Dynasty

It was from the foundation of this success, that P would move on to launch even more projects. He chose to relocate No Limit Records back to New Orleans as he prepared to take the hip hop industry by storm.

Master P Story Quote

Once Master P released the album ‘Ghetto D’, his song ‘Make ‘Em Say Uhhh!’ went certified triple platinum, propelling P into the mainstream spotlight.[4]

Master P then went on to leverage his honed business savvy approach to connect with other aspiring artists, and turn out fresh hip-hop beats that the public craved into massive success.

He would then go on to turn out countless new records, with fresh beats, high profile artists, with trendy packaging that the public could not resist, all at breakneck speed. The result?

Master P ended up becoming one of the hottest names in the industry, getting himself ranked by Forbes as one of the top 10 highest grossing entertainers.

Master P would go on to create one of the greatest hip hop dynasty’s in history and become a multi-millionaire many times over.

Related: Master P Net Worth

Master P’s Success Ethos

Master P would go onto to achieve even more success in film, apparel, sports management, and many other industries. He built one empire to go on to build another. He achieved the American Dream, and then some.

So, what helped Master P achieve so much success? What was the success ethos that gave him his edge? Here’s our distilled answers. We believe his success had a lot to do with his vision, his purpose, relentlessness, and grit.

P had a vision. He wanted more than the average person. And he took his grandmother’s suggestion that having a dream was the most important thing.

Master P was also driven by purpose. Much of his efforts were about helping his family out. His ambitions were fueled by his wish to save his family. To get them out of the projects and living a life free of the dangers that come from living in poverty.

In addition to this, P also had a relentlessness to him that aided in his success. It may have stemmed from the work-ethic he acquired in sports, but regardless of where it came from, he applied it to all of his ventures. And it paid off.

Lastly, Master P had grit. Almost every single aspect of Master P’s life, and each of his ventures were first met with adversity. But, in each situation, P took the obstacles, adversities, and tragedies that were placed before him, and consciously decided to see things through until he surmounted them. P is the epitome of grit.

Success In His Own Words

To give you a few more insights on what helped Master P become so successful, here are few of his most insightful quotes on success.

Read More: Master P Quotes

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the Master P story of success. We highlighted his challenging beginnings, his crushed basketball dreams, to his overcoming of countless adversities and life tragedies to ultimately come out on top as one of the most successful businessmen and hip hop icons in history.

We also covered some of the key success principles that led Master P to achieving so much in his lifetime. Here are those qualities summarized again as a quick recap:

Vision | Purpose | Relentless | Grit

That said, we hope this Master P success story inspires you to dream big, pursue your purpose, and back your vision up with relentless effort and grit. No doubt, if you do so, your grand dreams will come into reach.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this Master P success story, then you may also enjoy this collection of inspiring success stories.

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