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50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Michael Jordan


Not everyone who’s on top today got there with success after success. More often than not, those who history best remembers were faced with numerous obstacles that forced them to work harder and show more determination than others.

Next time you’re feeling down about your failures in college or in a career, keep these fifty famous people in mind and remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first step towards success.

 

Successful People Who Failed At First

 

Business Gurus

These businessmen and the companies they founded are today known around the world, but as these stories show, their beginnings weren’t always smooth.

  1. Henry Ford: While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five time before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
  2. R. H. Macy: Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.
  3. F. W. Woolworth: Some may not know this name today, but Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores in the U.S. 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.
  4. Soichiro Honda: The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.
  5. Akio Morita: You may not have heard of Morita but you’ve undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony. Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.
  6. Bill Gates: Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.
  7. Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.
  8. Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

Scientists and Thinkers

These people are often regarded as some of the greatest minds of our century, but they often had to face great obstacles, the ridicule of their peers and the animosity of society.

  1. Albert Einstein: Most of us take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.
  2. Charles Darwin: In his early years, Darwin gave up on having a medical career and was often chastised by his father for being lazy and too dreamy. Darwin himself wrote, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.” Perhaps they judged too soon, as Darwin today is well-known for his scientific studies.
  3. Robert Goddard: Goddard today is hailed for his research and experimentation with liquid-fueled rockets, but during his lifetime his ideas were often rejected and mocked by his scientific peers who thought they were outrageous and impossible. Today rockets and space travel don’t seem far-fetched at all, due largely in part to the work of this scientist who worked against the feelings of the time.
  4. Isaac Newton: Newton was undoubtedly a genius when it came to math, but he had some failings early on. He never did particularly well in school and when put in charge of running the family farm, he failed miserably, so poorly in fact that an uncle took charge and sent him off to Cambridge where he finally blossomed into the scholar we know today.
  5. Socrates: Despite leaving no written records behind, Socrates is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the Classical era. Because of his new ideas, in his own time he was called “an immoral corrupter of youth” and was sentenced to death. Socrates didn’t let this stop him and kept right on, teaching up until he was forced to poison himself.
  6. Robert Sternberg: This big name in psychology received a C in his first college introductory psychology class with his teacher telling him that, “there was already a famous Sternberg in psychology and it was obvious there would not be another.” Sternberg showed him, however, graduating from Stanford with exceptional distinction in psychology, summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa and eventually becoming the President of the American Psychological Association.

Inventors

These inventors changed the face of the modern world, but not without a few failed prototypes along the way.

  1. Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.
  2. Orville and Wilbur Wright: These brothers battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

Public Figures

From politicians to talk show hosts, these figures had a few failures before they came out on top.

  1. Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.
  2. Abraham Lincoln: While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln’s life wasn’t so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed business and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.
  3. Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.”
  4. Harry S. Truman: This WWI vet, Senator, Vice President and eventual President eventually found success in his life, but not without a few missteps along the way. Truman started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing–seemingly a success at first–only go bankrupt a few years later.
  5. Dick Cheney: This recent Vice President and businessman made his way to the White House but managed to flunk out of Yale University, not once, but twice. Former President George W. Bush joked with Cheney about this fact, stating, “So now we know –if you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president.”

Hollywood Types

These faces ought to be familiar from the big screen, but these actors, actresses and directors saw their fair share of rejection and failure before they made it big.

  1. Jerry Seinfeld: Just about everybody knows who Seinfeld is, but the first time the young comedian walked on stage at a comedy club, he looked out at the audience, froze and was eventually jeered and booed off of the stage. Seinfeld knew he could do it, so he went back the next night, completed his set to laughter and applause, and the rest is history.
  2. Fred Astaire: In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer and kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.
  3. Sidney Poitier: After his first audition, Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Poitier vowed to show him that he could make it, going on to win an Oscar and become one of the most well-regarded actors in the business.
  4. Jeanne Moreau: As a young actress just starting out, this French actress was told by a casting director that she was simply not pretty enough to make it in films. He couldn’t have been more wrong as Moreau when on to star in nearly 100 films and win numerous awards for her performances.
  5. Charlie Chaplin: It’s hard to imagine film without the iconic Charlie Chaplin, but his act was initially rejected by Hollywood studio chiefs because they felt it was a little too nonsensical to ever sell.
  6. Lucille Ball: During her career, Ball had thirteen Emmy nominations and four wins, also earning the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors. Before starring in I Love Lucy, Ball was widely regarded as a failed actress and a B movie star. Even her drama instructors didn’t feel she could make it, telling her to try another profession. She, of course, proved them all wrong.
  7. Harrison Ford: In his first film, Ford was told by the movie execs that he simply didn’t have what it takes to be a star. Today, with numerous hits under his belt, iconic portrayals of characters like Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and a career that stretches decades, Ford can proudly show that he does, in fact, have what it takes.
  8. Marilyn Monroe: While Monroe’s star burned out early, she did have a period of great success in her life. Despite a rough upbringing and being told by modeling agents that she should instead consider being a secretary, Monroe became a pin-up, model and actress that still strikes a chord with people today.
  9. Oliver Stone: This Oscar-winning filmmaker began his first novel while at Yale, a project that eventually caused him to fail out of school. This would turn out to be a poor decision as the the text was rejected by publishers and was not published until 1998, at which time it was not well-received. After dropping out of school, Stone moved to Vietnam to teach English, later enlisting in the army and fighting in the war, a battle that earning two Purple Hearts and helped him find the inspiration for his later work that often center around war.

Writers and Artists

We’ve all heard about starving artists and struggling writers, but these stories show that sometimes all that work really does pay off with success in the long run.

  1. Vincent Van Gogh: During his lifetime, Van Gogh sold only one painting, and this was to a friend and only for a very small amount of money. While Van Gogh was never a success during his life, he plugged on with painting, sometimes starving to complete his over 800 known works. Today, they bring in hundreds of millions.
  2. Emily Dickinson: Recluse and poet Emily Dickinson is a commonly read and loved writer. Yet in her lifetime she was all but ignored, having fewer than a dozen poems published out of her almost 1,800 completed works.
  3. Theodor Seuss Giesel: Today nearly every child has read The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, yet 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.
  4. Charles Schultz: Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip has had enduring fame, yet this cartoonist had every cartoon he submitted rejected by his high school yearbook staff. Even after high school, Schultz didn’t have it easy, applying and being rejected for a position working with Walt Disney.
  5. Steven Spielberg: While today Spielberg’s name is synonymous with big budget, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television three times. He eventually attended school at another location, only to drop out to become a director before finishing. Thirty-five years after starting his degree, Spielberg returned to school in 2002 to finally complete his work and earn his BA.
  6. Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time.
  7. Zane Grey: Incredibly popular in the early 20th century, this adventure book writer began his career as a dentist, something he quickly began to hate. So, he began to write, only to see rejection after rejection for his works, being told eventually that he had no business being a writer and should given up. It took him years, but at 40, Zane finally got his first work published, leaving him with almost 90 books to his name and selling over 50 million copies worldwide.
  8. J. K. Rowling: Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.
  9. Monet: Today Monet’s work sells for millions of dollars and hangs in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Yet during his own time, it was mocked and rejected by the artistic elite, the Paris Salon. Monet kept at his impressionist style, which caught on and in many ways was a starting point for some major changes to art that ushered in the modern era.
  10. Jack London: This well-known American author wasn’t always such a success. While he would go on to publish popular novels like White Fang and The Call of the Wild, his first story received six hundred rejection slips before finally being accepted.
  11. Louisa May Alcott: Most people are familiar with Alcott’s most famous work, Little Women. Yet Alcott faced a bit of a battle to get her work out there and was was encouraged to find work as a servant by her family to make ends meet. It was her letters back home during her experience as a nurse in the Civil War that gave her the first big break she needed.

Musicians

While their music is some of the best selling, best loved and most popular around the world today, these musicians show that it takes a whole lot of determination to achieve success.

  1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mozart began composing at the age of five, writing over 600 pieces of music that today are lauded as some of the best ever created. Yet during his lifetime, Mozart didn’t have such an easy time, and was often restless, leading to his dismissal from a position as a court musician in Salzberg. He struggled to keep the support of the aristocracy and died with little to his name.
  2. Elvis Presley: As one of the best-selling artists of all time, Elvis has become a household name even years after his death. But back in 1954, Elvis was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
  3. Igor Stravinsky: In 1913 when Stravinsky debuted his now famous Rite of Spring, audiences rioted, running the composer out of town. Yet it was this very work that changed the way composers in the 19th century thought about music and cemented his place in musical history.
  4. The Beatles: Few people can deny the lasting power of this super group, still popular with listeners around the world today. Yet when they were just starting out, a recording company told them no. The were told “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,” two things the rest of the world couldn’t have disagreed with more.
  5. Ludwig van Beethoven: In his formative years, young Beethoven was incredibly awkward on the violin and was often so busy working on his own compositions that he neglected to practice. Despite his love of composing, his teachers felt he was hopeless at it and would never succeed with the violin or in composing. Beethoven kept plugging along, however, and composed some of the best-loved symphonies of all time–five of them while he was completely deaf.

Athletes

While some athletes rocket to fame, others endure a path fraught with a little more adversity, like those listed here.

  1. Michael Jordan: Most people wouldn’t believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
  2. Stan Smith: This 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. Smith went on to prove them wrong, showcasing his not-so-clumsy skills by winning Wimbledon, U. S. Open and eight Davis Cups.
  3. Babe Ruth: You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”
  4. Tom Landry: As the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Landry brought the team two Super Bowl victories, five NFC Championship victories and holds the records for the record for the most career wins. He also has the distinction of having one of the worst first seasons on record (winning no games) and winning five or fewer over the next four seasons.

I am the the Founder of Addicted2Success.com and I am so grateful you're here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. I'm proud to say through my podcast and through this website we have impacted over 100 million lives in the last 6 and a half years.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Rachna

    Jul 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very very nice site..

    • Parul

      Mar 28, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      This is very motivational article on success thank you for sharing this.

  2. pro football picks

    Mar 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Spot on with this write-up. I truly feel this website needs a great deal more of my attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more.
    Thanks for the information!

  3. Dr ani nnenna

    Oct 6, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Very inspiring listed. A thought activating list.

  4. Laura

    Apr 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I wish there are more details about how these people failed, how they restarted and grabbed new opportunities and finally succeeded. That will make the stories more convincing, and related to ordinary people.

  5. Trey

    Nov 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Inspiring. Infact, I will have to save this page. Thank you for this post

  6. Jam

    Feb 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Very Inspiring indeed!!!

  7. lisa o brien

    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks guy’s. You just saved my butt from a lot of thinking on my essay

  8. Bob Scorey

    Feb 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    bill lear

  9. dniel

    Oct 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I did not see Steve Jobs?

  10. Suchismita Pai

    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    What a lot of big names. We most often see these names on a success list. To see them as people who failed first.. it is inspiring in a very different way. Nice post.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Oct 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Agreed Suchismita, it is great to see that these achievers are all just human like the rest of us and that we do fail and make mistakes on the way to the top sometimes.

  11. Kellie Hosaka

    Mar 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Aloha!

    Wow! That is an incredible list! Thank you so much for posting all of these 50 successful people and their “failure” along the way.

    They key to success is consistency and persistancy… over & over & over.

    Much aloha & thank you,
    Kellie 🙂

  12. Aamir Musharraf

    Mar 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “He is foolish to blame the sea who is shipwrecked twice.”
    — Publilius Syrus

  13. Paul Foster

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Quite a large list! Very inspiring. Is it fair to conclude that a willingness to fail and not give up when you do fail, is a major key to success?

    • vivid

      Nov 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      there is no single key to the success. Success is not a simple lock with a single key. There is a combination to it. You get all combinations right, you will be able to open it. 🙂

  14. mikerosss

    May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

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Motivation

50 Cent Scored Half a Billion Dollars – How 50 Made a Killing Off Water

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Image Credit | The Source

In “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” author Dan Charnas traces how rap grew from its obscure roots in the ghettos of 1970s New York to its culmination as the world’s predominant youth pop culture and a multibillion-dollar industry.

The event that epitomized just how far hip-hop had come was the headline-grabbing partnership between the rapper 50 Cent and the upstart beverage company Glaceau, the maker of VitaminWater. It may well have been the biggest deal in hip-hop history, propelling 50 Cent’s personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars.

In this excerpt, Charnas outlines how it happened.

By the summer of 2003, 50 Cent’s debut album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” had sold more than 5 million copies, and he was easily on his way to becoming a multimillionaire on these sales alone.

Nonetheless, the rapper from Queens, who was born Curtis Jackson and had begun his career on the reputation of being shot nine times (a bullet was still lodged in his tongue), wasn’t content to remain a recording artist.

His young manager, Chris Lighty, himself a Bronx street kid turned businessman, was well-positioned to exploit 50’s stardom by creating multiple income streams. Lighty had come out of the Def Jam fold and managed such stars as Missy Elliott and LL Cool J.

With Lighty, 50 Cent created the “G-Unit” brand, including a record company, a clothing company, and a sneaker deal with Reebok’s RBK line. The G-Unit Clothing Company was a joint-venture deal, with hip-hop-influenced designer Marc Ecko fronting the money, handling the manufacturing and distribution, and splitting the profits fifty-fifty with 50.

At his Violator management company (named after a rough crew that Lighty ran with as a kid), Lighty helped pioneer the use of 900 numbers for his artists.

Over a decade later, he negotiated a different kind of phone deal: 50 Cent cellular ringtones to be sold for up to $2.99 per download. Lighty inked other agreements, too: a video game and a biopic with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures. When the agency that represented Lighty, CAA, balked at representing a rapper so closely associated with violence, Lighty secured a deal with an eager William Morris.

One of Lighty’s business acquaintances was Rohan Oza, a marketing executive who has just moved from Coca-Cola to a small Queens, N.Y., beverage company called Glaceau. Oza considered himself not a brand manager, but a brand messiah. He believed that passionate proselytizing of his products could transcend costly corporate ad campaigns.

Oza’s Vitamin Water brand was doing well at more than $100 million in sales, second only to Pepsi’s Propel brand in the $245 million “enhanced-water” market. He knew how to take them out.

Stealing a page from the hip-hop street-team and word-of-mouth ethos, Oza created a fleet of 10 “Glaceau Vitamin Water Tasting Vehicles,” staffed by 200 “hydrologists,” to cross the country and spread the gospel of Vitamin Water’s growing line. But hydrologists working one-on-one with consumers wouldn’t break Vitamin Water out of the gourmet-deli and new-age-health-food market.

Oza needed more than brand messiahs to convert individuals. He needed brand ambassadors to influence millions. That’s when Oza saw a commercial for RBK sneakers in which Lighty, rather sneakily, had his artist, 50 Cent, chug a bottle of Vitamin Water.

In a phone call soon thereafter, Lighty told Oza that he wanted to find a way to work together to make Vitamin Water huge. It turned out that 50 Cent  had a true love of the product. He had grown up around alcoholics, so he didn’t drink. Instead, he spent hours a day working out and ate healthy. Like Oza who got bored with imbibing the recommended eight glasses of plain water a day, 50 had found Vitamin Water a more pleasurable way to hydrate.

On Oza’s desk in his New York office, at that very moment, was a test bottle of a new Vitamin Water flavor, recently formulated by Glaceau’s head of product development, Carol Dollard, who had worked hard to get more vitamins and nutrients into their drinks – much more than the 2 to 3 percent of the recommended daily allowance in other “enhanced” waters.

Recently, Oza had asked Dollard for a product that would make it easy to highlight this difference. She had returned with a flavor that contained 50 percent of the RDA of seven different vitamins and minerals. Oza’s marketing team responded with a great name for the new variety: Formula 50.

What better way to collaborate, Oza suggested, than to have 50 Cent endorse this new product? But Lighty didn’t want an endorsement deal. He didn’t want cash. “We want to invest,” Lighty said.

By 2004, 50 Cent was undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest pop stars. But it took some amount of convincing on Oza’s part to overcome the trepidation of Glaceau CEO Darius Bikoff and president Mike Repole. 50 Cent’s association with gunplay presented a problem: What if their chief spokesperson ended up dead in a rap beef?

But the 50 Cent who showed up for his first meeting with Bikoff was surprisingly different from the rapper’s public image: calm, respectful and deliberate, without too many flamboyant flourishes. Lighty was the rapper’s perfect business complement.

In the weeks and months thereafter, Lighty and Oza hammered out the terms of a deal. 50 Cent would take a stake in the privately owned company, one that would graduate over time and escalate if the company hit certain numbers.

The two entities – 50 Cent on one hand and Glaceau on the other – signed an agreement of mutual confidentiality. Still, word got around that Lighty had negotiated something close to, but not more than, 10 percent of the value of the company. During these discussions, Lighty and 50 deliberated the attributes of their new product. Oza presented the pair with several flavor options for Formula 50. For Chris Lighty, the choice was simple.

Despite the high-minded science of Glaceau, their product was basically a smarter, more upscale, more aspirational version of the ultimate ghetto beverage on which Lighty and 50 had grown up: the “quarter-waters” sold in every bodega, deli and convenience store from Queens to Compton.

The quarter-waters (so named because they once cost 25 cents) were just like the Kool-Aid everybody drank at home. However, nobody drank wild flavors like strawberry and kiwi in the ‘hood, because they drank grape. Formula 50 had to be grape. Oza hated the comparison to such base beverages, but he had to admire the thought process of his new partners.

vitamin water 50 centThe 50 Cent-Vitamin Water deal was announced in October 2004. Behind the scenes, the relationship between the two parties wasn’t always smooth. When Lighty, in one of his first interviews about the deal, spoke of building the brand with the ultimate goal of selling it, Darius Bikoff phoned Lighty, screaming at him for disclosing the strategy. Within a few hours, Bikoff looked up to find a livid Lighty in his office, glowering at him. Lighty had driven from Manhattan to Queens to tell Bikoff one thing. “Don’t curse at me,” Lighty said, a heartbeat away from becoming a Violator once more.

Once they understood each other, Bikoff and Lighty, Vitamin Water and 50 Cent built a strong alliance. Soon billboards and bus stops across the country linked the images and joined the fates of two upstarts from Queens – one a scrappy, new-age beverage company; the other a pugnacious, provocative rapper with an eye for opportunity and a history of hitching himself to winners.

In March 2007, Chris Lighty and his friend Sean Combs were riding together from Heathrow airport to a London hotel in the back of a Maybach when Combs got some news over the phone. Fellow rap superstar Jay-Z and his two fashion-entrepreneur partners, Alex Bize and Norton Cher, had just sold the rights to their Rocawear trademark to a public company, the Iconix Brand Group.

Lighty could not stop repeating the number he heard, as he stared at Combs in disbelief. “Two hundred million? Two hundred million?” Actually, at $219 million, the sale of the Rocawear brand name was, at the time, the biggest deal in hip-hop history. Combs responded in the only way he knew how. “I need a billion for mine,” he huffed. But of those two men, it would be Lighty who reached that symbolic mark first.

Just two month later, in May 2007, the Coca-Cola Company purchased Glaceau for $4.1 billion. In the media, initial reports put 50 Cent’s cashout at $400 million, calculated by dividing the purchase amount by 50 Cent’s reputed 10 percent share. But in reality, 50 Cent’s take was much less. Another stakeholder needed to be paid off first – the diversified Indian conglomerate Tata had invested $677 million for 30 percent of Glaceau in 2006, and got $1.2 billion when Coca-Cola bought them out.

When all the other costs had been deducted, 50 Cent was thought to have walked away with a figure somewhere between $60 million and $100 million, putting his net worth at nearly a half billion dollars.

On his next album, 50 Cent could barely contain his own incredulity at the power of the dollar. “I took quarter-water, sold it in bottles for two bucks,” he rapped. “Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions. What the [f#!k]?” But Lighty silently pocketed his 15 percent and kept it moving.

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Motivation

8 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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encouragement
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles.

If you’re in a situation like this, then know you’re not alone. You might be feeling down due to a reason like failing at something, breaking up with someone you dearly loved, losing your loved one, not getting a good job, or being betrayed by the person you trusted the most or anything along those lines.

Remember this; there is hope for everyone including you. You are going to come back from all of this no matter what. That’s why there is a saying, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.”

Here are 7 powerful quotes to help lift you up in your time of need:

1. “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other one is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” – Dalai Lama

This quote said by his holy highness Dalai Lama is so compelling about life. You live in the present, neither in the past nor the future.

Think about it this way, can you change what is already done or can you change what is going to be done? The answer is, no, you can’t because nobody can. It’s wise to forget the bad things from the past and do something in the present that will help improve your future.

2. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Have you ever thought of these beautiful words of encouragement from Sir Albert Einstein? It is so profound and practical. Sometimes we are miserable because people try to fit us into a mold where we don’t belong, and thus we too start feeling that we are useless. However, that’s not the case.

We all are gifted with abilities that we overlook only because of the fear of being rejected or neglected. You are not supposed to rely on people’s perspective about you if you know what your real potential is.

3. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

These words of encouragement from Oprah Winfrey gave me so much strength that I couldn’t resist to quote it here.

Many times we give up on our dreams and wishes only because we think it is impossible. We must believe in ourselves and tell ourselves that we can do it and it is possible. You shouldn’t be afraid of failures and setbacks but instead welcome them.

4. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Think about this, still water is stagnant water. Because of this, even water has to keep flowing to remain useful. If you want to become successful, you must keep lifting yourself up and keep moving.

Always remember to not let the hardships hold you down and wait for a miracle to happen. You’re already on the right track so nothing should stop you from going further in your life.

5. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

All our activities, throughout this life, are controlled by our mind. Believe it or not, it’s true. It is correctly said that what you think you become.

People around you are not always going to pull you up, and you might meet people who are going to supply negativity to your mind. However, it is up to you whom to let in your mind and whom you should never. When you are in control of your thoughts and mind, nothing and nobody can distract you.

6. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde

Difficult times are very tricky, because they can make you believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t realize that today’s struggles are for a better tomorrow.

They’re not permanent, and they’re not going to last forever. Once you are determined to change your situation then even God will help you with that. Just remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

7. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are influenced by our environment, friends, family, and work, yet it’s up to us to make what we want of our life.

For example, if you want to be a writer, do everything you possibly can to do it. Surround yourself with people who truly want to write, and make sure to write every single day. You’re the only one who can make your dreams a reality, so make sure you do whatever it takes to keep pushing your limits.

8. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”  – Deepak Chopra

This quote is too profound and subtle that summarizes this whole article. It might change the way you look at your problems right now.

There are circumstances to knock you down, issues you are not able to solve, and they seem completely out of your control. It is not at all easy to keep calm at this point, however, if you learn how to be still in the midst of all the chaos, you are a winner. You have won half the battle just by doing this.

Winning and losing is just a part of life. No matter in which phase of your life you are, remember that there is a purpose behind it and you will know what that purpose is at the right time.

One day you will be grateful for all the struggles and mistakes because they will make you a stronger, better, and a more beautiful human being.

Which one of these quotes inspired you the most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

Music Motivation: Every Superhero Needs Theme Music and That Includes You

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Every superhero, fictional or real, needs theme music. And every one of us underdogs needs theme music too! The unmistakable sound of the intro beat starts, your energy level rises, you hear “…the eye of the tiger,  it’s the thrill of the fight…”, instantly you are ready to take on your next challenge as if Creed or Rocky, or some old school Wu-Tang song comes on and suddenly you’re reminded of Marvel’s Luke Cage action scenes and are now ready to, figuratively, save Harlem, your neighborhood, and the world!

Music is part of our daily lives. It’s often around us, even when we don’t mean for it to be. To reach peak performance in our day-to-day routine, it’s crucial to be aware of the music around us and work to consciously choose the music we are around.

Music moves us in more ways than you might think, and just like our friends, our hobbies, our meals and anything else which gives us that extra swagger, music is a powerful tool that can create all the difference in our mood, our productivity, and our results. Whether you are on the come up, the comeback, or fighting to keep what you hustled so hard to create, the journey is a daily grind and music can help you keep that grind going, and going strong.

Groovy Science

Your daily hustle can be stressful. Listening to music, according to Medical News Today, has many health benefits. Music can reduce your stress and anxiety, ramp up your memory and improve medical conditions such as seizures or brain damage caused from strokes.

Music can even help you ideate differently because it makes you more creative overall, according to a team of researchers at the University of Technology Sydney and Radboud University in Nijmegen. So, cue up some music and get your creative juices flowing. Your stress will go down and your creativity will go up, leading you to feel happier about yourself and your life overall.

“Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there… weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep and college students studying with music as a background… music is and was [always] part of the fabric of everyday life.” – Daniel Levitin

Sometimes when you’re on the long road to success you start losing motivation for your goals. Eventually, many of us come to a crossroads of moving forward or turning back, and sometimes all it takes is a quick motivational activity to get your energy back. You could make a vision board, refine your core value, update your bucket list, create a to-do list, and so on.

I’m all for each of those as ways to get your swagger back and keep it, but at the same time, sometimes daily motivation calls for new approaches too. Especially approaches that are easily accessible at any moment and don’t require a huge investment of time, money or other resources you may or may not have.

An intentional use of music could be the new approach that you take to help you get through those days when you feel like giving up. Time for you to have your “Eye of the Tiger” and make a comeback. And “Protect ‘Yo Neck” and others to save the day like Luke Cage. Then “Cheers” with everybody that knows your name and always glad you came. Let’s create our own theme music and intentionally enjoy the health benefits and swagger of music.

Your Theme Music

Here’s how to create your personal soundtrack so you can have something to motivate you anytime you need it, no matter where you’re at. Begin with a playlist of about five songs. Pick songs that will raise your energy level and remind you of your purpose, important goals, and/or your core values.

Then create a name for your playlist and a nickname for yourself. You can refresh your personal soundtrack as your priorities and goals change. And for us underdog music junkies already bothered by the five song limit, you can create an additional playlist called “The B-Side” for all other songs.

Here’s an example (You’ll get to see mine!):

Playlist NameThe Voice of the Underdog!

Your NicknameThe O.G. aka The Original Gregory aka Mr. Reset Button

Five Songs Playlist:

1: “The People” by Common. – I do what I do for the people aka the Underdogs!

2: “The Point of It All” by Anthony Hamilton – …because a healthy love life is part of a healthy life.

3: “Reach” by Robyn Hood – I’m gonna keep reaching and hustling hard.

4: “Sky’s The Limit” by Biggie Smalls – I mean, the title says it all, right?!  

5: “Hate It or Love It” by The Game, 50 Cent – Hate it or love it Underdogs will be on top!

Bonus Track: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron – All of the turnaround won’t be televised, but it will happen. Keep pushin!

Playlist Playful Description:

I do it for “The People” and the people I love, that’s “The Point of It All.” Now is the time I “Reach” even higher because “The Sky’s The Limit.” “Hate It or Love It” Underdogs are gonna be on top. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” but there will be music playing and I will make it happen!

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono

Press Play Daily

Well, what ya waiting for!? Music helps with creativity so turn on some of your favorite music right now and start brainstorming the songs that have meaning to you, will motivate you and inspire your daily hustle.

When you’re done creating your personal soundtrack, you’ll have mobile motivation that is only a press of the play button away. What will be your theme music? Really, what will it be? Because every one of us underdogs needs theme music so we can get and stay motivated to get from Front Street to Swaggerback Boulevard.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The One Crucial Ingredient for Success That Motivation Can’t Give You

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Some people say motivation is literally the only thing you need to be successful. They say it is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals. But is that really true? A lot of content is produced online that’s aimed to motivate and move you into massive action in the hopes that you’ll finally become successful.

While I do think the intentions behind such claims are noble, most people totally misunderstand how motivation works. More importantly, they’re totally unaware of the real determining factor behind an individual’s success.

Let me start off by debunking a colossal myth about motivation: Motivation equals success. This is not true. Here’s the truth: Motivation does not equal success for you. The only thing that equals success for you is you and the way you develop and rearrange your mind.

You can spend as much time as you like watching, following and investing your money on motivational courses or seminars but there’s no guarantee your life will transform. It’s a great marketing line, but certainly not the way success works.

Yes, your guru knows just how to press the right buttons. Each time he or she speaks and shares a rags to riches story, you feel yourself rising from that pit of despair threatening your very existence. Nonetheless, just writing down those goals or visualizing success is not how results are created in your life. If you’ve been an avid personal development student, this has probably started sinking in.

So am I saying you should abandon your current craving for watching Abraham Hicks and Tony Robbins or those well crafted Goalcast videos? Heck no. These videos and seminars pump you up and keep your fire burning. It’s awesome! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with strategically setting aside some time to regularly feed yourself content that raises your spirits. The problem is when that’s all you do.

“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace

As it so happens, most people are stuck at this point, which is why they see no results even after reading the books, watching the videos and attending the seminars. Sure, a few things may change here and there, but true and permanent transformation – that’s something not enough people are experiencing. And here’s why.

Most people are still missing this crucial ingredient that is fundamental to both permanent transformation and success: True conviction and habit formation. In other words, they lack the belief which forms the habit that results in success.

Your results are determined by your actions. The actions you take are determined by your behavior which is under the direct influence of your habits and as we all know, your habits are not formed through intellectual reasoning or applied force. In fact, your habits and beliefs can’t even be formed instantly.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does, if your creative mind and powerhouse does not get impressed upon with that idea of riches and success, no physical result will appear.

This is perhaps the one thing most motivational gurus don’t emphasize enough. If they did, we’d see more people invested  in doing “inner work” instead of scrolling through Instagram feeds hungry for another motivational quote.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

The point to take home is simply this: Your inner convictions and the habits you form constitute your ruling mental state. After that motivational video is over, and the shot of adrenaline dies out, you’ll jump back into whatever ruling state your mind has set as the default pattern.

Therefore if you truly want to experience the success your gurus are painting for you as a possibility, master the skill of habit formation.

Get good at creating habits that prompt actions that lead to success; develop deep beliefs that serve you and consistently impress your creative powerhouse with the right feeling and the end result will inevitably be success.

Everything else you find externally is at best a clue and at worst a distraction but definitely not “the magical ingredient.” If at all there is such a thing as a magical ingredient to fast track your success, it will only be found by looking within.

So take an honest self-inventory right now. How much time each day goes into feeding your motivational craving, and how much real inner work and habit formation are you invested in?

What is one goal you’d like to succeed in accomplishing before the end of the year? Share with us below!

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Success Advice

Practice These 4 No’s for Greater Success

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Image Credit: Unsplash

In much of the success literature and in the applied motivational literature that is developed today, the explicit suggestions contained within are to practice certain behaviors for a certain outcome. So, you may see information with titles such as, “Do these four things for greater happiness”, or, “Perform the seven steps every morning for more focus”. (more…)

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Rachna

    Jul 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Very very nice site..

    • Parul

      Mar 28, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      This is very motivational article on success thank you for sharing this.

  2. pro football picks

    Mar 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Spot on with this write-up. I truly feel this website needs a great deal more of my attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more.
    Thanks for the information!

  3. Dr ani nnenna

    Oct 6, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Very inspiring listed. A thought activating list.

  4. Laura

    Apr 30, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I wish there are more details about how these people failed, how they restarted and grabbed new opportunities and finally succeeded. That will make the stories more convincing, and related to ordinary people.

  5. Trey

    Nov 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Inspiring. Infact, I will have to save this page. Thank you for this post

  6. Jam

    Feb 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Very Inspiring indeed!!!

  7. lisa o brien

    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks guy’s. You just saved my butt from a lot of thinking on my essay

  8. Bob Scorey

    Feb 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    bill lear

  9. dniel

    Oct 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I did not see Steve Jobs?

  10. Suchismita Pai

    Oct 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    What a lot of big names. We most often see these names on a success list. To see them as people who failed first.. it is inspiring in a very different way. Nice post.

    • Joel

      Joel

      Oct 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Agreed Suchismita, it is great to see that these achievers are all just human like the rest of us and that we do fail and make mistakes on the way to the top sometimes.

  11. Kellie Hosaka

    Mar 20, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Aloha!

    Wow! That is an incredible list! Thank you so much for posting all of these 50 successful people and their “failure” along the way.

    They key to success is consistency and persistancy… over & over & over.

    Much aloha & thank you,
    Kellie 🙂

  12. Aamir Musharraf

    Mar 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

    “He is foolish to blame the sea who is shipwrecked twice.”
    — Publilius Syrus

  13. Paul Foster

    Feb 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Quite a large list! Very inspiring. Is it fair to conclude that a willingness to fail and not give up when you do fail, is a major key to success?

    • vivid

      Nov 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      there is no single key to the success. Success is not a simple lock with a single key. There is a combination to it. You get all combinations right, you will be able to open it. 🙂

  14. mikerosss

    May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

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Motivation

50 Cent Scored Half a Billion Dollars – How 50 Made a Killing Off Water

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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Image Credit | The Source

In “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop,” author Dan Charnas traces how rap grew from its obscure roots in the ghettos of 1970s New York to its culmination as the world’s predominant youth pop culture and a multibillion-dollar industry.

The event that epitomized just how far hip-hop had come was the headline-grabbing partnership between the rapper 50 Cent and the upstart beverage company Glaceau, the maker of VitaminWater. It may well have been the biggest deal in hip-hop history, propelling 50 Cent’s personal net worth toward a half-billion dollars.

In this excerpt, Charnas outlines how it happened.

By the summer of 2003, 50 Cent’s debut album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” had sold more than 5 million copies, and he was easily on his way to becoming a multimillionaire on these sales alone.

Nonetheless, the rapper from Queens, who was born Curtis Jackson and had begun his career on the reputation of being shot nine times (a bullet was still lodged in his tongue), wasn’t content to remain a recording artist.

His young manager, Chris Lighty, himself a Bronx street kid turned businessman, was well-positioned to exploit 50’s stardom by creating multiple income streams. Lighty had come out of the Def Jam fold and managed such stars as Missy Elliott and LL Cool J.

With Lighty, 50 Cent created the “G-Unit” brand, including a record company, a clothing company, and a sneaker deal with Reebok’s RBK line. The G-Unit Clothing Company was a joint-venture deal, with hip-hop-influenced designer Marc Ecko fronting the money, handling the manufacturing and distribution, and splitting the profits fifty-fifty with 50.

At his Violator management company (named after a rough crew that Lighty ran with as a kid), Lighty helped pioneer the use of 900 numbers for his artists.

Over a decade later, he negotiated a different kind of phone deal: 50 Cent cellular ringtones to be sold for up to $2.99 per download. Lighty inked other agreements, too: a video game and a biopic with MTV Films and Paramount Pictures. When the agency that represented Lighty, CAA, balked at representing a rapper so closely associated with violence, Lighty secured a deal with an eager William Morris.

One of Lighty’s business acquaintances was Rohan Oza, a marketing executive who has just moved from Coca-Cola to a small Queens, N.Y., beverage company called Glaceau. Oza considered himself not a brand manager, but a brand messiah. He believed that passionate proselytizing of his products could transcend costly corporate ad campaigns.

Oza’s Vitamin Water brand was doing well at more than $100 million in sales, second only to Pepsi’s Propel brand in the $245 million “enhanced-water” market. He knew how to take them out.

Stealing a page from the hip-hop street-team and word-of-mouth ethos, Oza created a fleet of 10 “Glaceau Vitamin Water Tasting Vehicles,” staffed by 200 “hydrologists,” to cross the country and spread the gospel of Vitamin Water’s growing line. But hydrologists working one-on-one with consumers wouldn’t break Vitamin Water out of the gourmet-deli and new-age-health-food market.

Oza needed more than brand messiahs to convert individuals. He needed brand ambassadors to influence millions. That’s when Oza saw a commercial for RBK sneakers in which Lighty, rather sneakily, had his artist, 50 Cent, chug a bottle of Vitamin Water.

In a phone call soon thereafter, Lighty told Oza that he wanted to find a way to work together to make Vitamin Water huge. It turned out that 50 Cent  had a true love of the product. He had grown up around alcoholics, so he didn’t drink. Instead, he spent hours a day working out and ate healthy. Like Oza who got bored with imbibing the recommended eight glasses of plain water a day, 50 had found Vitamin Water a more pleasurable way to hydrate.

On Oza’s desk in his New York office, at that very moment, was a test bottle of a new Vitamin Water flavor, recently formulated by Glaceau’s head of product development, Carol Dollard, who had worked hard to get more vitamins and nutrients into their drinks – much more than the 2 to 3 percent of the recommended daily allowance in other “enhanced” waters.

Recently, Oza had asked Dollard for a product that would make it easy to highlight this difference. She had returned with a flavor that contained 50 percent of the RDA of seven different vitamins and minerals. Oza’s marketing team responded with a great name for the new variety: Formula 50.

What better way to collaborate, Oza suggested, than to have 50 Cent endorse this new product? But Lighty didn’t want an endorsement deal. He didn’t want cash. “We want to invest,” Lighty said.

By 2004, 50 Cent was undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest pop stars. But it took some amount of convincing on Oza’s part to overcome the trepidation of Glaceau CEO Darius Bikoff and president Mike Repole. 50 Cent’s association with gunplay presented a problem: What if their chief spokesperson ended up dead in a rap beef?

But the 50 Cent who showed up for his first meeting with Bikoff was surprisingly different from the rapper’s public image: calm, respectful and deliberate, without too many flamboyant flourishes. Lighty was the rapper’s perfect business complement.

In the weeks and months thereafter, Lighty and Oza hammered out the terms of a deal. 50 Cent would take a stake in the privately owned company, one that would graduate over time and escalate if the company hit certain numbers.

The two entities – 50 Cent on one hand and Glaceau on the other – signed an agreement of mutual confidentiality. Still, word got around that Lighty had negotiated something close to, but not more than, 10 percent of the value of the company. During these discussions, Lighty and 50 deliberated the attributes of their new product. Oza presented the pair with several flavor options for Formula 50. For Chris Lighty, the choice was simple.

Despite the high-minded science of Glaceau, their product was basically a smarter, more upscale, more aspirational version of the ultimate ghetto beverage on which Lighty and 50 had grown up: the “quarter-waters” sold in every bodega, deli and convenience store from Queens to Compton.

The quarter-waters (so named because they once cost 25 cents) were just like the Kool-Aid everybody drank at home. However, nobody drank wild flavors like strawberry and kiwi in the ‘hood, because they drank grape. Formula 50 had to be grape. Oza hated the comparison to such base beverages, but he had to admire the thought process of his new partners.

vitamin water 50 centThe 50 Cent-Vitamin Water deal was announced in October 2004. Behind the scenes, the relationship between the two parties wasn’t always smooth. When Lighty, in one of his first interviews about the deal, spoke of building the brand with the ultimate goal of selling it, Darius Bikoff phoned Lighty, screaming at him for disclosing the strategy. Within a few hours, Bikoff looked up to find a livid Lighty in his office, glowering at him. Lighty had driven from Manhattan to Queens to tell Bikoff one thing. “Don’t curse at me,” Lighty said, a heartbeat away from becoming a Violator once more.

Once they understood each other, Bikoff and Lighty, Vitamin Water and 50 Cent built a strong alliance. Soon billboards and bus stops across the country linked the images and joined the fates of two upstarts from Queens – one a scrappy, new-age beverage company; the other a pugnacious, provocative rapper with an eye for opportunity and a history of hitching himself to winners.

In March 2007, Chris Lighty and his friend Sean Combs were riding together from Heathrow airport to a London hotel in the back of a Maybach when Combs got some news over the phone. Fellow rap superstar Jay-Z and his two fashion-entrepreneur partners, Alex Bize and Norton Cher, had just sold the rights to their Rocawear trademark to a public company, the Iconix Brand Group.

Lighty could not stop repeating the number he heard, as he stared at Combs in disbelief. “Two hundred million? Two hundred million?” Actually, at $219 million, the sale of the Rocawear brand name was, at the time, the biggest deal in hip-hop history. Combs responded in the only way he knew how. “I need a billion for mine,” he huffed. But of those two men, it would be Lighty who reached that symbolic mark first.

Just two month later, in May 2007, the Coca-Cola Company purchased Glaceau for $4.1 billion. In the media, initial reports put 50 Cent’s cashout at $400 million, calculated by dividing the purchase amount by 50 Cent’s reputed 10 percent share. But in reality, 50 Cent’s take was much less. Another stakeholder needed to be paid off first – the diversified Indian conglomerate Tata had invested $677 million for 30 percent of Glaceau in 2006, and got $1.2 billion when Coca-Cola bought them out.

When all the other costs had been deducted, 50 Cent was thought to have walked away with a figure somewhere between $60 million and $100 million, putting his net worth at nearly a half billion dollars.

On his next album, 50 Cent could barely contain his own incredulity at the power of the dollar. “I took quarter-water, sold it in bottles for two bucks,” he rapped. “Coca-Cola came and bought it for billions. What the [f#!k]?” But Lighty silently pocketed his 15 percent and kept it moving.

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8 Powerful and Inspiring Words of Encouragement to Help Lift You Up

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

When you’re going through tough times, all you need is sympathy. You just need someone to tell you how strong you are and how you can cope with the situation. Essentially, you’re waiting for a soothing voice that can calm your inner storm and genuinely help with your troubles.

If you’re in a situation like this, then know you’re not alone. You might be feeling down due to a reason like failing at something, breaking up with someone you dearly loved, losing your loved one, not getting a good job, or being betrayed by the person you trusted the most or anything along those lines.

Remember this; there is hope for everyone including you. You are going to come back from all of this no matter what. That’s why there is a saying, “Every dark cloud has a silver lining.”

Here are 7 powerful quotes to help lift you up in your time of need:

1. “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other one is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” – Dalai Lama

This quote said by his holy highness Dalai Lama is so compelling about life. You live in the present, neither in the past nor the future.

Think about it this way, can you change what is already done or can you change what is going to be done? The answer is, no, you can’t because nobody can. It’s wise to forget the bad things from the past and do something in the present that will help improve your future.

2. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

Have you ever thought of these beautiful words of encouragement from Sir Albert Einstein? It is so profound and practical. Sometimes we are miserable because people try to fit us into a mold where we don’t belong, and thus we too start feeling that we are useless. However, that’s not the case.

We all are gifted with abilities that we overlook only because of the fear of being rejected or neglected. You are not supposed to rely on people’s perspective about you if you know what your real potential is.

3. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

These words of encouragement from Oprah Winfrey gave me so much strength that I couldn’t resist to quote it here.

Many times we give up on our dreams and wishes only because we think it is impossible. We must believe in ourselves and tell ourselves that we can do it and it is possible. You shouldn’t be afraid of failures and setbacks but instead welcome them.

4. “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Think about this, still water is stagnant water. Because of this, even water has to keep flowing to remain useful. If you want to become successful, you must keep lifting yourself up and keep moving.

Always remember to not let the hardships hold you down and wait for a miracle to happen. You’re already on the right track so nothing should stop you from going further in your life.

5. “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

All our activities, throughout this life, are controlled by our mind. Believe it or not, it’s true. It is correctly said that what you think you become.

People around you are not always going to pull you up, and you might meet people who are going to supply negativity to your mind. However, it is up to you whom to let in your mind and whom you should never. When you are in control of your thoughts and mind, nothing and nobody can distract you.

6. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde

Difficult times are very tricky, because they can make you believe that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t realize that today’s struggles are for a better tomorrow.

They’re not permanent, and they’re not going to last forever. Once you are determined to change your situation then even God will help you with that. Just remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

7. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are influenced by our environment, friends, family, and work, yet it’s up to us to make what we want of our life.

For example, if you want to be a writer, do everything you possibly can to do it. Surround yourself with people who truly want to write, and make sure to write every single day. You’re the only one who can make your dreams a reality, so make sure you do whatever it takes to keep pushing your limits.

8. “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”  – Deepak Chopra

This quote is too profound and subtle that summarizes this whole article. It might change the way you look at your problems right now.

There are circumstances to knock you down, issues you are not able to solve, and they seem completely out of your control. It is not at all easy to keep calm at this point, however, if you learn how to be still in the midst of all the chaos, you are a winner. You have won half the battle just by doing this.

Winning and losing is just a part of life. No matter in which phase of your life you are, remember that there is a purpose behind it and you will know what that purpose is at the right time.

One day you will be grateful for all the struggles and mistakes because they will make you a stronger, better, and a more beautiful human being.

Which one of these quotes inspired you the most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

Music Motivation: Every Superhero Needs Theme Music and That Includes You

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Every superhero, fictional or real, needs theme music. And every one of us underdogs needs theme music too! The unmistakable sound of the intro beat starts, your energy level rises, you hear “…the eye of the tiger,  it’s the thrill of the fight…”, instantly you are ready to take on your next challenge as if Creed or Rocky, or some old school Wu-Tang song comes on and suddenly you’re reminded of Marvel’s Luke Cage action scenes and are now ready to, figuratively, save Harlem, your neighborhood, and the world!

Music is part of our daily lives. It’s often around us, even when we don’t mean for it to be. To reach peak performance in our day-to-day routine, it’s crucial to be aware of the music around us and work to consciously choose the music we are around.

Music moves us in more ways than you might think, and just like our friends, our hobbies, our meals and anything else which gives us that extra swagger, music is a powerful tool that can create all the difference in our mood, our productivity, and our results. Whether you are on the come up, the comeback, or fighting to keep what you hustled so hard to create, the journey is a daily grind and music can help you keep that grind going, and going strong.

Groovy Science

Your daily hustle can be stressful. Listening to music, according to Medical News Today, has many health benefits. Music can reduce your stress and anxiety, ramp up your memory and improve medical conditions such as seizures or brain damage caused from strokes.

Music can even help you ideate differently because it makes you more creative overall, according to a team of researchers at the University of Technology Sydney and Radboud University in Nijmegen. So, cue up some music and get your creative juices flowing. Your stress will go down and your creativity will go up, leading you to feel happier about yourself and your life overall.

“Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there… weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep and college students studying with music as a background… music is and was [always] part of the fabric of everyday life.” – Daniel Levitin

Sometimes when you’re on the long road to success you start losing motivation for your goals. Eventually, many of us come to a crossroads of moving forward or turning back, and sometimes all it takes is a quick motivational activity to get your energy back. You could make a vision board, refine your core value, update your bucket list, create a to-do list, and so on.

I’m all for each of those as ways to get your swagger back and keep it, but at the same time, sometimes daily motivation calls for new approaches too. Especially approaches that are easily accessible at any moment and don’t require a huge investment of time, money or other resources you may or may not have.

An intentional use of music could be the new approach that you take to help you get through those days when you feel like giving up. Time for you to have your “Eye of the Tiger” and make a comeback. And “Protect ‘Yo Neck” and others to save the day like Luke Cage. Then “Cheers” with everybody that knows your name and always glad you came. Let’s create our own theme music and intentionally enjoy the health benefits and swagger of music.

Your Theme Music

Here’s how to create your personal soundtrack so you can have something to motivate you anytime you need it, no matter where you’re at. Begin with a playlist of about five songs. Pick songs that will raise your energy level and remind you of your purpose, important goals, and/or your core values.

Then create a name for your playlist and a nickname for yourself. You can refresh your personal soundtrack as your priorities and goals change. And for us underdog music junkies already bothered by the five song limit, you can create an additional playlist called “The B-Side” for all other songs.

Here’s an example (You’ll get to see mine!):

Playlist NameThe Voice of the Underdog!

Your NicknameThe O.G. aka The Original Gregory aka Mr. Reset Button

Five Songs Playlist:

1: “The People” by Common. – I do what I do for the people aka the Underdogs!

2: “The Point of It All” by Anthony Hamilton – …because a healthy love life is part of a healthy life.

3: “Reach” by Robyn Hood – I’m gonna keep reaching and hustling hard.

4: “Sky’s The Limit” by Biggie Smalls – I mean, the title says it all, right?!  

5: “Hate It or Love It” by The Game, 50 Cent – Hate it or love it Underdogs will be on top!

Bonus Track: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron – All of the turnaround won’t be televised, but it will happen. Keep pushin!

Playlist Playful Description:

I do it for “The People” and the people I love, that’s “The Point of It All.” Now is the time I “Reach” even higher because “The Sky’s The Limit.” “Hate It or Love It” Underdogs are gonna be on top. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” but there will be music playing and I will make it happen!

“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono

Press Play Daily

Well, what ya waiting for!? Music helps with creativity so turn on some of your favorite music right now and start brainstorming the songs that have meaning to you, will motivate you and inspire your daily hustle.

When you’re done creating your personal soundtrack, you’ll have mobile motivation that is only a press of the play button away. What will be your theme music? Really, what will it be? Because every one of us underdogs needs theme music so we can get and stay motivated to get from Front Street to Swaggerback Boulevard.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Motivation

The One Crucial Ingredient for Success That Motivation Can’t Give You

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Some people say motivation is literally the only thing you need to be successful. They say it is the crucial element in setting and attaining goals. But is that really true? A lot of content is produced online that’s aimed to motivate and move you into massive action in the hopes that you’ll finally become successful.

While I do think the intentions behind such claims are noble, most people totally misunderstand how motivation works. More importantly, they’re totally unaware of the real determining factor behind an individual’s success.

Let me start off by debunking a colossal myth about motivation: Motivation equals success. This is not true. Here’s the truth: Motivation does not equal success for you. The only thing that equals success for you is you and the way you develop and rearrange your mind.

You can spend as much time as you like watching, following and investing your money on motivational courses or seminars but there’s no guarantee your life will transform. It’s a great marketing line, but certainly not the way success works.

Yes, your guru knows just how to press the right buttons. Each time he or she speaks and shares a rags to riches story, you feel yourself rising from that pit of despair threatening your very existence. Nonetheless, just writing down those goals or visualizing success is not how results are created in your life. If you’ve been an avid personal development student, this has probably started sinking in.

So am I saying you should abandon your current craving for watching Abraham Hicks and Tony Robbins or those well crafted Goalcast videos? Heck no. These videos and seminars pump you up and keep your fire burning. It’s awesome! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with strategically setting aside some time to regularly feed yourself content that raises your spirits. The problem is when that’s all you do.

“Don’t think, just do.” – Horace

As it so happens, most people are stuck at this point, which is why they see no results even after reading the books, watching the videos and attending the seminars. Sure, a few things may change here and there, but true and permanent transformation – that’s something not enough people are experiencing. And here’s why.

Most people are still missing this crucial ingredient that is fundamental to both permanent transformation and success: True conviction and habit formation. In other words, they lack the belief which forms the habit that results in success.

Your results are determined by your actions. The actions you take are determined by your behavior which is under the direct influence of your habits and as we all know, your habits are not formed through intellectual reasoning or applied force. In fact, your habits and beliefs can’t even be formed instantly.

In other words, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does, if your creative mind and powerhouse does not get impressed upon with that idea of riches and success, no physical result will appear.

This is perhaps the one thing most motivational gurus don’t emphasize enough. If they did, we’d see more people invested  in doing “inner work” instead of scrolling through Instagram feeds hungry for another motivational quote.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

The point to take home is simply this: Your inner convictions and the habits you form constitute your ruling mental state. After that motivational video is over, and the shot of adrenaline dies out, you’ll jump back into whatever ruling state your mind has set as the default pattern.

Therefore if you truly want to experience the success your gurus are painting for you as a possibility, master the skill of habit formation.

Get good at creating habits that prompt actions that lead to success; develop deep beliefs that serve you and consistently impress your creative powerhouse with the right feeling and the end result will inevitably be success.

Everything else you find externally is at best a clue and at worst a distraction but definitely not “the magical ingredient.” If at all there is such a thing as a magical ingredient to fast track your success, it will only be found by looking within.

So take an honest self-inventory right now. How much time each day goes into feeding your motivational craving, and how much real inner work and habit formation are you invested in?

What is one goal you’d like to succeed in accomplishing before the end of the year? Share with us below!

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