Although it seems like it would be nearly impossible for the average person to amass great wealth, these inspirational rags-to-riches stories show that the impossible may not be as far out of your reach as you believe. A number of the world’s billionaires managed to make their way from the bottom to the very top with sheer determination, solid will, and in many cases pure luck.
Guy Laliberté – Cirque du Soleil
Imagine having to make your living eating fire on street corners. Well that’s just how Canadian native Guy Laliberté, creator of Cirque du Soleil, got his start. Laliberté began his path to riches busking on the streets of Canada. He walked on stilts, played the accordion, and ate fire to entertain passersby. He finally took a gamble and brought a successful circus troupe from Quebec to the Los Angeles Arts Festival in 1987, going only on hope and faith that his move would pay off, because they didn’t even have return fare to get back home. The move paid off, and they were eventually taken to Las Vegas, where they became the world renowned hit that we know today as Cirque du Soleil. Laliberté is now worth $2.5 Billion as the CEO of Cirque du Soleil. He spends his time working as a professional poker player and enjoying his leisure time as a space tourist, which isn’t too bad for a guy that started out working for spare change on a street corner.
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter Series
After the birth of her daughter in 1993, Rowling found herself divorced. She and her young daughter lived on welfare and struggled to make ends meet. While riding the train from Manchester to London, Rowling says that the idea for the story of the boy wizard Harry Potter came to her. After completing the first story it was repeatedly rejected by publishers, until a publisher finally bought the manuscript and paid her $4,000 for her story. By 2000 the first three books in the series had earned approximately $480 Million and sold over 35 million copies worldwide. Today, Rowling is worth an estimated $1 Billion, and there’s probably a number of publishers still kicking themselves.
Until the age of six, Winfrey lived with her grandmother and wore dresses made from potato sacks. She was molested by two family members until she finally ran away from home at the age of 13, and gave birth to a daughter that died soon after delivery at the age of 14. She returned home to live with her mother who soon sent her to live with her father. At this point Winfrey’s life finally turned around. She received a full scholarship to college and won a beauty pageant where she was discovered by a radio station. From there she went on to host talk shows, write books, and create the famous Oprah Winfrey Show. Winfrey built her very name into an unmatched empire, and according to Forbes she is now worth approximately $2.7 Billion.
The similarity between these 3 successful entrepreneurs is that at their most vulnerable moments, they were all down on their luck. They probably all struggled with debt and credit problems, and even if they tried to start a new business, they wouldn’t have been approved and equipped with the proper credit repair merchant account to help them out. But being persistent dreamers paid off. Today they can all look back at their early struggles and be proud of where life brought them. It gives everyone hope, that success is possible at any stage of your life.