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How It Started VS How It’s Going: 5 Inspiring Success Stories



Image Credit: CEO magazine

How it started vs. how it’s going; The idea has been trending since September 2020. We’ve seen thousands of amazing stories about career breakthroughs, wonderful relationships, and how dreams come true. It always takes a great deal of hard work, some ups and downs, disappointments, hardships, and even desperation between the before and after shots.

But seeing what people started from in contrast with their achievements is incredibly inspiring! The message of every story is that it’s definitely worth trying. We’ll tell you about 5 famous people whose examples prove that everything is possible even if you start from scratch.

1. David Bowie

How It Started – One of the most gifted, outstanding, and bizarre musicians in history was making unsuccessful attempts to gain popularity for about 7 years. David was 16 years old when he told his parents that he wanted to be a pop star… but his mother got him a job as an electrician assistant. Bowie participated in five bands, released 6 singles and one album. But none of his pieces were commercially successful. Managers weren’t interested in working with him. There was a pretty long series of failures from 1962 till 1969. But he kept trying.

How It Ended – In 1969 an album that included the song “Space Oddity” was released. This song instantly skyrocketed David Bowie’s career. Since then, no one doubted his talent anymore. Bowie created 27 albums, most of which have obtained cult status in the UK and all over the globe. He became one of the best-selling musicians worldwide. His last album called “Black Star” (2016) was a genuine swan song and his death two days later made people burst into tears.

“All my big mistakes are when I try to second-guess or please an audience. My work is always stronger when I get very selfish about it.”- David Bowie

2. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

How It Started – Today’s Belarusian national leader has never desired to become president. It was an ambition of her husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky. She used to be an English teacher, an interpreter, a housewife, and a mother of two. But when Sergei was imprisoned without a reason, Sviatlana decided to run for the presidency instead of him.

Then events developed rapidly. From several independent and promising applicants, only she was registered as a candidate. She united with the offices of high-potential politicians and had lots of rallies. She gained wide support, but the elections on August 9th, 2020 were totally rigged. The official results gave her 10,12% votes but there was serious proof that Tsikhanouskaya won the presidential election of the Republic of Belarus.

Thereafter the massive protests all over the country began. Lukashenko chose to suppress them extremely violently. Then authorities threatened Sviatlana and forced her to leave Belarus. She was overwhelmed and frightened by this blackmail and left for neighboring Lithuania.

How It’s Going – The story could have ended at this point but she pulled herself together. Tsikhanouskaya confirmed her commitment to fulfilling the struggle against the dictatorship, to release all political prisoners, investigate all crimes of the regime, and hold the new elections. She’s met with Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, and numerous other leaders of the EU. She made reports for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the United Nations Security Council.

Internationally, she’s recognized as an official representative of the interests of Belarusians. In Belarus, she’s regarded as the president-elect. Recently Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya appeared in the Bloomberg 50 amongst the most influential and deserving people of 2020.

3. Elon Musk

How It Started – Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Elon Musk was absolutely unpopular at school. As an odd and introverted guy, he was constantly suffering from bullying. Once, he even ended up in the hospital after his peers pushed him down the stairs.

He was definitely a gifted boy. By the age of 10, he was keen on computing. At the age of 12, he created a video game and sold the code for $500. He attended different universities while working at a farm and lumber-mill.

After a couple of internships in the Silicon Valley, Elon applied for a job at Netscape but didn’t even receive an answer. In 1995 he decided to launch an Internet startup. At that time Musk couldn’t even afford to rent a flat. He was coding at night and slept in their small office.

How It’s Going – Seven years later he made his first $100 million fortune. In 2012 he appeared on Forbes’s Billionaires List. And now Musk alternates with Jeff Bezos for the first place on Bloomberg’s list of richest people in the world. His net worth is estimated at $173.2 billion. Meanwhile, Elon states that he has little interest in the material side of wealth.

Instead, he prefers to develop his incredible projects. SpaceX is making breakthroughs on a regular basis, Tesla became the world’s most valuable car manufacturer in 2020, Neuralink has a perspective to find high-tech salvation from heavy diseases. And how many beautiful concepts are still in his head!

4. Madeline Stuart

How It Started – Madeline was born with Down syndrome and heart disease which was surgically cured right after her birth. Doctors warned her mom, Rosanne, that Madeline would have a tough life. Rosanne didn’t listen to them and started to do her best so that her daughter lived life to the fullest.

Madeline was 18 years old when she visited a fashion show. She was thrilled, so she said to Rosanne: “Mum me model”. Rosanne fully supported her in this aspiration. For this dream, Madeline eventually lost 20 kg and attended her first professional photoshoot. Then she posted the before and after photo on Facebook.

How It’s Going – Now 24-year-old Madeline is the first professional model with Down syndrome in the world. That photo on Facebook gave her 100,000 followers in a single day! She got a modeling contract in 2015 and appeared on New York, Paris, and London Fashion Weeks, as well as many more catwalks. Today she has about 700 000 followers on Facebook, contracts with sportswear and bag brands, and publications in Australian Vogue.

5. Oprah Winfrey

How It Started – Oprah was born in an extremely poor family. Her mother was an unmarried teenager who worked as a housemaid. As a child, Oprah often wore dresses made of potato sacks. She was often harassed by her relatives, so at the age of 13, she left home. At 14, she became pregnant, but her son died in babyhood.

Thankfully, later on, her father put attention to Oprah’s education. She was studying and simultaneously working on the radio. By 19, she was already a co-host for the local news. Her emotional and extemporaneous style prompted her the direction to follow.

How It’s Going – The Oprah Winfrey Show with its confessional interviews had the highest rate in its genre in history. It was broadcasted for 25 years till 2011. Now Oprah is making her new show called The Oprah Conversation on Apple TV.

She’s not only made a fortune but also became the richest African American in the 20th century. Her vision and endorsement are tremendously powerful in varied fields, influencing book sales, public opinion, and even votes on presidential elections. This phenomenon was called “the Oprah Effect”.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah

Final Word

Having talent and uniqueness means much but not enough to succeed. All these incredible stories showcase that everybody needs loads of perseverance, productivity, self-belief, and riskiness. And a bit of luck, certainly! But the likelihood of luck rises as you keep trying over and over. So why not go for it?

Kate Parish, Chief Marketing Officer at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing and website promotion. Kate always strives to stay in pace with the ever-advancing online world, and the sphere of Magento development. Her expertise includes in-depth knowledge of SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, and the field of online sales in general.

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Success Advice

7 Tips to Becoming a Successful Networker

Making yourself more memorable means you’ll have a better chance of making connections



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By starting with a small, manageable task, it becomes much easier to build consistency



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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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Dead Men Tell No Tales: How to Navigate a Mutiny as a Leader in 10 Steps

You’re the manager. You’re the supervisor. You’re the leader. But maybe your people don’t see it that way



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