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

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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

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                      Last Updated on October 7, 2021

                      Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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                      Are You Addicted to Productivity?

                      “It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

                      Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

                      “Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

                      Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

                      Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

                      “The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

                      This is my mantra:

                      I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

                      But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

                      Addiction to Productivity is Real

                      Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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                      “A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

                      Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

                      “It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

                      Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

                      “A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

                      “There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

                      “For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

                      There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

                      Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

                      By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

                      Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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                      Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

                      Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

                      Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

                      The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

                      Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

                      • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
                      • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
                      • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
                      • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
                      • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
                      • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
                      • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

                      The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

                      Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

                      Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

                      1. Set Limits

                      Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

                      For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

                      2. Create a Not-to-Do List

                      Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

                      3. Be Vulnerable

                      By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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                      4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

                      Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

                      Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

                      There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

                      5. Don’t Be a Copycat

                      Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

                      That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

                      6. Say Yes to Less

                      Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

                      That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

                      Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

                      7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

                      “In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

                      “That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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                      • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
                      • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
                      • Establish realistic goals.
                      • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
                      • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
                      • Hold yourself accountable.
                      • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
                      • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

                      8. Simplify

                      Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

                      The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

                      9. Learn How to Relax

                      “Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

                      “But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

                      “And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

                      But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

                      • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
                      • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
                      • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
                      • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
                      • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
                      • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
                      • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
                      • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
                      • Visit a massage therapist.
                      • Just breathe.

                      “Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

                      It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

                      Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

                      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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