We spend the first part of our lives trying to figure out what we’re supposed to do with the rest of our years. Unfortunately, so many people settle for something way less than what they deserve. There are many people that have become unbelievably successful that have started out the same way. Some of them took years to get recognized for their talents, and some didn’t happen until after death. Either way, seeing people succeed, after what seems like a lifetime of struggle, is a great source of inspiration if you’ve lost motivation to keep your dreams alive.Elvis Presley took the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in October of 1954. When people first saw his strange hip-shaking moves, they did not like it at all. In fact, he completely bombed after performing his rendition of “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” He swore he would never return again. It wasn’t until he performed on the stage of Opry’s largest competitor, the Louisiana Hayride, that he gained some recognition. After that performance, he signed for 52 appearances, which launched his career into the music industry.
His breathtaking works of art can be seen in museums all over the world. Van Gogh only sold one painting while he was alive. After his death, his brother’s wife, Johanna, took it upon herself to share his paintings with the world. It’s unfortunate that he never got to see what his work did for us all.
While performing as the opening act for The Rolling Stones in October of 1981, Prince was assaulted with harsh homophobic words, and objects being thrown from the audience. The audience had no idea who Prince was, and they certainly didn’t accept his unique sense of style. After being talked into staying on tour, the same thing happened the second night. But he didn’t let that keep him down. He fought adversity and became the Prince that we know, and love, today.
Growing up in poverty could lead anyone to a life of crime to make ends meet. Curtis Jackson, also known as 50 Cent, was only 12 years old when he started walking down the wrong path in life. At the age of 19, he had a run-in with the cops and was sentenced to serve time in prison. Instead, he was sent to a bootcamp, where he earned his GED. Upon his release. he changed his name to 50 Cent, to remind himself of a bank robber with a similar name, that did anything he needed to to provide for himself. After getting shot in 2000, he signed a deal with Columbia records, but was dropped from it almost immediately. He was forced to to go to Canada to record music after being blacklisted from the industry. After hearing one of his songs, Eminem signed him to his label. They recorded an album that ended up going 6-times platinum.
Anna Mary Robertson Moses is an extremely famous American folk artist, but she didn’t start out that way. Anna, also known as Grandma Moses, was originally a big fan of embroidery, but when her arthritis caused her to not be able to what she loved anymore, she turned to the canvas. At 76 years old, she began her 25-year long career as an artist. She lived long enough to be able to see her paintings sold for $10,000. What an accomplishment!
After failing at a few companies, including getting fired from PayPal, Musk had to find something else to do. After several exploding rockets, and almost leading Tesla into bankruptcy, this SpaceX founder finally had a success. With his vision, Musk plans to change humanity and the world.
This is what Dr. Suess must have been telling himself after getting rejected a whopping 27 times before a publisher bought his first book. Dr. Suess sure did have a way with words. After writing “The Cat in the Hat,” his editor bet him that he couldn’t write a book that had fewer words in it than the 225 “The Cat in the Hat” had. Dr. Suess then produced “Green Eggs and Ham” which only uses 50 different words. Using rhyming words, his books are a great way to help teach children how to read!
Harland Sanders, you may know him as Colonel Sanders, spent the first 50 years of his life trying different jobs, and miserably failing at them. At the age of 62, after being rejected by 1,009 different restaurants, Colonel Sanders finally launched a successful business. Thanks to his persistence, Kentucky Fried Chicken can be enjoyed by people all over the world.
After his idea to produce an eight-cylinder gas engine was said to be impossible, he told engineers to go ahead and do it anyway. They argued a bit, but in the end they had no choice if they wanted to continue working for Ford. After over a year of trying, and failing, engineers finally came up with a successful design. This just goes to show, when you go for what you want, and don’t give up, anything can be accomplished!
Chris Gardener has led a heartbreaking, yet inspirational life. Having lived in poverty his whole life, Gardener was no stranger to struggle. But when he had his child, he knew he had to provide a much better life for his son than what he had. After deciding to become a medical-equipment salesmen, he met the man who helped change his life. Even though he experienced eviction, homelessness, and jail, all while having to provide for his young son, Gardener eventually became an extremely successful stockbroker. Check out the movie “Pursuit of Happyness” if you haven’t already.
Chelsea Handler, who now has her own late-night talk show, started out like so many people. After getting fired from job after job, this comedian finally had enough. Chelsea said, “I once waited on a group of 10 people, and one guy collected the money from the check and tipped me $20 on $600. I told him in front of everyone, ‘Jews like you give Jews like me a bad name.’ That was my last waitressing job.” Words like this are exactly what made Chelsea famous. She’s not afraid to say what’s on her mind, and the fans love it.