Does your background determine how high can your wings fly? I think NOT.

Does your background determine how high can your wings fly? I think NOT.

“Count your Blessings, There can never be anyone like you. You are special”

Whenever I talk about people who make it large, I always get to hear that they had a “GREAT background”, a “GREAT Education”, a “GREAT idea”, a “GREAT family”, etc. The guys who made it large were not MAJORLY from a very amazing background (not many were even decently rich), but they ALL shared one and only one thing in common, DETERMINATION to achieve their DREAMS!

Given below is a compilation of the people who have taken themselves higher from the jobs they were pursuing, because they desperately wanted to change the WORLD!

The list has been put up like this-


Current Job/Business-

Initial Days-

By the end of this post, you’ll definitely be clear of one thing. Indra Nooyi, Gautam Adani and Dhirubhai Ambani are not the ONLY people who did not come from a very wealthy background. There are a lot more, and to my surprise; I’ve known most of the big brands, but no stories about the sheer hardwork put in by their founders!

“Determination. Dedication. Hardwork. All of this coupled with a never-dying spirit on encountering failures is nothing, but the key to success” – Pravesh Mull!

Howard Schultz

Chairman and CEO, Starbucks Coffee

After graduating, he worked as a salesperson for Xerox Corporation and was quickly promoted to a full sales representative. He continues to work from home even after putting in 13 hour days.


Sam Walton

Founder of Walmart

He helped his family out by milking the cow and driving the milk out to customers. He also delivered newspapers and sold magazine subscriptions.


Sheldon Adelson

Las vegas Sands

He started his business career at the age of 12, when he borrowed two hundred dollars from his uncle and purchased a license to sell newspapers in Boston.[10] At the age of 16, he had started a candy-vending-machine business.


Ingvar Kamprad


Kamprad bought matches in bulk from capital Stockholm to sell to his neighbours and later expanded to fish, Christmas decorations and pens.


Roman Abramovich

Millhouse and owner of Chelsea Football Club.

He first worked as a street-trader and then as a mechanic at a local factory.At the peak of perestroika, Abramovich sold imported rubber ducks from his Moscow apartment


Kirk Kerkorian

Tracinda Corporation.

He learned English on the streets and dropped out of eighth grade to become a boxer.


Francois Pinault

Owner of PPR

Pinault’s earliest jobs were with his father’s timber company.


Li Ka-shing

Chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa.

Li began his career in Hong Kong as a salesman and eventually formed a plastics company, Cheung Kong.


George Soros

Chairman of Soros Fund Management.

He put himself through the London School of Economics by working as a waiter and railway porter.


Maria das Gracas Silva Foster

CEO of Petrobras-Petroleo Brasil

She grew up with an alcoholic father in an extremely poor neighbourhood. Maria collected cans and paper to make extra money.


Guy Laliberte

Co-founder and the current CEO of Cirque du Soleil,

He began his carrier by playing harmonica and accordion on the streets of Quebec and later joined a performing troupe that included fire-breathers, jugglers and acrobats.


John Paul DeJoria

Founder of Paul Mitchell line of hair products.

At nine he began selling Christmas cards and newspapers with his older brother to support his family.


Gautam Adani

Chairman of Adani Group

He started his career working as a diamond sorter at Mahindra Brothers for 2 years


Richard Desmond

Owner of Express Newspapers and founder of Northern & Shell

Desmond left school at 15 and started working in the classified advertisements section of the Thomson Group, while playing the drums at night.


Leonardo Del Vecchio

Founder of Luxottica

He began his career as an apprentice to a tool and dye maker in Milan, Italy.


Zdenek Bakala

Czech Entreprenuer and Billionaire Investor

Ingrained in him as a young boy was an unbridled faith, growing up in the shadow of the failed 1968 Prague Uprising for human rights and civil liberties. Convinced that communism offered little to nurture human aspirations, be it in life or in business, Bakala was determined to acquire higher education, which would have remained a dream had he chosen to live in the communist country.


Harold Simmons

Chairman, Valhi Inc

Simmons worked for the U.S. government as a bank examiner, then for a Dallas-based bank, Republic National Bank.


Do Won Chang

Founder, Forever 21

Do Won was forced to work three jobs at the same time to support his family, as a janitor, a gas station attendant and in a coffee shop.


Ursula Burns

Chairperson and CEO of Xerox.

Burns first worked for Xerox as a summer intern, permanently joining a year later, in 1981, after completing her master’s degree. She worked in various roles in product development and planning in the remainder of the 1980s throughout her 20s


Mark Cuban

Founder of Micro-Solutions and

Cuban was fired from a PC company for not telling anyone he was going to lunch to try to close a deal. Mark Cuban didn’t take a vacation for seven years while starting his first business.


Wendy Davis

Texas State Senator

Davis worked as a waitress and a receptionist until she married her second husband and enrolled in community college.

Tyler Perry

HIGHEST PAID man in entertainment Industry

He kept showing the play ‘ I Know I’ve Been Changed’ at Atlanta churches and working jobs in construction and sales until he got his big break at the Atlanta House of Blues.


Steve Jobs

Founder, Apple

Started Apple at age 20 in his parents’ garage.


Oprah Winfrey

The Oprah Winfrey Show

She was fired from her 6 p.m. anchor position for local news station WJZ-Baltimore.


Suze Orman

CNBC’s most viewed shows

Orman only made $400 a week as a waitress and went bankrupt after she took bad investment advice and lost $50,000 she raised to start her own restaurant. To pay back Orman taught herself enough to become a broker at Merrill Lynch.


Andre ‘Dr. Dre’ 

Co-founder of Death Row Records and Aftermath records

Andre began attending Vanguard Junior High School in Compton, but due to gang violence, he transferred to the safer suburban Roosevelt Junior High School.


Soichiro Honda 

Founder Honda Motors

He worked as a mechanic in Tokyo. At 21, he submitted thousands of pistons to Toyota for motor production and all but three were accepted.


Walt Disney


He was fired from the Kansas City Star in his early 20s because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”


Dhirubhai Ambani

Reliance Industries

He worked at a Petrol Station as an attendant in Yemen.

Jeffrey Immelt


He spent 24 years putting in hundred hour weeks. A hundred hour week means a total of 100/6 days i.e. 16.67 Hours per day! Amazing? Isn’t it?

Michel Jordan

Basket Ball Player

When Jordan first entered the league, his jump shot wasn’t good enough. He spent his off season taking hundreds of jumpers a day until it was perfect.

Tim Cook

CEO, Apple

He’s always been a workaholic, Fortune reports that he begins sending emails at 4:30 in the morning.

Ryan Seacrest 


Hosting American Idol, Seacrest appears 7 days a week on E!, hosts a daily radio show from 5 to 10 A.M., appears on the Today show, runs a television production company, and recently received $300 million in private equity funding to acquire more businesses.

Carlos Ghosn

Nissan and Renault CEO

He spends 48 hours a month in the air, and flies more than 150,000 miles a year.


Business Magnate

By age 15 Ka-Shing had left school and was working in a plastics factory. He told Forbes how he quickly became a salesman, outsold everybody else, and became the factory’s general manager by 19. In 1950, he started his own business and did almost everything, including the accounting, all by himself.

Indra Nooyi

CEO Pepsi

Pepsi chief Indra Nooyi worked midnight to 5 A.M. as a receptionist to earn money while getting her masters at Yale. She describes coming in to work every day at 7, rarely leaving before eight, taking home bags of mail to read overnight, and wishing there were 35 hours a day in order to do more work. She did all of this while raising two young daughters.

Brijmohan Lall Munjal

Hero Motor Corp.

He was from a simple middle-class Arora/Khatri family. After completing his formal education, he worked at the Army Ordnance Factory, before moving his base to India after partition

W. Woolworth

Woolworth Store, USA

Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.

Harry S. Truman

WWI vet, Senator, Vice President and eventual President

Truman started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing–seemingly a success at first–only go bankrupt a few years later

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


A court musician in Salzberg.

Stan Smith

Winner Wimbledon, U. S. Open and eight Davis Cups

Tennis player was rejected from even being a lowly ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because event organizers felt he was too clumsy and uncoordinated.

Venus and Serena Williams

Tennis Champions

They got up, 6 o’clock in the morning, went to the tennis court, before school. After school, they again went to play tennis.

Kobe Bryant

Lakers Superstar (Basket Ball)

Changed his shooting technique rather than stop playing after breaking a finger.

Benjamin Franklin


Worked for his father and his brother, as a typer/printer.

John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Founder, Standard Oil Company in 1870

Took business courses at Folsom Mercantile College.

Mike Hudack

Product manager at Facebook

Started working at a small internet security and privacy company in Connecticut at 16.


Kirk Kerkorian

MGM Hotel and Casino, LV

Ex-boxer and fighter pilot during World War II.


Lewis Tavistock

Tavistock Group

Started work for his father’s catering business, Tavistock Banqueting.


Carl Henry Lindner, Jr

Founder of American Financial and CEO of the Cincinnati Reds

Delivery boy for his family’s dairy company.


“Don’t be the one finding your place in the crowd. Create your own Niche”

– Pravesh Mull

Published by Pravesh Mull

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