Environment Inspiring Success Stories 16.05.18

Published on May 16th, 2018 | by Jasmine Evans

The 3 Most Inspiring Success Stories

At some point in our lives, we have all experienced failure. It could be something as simple as missing the train to work on a morning, to not getting that job we so desperately wanted. But, what defines our strength is not the amount of failures had, but how we dust them off and keep fighting. For this #WisdomWednesday, the Post Office Shop have put together 3 of the most inspiring success stories from the most influential people in business.

Chris Gardner

For those of you that have had the privilege of watching the Hollywood movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, you will already be familiar with the life of Chris Gardner intimately portrayed by actor, Will Smith. Despite being known as the C.E.O and founder of Christopher Gardner International Holdings, Gardner suffered a troubled time before his success and found himself in extreme poverty and heartache.

Coming from a broken home and raised in a foster home, Gardner struggled to make ends meet in adult life. Not only did he fail miserably at his job as a medical equipment salesman, his partner also left him due to his financial struggles. Eventually, Gardner found himself and his son homeless, sleeping in public places and homeless shelters. That was until he became a full-time employee of the established brokerage firm, Dean Witter, after passing his brokerage exams in 1982 with flying colours.

In 1987, Gardner founded his own brokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co. The rest is history.

If you haven’t yet watched the movie, you should do this #wisdomwednesday. If you look closely, you can see Chris Gardner make an actual appearance in the ending scene as he walks by Will Smith.

J.K. Rowling

“By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew”.

It’s hard to imagine these to be the words of the author of the much-loved Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling. Once a poverty-stricken single mother struggling with depression, J.K. Rowling was far from the billionaire, creative-genius we know and love today.

After falling in and out of love with her husband, the author soon saw herself in a failed marriage and with a child she had to raise on her own. Struggling to provide for herself and her daughter on unemployment benefits, Rowling crept into deep depression. While her child was sleeping, she began doing what she loved again – writing.

After writing the first three chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Rowling sent them to numerous publishing companies and faced rejection after rejection. That was, until, she finally found a place with Bloomsbury Publishing in 1997. The books are now translated into 73 languages, have sold millions of copies worldwide. These have since spanned into film series, theatres, and even theme parks.

J.K. Rowling, “Thank you”.

Reed Hastings

The making of Netflix is one of the greatest underdog success stories of all time. The story tells us how an overdue rental from Blockbuster spawned the creation of the now $47 billion online streaming service.

In 1997, Reed Hastings accidentally lost an Apollo 13 VHS which he rented from Blockbuster. Angry at being charged $40 in overdue rental fees, Hastings dreamt of creating a movie rental service which required no due dates and no late fees. Then, there was the birth of Netflix.

As a humble 1000 title online DVD rental service, Netflix faced many difficulties during its early years. It almost ended up selling itself to its largest competitor, Blockbuster. To salvage the brand, Netflix met with Blockbuster to discuss a possible partnership whereby customers could pay for a DVD rental service where they would get their movies delivered, instead of physically visiting a Blockbuster branch. Netflix were basically laughed out of the Blockbuster offices.

However, Hastings still stuck to his vision to create the most successful online movie rental service with no strings attached. Years later, Netflix is rising in prosperity while Blockbuster is technically no more.

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