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These 10 Entrepreneurs Are Proof That Money, Age and Education Can’t Stop Them from Succeeding

These 10 Entrepreneurs Are Proof That Money, Age and Education Can’t Stop Them from Succeeding

Many people dream of owning their own company and being their own boss. But only a handful of those people actually do it. Many of us simply fall into a routine of working for someone else. No matter what your dream in life is, you can achieve it! Here are some famous entrepreneurs who have sought after their goals and fulfilled their desires, no matter what stage of life they were in!

Ashley Qualls – Founder of Whateverlife.com

    If you think you have to be an adult to start a business, think again! Ashley was 14 when she started Whateverlife.com in 2004. The site offered free Myspace layouts and HTML tutorials to make customizing Myspace pages easier. By 2008 her site was getting 7 million hits per month and included Verizon in a list of high profile companies vying for ad space. It’s encouraging to know that someone at just 14 years old can carve out a nice business for themselves! We can’t wait to see if she does anything else!

    Carrie Greene – Founder of Female Entrepreneur Association

      In 2005, at 19 years old, Carrie was a law student at the University of Birmingham. She had run out of money after her first year and opened a phone unlocking business. She had no knowledge of business building and yet in four years she had over 100,000 visits to her website and over 500,000 views on her YouTube videos. She was generating $500,000 a month!

      During those 4 years, she started the Female Entrepreneur Association with no followers, no fans, and a large desire to bring women together to help support them in business. Within 5 years of starting that endeavor she had over 300,000 fans on Facebook, 100,000 email subscribers, 80,000 hits to the website per month, and generated $90,000 of income per month.

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      And did she drop school to favor her businesses? NO! She continued and graduated on time while running both businesses. She is a true vision that it doesn’t matter if you are young and how busy you are, you can make yourself a success if you want it.

      Lan Yang – Co-Founder of Sun Media

        Lan Yang began her journey to being Hong Kong’s answer to Oprah Winfrey at age 22 by starring in the Zheng Da Variety Show. She has become such a famous face that when she and her husband founded Sun Media, they were able to make it into a major media monopoly. The multi-platform includes television, newspapers, magazines, and websites.

        She has 33 million followers on Weibo (Hong Kong’s version of Twitter), outweighing Oprah’s impressive 18 million followers on Twitter. She most recently launched a charity alliance aimed at promoting transparency in Hong Kong’s philanthropic sector and routinely engages in Ted Talks across her country. Lan Yang knew what she wanted from a young age and has worked her way to the top without ever depending on someone else to do the work for her.

        Sergey Brin – Co-Founder of Google

          If you need inspiration for entrepreneurship, look no further than Sergey Brin. He co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998, at the age of 25. They named it Google after the mathematical term Gogol in their mission to organize the immense amount of information that is available on the web. Both he and Larry raised $1 million from friends, family, and other investors to begin the daunting task of organizing the web and have successfully become the most well known search engine in history.

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          As of 2016, the search engine handles more than one trillion searches in a single day. Sergey is now worth $43.9 billion between his success at Google and various other projects he has taken on since then.

          Sara Blakely – Founder of Spanx

            Sara is a self-made billionaire who founded, and still owns Spanx. At age 29, she spent her only $5,000 to invest in her idea for slimming and shaping undergarments. She was a door-to-door fax salesperson when she designed the undergarment to wear under white slacks (which are not as forgiving as black slacks). In the first year of promoting her invention, she would set up a folding table in the foyer of Neiman Marcus and do her best to sell as many as she could. It’s true when we say, “it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you make the start!”

            Jeff Bezos – Founder of Amazon

              You can’t talk about successful entrepreneurs and not mention Jeff Bezos. Amazon is the leading e-commerce site all over the globe and it’s major success is due to Jess Bezos, his tenacity, and hard work. At 30 years old, in 1994, he left a cushy New York hedge fund job to begin Amazon as an online book store. Now the online leader sells everything you can possibly imagine, offers self publishing for e-Books, and digital video entertainment services. He also has his hands in aerospace, with his company Blue Origin, developing reusable rockets that will transport people.

              Many people think that at 30, they are in their career. Jeff looked beyond and decided to engage his passions rather than work a traditional financial position.

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              Cher Wang – Co-founder of HTC

                Cher Wang loves her technology and certainly did well by helping start HTC in 1997 when she was 39 years old. Not only has she stayed with the company through it’s ups and downs, she now oversees the latest release of the HTC One (M8) and has seen to it that they were launched across the four largest US phone carriers, a first for HTC and hopefully not the last.

                Vera Wang – Fashion Designer

                  Everyone knows Vera Wang as a major wedding dress designer. However, she began her fantastic career as a fashion editor for Vogue and eventually a design editor for Ralph Lauren. It was after she designed her own wedding dress, at 40 years old, that her introduction to fashion designing truly began. Sometimes the path to our major success includes life lessons along the way that support what we should be doing. In Vera’s case, she always had a flair for fashion and she brought what she learned as editor and director to her designs!

                  Henry Ford – Founder of Ford Motor Vehicles

                    Henry Ford is known for being a fantastic engineer and a spokesperson for fair wages for labor. We all know he designed and manufactured the Model T in 1908. But did you know that he was 45 years old when he created the iconic vehicle? It goes to show that when you have an idea that could revolutionize the world, who cares how old you are?

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                    Arianna Huffington – Founder of Huffington Post

                      At 55 years old, Arianna Huffington started Huffington Post. Read that again…..at 55 years old! The blog site quickly became a huge success and was eventually purchased in 2011 by AOL. Prior to HuffPo (as many refer to it), Arianna was a conservative commentator when she made the move to start her own website. She has written many books over the years and has most recently published The Sleep Revolution. In 2016, she started Thrive Global, a start-up devoted to health and wellness. She is now 66 years old and going strong!

                      Most of us think that we need to go to college first, get a degree, and then get a traditional job. These famous entrepreneurs show that it does not matter how old you are, what your level of education is, or how much money you have, you can become your own successful boss and launch an amazing company to do fantastic things that change the world. They may have been afraid to step out and take on their dreams but they did not let that fear grab them and hold them back. So what are you going to do with your life?

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      More by this author

                      Angela Kunschmann

                      Angela is a passionate writer who shares communication and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

                      Growing up With a Narcissistic Father: How to Turn Things Around Quiz: How Self Aware Are You? It Can Predict How Your Life Would Be Like These 10 Entrepreneurs Are Proof That Money, Age and Education Can’t Stop Them from Succeeding 30 Beautiful Ways to Say I Love You to the One You Care Success Isn’t About Talent Or Luck. It’s About Consistency

                      Trending in Productivity

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                      Last Updated on January 6, 2021

                      14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                      14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                      Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

                      In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

                      For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

                      For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

                      Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

                      Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

                      Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

                      How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

                      Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

                      1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

                      Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

                      For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

                      2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

                      Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

                      Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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                      Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

                      3. Create a System

                      Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

                      This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

                      You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

                      Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

                      Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

                      4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

                      We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

                      If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

                      Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

                      Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

                      5. Use a Ratings Scale

                      Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

                      Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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                      It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

                      6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

                      This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

                      You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

                      You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

                      7. Offer Feedback Forms

                      Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

                      First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

                      Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

                      You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                      8. Track Cost Effectiveness

                      This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

                      Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

                      Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

                      9. Use Self-Evaluations

                      Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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                      Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

                      10. Monitor Time Management

                      This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

                      Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                        The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                        While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                        11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                        We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                        Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                        For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                        Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                        Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                        From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                        12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                        This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                        Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                        Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                        It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                        13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                        When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                        Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                        Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                        14. Use an External Evaluator

                        Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                        They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                        While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                        Final Thoughts

                        These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                        The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                        The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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                        Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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