Looking for your next big inspiration? When it comes to successful entrepreneurs it can seem like only those with a few million in seed money can succeed. However, more often than not, working for yourself and building a successful business require more than great ideas and luck made of venture capital. Hard work and drive are the real secrets to success. Search no further than these four amazing entrepreneurs whose journeys to success are sure to inspire you.
The found of Tom’s shoes, Blake Mycoskie revolutionized the way we think about businesses. Like many entrepreneurs, Blake recognized an unfilled demand in the world and sought to offer a solution. What makes Mycoskie’s story different is that he didin’t recognize a demand from American consumers, he was witnessing how poverty deprives children from basic necessities like shoes. His next step would kick-start the proliferation of a whole new kind of company, the “b-corporation”.
A b-corporation is less focused on profits and more on using capitalism to help others. Tom’s shoe’s introduced the idea of a “one-to-one” program where for every pair of shoes sold, a pair of shoes is given to a child in need. This innovative business model garnered his company incredible popularity for its positive mission and gives us a look into business models of the future. In an incredibly competitive marketplace, providing an alternative to the status quo can be an incredibly effective and disruptive approach. Since the founding of Tom’s shoes the company has donated over 10 million shoes to children in need. Today companies like Warby Parker have adopted the “one-to-one” business model with great success.
A list of inspiring entrepreneurs could hardly be complete with mentioning with incredible success of Jeff Bezos. As the founder of Amazon, Bezos has revolutionized the way we consume in the Internet age. The secret to his success lies in his willingness to take risks on a new idea. Back in 1994 the Internet was a fledgling concept, with few businesses even hosting a web page. Bezos saw the potential for an emerging market and left his six-figure Wall-Street salary to start Amazon. Sometimes the biggest risks are the best ones.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Another titan of the 1990’s Internet boom, Larry Page is one of the cofounders of Google. Thanks in part to a great education, Page was schooled in computer science during the formative years of the Internet. Sergey Brin was a Russian immigrant who came to Stanford to study computer science. After meeting his fellow collaborator Brin at Stanford, Page gambled his successful academic career on one geeky computer science idea.
The concept was known at the time as a “web-crawler”, and it’s application was immediately apparent. Page and Brin started exploring web-crawling software on their crappy home computers as a way to crash Stanford’s network. But quickly they discovered their work had yielded one of the world’s first search engines. Thanks to help from investors the two were able to transform a college computer science prank into one of the most successful companies of our time. Stick to doing what you love as an entrepenour and the results may surprise you.