We hear the names of those responsible for so many successful business stories thrown around from time to time, and it’s easy to forget that the likes of Jobs, Branson and Zuckerberg were all, at one point, just people trying to make it.
Their success did not come without downfalls, as even the most triumphant of business leaders experience setbacks. It’s their ability to overcome these setbacks that inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and take a chance on their ideas.
Let’s take a look at a few of the greatest business success stories to demonstrate that, with a little perseverance and a great idea(s), anything can be done.
This is a name we are all familiar with. While Branson is known today for his successful entrepreneurial skills, it wasn’t always like this. He was dyslexic and struggled in his first school before being sent to a boarding institute where he decided to drop out at the age of 16. Soon after he set up his own youth magazine, Student, which did rather successfully from a small church room.
He later came up with the idea of selling discounted records and publicising them in the magazine. This performed well and he was able to expand the business by opening a record shop and later on, a recording studio.
He then broadened his horizons and built his own group of airlines – Virgin Atlantic. This remains, to this day, the most successful branch of Branston’s empire.
In 1992 the Virgin Group hit financial problems and Branston was forced to sell his record company leaving him devastated, but not giving up as he later set about building another record company – V2.
Branston also attempted to expand the Virgin name into various other areas that failed to work out well, such as Virgin Cola, vodka, wedding dresses, cosmetics, clothing, cars and more. But striking out didn’t put him off.
Fast forward to 2017, and his business empire is still growing beyond belief as he sets about trying to launch the first public space flight.
Richard Branston is a great example of how far perseverance can get you, no matter what holds you back. Despite the failed business ventures and sale of his beloved record company, he kept going from the age of 16 to become one of the UK’s richest business moguls.
Chris Gardner, the self-made millionaire and most notably the subject of the hit film The Pursuit of Happyness, has one of the most inspiring successful business stories. From sleeping rough to raking in a million, the business tycoon dedicated his life to building a better future for him and his son.
A penniless man camping out in subway toilets with his son, Chris was at a loss. He was eventually able to secure an interview at a top brokerage firms as a trainee. Despite this, it was not enough to cover the costs of renting accommodation and they both remained homeless until Gardner secured a permanent position and his career took off.
After working his way up, in various other positions Chris decided to set up his own brokerage firm with just $10,000 and made it into a complete success.
He is now living comfortably and heavily involved in charity work and motivational speaking.
Chris Gardner is a perfect example of what is possible when you put your mind to it. Even in dire straits, with drive and determination, you can drag yourself out of whatever situation you are stuck in.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the successful business story of JK Rowling, the infamous creator of everyone’s favourite childhood character, and serial skewerer of right-wing political thought on Twitter. But it wasn’t always easy for her.
Rowling hit on hard times before coming up with her innovative idea. Living off state benefits and trying to bring up a young daughter single-handedly, the final idea for Harry Potter came to her while waiting for a train.
Thereafter she found spare moments to type up the first book and send it off to publishers. After twelve rejections, she finally found a small publishing company, Bloomsbury, that would give her a chance. The rest is history.
J.K Rowling had the courage to take a chance on herself and believed in her idea enough to persevere through numerous rejections and the daily struggles of her life as a single mother.
Lord Alan Sugar
Finally, we come to the one and only Alan Sugar, most recently famed for two notorious words; “You’re Fired!”. But before his stint on hit show The Apprentice, he came from humble beginnings to scale the heights of business.
Brought up on a council estate in Hackney, Sugar left school at the age of 16. He began selling car aerials out the back of a van, starting with just £100. From there his entrepreneurial skills grew and his empire, named AMSTRAD after his initials, took off selling a range of electricals.
By the time he was 40 years old, he was worth a cool £600 million. But unfortunately, his business fell on hard times after failing to sell his latest batch of devices. As a result of this, Amstrad was sold for £125 million, which was as fraction of its value.
However, all was no lost as he held several other businesses under his holding name – Amshold that are still currently trading.
He now makes his name starring on The Apprentice and donating large fractions of his money to charity.
Inspired? Here’s what you should do to start your own business success story
No matter what situation you’re in, if you have the desire to make yourself and your business a success then take the plunge. As demonstrated above, anything is possible.
If you decide to take a punt and start building your very own empire, make sure you give yourself the best chance with a good business software management system. Our cloud based ERP is perfect for SMEs that want to access their full online stock control from anywhere with an internet connection. Start your FREE month today.
Please Note: This article was edited on 21/02/2018 to reflect Khaos Control Cloud's updated process re: trials.