Over the years, I’ve written about successful people who overcame hardships on their way to achieving their dreams. I think it’s extremely important to realize that struggling and dealing with adversity is not unique; what is unique is being able to push through difficulties and find a way to triumph. This doesn’t mean that your story has to start in an orphanage or a poor village so you’ll have the fire in your belly to get to the top. It just means that you’re not alone in thinking that getting where you want to be is hard. It is hard, and here are some more examples to inspire you to keep going….
Three months after Sarah returned from college, her mother passed away. As a distraction to keep her from grieving in less healthy ways, Sarah channeled her energy into working out. The experience soon became a passion. Sarah lost 45 pounds and found new energy. She returned to school for a degree in exercise science and, after graduating, began pulling together plans for a fitness business. She worked from sunrise till dark, traveling to rented locations to teach classes with a small suitcase and a change of clothes. Eight years later, she invested all her earnings to create her own studio, Sarah Fechter Fitness, a sanctuary where, today, her clients can go to have fun, work hard, and escape from life, just as she once did.
Olivia never knew her parents, and was adopted and raised by a woman she came to call her grandmother. When Olivia was only three years old, her grandmother gambled away her savings. They lost their house, and moved into a leaky shack without running water. Even so, Olivia was able to enroll at secondary school at the age of 15, supporting herself with tutoring and sales jobs. She put herself through college and started her own business at age 28 with cash from selling her car. Initially making sales calls from the back of a motorcycle, Olivia Lum’s company, Hyflux, went on to become the largest publicly traded water company in Singapore, and today is worth over $1.2 billion.
At the age of 38, Tracey was horrified to learn that she possessed the same genetic flaw that had resulted in her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all dying from terminal cancer in their early 50s. Tracey was determined not to risk her then 3-year-old son growing up without a mother, and so, even though she was healthy at the time, she underwent preventative surgery. Infused with a new passion for living, Tracey Barraclough left her office job to become a marathon runner, competitive body-builder, author, and inspirational speaker. She remains cancer-free and sent her son to college in 2012 to study sports medicine.
Nadine began her entrepreneurial career with the goal of providing women an opportunity to achieve levels of wealth and financial freedom that had not always been accessible to them. She created a company, Warm Spirit, which produced a line of pampering products that women could both use and sell. Warm Spirit transformed the direct sales industry, gaining national recognition with celebrity endorsements from Oprah and Diane Keaton, and developed a nationwide network of more than 30,000 consultants with annual sales of over $16 million.
But then something unimaginable happened. After a disagreement over a business plan with her key financial investor, Nadine learned that she was being manipulated out of the company she had started. Due to misplaced trust and a degree of naiveté, she discovered that she actually owned no part of Warm Spirit. Nadine was forced out of the company into which she had poured everything for 10 years.
In Nadine's own words, "There will be challenges disguised as failures. Successful people learn from challenges and bounce back.” In the wake of losing her business, Nadine remained committed to building a global company that would empower women and maintain a high degree of social responsibility. She started over and launched a new company called Soul Purpose. Today, Nadine Thompson has been named one of the most powerful and influential people in the Direct Sales world.
You may have heard me repeat a quote that I like about starting over: “A setback ain’t nothin’ but a setup for a comeback.” Living a happy and successful life forces us to pick ourselves up after even the most crushing losses, and push through even the most challenging circumstances. Which leads me to another favorite quote, this one from Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never give up.”
Until Next Week…
Live Your Dreams!
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