If you are an entrepreneur and are looking for inspiration, then these 5 modern success stories will certainly motivate you.
1. Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely’s story is one of my favorites. Sara is the founder of Spanx, a multi-million dollar undergarment company. At age 47, she is one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world, and last year she was among the top 100 most influential people in the world.
Sara Blakely’s business is worth an estimated $1 billion, and her products are sold in more than 11,500 stores in over 40 countries. Spanx generates $250 million in revenue a year, and the company has registered huge business growth within the first few years.
Sara started as a sales trainer by day and a stand-up comedian at night, then she slowly began to educate herself about pantyhose patents – she wrote the patent alone, it was approved, and then she trademarked her products under the name Spanx.
Sara started from scratch and she did everything alone, from designing the product to advertising it. The keys to her success include: she had enough ambition and determination to launch her own business, she had an original idea that was unique and stands out, and she did a great job branding her product.
2. Sheri Schmelzer
Initially a stay-at-home mom, Sheri Schmelzer is now a millionaire. Her secret? She managed to build an empire on Crocs! Sheri started a basement business named Jibbitz, where she sold mini faux flowers and other accessories for the highly popular footwear Crocs.
In the first year, she managed to sell 8 million pieces worldwide!
Everything started when Sheri and her children decided to do something to decorate their Crocs and make them look more appealing. People started seeing the accessories and wanted to buy them. Several months later, the Crocs Company agreed to buy the family business for $10 million, with a commitment to pay another $10 million in the future based on result.
Her key to success was that Sheri simply was able to carve out a niche, leveraged her creativity, was able to quickly scale her company based on early success, and worked hard to make sure her company succeeded.
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3. Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is perhaps the most popular self-made millionaire of recent times. He is the founder and CEO of Facebook. Mark is one of the youngest billionaires in the world – his personal wealth is currently estimated at $72.8 billion.
Initially, Facebook started as a social network designed for Harvard University students only – now, it is the largest social networking platform in the world, with over 2.19 billion monthly active users worldwide.
The idea of creating this website came from a desire to connect with others – he did not create the website for money, but rather, because he wanted to create an open information flow for people. He was subsequently able to properly scale the business, raise funding, and modify his business model to bring in revenues and profits.
4. Stacey Bendet
Stacey Bendet is the founder of Alice + Olivia, a very successful women’s clothing and accessory brand which generates annual revenues exceeding $50 million. Stacey started the business with her classmate, Rebecca Matchett, and their collections are now sold in over 800 stores worldwide.
The success of the company relies massively on Stacey’s creativity and vision – she has always been very sophisticated and she wanted to share her creativity with the entire world. She’s also a hard worker that surrounds herself with other hard workers and great thinkers.
5. Andrew Mason
Last, but certainly not least, Andrew Mason is another popular millionaire whose company generates annual revenues exceeding $350 million. Andrew Mason is the founder of Groupon, the most popular and most accessed coupon site which has been valued at $1.2 billion.
Known for its massive business growth, Groupon is available in major cities throughout the world and offers discounts from local businesses.
Andrew Mason was born in Pittsburgh and he was brought up in a family of entrepreneurs. Mason identified the bargain hunting trend on the Internet, and he used it in his best interest. He created Groupon for people who wanted to get the best value for their money, and for business owners who wanted to raise brand awareness.
Mason identified an opportunity, capitalized on it, and became a highly successful entrepreneur.
Now It’s Your Turn
How can you replicate the success of these five entrepreneurs?
Whether you are building a company based on labor of love, innate talent, or a perceive market trend, the opportunity for explosive growth and massive wealth is out there. Millionaires are made every day, even in “bad” economies. Creativity and perseverance can and will transform your ideas into empires.