Plagued by a lack of funds, belief and support, many aspiring entrepreneurs face a notoriously difficult journey as they strive to create their own success and security. Overcoming life’s challenges and reaching the top makes for a wonderful happy ending, but the reality is that it takes a special kind of person to do this. An inspirational kind of person. Below you will find stories from five such individuals – sit back and let their tales educate, enlighten and motivate you.
Andrea McDowell and Rebecca Baldwin
Using their years of experience in the television production industry, friends Andrea McDowell and Rebecca Baldwin founded wedding videography company Shoot It Yourself in 2009. After starting off with nothing but credit card debt and a stall at the UK National Wedding Show, the company reached new heights of success when McDowell and Baldwin appeared on the BBC show, Dragon’s Den in 2011. Now, with more and more demand, the dynamic duo are faced with the challenge of having a healthy work/life balance; between the two of them, they have four children under the age of four! Their story of success proves that hard work, a strong partnership, and flexibility can take you a long way in the business world.
Jamie Wilson’s entrepreneurial journey certainly began at an unlikely point in time. Dealing with the tragedy of his father’s untimely death, the Brisbane accountant was left to pick up the pieces. However, finding the pieces of his father’s life proved exceedingly difficult; important and confidential documents were in many different, sometimes unknown locations and gaining access was no easy feat. As a result, Wilson was prompted to create Your Digital File, a cloud computing storage system that features high-level advanced security technology and aims to provide one, secure place for all those confidential documents we accumulate. Users can also create a digital legacy whereby their confidential documents can be released to authorized people when certain events, such as death, occur. This ability to create something positive out of the most tragic circumstances is testament to Wilson’s inspiring innovation and courage.
With a current net worth of $USD 34.6 billion, Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing is one of the richest men in the world. Yet his life was not always filled with luxury. Fleeing war in China, Li and his family moved to Hong Kong. Soon after, Li’s father passed away from illness, forcing him to quit school and help provide for the family. By the age of 14, Li was working in a plastic trading company. Years later, after much hard work and determination, he managed to establish his own plastic manufacturing company, where he produced and sold plastic toys, followed by plastic flowers. Nowadays, Li’s empire covers a wide range of industries, such as real estate, retail, banking and construction. His rags-to-riches story helps us believe that anything is possible with the right attitude.
Proving that age means nothing, Terry Prone’s swift rise to the top is nothing but wildly impressive. The Irish writer/journalist/communications advisor had her start at the age of fifteen with a television appearance. By nineteen, she had her own radio programme. But wait – it gets better. Prone was a magazine editor by the time she turned 21 and managed to publish a novel by her 25th birthday. This was followed by a further 25 novels, some of which became best-sellers. Prone is now the Chairman of Communications Clinic, a training and public relations company that she helped found. Multi-talented and clearly ambitious, Prone has gone from strength to strength, ensuring the longevity of her success.
Are you a successful entrepreneur? Do you have a story to share? What do you think are the biggest challenges aspiring businesspeople face? Comment below to share your own stories and words of wisdom.