Being an entrepreneur is a tough job, and sometimes you need a little extra inspiration to tackle the next hurdle. When I need a jolt of inspiration, I like to look at the success stories of some of my favorite entrepreneurs of all time! I’ve read each of their stories countless times, but I seem to discover something new every time I reread them.
If you’re an entrepreneur in need of a little extra motivation, try taking a closer look at any of the entrepreneurs below!
1. Bill Gates
Every entrepreneur dreams of inventing something so game-changing that it completely revolutionizes the way the world works. Bill Gates has long been the archetype for this type of entrepreneur, as it’s difficult to underestimate how much Microsoft has done for the modern world.
Gates is also involved in a ton of charity work that serves as an example of what you should do after hitting it big. He’s been semi-retired since June of 2006, but he’s still a household name. How do you beat that?
2. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah may seem like an odd choice for this list, as most people associate her with being a TV star more than a businesswoman. Make no mistake though–Oprah has leveraged her smarts and wisdom to go from a TV guest star to one of the most successful people on the planet.
Oprah is also a personification of the American Dream. She was born to an underage mother into poverty, making her path to success far more difficult than the average individual’s. The fact that he succeeded anyway proves that anybody can do it if they work hard enough.
3. Arianna Huffington
You may not be that familiar with Arianna Huffington, but you’ve surely heard of The Huffington Post. It’s one of the top news sites on the web, covering an astounding array of industries and verticals without ever missing a beat. Arianna is the talented businesswoman behind its success.
Huffington sold her stake in The Huffington Post to AOL in 2011, pocketing a cool $315 million in the transaction. That has given her the financial flexibility to devote time to Thrive Global, a new startup dedicated to health and wellness information. She serves as an excellent role model for anybody hoping to flip a successful company for life-changing money.
4. Carlos Slim Helu
Helu is a Mexican telecommunications mogul who achieved a high net worth thanks to his revolutionary approach to an established industry.
The most important thing to learn from Carlos Slim Helu’s career is to always keep learning. He studied economics after completing a degree in engineering, giving him an extremely broad skill set to apply to any potential problem. All too often, entrepreneurs fall into the trap of narrow-mindedly pursuing their goals. Slim never did that.
5. Richard Branson
Anybody who has heard of Richard Branson knows that he’s one of the more eccentric people on this list. He deserves the reputation, but it hasn’t been a detriment to his business career. In fact, it may help him gain an advantage as others focus more on his quirks than his business sense.
Branson has dyslexia and never performed well academically, making him another shining example of somebody who succeeded despite circumstances against him. His first major success was the well-known Virgin Records brand, but he has since been able to at least dabble in every industry imaginable.
There are a lot of other inspiring entrepreneurs, but the five above are among my favorites. Who do you look to for inspiration?