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Against All Odds: Entrepreneurs Who Turned Their Dream into a Reality

There is no doubt that entrepreneurs normally share a considerable number of unique personality traits. Perseverance, entrepreneurial drive, self-confidence, an immutable belief in a vision and a bit of luck all come into play. However, the phrase “I can’t” simply does not exist within their vocabulary. In order to gain real-life inspiration, let’s take a look at some incredible success stories and how a handful of individuals rose above the masses to realize their vision.

The Millennial Miracle

 At 22 years old, Chris Pfaff had very little to show after graduating from a small school in Akron, Ohio. Ironically, he originally wanted to be a professional skateboarder until he suffered an injury which put him into a coma for four days. Thanks to a bit of personal inspiration and a cousin who happened to be starring on an MTV reality series, Pfaff decided to pursue his passion for clothing. He had no startup capital and little direction in regards to which markets to attract. However, he soon collaborated with designer PacSun to generate a bit of liquidity. These funds were then pumped back into his organisation. The company now earns more than $31 million dollars a year and Mr. Pfaff plans on expanding even further.

Apple, Google and Beyond

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Camille Hearst was a Stanford engineering graduate who was fortunate enough to land a job with Apple between 2005 and 2010. In fact, she was one of the first product managers who oversaw the launch of iTunes. Although subsequently employed by both Google and YouTube, Ms. Hearst always had a passion to strike out her own path within the entrepreneurial community. This emotion soon transformed into a reality, as she is the founder of Kit. Kit is a social recommendation service which rates and promotes products that other customers enjoy. Another notable milestone for this young woman is that she is only the 12th African American to raise more than $1 million dollars to promote a startup company. It is therefore completely understandable that other venture capitalists are looking to invest in such talent.

The Sheer Power of Belief

 If we do not believe in our own product, how can we ever expect anyone else to invest their hard-earned funds? This is essentially the attitude that Adam Pisoni first embraced in 1995. Through sheer determination alone, his website design company garnered more than $2 million dollars in revenue until the Dot-com bubble burst. Undaunted, he ventured into several failed businesses including a real estate company and even a snowboard shop. However, he returned to the technological community in 2004 and was employed by such well-known online giants as Shopzilla. He would eventually land a founding role with the social media platform Yammer. Pisoni attributes his success to hard work, dedication and to the belief that even failure can teach us all something about ourselves.

Never Too Old

Age should never be a determining factor in regards to success and Shaun McConnon certainly proves this point. Known for his reputation as a venture capitalist, this 72-year-old took the leap to become the CEO of a cybersecurity company known as BitSight. What is interesting about Mr. McConnon is that he has never personally founded a company. He has instead become involved at an early stage when he was able to attract interested investors. This strategy seems to work, as he is currently worth more than $100 million dollars.

Second-Generation Immigrant Success

Entrepreneur Chieh Huang grew up in a middle-income household and he learned to appreciate the value of bulk purchases at a very early age. So, it only makes sense that he went on to found the online discount site Boxed. This company grossed just over $8 million in 2015. It expects to clear more than $100 million by the end of this fiscal year. In the case of Mr. Huang, he utilised relative poverty as motivation to realize his vision. Boxed is expected to perform phenomenally in the years to come.


Of course, not all of us can raise the millions required in order to follow our dreams. One excellent alternative is to utilise the modern investment tools offered at CMC Markets. Life is short, so why not pursue our visions?


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