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4 Wildly Successful People Who Started From the Bottom

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We all love a good rags-to-riches story about successful people who worked through adversity. Whether they were challenged by learning disabilities, a bad family life, or a dangerous environment, these 4 entrepreneurs started with nothing. Today they’re at the top of the world.

Daymond John is the founder of apparel line FUBU and investor on the hit TV show Shark Tank. He’s a true definition of a modern-day renaissance man with a net worth of $300 million.

The fire of Daymond John’s entrepreneurial spirit was always stoked by a desire to run his own business. Even from a young age, Daymond came up with creative ways to make money, such as scraping the paint off pencils and customizing them with the names of the prettiest girls in his class. 

As an adult, he waited tables at Red Lobster, where he gleaned some entrepreneurial guidance from the way they would generate revenue through appetizers and drinks. 

Work didn’t follow him home, leaving him with time to focus on his real passion: an apparel business for young men that would also link Daymond John’s love of Hip-Hop. His mother—who Daymond lauds as his main inspiration—taught him to sew wool caps. He sold 80 of them at $10 apiece; when they sold out, he went back the next hour and got more material.

Daymond John’s mother recognized her son’s passion, so she mortgaged her home to raise six figures in startup capital. Daymond’s business launched in 1992 and grew in extreme popularity as rappers wore FUBU in their music videos. 

Today Daymond John celebrates the power of leveraging a “broke mindset.” His book, The Power of Broke, details ways to get creative in the face of poverty like he once did. 

Tai Lopez grew up in Long Beach, California with a less-than-optimal family life, raised by his mother and grandmother—his father was in prison off and on.

When he was six years old, Tai sold cherry tomatoes with his mother for a quarter a bag. Realizing that cherry tomatoes weren’t so popular, he decided to sell “lemonade with sugar.” When he started making ten times the amount he made with cherry tomatoes in the same amount of time, he recognized the power of product and demand and taking entrepreneurial risks. 

Long Beach in the ‘80s was home to a lot of gang activity. Thankfully, Tai was very shy and turned to books to cope with his environment. Tai wanted to learn more about the idea of a good life, so he wrote to his grandfather, a successful scientist. Tai’s grandfather sent him a box of eleven books, hand-picked to fan the fires of Tai’s natural curiosity and spark a lifelong love of reading. Tai began to read thousands of books, and soon became filled with a desire to travel and meet people like those he read about in his books.

Tai set out to travel 51 countries and immerse himself in experiences like working at a leper colony in India and living among the Amish—where he learned to avoid procrastination by doing the hardest things first.

Broke from his travels, Tai moved back in with his mother, sleeping on the couch of her mobile home. In desperation, he opened the Yellow Pages to find a mentor. It just so happened that Mike Stainback, the owner of a local insurance firm, had been searching for an ambitious mentee at exactly the same time. 

Tai moved on from the insurance firm to become a top-ranked social media influencer and internet celebrity when his famous video of him standing in his garage next to his Lamborghini—and a library of several thousand books went viral. A true testament to the love of books his grandfather sparked many years ago. 

Tai Lopez associates his success with experience and a self-guided love of reading—he still immerses himself in one book every single day.

Ben Buckwalter is the founder of one of the fastest growing sales training schools in America—and a perfect example of getting to the top through hard work.

Ben grew up in a small Midwestern town surrounded by farmland; his inspiring story showcases not relying on a formal education to achieve success in life and earning big while overcoming the limiting beliefs of other people.

After years of struggling to find success in school because of his ADHD, Ben dropped out of college. On the last day of college, a professor told him that low test scores meant he would never get a well-paying job and he would struggle in life. 

“I will never forget the feeling of hopelessness I felt when I heard those words,” says Ben Buckwalter. “At that moment, I decided that I didn’t need college or community support; I decided I would create my own path to success.”

Ben didn’t quite know where to turn, so he took a low paying summer job shoveling dirt at a garden center. In his desperation to get out of the summer heat, he took the next available job he found and moved on to selling insurance at a call center. 

He continued to grow and educate himself and it was in his new role as an insurance salesman that Ben got an important crash-course on sales, cold calling, and most importantly, how to close a deal. Before long, he was the company’s top seller. 

Ben left the company and used his experience and knowledge to successfully launch multiple businesses selling millions upon millions of dollars in programs and products, across multiple niches from the agrochemical market to digital marketing. 

Today Ben Buckwalter is an award winning sales strategist and successful entrepreneur working with global brands to master their selling process. Ben has gone on to become one of the most sought-after coaches in the sales and marketing industry, where he teaches his students to shatter the glass ceiling of their own expectations.

When Ben looks back on his journey, he relates that this feeling of being “up against the wall” helping him find success, and he’s never let that inspiration go. 

Lewis Howes is a shining example of how someone can overcome multiple challenges to find greatness in life. Howes grew up in Delaware, Ohio, the youngest of four siblings. He struggled for attention, he struggled with the way he looked, he struggled with reading comprehension, and he struggled to find friends.

Howes’ parents met and married when they were 19. They had both wanted to be professional opera singers. Instead, they ended up struggling financially as Howes’ father worked three jobs. Neither parent was living their dreams, and it showed through their stress and tension.

This stress impacted Howes and his siblings. One brother was jailed for selling drugs, while a sister struggled with alcoholism. Howes was placed in special education classes because of reading issues. The idea of public speaking put him into a cold sweat.

Miserable at home and at school, Howes turned to sports as a ticket out. But his path to success actually started when he made some friends at a Christian summer camp. These particular kids attended a boarding school in Saint Louis, and Howes was captivated by their positivity, energy, and creativity.

He petitioned his parents to go to this boarding school, where he excelled at football. He wasn’t the best at anything, but he was willing to sacrifice pain for playtime. He attributes this drive to his feelings of loneliness as a child—as if he had nothing to lose. 

Howes made it to the bush league of Arena Football. Then his wrist broke in 2007. Penniless, he moved in with his sister, went through rehab, and entered a job market impacted by the 2008-2009 recession, with no job skills. Even worse, Howes felt like he had lost his identity.

Watching a handball game, Howes decided this could be his sport—but he needed money to get to New York and start training. He started spending hours every day on LinkedIn, learning the ins and outs of networking. He created a group for sports executives, which ballooned to 10,000 professionals in about a year.

People started telling Howes that his work on LinkedIn had helped them network their way into a job. Howes started speaking at events, opened a coaching business, and hosting live meetups. He also reached his goal of playing handball for the US Olympic Team. 

Today Howes has a top-100 podcast, The School of Greatness. He’s been named by the White House as one of the top-100 entrepreneurs under 30. Above all, Howes is dedicated to saving people from unhappy careers, which leads to unhappy lives—strongly believing that if people do what they love, the world will be a better place.

Business

How To Stay Focused on Your Business Goals With Jacob Galea and Paul Getter

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How to stay focused on your business goals? Determination is usually the longest chapter in every story about business success. Success is demanding and at the top of the list of requirements is determination and willpower.

If you find yourself stuck in chaos and stress even right now, it is time to find positive methods that other people have used to acquire wealth and focus on the one that works for you.

Most folks think that every business success is due to having been born with an abundant supply of determination compared to everybody else.

However, if you ask any success story, they reveal that it is not being more determined but rather, effectively harnessing your mind and staying focused. Here are a few methods on how to stay focused on your business goals.

Remind Yourself Of Your Business Goals

Creating a system that serves as a constant reminder of your business goals. You can create mind movies or a vision board. It is crucial to remind yourself why you are reaching for these goals.

For example, you want to start a Charity in a third world country. Clearly imagine your vision and do this on a daily basis. You can visualize how you want your Charity to look and operate five minutes a day.

Transformational Coach and Mentor Jacob Galea says “Remember why you started. Focus on your why. Get a mentor to keep you on track. Think about what would happen if you don’t achieve those goals and look back in regret. Keep strong daily little goals that get you to your big goal. Have a massive reward that you will purchase when you hit that massive goal.”

The more detailed your mental picture is, the better. Become involved emotionally by putting videos or even music to heighten emotion. This increases your motivation and keeps you focused on your business goals.

Regenerate Energy

Work on something and when you feel your energy fade, take a quick break. Stretch, run, walk. Do what helps you regenerate focus and energy so you can go back to your business tasks with sharper mental focus and renewed vigor.

Get Rid Of Distractions

Deal with real emergencies when they come up. Most situations these days tend to be distractions and not emergencies. Get rid of time-wasting distractions and focus on business-tasks. Spend less time in trivial activities. You will also build an image of a focused, strong-willed person who is quite busy, which can only be good for business.

Do The Hardest Tasks First

Fretting and dreading difficult business tasks won’t make them any easier. Instead, dig in and do them first. Doing the hardest job first frees up your energy for all the easier stuff. Tough jobs are also best done in the morning since this is when you have the most energy, and your mind is sharp from all that coffee.

Founder of The Internet Marketing Nerds Paul Getter says “To stay focused on your goals it is essential to shut out all the noise that distracts you from truly being productive. Understand, there’s a difference between being busy and being productive.”

Schedule Everything The Day Before

Set up each day the night before. Make your to-do list the day before each day. Where you will eat, which route to work and what to wear saves you time. Business and personal expenditures need to be included. Don’t surf or check email before you finish your nightly checklist.

The next day, stick to your schedule. Planning the next day ahead keeps you on top of things. You are in control, with no wasted energy and time. This helps you stay focused on your business goals.

Source: MSNBC

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How the Capsule Hackathon Bridges Sustainability and Corporate Innovation to Produce a Record-Breaking Event

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Hackathons are a special breed of events for their role in innovation. Originating in the tech industry, hackathons have been adopted across almost every segment and come in all shapes and sizes. The collaborative nature and mind share allows for rapid creation of ideas. Companies and industries continue to use hackathons to extract innovative ideas with individuals who can build them. If there is something that needs this innovative approach more than anything, its the climate crisis. 

Hackathons have become a crucial channel for generating new ideas and connecting with the people who can bring them to life. We’ve all heard how challenging it is for large companies to keep innovating, which is why Fortune 1000 companies are adopting hackathons as an integral component of their innovation pipelines. As large companies enhance their corporate social responsibility efforts, their interest in certain technologies overlaps with climate-focused solutions.

Seeing opportunity in the alignment of the need for corporate innovation, Experimental Civics is hosting Capsule 2020 with the participation of key partners. Capsule is a civic hackathon hosting over 4,000 hackers on June 20-21, 2020 in Austin, Texas to hack forward 500+ projects that all intersect with the environment.

Through various strategic partnerships with universities, corporate innovation labs, and non-governmental bodies, the innovation pipeline extends beyond the two-day hackathon event.

Early partner support

Nothing happens without the involvement of strategic and passionate partners. In the roster of community partners is Oxford AI Society, where VP of Partnerships, Ruben Drayton states, “Partnerships are very important for us in reaching more people and inching closer to our mission. Hackathons are where brilliant people come together to create novel solutions, and the spirit of Capsule reflects our goal of connecting AI talent with multidisciplinary problems for drastically improved answers to the most complex issues of our time. We are therefore excited to be able to see what comes out of the event, and hope to bridge Oxford’s AI knowledge with other communities around the world.”

An early partner of Capsule is The Earth Hacks Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to building grassroots environmental hackathons at universities. Also confirmed, is Tech Together, a student-run nonprofit that equips individuals with the tools and resources necessary to host an all-female and non-binary hackathon with the mission to end the gender hack gap in technology. Zero Waste Strategies, an Austin-based waste diversion, and consultancy group is a sustainability partner helping to reduce waste created at the event. Additional community partners include Welti, Youth Climate Leaders, and Key Conservation.

“Partnerships are at the heart of innovation. For Key Conservation, we are working to help conservation efforts on a global scale and to be able to do that we need to have our eyes and ears to the pulse of these efforts happening around the world. Our partnerships are crucial in allowing us to have these insights so we are not only building something that can be useful globally but they allow us access to local knowledge, personal in-field experiences, areas of expertise and to see the world from a different perspective, which is priceless. One of the more exciting features of the Key Conservation app is the ability for skilled professionals to use their skills to help conservation organizations. When we heard about how Capsule was bringing people from all over the world, from different skill sets to help tackle climate change we knew we had to be involved. We truly believe that no matter what you do for a living you can use those skills to make a difference which is exactly what Capsule is working to do.”

Megan Cromp, Director at Key Conservation

Innovation Pipeline

Capsule’s founder, Sarah Sharif, has successfully helped clients like Redbull, Google Fiber, and Mozilla to extract 6-figure ideas while also impacting their social bottom line. Sharif’s relevant, high-level unique experiences serve as a cornerstone in her efforts to execute on Capsule. Sharif is a former Director of ATX Hack for Change, winner of a Mozilla Science Grant in 2019 for her work with Life Sci Hack, and Judge for both the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund and City of Austin’s Gigabit Fund awarding over $310K to spur the generation of local social enterprises.

As an 18-month innovation program, Capsule uses the 2-day hackathon to bring together everyone that is involved throughout the process. Before the event, organizations and individuals are welcome to submit project ideas to lead and spread the word.

It takes a village

Hackathon projects are just projects at first, but the real goal is to see promising projects evolve into actual businesses. Diversity is key when it comes to organizing hacking teams with complementary skills. Participating hackers come from all sorts of backgrounds including students, developers, designers, scientists, entrepreneurs and more. 

A common misconception is that you need to have technical skills to participate in hackathons, but that is not the case with Capsule since the aim is to build a business that needs many diverse minds. Anyone looking to participate in Capsule to be a part of breaking a world record is welcome to share their project ideas during open call Jan. 27, 2020 – Apr. 15, 2020. Finalists will be announced on May 4, 2020.

“We need all the builders, doers, makers, creators, thinkers, and leaders to get involved now. The complexities of the climate crisis present certain challenges that I believe our hackathon formula is well equipped to overcome.”

Sarah Sharif, Founder of Experimental Civics and Founder of Capsule

Those who submit their project ideas will have their proposed idea go through the project selection process and finalists will have to be present at the event in order to run the project as a project lead. 

On-site support from a small army of volunteers will help the event run smoothly. Volunteers support all event functions from traffic control, runner duties, event setup, event takedown, greeter, information, etc. Volunteer training will be provided before the event and all volunteer-related affairs will be tracked using the volunteer management system, GivePulse. 

An ambitious goal of solving the climate crisis needs to be met with an equally ambitious approach. That’s exactly what Capsule offers with a civic hackathon, focus on open science, diverse participants, and a support network for the continued development of promising projects. 

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For Ryan Morris, Financial Security Just Wasn’t Fulfilling Enough

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The idea of financial uncertainty is an extremely unnerving thing in the entrepreneurship space. The concept that if your performance is lacking for an extended period of time, you will quite literally have no money to even put food on the table for yourself. While this draws many people away from entrepreneurship, Ryan Morris wound up quitting multiple high paying jobs in favor of chasing his dream of being an entrepreneur. Many outside observers would frown upon his decision, as he abandoned his financial security just to go work for himself. Morris knew that regardless of how much money he was pulling in working for someone else, he would never be quite fulfilled. So, chasing his dreams was a no brainer for him.

Ryan was no overnight success either. He spent the better part of 3 years experimenting with different ventures, with his fair share of failures along the way. Ryan admits that the journey is tough, with most of it feeling like a constant uphill battle coming from the bottom. He feels lonely at times, but ultimately is in love with the game, especially the process of finding success. He hasn’t ever been involved with entrepreneurship for the money, even though he is immensely successful today. He’s the owner of iFortune Marketing, a digital marketing agency, the owner of J&R Vacations, a real estate management company, a forex trader, and a professional network marketer. 

With all of the success he’s recently found and the incredible connections he’s made, Morris has came into a position of helping others. He has been all about passing the wisdom he’s gained onto others, with his main piece of advice being straightforward: you don’t have to be perfect to get started. Imperfect action is the best course of action, as waiting for the right time to get started will have you stuck at square one for far too long. Take it from Ryan, trying and failing is completely fine. Failure is the greatest learning tool any entrepreneur can have, and the best knowledge will never come from any book or course but from firsthand experience. 

If Ryan was able to become successful from his lowest point, then anyone reading this will surely be able to as well. While having his back against the wall did give him the extra drive to work as hard as he could to find success, it was surely a trying time on him to the point where this is the first time he’s been able to share the ordeal with anybody. By accepting his extremely negative situation and emotions and being able to acknowledge that he was not in a good place, he gave himself no choice but to change his situation. No matter how unfortunate of a situation you may currently be in, there is absolutely a way out of it if you’re willing to put the work in. Ryan’s life has completely turned around, and he urges anyone going through tough times to dig deep and find the inner strength to overcome their struggles and make it happen for them.

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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