6 Motivational Entrepreneur Stories That Will Influence Your Decisions


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Every turn in entrepreneurship brings new challenges. You must have a narrow margin of error in your market knowledge, product idea, networking skills, financial support, and product design. Sometimes the best advice is not from industry experts or analysts, but rather from people who have been there. These six entrepreneurs fought against all odds to realize their dreams. These entrepreneurs were passionate about their craft and worked hard to make their dreams a reality.

You can learn from these people how they used their stories and struggle to build a brand identity. Your stories are what matter to your business. Through the stories you tell, your brand will become personalized.

Barry Shore

Barry Shore was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition, Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS). It would have been easy to give up when he received that diagnosis. But, for him, that wasn’t an option. Shore was a successful businessman who had been active in the gift card industry for over 55 years. He was diagnosed with GBS, which is a condition in which the immune system attacks nerves. After being reduced to a wheelchair, Shore could only move his head side-to-side. He was able to walk with a cane after persevering for many years. Since then, he has used GBS to fuel his passion for business, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Shore founded Dlyte.com in 2012. He used his expertise in the gift card industry to create a website that offers points for every gift card purchased through the site. The site allows users to redeem points for free Netflix subscriptions or donate them to charity. Shore was able to remain positive about his condition and proved that his only limitation was his attitude.

Gigi Stetler

Gigi Stetler faced many obstacles that threatened her future, life, and wellbeing. Instead of letting her past defeat her, she decided to win. This single mom, without a high school diploma, was facing a lot of odds. You can’t go wrong with a woman who has achieved nothing less than a miracle. Stetler not only survived a brutal attempt murder but she also turned it into an opportunity that launched her career as an entrepreneur.

Unstoppable was her first book. It catapulted her to the forefront and allowed her the opportunity to create the first and only RV Membership Club in the country, the RV Fun Club. SoLongPain is also her all-natural supplement line.

John Paul DeJoria

Patron Spirits and John Paul Mitchell Systems co-founder DeJoria were both homeless twice during his lifetime. DeJoria, who was the co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Spirits, spent two weeks sleeping in his car while he started his hair care business. He couldn’t afford to rent a place to stay. DeJoria, his brother and their mother were taken to foster homes as children. DeJoria, a member of a street gang, was sent to foster homes as a child. He was 22 years old when his mother died. DeJoria dreamed of owning a company, and he succeeded with hard work and determination.   

Brian Chesky Joe Gebbia

AirBnB is a popular apartment-rental website that offers an alternative to hotels. AirBnB allows travelers to connect with local people and book affordable living spaces – such as a mother-in law suite, guest bedroom or even a couch. Chesky and Gebbia couldn’t afford to rent their apartment when they first moved to San Francisco. They decided to rent their living room as a bed and breakfast to three people who couldn’t afford a hotel. AirBnB was born from this idea, which is now worth approximately $24 billion.

The trio sold and created special-edition cereals to fund their initial idea. They used the 2008 presidential election for inspiration. To help jumpstart AirBnB, their “Obama O’s”, and “Cap’n McCains”cereals sold more than $30,000 worth of sales. They kept their eyes fixed on the prize. From struggling to make rent and selling food, each one built a personal net worth of over $1 billion.

Harland, David Sanders

It wasn’t that easy to become the fried chicken king. Kentucky Fried Chicken‘s founder Colonel Sanders was a seventh grade dropout. Sanders, then thirteen years old, left school to go to work on a farm nearby to escape his stepfather. Sanders worked a variety of odd jobs over the next 27 years. He was a streetcar conductor and an Army teamster, an assistant blacksmith, and a steam engine mechanic. His career ended in a brawl with his client. Insubordination and fighting led to Sanders being fired from most of these jobs.

Sanders received a Kentucky service station rent-free in 1930. He had to give the Shell Oil Company one percent of the profits. Here Sanders began selling and cooking fried chicken. Sanders’ “secret recipe” of pressure-frying chicken was perfected by 1940. The rest is history with fried chicken.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, Apple’s creator and founder, is one of the most inspiring stories about rags to riches. Jobs was adopted at birth and lived in San Francisco with his adoptive family. Jobs quit college after six months, believing that it was too costly. Jobs, then 20, was living with his parents and had no plans to go to college. Apple was co-founded by Jobs and a high school friend. However, after many years of power struggles, Jobs was forced to leave the company.

Jobs founded NeXT after Apple. His luck started to improve. Pixar, which was then a new company, received his financial support and helped to start the visual effects industry. Apple purchased NeXT and Jobs became CEO again.

Apple was in dire financial straits and had been forced to close its doors by Jobs. Apple was back in profit after Jobs and Jonathan Ive redesigned it. They created a range of highly-respected products, including the iMac and iTunes.

There will be roadblocks that you don’t think you can overcome. But, success is almost always not an easy task. Your failures on the way to the top will be what makes you stand out. Although it is not easy to struggle, the rewards of being an entrepreneur are worth it. All of the greatest American success stories were born out of anonymity, obscurity, and refusal to accept less than success.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.