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15 Rich & Famous People Who Were Fired Before They Became Successful

Joel Brown (Founder of Addicted2Success.com)

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In recent years, the economy has suffered and a lot of us have fallen on hard times. So how can ‘getting fired’ be the best thing that could ever happen to someone? Well, a lot of successful people were handed the pink slip before they found their place in the world.

Read on and find out why losing your job can be the most unlikely stepping stone to greater things just like these rich and famous people found:

Rich & Famous People Who Where Fired Before They Made It

 

1. Lee Iacocca: Trailblazing Pioneer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His journey to the top was not without roadblocks, one of the being fired from Ford Motor Company after butting heads with no less than Henry Ford II. As early as the 40s, he already had a flourishing career in sales and marketing and even became the company’s president by the late 70s.

After getting fired from Ford in 1978, Iacocca quickly moved on to Chrysler, whom he saved from bankruptcy by asking the United States Congress to bail them out. Eloquently describing the loan guarantee as a “safety net”, he was able to save Chrysler from certain doom. He then went on to release the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant as well as re-invented the Imperial which had features ahead of its time.

 

2. J.K. Rowling: The Daydreaming Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a famous rags-to-riches figure in the literary world, millions of teenage (as well as adult) readers have gobbled up her seven-volume saga of the boy wizard who also came from humble beginnings like JK. Rowling.

But what you probably didn’t know was that she got fired from her job as a secretary in Amnesty International before she hit it big. Back then, she was already forming the foundations of Harry Potter in her mind, along with the characters and situations he would be faced with. Soon enough, all that daydreaming led to her getting fired, which put her on the path to becoming one of the world’s most celebrated authors.

 

3. Steve Jobs: The Comeback King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recently departed technocrat didn’t just get the boot back in the day – he got fired from his own company. That’s right: the co-founder of Apple was actually exiled from the very empire that he helped build from the ground up.

But as everyone knows, it worked out pretty well for Steve Jobs and his legacy. Getting fired gave him the opportunity to work on other things, such as creating NeXT, a computer company that catered to the business crowd as well as a division of Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division which later became Pixar. His triumphant return to Apple several years later heralded the creation of the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

 

4. Lady Gaga: Getting Back On The Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dropping out of Collaborative Arts Project 21 (a New York-based musical school), the unconventional singer did some small gigs around town until she gained a loyal following in the downtown Lower East Side club scene. She finally caught the eye of Rob Fusari, a music producer who then collaborated with her to cut some tracks in the studio that they shopped to other people in the music industry.

Things took a nasty turn when Lady Gaga was suddenly dropped only after three months of being signed onto a major label. Not content to wallow in misery, she soon picked herself up and continued using her previous material with Fusari for performances, particularly one at Lollapalooza where she gained critical fame.

By 2008, she was already signed onto another label and released her debut album “The Fame” which has become one of the most successful albums in pop history.

 

5. Walt Disney: Father Of The World’s Most Loveable Rodent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The revolutionary animator went through a string of failures before he created one of the biggest entertainment companies on the planet. He had a short-lived career as a newspaper artist, drawing political cartoons and comic strips. Soon after, Walt Disney hopped from one job to another until he put up Laugh-O-Gram Studio, which gained popularity but went bankrupt.

After setting up another company called Disney Brothers Studio, Walt finally struck animated gold after creating the classic short called “Steamboat Willie” which catapulted Mickey Mouse as one of the most recognized cartoon characters in the world.

 

6. Truman Capote: Literary Rebel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the famous author wrote classics such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “In Cold Blood”, Capote worked at The New Yorker as a copyboy who sorted cartoons and clipped newspapers. He held this unassuming job for a full two years until he was fired, thanks to an angry whim by Robert Frost who convinced the magazine to let him go.

Fortunately for Capote, this planted the seeds for what was to become a prolific writing career. After writing a series of short stories, he managed to sign a deal with Random House who published his first novel, “Other Voices, Other Rooms” which put him on the path to becoming one of America’s most memorable cultural icons.

 

7. Annabelle Gurwitch: Bouncing Back From Insult and Inury

 

 

 

 

 

 

The comic actress and hostess of the famous cooking show “Dinner and a Movie” had to endure verbal abuse from none other than her idol Woody Allen who fired her for not living up to his expectations. Allen even went so far as calling Gurwitch “retarded” before kicking her to the curb.

But she went on embark on a successful career in showbiz, playing various parts in TV and movies. Ironically, she was responsible for the 2007 documentary “Fired!” which featured a number of people (including herself) who were axed from their respective jobs before becoming successful.

 

8. Jerry Seinfeld: The Creator of The Show About “Nothing”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unhappy with Seinfeld’s performance, the bosses behind the sitcom Benson decided to cut the comic genius from the show – he was the last to know about it. After showing up for rehearsal, he found that his character had been erased from existence without any warning.

No matter – he sucked it up and returned to doing stand-up gigs at local venues. Eventually, his hilarious performances impressed the likes of Johnny Carson and David Letterman. In time, his career took off to incredible heights, having starred in nine solid seasons of his hit show “Seinfeld” for almost a full decade.

 

9. James Hetfield: Sticker Printer Turned Metal God

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before becoming the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for one of the most epic rock bands of the 20th century, James Hetfield worked in a sticker printing factory. Ultimately, he lost his job but he went on to collaborate with drummer Lars ulrich to form the face-melting, ear-shattering heavy metal act known as Metallica.

Since Hetfield joined the band in 1981, his band has created a total of nine studio albums featuring classic rock anthems that their countless fans headbang to until today. That sure beats printing stickers!

 

10. Oprah Winfrey: The Media Juggernaut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s easily recognized as one of America’s most successful media figures, having been a talk show host, actress, and producer throughout her career. But no one gave her any hand-outs during her journey to success. Oprah Winfrey’s turbulent family life led her to carve out a self-made career as a television personality, even when she was let go as a news reporter for Baltimore’s WJZ-TV.

The good thing about getting fired though was that Winfrey moved to Chicago which was a pivotal move for her professional life. This was where she became host of AM Chicago, an unremarkable talk show which quickly climbed TV ratings. It was later renamed as the “Oprah Winfrey Show” which ran for 25 seasons over the course of 25 years.

After 4,561 episodes, Oprah Winfrey has not only become the wealthiest black person in the last century, she’s also one of the country’s leading black philanthropists.

 

11. Anna Wintour: Fashion Icon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This edgy fashion journalist first got her feet wet at Harper’s & Queen, a magazine where she served as one of its very first editorial assistants. Thanks to her work, the publication came out with groundbreaking photo shoots with the likes of Helmut Newton and other innovative photographers in the industry.

Anna Wintour often clashed with another editor, and she moved on to work as a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. Unfortunately, her shoots were deemed too much by the editors and got subsequently kicked out in less than a year. However, Wintour eventually became the editor-in-chief of Vogue and has occupied that position for a running total of 23 years.

She continues to be an influential force, not just within the fashion world, but also beyond the industry. Wintour reportedly even talked Donald Trump into letting Marc Jacobs to use the Plaza Hotel as a venue for one of his shows!

 

12. Bill Belichick: Coaching Prodigy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Belichick had been a defensive assistant, special teams coach and defensive coordinator for the New York Giants for 12 years. It was in 1991 when he became head coach for the first time for the Cleveland Browns until he was fired from his position four years later. After that however, Belichick was named head coach of the New England Patriots in 2000 and was responsible for the team’s five appearances at the Super Bowl. Since his removal from the Browns back in 1995, he was also designated as the AP NFL Coach of the Year three times.

 

13. Dave Mustaine: Rising From The Ashes

The former Metallica guitarist got kicked out of the band in 1983 for excessive partying and alcoholism, and Mustaine used the anger from this incident to form his own metal act called Megadeth. In the same year, he created enough material which Mustaine then used for his new band, giving birth to their debut album “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!”

His career soon took off, with Megadeth extensively touring the U.S. and Canada. On one occasion, they even played at the same venue as Dave Mustaine’s former band. To date, they’ve released 13 albums and have a worldwide fan base as fiercely loyal as that of Metallica’s.

 

14. Howard Stern: Terrorizing The Airwaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Widely known as a “Shock Jock”, Howard Stern gained notoriety as a radio talk show host in the 90s because of his blunt style and controversial topics. He particularly gained fame during his time as a host for both WWDC and WNBC and greatly increased their respective ratings during his time there. However, Stern found himself fired by both stations because of the raunchiness of his material, touching on sensitive topics such as sexuality and religion.

Getting the suits worked up over his unorthodox style proved to be a beneficial career move for Stern since it opened the door to bigger things. In fact, he was named, Nationally Syndicated Air Personality of the Year from 1994 until 2002. Since 2006, he’s switched to satellite radio where he’s free of FCC regulations and continues to entertain his millions of devoted followers.

 

15. Madonna: The Queen Of Pop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone who’s even remotely knowledgeable about music knows who Madonna is, and to date she’s sold over 300 million records as the top female pop performer of all time. On Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, she’s right up there with the likes of The Beatles and her influence in the world of music is second to none.

Before she achieved any of that however, Madonna first worked in various diners and fast food joints while she was starting out. In one particular job, she quickly got fired for dousing a customer with donut jelly on purpose. Although her potential career in the food industry crashed and burned, this paved the way for her to become one of the most recognized faces in the history of music.

 

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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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Excel Igwe

    Jan 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

    So inspiring, I hope to have my own story told one day………

    Thanks to the writer…

  2. bright acheampong

    May 12, 2014 at 9:02 am

    inspired and motivated to do more…tanx

  3. Pook

    Nov 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    For Stern, there were a LOT of years between being fired from WNBC and becoming TRULY nationally syndicated. Stern was fired from WNBC in 1985 and went to WXRK (K-Rock) two months later. He would be at K-Rock for a year before becoming syndicated, but only at WYSP in Philadelphia. Two other markets were added (Detroit and Hartford, I believe), but it was only in 1991 when he really took off by adding KLSX in Los Angeles to the roster. That catapulted him to national “morning” stardom, as stations across the country jumped on board one right after the other.

  4. Kumar Gauraw

    Aug 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Wow! This is so inspiring. Enjoyed the minutes spent reading about these 15 people. Failure is most definitely the stepping stone to success. They all exemplified. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. angela grace dantes

    Jun 10, 2013 at 9:26 am

    GREAT LIfE

  6. Kaniz Fathima Sinthiya

    Feb 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    J.K Rowling has tried her best!

  7. patti

    Aug 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Very inspiring as always, love this site!
    thank you for sharing, patti

  8. Susan Ekins

    Aug 18, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Success is the best revenge!

  9. Amandah

    Jul 10, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Great list!

    I’m glad to see artists and writers on the list. Metallica is one of my favorite bands. J.K. Rowling is an inspiration to writers who want to become best-selling authors. She never gave up and kept writing and it paid off.

    Please share your dreams with people who’ll support and cheer you on. Don’t share your dreams with people who are pessimists. Sadly, your family and friends may think you’re nuts for wanting to pursue something they may feel is out of reach. You may hear things like, “Do you know how tough (fill in the blank) is?” If you listen to the naysayers, you may talk yourself out of your dreams.

  10. Pauline

    Jun 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I love this list! Very inspiring to know that these successful people dealt with rejection in a positive way.

  11. Ton Lopes

    Apr 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Hey what a beautifull message going there!That´s the reason why i love this website.
    I´ve thinking if there cold be an article about filmmakers who have been enterpreneur in creating their carrers(IM thinking walt disney,and guys like George lucas,Spielberg)it would be nice!

  12. Stevie Stevenz

    Apr 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Great to see people who can fight against the odds, the failures who succeed. This inspires us all to lose and win confidently, thanks!

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Success Advice

The 3 C’s of Leadership That Determines Your Success

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Have you caught the seasonal flu or a common cold this winter season? If so, you likely received advice to drink a glass of orange juice for the benefits associated with consuming Vitamin C. To repair an immune system that has been weakened by the common cold or flu, Vitamin C can provide the body with nutrition that can expedite recovery time. When it comes to exhibiting positive leadership behaviors there exists three qualities that also begin with the letter “C” and are helpful.  

To receive the Vitamin C’s of leadership, you must start with a desire to improve. One camp might endorse that you find mentorship from a senior colleague. Another person or group may recommend that you spend more time reading articles or books discussing leadership experiences and advice. With either point of origin, it can open a path to growth and improvement as a leader. However, you chose to proceed with the second inquiry which is why you are here!

We often believe that leadership is a cumbersome and daunting process. It can be difficult, but if we are strategic about cultivating a few characteristics, the mountain to positive impact is a little more feasible to climb. From school teachers and administrators to business executives and their employees, I have found that all great leaders possess a minimum of three dominant characteristics.

These three dominant features can provide an individual with the strength to continue during the difficult times that often accompany leadership; they are similar to the Vitamin C that can make you feel better when battling a cold or the flu.

Enough already, what are the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success? See below:

1. Confidence

Leaders believe in themselves and the people they serve. This positive self-awareness or confidence that effective leaders have, often radiates in every aspect of their work from communication with others to informed decisions. One strategy you can use to develop confidence is the commitment to being the first one to speak during a meeting or class. Successful leaders are willing to express themselves in a variety of capacities, even when they may possess less common viewpoints or modes of behavior.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

2. Competency

Building on the importance of confidence, effective leadership is about being able to create a personal development plan that consistently encourages you to improve. Some of the most revered leaders in our society, strategically make time to read daily. Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey are two of the most common examples of this relentless thirst for knowledge.

They have committed to life-long learning that continues, despite reaching nearly every financial and business goal possible. To become more competent, you can create a schedule that allows for the investment in activities such as reading articles and books to stay informed.

3. Charisma

You might call it SWAG or a gift, but the ability to attract other people who support you and your work are essential. It is not necessary to resemble a supermodel to get people to like you, but you do need to carry yourself with a certain level of pride to effectively encourage others to follow your advice and instructions.

Charisma is a byproduct of possessing confidence in yourself to serve as a useful leader. You can build more charisma in your life, by being more mindful to genuinely listen and respond to your colleagues, family, and friends in conversations. Don’t allow yourself to become intimidated by the responsibilities that can come with the roles of a leader.

“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

In many cases, you would not be in the position to earn followers without the necessary qualifications or skill set. Excelling in leadership is possible for you when you are consistent with tapping into the power of the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success.

Confidence, Competency, and Charisma can offer a bountiful number of resources to serve others in authoritative roles of professional and personal environments. Confident leaders believe in themselves, their products, and their services. Competent leaders commit to a lifetime of learning. Charismatic leaders make use of their confidence to attract other people who can support the vision of a group or individual. With the engagement of consistent activities and the reinforcement from positive examples of leadership, nothing is impossible for you to achieve!

How do you display confidence, competency, and charisma on a daily basis with people? Let us know your advice below!

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Success Advice

10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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Leadership is a challenging proposition in a world of disruptions and changes due to the rate of change being overwhelming. How do leaders cope with constant changes, enormous expectations and an unpredictable future? Well, a lot of the top organisations including Pepsi, Nike, Apple and Google use Design Thinking for leadership matters.

Design thinking is coming up with visual patterns that lead to the desired solutions. In other words, it is about connecting the dots to come up with solutions to practical problems that you want to solve. The Design thinking approach is widely appreciated and adopted by leaders around the globe.

Below, we look at 10 intriguing leadership lessons from design thinking:

1. Solution Focused Approach

Design thinking helps leaders to develop a solution centric mindset. The emphasis is on identifying and defining the core problem and then arriving at the best solution. Corporates and teams are looking for leaders who have a solution focused approach. The best leaders understand that they create value by offering solutions to complex problems. They resolve conflicts, solve problems and relish the idea of making the difference.

2. Connect the Dots

Leaders need to look at the complete picture for connecting and correlating things. Design thinking provides visualisation of the problem, constraints, desired solution and complete picture of things. It is a great way leaders can visualise abstract concepts. Leaders can use visual mapping of the assumptions, constraints, existing state and the goal state to align their teams in the right direction.

3. Empathy & Inclusiveness

Leadership starts with empathy. To earn the respect of your team, clients and other people involved, it is important to show empathy and understand their needs. When you care for your team, customers and other stakeholders, they in turn care for you. Design thinking starts with the end users in mind; it creates a thinking framework where you build empathy and inclusiveness.

4. Constant Improvement with Regular Feedback

The design thinking methodology involves iterations and user feedback for continuous improvement of products and services. Feedback is crucial for growth and improvement. Also, what works today may not work tomorrow thus it is important for leaders to touch base with ground reality and ensure consistent improvements. A leader needs to provide constant feedback for improvement of products, services and individuals. Consistent improvement and a growth mindset is crucial for success.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

5. Open Mindedness

Design thinking encourages experiments, creativity and innovation. When working on different concepts and ideas, leaders need to be open minded which helps create an environment of learning and experimentation. They build individuals and teams that take pride in their work. Open minded leaders are continuously seeking ways to improve things, because they welcome divergent ideas that may challenge or stretch them with an open mind.

6. Empower Team and Create Synergy

Design thinking empowers everyone to contribute effectively. It encourages the teams to work collaboratively and creates a synergising effect. When everyone has a say during the development of a product or service, teams feel empowered. The team feels accountable for results and takes complete ownership of things. Leaders can use design thinking for listening to people, getting them to contribute ideas, and empowering them with opportunities to make a difference.

7. Sense of Purpose

In an era of distractions, it is hard for teams to stay focused. People are more focused and productive when they know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Leaders can use design thinking for clarity and articulating their vision. A great leader effectively communicates the purpose & mission of their work to connect everyone. Teams are more likely to achieve their goals when they are given clear and consistent messages.

8. Dealing with Uncertainties

Dealing with change is hard. It gets even harder when you don’t know what is going to change. In the technology driven world, companies need to be well prepared to face competition not just from the competitors but also from digital innovations. With design thinking leaders can evaluate options, see the complete picture of things and choose the best options. Design thinking is a strategy that relies on iterations, feedback and constant improvement to deal with the changing times.

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” -. William Congreve

9. Decisiveness

A leader needs to make decisions all the time. Some of these decisions are crucial in shaping the lives of individuals and organisations. Design thinking helps leaders to improve their decision making by offering alternatives and complete visualisation of information. Leaders can overcome biases and take informed decisions when they are presented with alternatives. Design thinking is now being employed by corporates in different areas of their company to make strategic decisions.

10. Persistence

Great leaders are persistent and never give up their pursuit until they reach their goals. Design thinking is a journey that requires persistence. It is an ongoing process to reach excellence. It is a process that teaches leaders to observe incremental additions, iterate and persist till the desired solution is achieved.

Leaders are learners. They learn from the past, keep an eye on the present and evolve with changing demands of the future. Design thinking is playing an increasingly vital role in creating more effective leaders. These leaders are capable of building strong teams, solve complex problems, show empathy and constantly improvise to unleash great value for everyone involved. Design thinking is a sure fire way for leaders to ensure that the sum total of the team is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

How will you use design thinking for your own business or job? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

What If You Never Took Another Selfie Again?

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That’s the question I want you to ponder right now.

What if taking a selfie only made the world ignore you?
What if life is not all about you?
What if no one cares who you took a photo with?

And finally, how did we ever live without selfies before the front-facing camera got invented?

Instead of taking a selfie do this:

Try focusing on other people.
Try not to document every moment.
Try to think about life before selfies.

We all take selfies because that’s what we were told to do.
And that’s exactly why we need to question this habitual flaw that we’re now indulging in.

 

I have A/B tested selfies vs. no selfies.

The result? When I took photos of cool stuff like mountains in Japan and shared a profound thought, people liked that more than a selfie with my overly large head in it. I’ve done this test multiple times over the last few years.

The result is always the same. People are over you and your selfies.

 

It’s not about “I” it’s about “We.”

Sounds cliché, and that’s because most brilliant advice is.

Selfies have deluded us into thinking that life is about us and our big audacious goals. Where life will change for you is when you focus on the “We.”

Everything I write is for the audience I want to inspire. It’s not to show off or to share dumb selfies of me in a weak attempt to appear superior.

 

Selfies cause your followers to compare themselves to you.

And that’s not fair. If each of us tried to be the same, then society would be pretty dull.

“We don’t need a selfie to teach us how to copy each other and be jealous little so-and-sos who want to win a beauty pagan of nothingness”

You’re so much better than a selfie.

I believe you care about your followers so let’s stop drowning them in selfies. Selfies are proving nothing to no one. Selfies stop you from standing out in the crowd and inspiring others.

 

The time you spend “selfieing” could be used for…..

Enjoying this current moment and the breath you have in your lungs. One day that breath is going to stop and all that time selfieing won’t matter. You’re literally using up magical moments trying to take a hundred selfies that you filter and post, hoping for perfection.

Perfection is ugly.

“Right now, is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen if you’ll only stop selfieing and notice it”

 

Life before selfies….

Life was much the same. The selfie didn’t put us on Cloud 9 with a bunch of our fantasies and an unlimited amount of cash being shot up into the sky via an air cannon.

Life before selfies was fun.
We ate our food instead of looking at it with our phones and letting it get cold.
We had phenomenal conversations with our friends instead of taking endless, mindless selfies.

Life before selfies was not about one’s self.
You took photos of other people. Often, you took two photos max instead of fifty in a row.

I’d like you to imagine a life without selfies.

What does the selfie really mean to you and can you live without it?

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

Build From Within – Why Success Is All About People

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What is it that makes a company successful? Money? Technology? A driven CEO? While money certainly doesn’t hurt, technology is essential and it’s nice to have a well poised leader. These things are not what guarantees success in a corporation. It is all about the people. The employees working for an organization are the backbone of the company. Without great people, success can only go so far.

And if this is indeed true, successful business models should revolve around people – attracting top talent, and retaining them. Before ever serving external customers, companies should serve internally. This is where true success is built.

Walid Halty, founder of Dvinci energy, explains 3 reasons as to why people are the bottom line of success and how to build a team for continued growth:

1. Success Comes From Within

How do you continuously create an impeccable experience for your customers? While you may start listing out things such as innovation, efficient delivery and quality, you’d be wrong. All of those factors are quite necessary to attract and retain happy clients. At the same time, you never have to worry about any of that if you have a dedicated and talented team behind your organization or business. When your employees are happy with their work and love what they do, they automatically do great work every single day.

So, how do you get dedicated and talented individuals in your business, and how do you retain them? Dedicated and talented people all share a couple commonalities. They love to be challenged, and they love to grow. You need to challenge your people and give them opportunities to grow: “We have a culture that demands the best out of people. We offer them world class training and give opportunities for growth within our company. We invest in our people: ”Challenge and grow your people, and they will challenge and grow your business.

2. A Balancing Act

Gone are the 12 hour work days and good riddance! There is a new reality in the interconnected and digital world that we live in today. That reality is that there is an abundance of opportunity for anyone who strives for it. People don’t want to miss soccer games, dance recitals and family dinner time. They want balance. They want to do fulfilling, good work at a place where they feel valued, engaged and share a common vision. If this is not the case, then they will be willing to explore other opportunities if they don’t get exactly what they’re looking for.

“Your people don’t need your company’s way of making money, they need a community that creates purpose and order in their lives and an environment that empowers them rather than tries to hold them down out of fear.”

Find out what your people want and then do your best to give it to them. Flexible programs like remote work and adjustable schedules go a long way in making your employees happy and bringing balance: “At Dvinci, we consistently ask our people, what can we be doing better? How can we better serve you? How do WE make doing your job easier?”

You have to care about your people and what they experience on a daily basis when they come to work for you. Deliver a positive people experience, and you will retain your top talent, and they will share your vision and your success.

3. Happiness is a Choice

Emotions are at the root of all the decisions we make. We make hundreds of choices a day, and we make those decisions based off what we think will make us happy. They are why our customers buy from us, and it is why our employees stay with us. We all want to operate in a world (and a place of work) where we have the ability to control our happiness and improve our lives. This simple truth is one of the foundations companies should build their business models around.

Give your people a choice. Allow them to make decisions on how successful they want to be, how much money they want to earn, and what kind of impact they want to have based on what they believe will make them happy. Put the ball in their court. Allow your people to decide to be happy. By doing this, your top talent will excel and your employees will be happy.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

In case you’ve ever been curious about how to make your business more profitable, more innovative or have a bigger impact, the answer lies within. Serve your people first. Build a community of inspired, engaged and talented employees.

Build your business model around people. The rest will fall into place naturally. When you focus on people, they will care about your business, they will care about your mission and they will care about your customers.

Do you think building from within will equal more success? Share your thoughts with us below!

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How to Get Better at Anything by Using This Self Encouragement Practice

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Whether you’re turning your sidehustle into a career, sculpting a fitter body, or perfecting your favourite sport, getting better at anything requires a simple yet specific sequence: (more…)

Daniel Dowling is waging a war against distraction at MillennialSuccess.io, where he teaches the art of planning and making sh!# happen.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Excel Igwe

    Jan 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

    So inspiring, I hope to have my own story told one day………

    Thanks to the writer…

  2. bright acheampong

    May 12, 2014 at 9:02 am

    inspired and motivated to do more…tanx

  3. Pook

    Nov 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    For Stern, there were a LOT of years between being fired from WNBC and becoming TRULY nationally syndicated. Stern was fired from WNBC in 1985 and went to WXRK (K-Rock) two months later. He would be at K-Rock for a year before becoming syndicated, but only at WYSP in Philadelphia. Two other markets were added (Detroit and Hartford, I believe), but it was only in 1991 when he really took off by adding KLSX in Los Angeles to the roster. That catapulted him to national “morning” stardom, as stations across the country jumped on board one right after the other.

  4. Kumar Gauraw

    Aug 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Wow! This is so inspiring. Enjoyed the minutes spent reading about these 15 people. Failure is most definitely the stepping stone to success. They all exemplified. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. angela grace dantes

    Jun 10, 2013 at 9:26 am

    GREAT LIfE

  6. Kaniz Fathima Sinthiya

    Feb 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    J.K Rowling has tried her best!

  7. patti

    Aug 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Very inspiring as always, love this site!
    thank you for sharing, patti

  8. Susan Ekins

    Aug 18, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Success is the best revenge!

  9. Amandah

    Jul 10, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Great list!

    I’m glad to see artists and writers on the list. Metallica is one of my favorite bands. J.K. Rowling is an inspiration to writers who want to become best-selling authors. She never gave up and kept writing and it paid off.

    Please share your dreams with people who’ll support and cheer you on. Don’t share your dreams with people who are pessimists. Sadly, your family and friends may think you’re nuts for wanting to pursue something they may feel is out of reach. You may hear things like, “Do you know how tough (fill in the blank) is?” If you listen to the naysayers, you may talk yourself out of your dreams.

  10. Pauline

    Jun 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I love this list! Very inspiring to know that these successful people dealt with rejection in a positive way.

  11. Ton Lopes

    Apr 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Hey what a beautifull message going there!That´s the reason why i love this website.
    I´ve thinking if there cold be an article about filmmakers who have been enterpreneur in creating their carrers(IM thinking walt disney,and guys like George lucas,Spielberg)it would be nice!

  12. Stevie Stevenz

    Apr 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Great to see people who can fight against the odds, the failures who succeed. This inspires us all to lose and win confidently, thanks!

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Success Advice

The 3 C’s of Leadership That Determines Your Success

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Have you caught the seasonal flu or a common cold this winter season? If so, you likely received advice to drink a glass of orange juice for the benefits associated with consuming Vitamin C. To repair an immune system that has been weakened by the common cold or flu, Vitamin C can provide the body with nutrition that can expedite recovery time. When it comes to exhibiting positive leadership behaviors there exists three qualities that also begin with the letter “C” and are helpful.  

To receive the Vitamin C’s of leadership, you must start with a desire to improve. One camp might endorse that you find mentorship from a senior colleague. Another person or group may recommend that you spend more time reading articles or books discussing leadership experiences and advice. With either point of origin, it can open a path to growth and improvement as a leader. However, you chose to proceed with the second inquiry which is why you are here!

We often believe that leadership is a cumbersome and daunting process. It can be difficult, but if we are strategic about cultivating a few characteristics, the mountain to positive impact is a little more feasible to climb. From school teachers and administrators to business executives and their employees, I have found that all great leaders possess a minimum of three dominant characteristics.

These three dominant features can provide an individual with the strength to continue during the difficult times that often accompany leadership; they are similar to the Vitamin C that can make you feel better when battling a cold or the flu.

Enough already, what are the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success? See below:

1. Confidence

Leaders believe in themselves and the people they serve. This positive self-awareness or confidence that effective leaders have, often radiates in every aspect of their work from communication with others to informed decisions. One strategy you can use to develop confidence is the commitment to being the first one to speak during a meeting or class. Successful leaders are willing to express themselves in a variety of capacities, even when they may possess less common viewpoints or modes of behavior.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

2. Competency

Building on the importance of confidence, effective leadership is about being able to create a personal development plan that consistently encourages you to improve. Some of the most revered leaders in our society, strategically make time to read daily. Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey are two of the most common examples of this relentless thirst for knowledge.

They have committed to life-long learning that continues, despite reaching nearly every financial and business goal possible. To become more competent, you can create a schedule that allows for the investment in activities such as reading articles and books to stay informed.

3. Charisma

You might call it SWAG or a gift, but the ability to attract other people who support you and your work are essential. It is not necessary to resemble a supermodel to get people to like you, but you do need to carry yourself with a certain level of pride to effectively encourage others to follow your advice and instructions.

Charisma is a byproduct of possessing confidence in yourself to serve as a useful leader. You can build more charisma in your life, by being more mindful to genuinely listen and respond to your colleagues, family, and friends in conversations. Don’t allow yourself to become intimidated by the responsibilities that can come with the roles of a leader.

“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

In many cases, you would not be in the position to earn followers without the necessary qualifications or skill set. Excelling in leadership is possible for you when you are consistent with tapping into the power of the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success.

Confidence, Competency, and Charisma can offer a bountiful number of resources to serve others in authoritative roles of professional and personal environments. Confident leaders believe in themselves, their products, and their services. Competent leaders commit to a lifetime of learning. Charismatic leaders make use of their confidence to attract other people who can support the vision of a group or individual. With the engagement of consistent activities and the reinforcement from positive examples of leadership, nothing is impossible for you to achieve!

How do you display confidence, competency, and charisma on a daily basis with people? Let us know your advice below!

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Success Advice

10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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Leadership is a challenging proposition in a world of disruptions and changes due to the rate of change being overwhelming. How do leaders cope with constant changes, enormous expectations and an unpredictable future? Well, a lot of the top organisations including Pepsi, Nike, Apple and Google use Design Thinking for leadership matters.

Design thinking is coming up with visual patterns that lead to the desired solutions. In other words, it is about connecting the dots to come up with solutions to practical problems that you want to solve. The Design thinking approach is widely appreciated and adopted by leaders around the globe.

Below, we look at 10 intriguing leadership lessons from design thinking:

1. Solution Focused Approach

Design thinking helps leaders to develop a solution centric mindset. The emphasis is on identifying and defining the core problem and then arriving at the best solution. Corporates and teams are looking for leaders who have a solution focused approach. The best leaders understand that they create value by offering solutions to complex problems. They resolve conflicts, solve problems and relish the idea of making the difference.

2. Connect the Dots

Leaders need to look at the complete picture for connecting and correlating things. Design thinking provides visualisation of the problem, constraints, desired solution and complete picture of things. It is a great way leaders can visualise abstract concepts. Leaders can use visual mapping of the assumptions, constraints, existing state and the goal state to align their teams in the right direction.

3. Empathy & Inclusiveness

Leadership starts with empathy. To earn the respect of your team, clients and other people involved, it is important to show empathy and understand their needs. When you care for your team, customers and other stakeholders, they in turn care for you. Design thinking starts with the end users in mind; it creates a thinking framework where you build empathy and inclusiveness.

4. Constant Improvement with Regular Feedback

The design thinking methodology involves iterations and user feedback for continuous improvement of products and services. Feedback is crucial for growth and improvement. Also, what works today may not work tomorrow thus it is important for leaders to touch base with ground reality and ensure consistent improvements. A leader needs to provide constant feedback for improvement of products, services and individuals. Consistent improvement and a growth mindset is crucial for success.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

5. Open Mindedness

Design thinking encourages experiments, creativity and innovation. When working on different concepts and ideas, leaders need to be open minded which helps create an environment of learning and experimentation. They build individuals and teams that take pride in their work. Open minded leaders are continuously seeking ways to improve things, because they welcome divergent ideas that may challenge or stretch them with an open mind.

6. Empower Team and Create Synergy

Design thinking empowers everyone to contribute effectively. It encourages the teams to work collaboratively and creates a synergising effect. When everyone has a say during the development of a product or service, teams feel empowered. The team feels accountable for results and takes complete ownership of things. Leaders can use design thinking for listening to people, getting them to contribute ideas, and empowering them with opportunities to make a difference.

7. Sense of Purpose

In an era of distractions, it is hard for teams to stay focused. People are more focused and productive when they know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Leaders can use design thinking for clarity and articulating their vision. A great leader effectively communicates the purpose & mission of their work to connect everyone. Teams are more likely to achieve their goals when they are given clear and consistent messages.

8. Dealing with Uncertainties

Dealing with change is hard. It gets even harder when you don’t know what is going to change. In the technology driven world, companies need to be well prepared to face competition not just from the competitors but also from digital innovations. With design thinking leaders can evaluate options, see the complete picture of things and choose the best options. Design thinking is a strategy that relies on iterations, feedback and constant improvement to deal with the changing times.

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” -. William Congreve

9. Decisiveness

A leader needs to make decisions all the time. Some of these decisions are crucial in shaping the lives of individuals and organisations. Design thinking helps leaders to improve their decision making by offering alternatives and complete visualisation of information. Leaders can overcome biases and take informed decisions when they are presented with alternatives. Design thinking is now being employed by corporates in different areas of their company to make strategic decisions.

10. Persistence

Great leaders are persistent and never give up their pursuit until they reach their goals. Design thinking is a journey that requires persistence. It is an ongoing process to reach excellence. It is a process that teaches leaders to observe incremental additions, iterate and persist till the desired solution is achieved.

Leaders are learners. They learn from the past, keep an eye on the present and evolve with changing demands of the future. Design thinking is playing an increasingly vital role in creating more effective leaders. These leaders are capable of building strong teams, solve complex problems, show empathy and constantly improvise to unleash great value for everyone involved. Design thinking is a sure fire way for leaders to ensure that the sum total of the team is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

How will you use design thinking for your own business or job? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

What If You Never Took Another Selfie Again?

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That’s the question I want you to ponder right now.

What if taking a selfie only made the world ignore you?
What if life is not all about you?
What if no one cares who you took a photo with?

And finally, how did we ever live without selfies before the front-facing camera got invented?

Instead of taking a selfie do this:

Try focusing on other people.
Try not to document every moment.
Try to think about life before selfies.

We all take selfies because that’s what we were told to do.
And that’s exactly why we need to question this habitual flaw that we’re now indulging in.

 

I have A/B tested selfies vs. no selfies.

The result? When I took photos of cool stuff like mountains in Japan and shared a profound thought, people liked that more than a selfie with my overly large head in it. I’ve done this test multiple times over the last few years.

The result is always the same. People are over you and your selfies.

 

It’s not about “I” it’s about “We.”

Sounds cliché, and that’s because most brilliant advice is.

Selfies have deluded us into thinking that life is about us and our big audacious goals. Where life will change for you is when you focus on the “We.”

Everything I write is for the audience I want to inspire. It’s not to show off or to share dumb selfies of me in a weak attempt to appear superior.

 

Selfies cause your followers to compare themselves to you.

And that’s not fair. If each of us tried to be the same, then society would be pretty dull.

“We don’t need a selfie to teach us how to copy each other and be jealous little so-and-sos who want to win a beauty pagan of nothingness”

You’re so much better than a selfie.

I believe you care about your followers so let’s stop drowning them in selfies. Selfies are proving nothing to no one. Selfies stop you from standing out in the crowd and inspiring others.

 

The time you spend “selfieing” could be used for…..

Enjoying this current moment and the breath you have in your lungs. One day that breath is going to stop and all that time selfieing won’t matter. You’re literally using up magical moments trying to take a hundred selfies that you filter and post, hoping for perfection.

Perfection is ugly.

“Right now, is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen if you’ll only stop selfieing and notice it”

 

Life before selfies….

Life was much the same. The selfie didn’t put us on Cloud 9 with a bunch of our fantasies and an unlimited amount of cash being shot up into the sky via an air cannon.

Life before selfies was fun.
We ate our food instead of looking at it with our phones and letting it get cold.
We had phenomenal conversations with our friends instead of taking endless, mindless selfies.

Life before selfies was not about one’s self.
You took photos of other people. Often, you took two photos max instead of fifty in a row.

I’d like you to imagine a life without selfies.

What does the selfie really mean to you and can you live without it?

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

Build From Within – Why Success Is All About People

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What is it that makes a company successful? Money? Technology? A driven CEO? While money certainly doesn’t hurt, technology is essential and it’s nice to have a well poised leader. These things are not what guarantees success in a corporation. It is all about the people. The employees working for an organization are the backbone of the company. Without great people, success can only go so far.

And if this is indeed true, successful business models should revolve around people – attracting top talent, and retaining them. Before ever serving external customers, companies should serve internally. This is where true success is built.

Walid Halty, founder of Dvinci energy, explains 3 reasons as to why people are the bottom line of success and how to build a team for continued growth:

1. Success Comes From Within

How do you continuously create an impeccable experience for your customers? While you may start listing out things such as innovation, efficient delivery and quality, you’d be wrong. All of those factors are quite necessary to attract and retain happy clients. At the same time, you never have to worry about any of that if you have a dedicated and talented team behind your organization or business. When your employees are happy with their work and love what they do, they automatically do great work every single day.

So, how do you get dedicated and talented individuals in your business, and how do you retain them? Dedicated and talented people all share a couple commonalities. They love to be challenged, and they love to grow. You need to challenge your people and give them opportunities to grow: “We have a culture that demands the best out of people. We offer them world class training and give opportunities for growth within our company. We invest in our people: ”Challenge and grow your people, and they will challenge and grow your business.

2. A Balancing Act

Gone are the 12 hour work days and good riddance! There is a new reality in the interconnected and digital world that we live in today. That reality is that there is an abundance of opportunity for anyone who strives for it. People don’t want to miss soccer games, dance recitals and family dinner time. They want balance. They want to do fulfilling, good work at a place where they feel valued, engaged and share a common vision. If this is not the case, then they will be willing to explore other opportunities if they don’t get exactly what they’re looking for.

“Your people don’t need your company’s way of making money, they need a community that creates purpose and order in their lives and an environment that empowers them rather than tries to hold them down out of fear.”

Find out what your people want and then do your best to give it to them. Flexible programs like remote work and adjustable schedules go a long way in making your employees happy and bringing balance: “At Dvinci, we consistently ask our people, what can we be doing better? How can we better serve you? How do WE make doing your job easier?”

You have to care about your people and what they experience on a daily basis when they come to work for you. Deliver a positive people experience, and you will retain your top talent, and they will share your vision and your success.

3. Happiness is a Choice

Emotions are at the root of all the decisions we make. We make hundreds of choices a day, and we make those decisions based off what we think will make us happy. They are why our customers buy from us, and it is why our employees stay with us. We all want to operate in a world (and a place of work) where we have the ability to control our happiness and improve our lives. This simple truth is one of the foundations companies should build their business models around.

Give your people a choice. Allow them to make decisions on how successful they want to be, how much money they want to earn, and what kind of impact they want to have based on what they believe will make them happy. Put the ball in their court. Allow your people to decide to be happy. By doing this, your top talent will excel and your employees will be happy.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

In case you’ve ever been curious about how to make your business more profitable, more innovative or have a bigger impact, the answer lies within. Serve your people first. Build a community of inspired, engaged and talented employees.

Build your business model around people. The rest will fall into place naturally. When you focus on people, they will care about your business, they will care about your mission and they will care about your customers.

Do you think building from within will equal more success? Share your thoughts with us below!

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