“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”
– Orison Swett Marden
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. These inspiring figures had less than a lemon to start out with – and are now known for their sheer tenacity as they climbed to the top.
The rags-to-riches tales are ever alluring. Here is an account of 10 stories:
1. Genghis Khan
– born as the son of the chief of a minor tribe. The murder of his father meant scarcity of food and shelter for the entire clan, and enslavement. However, he won freedom, got back his kidnapped wife, declared himself the Khan of the Mongols. His leadership led the Mongols to conquer China, Middle East and Central Asia.
2. Chris Gardener
– born to a poor family in Milwaukee. He was selected for training program with a financial brokerage firm for very less salary when he moved to San Francisco. His wife left him, leaving him and his son homeless. With perseverance he became the owner of the company Gardener Rich.
3. Bridget ‘Biddy’ Mason
-Born as a slave in Mississippi in 1818. She was owned by many owners. One owner decided to move to California-here slavery was illegal. Her friend, alerted the authority about Mason, and she was declared free. She moved to L.A, worked as a midwife and invested smartly, purchasing many commercial properties.
4. John D Rockefeller
-the billionaire, philanthropist, the most powerful industrialist was born as the son of a travelling salesman. At the age of 16, he earned 50 cents a day in the year 1853. However, by 1859, he had earned enough to start his first company. He also started the Standard Oil Company, which was later bifurcated into Mobil and Exxon.
5. Nursultan Nazarbaev
– born in 1940 to a poor family, in Kazakhstan. It was Kazakhstan, which was used for the testing of nuclear and biological weapons. Through his education and learning, he made sure that the land of Kazakh was ceased from testing of weapons. Presently he presides at the 9th largest country in the world-Kazakhstan.
6. Andrew Carnegie
-born as the son of a weaver in Scotland, UK, in 1835, was later one of the riches industrialist and philanthropist in the USA. He arrived in the USA in 1848 and worked in a telegraph office. Later he pursued some very smart investments, owned a steel industry and mines.
7. Catherine I of Russia
-Catherine I was the real life Cinderella. She was secretly married to Peter the Great-the Tsar of Russia. The official marriage took place following the historical event in which, she handled the Pruth campaign. In fact, this is when was created the Order of St. Catherine in her honor.
8. Charles Dickens
-Charles Dickens is the most loved writers till date. When he was just 12 years old, his father was sent to debtor’s prison. By 15 years of age, he again had to leave for earning money, this time as an office boy. This is where his luck changed and he started submitting Sketches under the pseudonym Boz. This accelerated his writing career.
9. Justin I
– he started his life as a swineherd. He came to Constantinople and joined the Byzantine army. It was his competent and professional manner, which made sure that he was promoted again and again. In fact, post the death of the Emperor, he was elected to succeed him.
10. Frederick Douglas
-Frederick Douglas, born as a slave on a plantation in Maryland, and later nominated as the Vice President of the United States! The young Frederick Douglas learnt reading from the wife of the family, whom he was sent to when he was just 12. He got understating with regards to the human rights. He became a famous public speaker; however, he had to escape to Ireland to avoid his capture. He stayed away to accumulate wealth for paying for his freedom. He later became the ambassador to Haiti.