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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.

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                      Last Updated on October 22, 2019

                      How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

                      How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

                      We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

                      With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

                      So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

                      1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

                      Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

                      So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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                      You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

                      If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

                      Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

                      2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

                      Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

                      Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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                      Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

                      Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

                      3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

                      If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

                      This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

                      Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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                      When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

                      If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

                      Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

                      4. Get up and Move

                      We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

                      When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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                      If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

                      Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

                      It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

                      Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

                      The Bottom Line

                      It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

                      Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

                      More Resources About Boosting Focus and Productivity

                      Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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