The business world is a fascinating place to explore. This is in large part due to the fact we all have to get involved with it in one way or another in our working lives! After all, carving out a successful career is something most people need to do as they move through life.
A great place to look for inspiration is how those who have come before us achieved business success. The most obvious examples are highly successful business leaders who show just what can be done with the right approach. While you might think that people like this all came from privileged backgrounds, this is not true. There are some really good examples of business icons who actually went from rags to riches.
When you look deeper into how this can happen, the same themes come up time and again. Hard work is a must, as are dedication and courage. But why is education also something that can help you make it in business?
Education teaches you how business works
The online MBA at Aston University in the UK is a great example of what education provides to those aiming for the top of the business world. This is an online course is recognized internationally and delivers a top-quality business education to people around the world. This business leadership course not only gives you an insight into the latest behavioral science thinking but also teaches core skills required to succeed in the corporate world.
By taking advantage of courses like this, you can overcome humble beginnings and gain key knowledge required to prosper in your career. When allied with other crucial ingredients for business success, education can really help you to reach for the stars. This is illustrated by how many people have gone from rags to riches in the corporate world with the right approach to guide them. But who are some of the best examples to know about?
- George Soros
When it comes to billionaires who went from rags to riches, global investing icon George Soros is a classic example. Few people know that he enjoyed a much less fortunate start in life and really had to work hard to enjoy the money he has today.
Soros was born into a Jewish family in Hungary during the Nazi occupation. Somehow, his family managed to survive this experience and Soros was free to escape to London after World War II in 1947. Initially, he worked as a waiter and railway porter in order to pay for his studies at the London School of Economics.
After graduating, he moved to the USA and made his fortune as one of the most successful investors ever. This has allowed him to accumulate vast personal wealth and demonstrate just how someone can go from rags to riches.
- Do Won Chang
Although he may now be associated with fashion and known for running the huge clothing store chain Forever 21 with his wife Jin Sook Chang, Do Won Chang was not always rich. In fact, he started from pretty humble beginnings before reaching the very top.
But just what is his story? Chang was born in South Korea but made the decision to move to LA in 1981. This was in large part to seek out business opportunities that were not present in South Korea back then. To begin with, he worked three separate jobs to make ends meet. It was while working a shift as a gas station employee that he had a lightbulb moment.
Chang noticed that the people with the best cars worked in fashion, which led him to pursue opportunities in the sector. Before long, he had opened a 900-square-foot clothing store in Highland Park in 1984 and started to build his now thriving business empire.
- Howard Schultz
Life looks pretty good for Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz now, as he has an estimated net worth of $2.9bn and a luxurious lifestyle. Like the others on our list though, it was not always like this for him. He came from much more downbeat surroundings.
Growing up, he lived in a poor housing complex in Brooklyn, New York. He did not let this hold him back though and first gained a football scholarship to study at the University of Michigan, before bagging a job at Xerox post-graduation. The start of his journey to the highest levels of business began when he became Director of Retail Operations and Marketing at Starbucks.
Back then, Starbucks was not the global coffee behemoth we know today and had a much lower profile. After becoming company CEO in 1987, Schultz made moves to expand Starbucks and greatly raise its brand visibility. This led to it growing to include 16,000 outlets globally and turned Schultz into one of the most successful businesspeople of recent times.
- Sir Richard Branson
One of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs is Sir Richard Branson, but he suffered some hard times before making it big. This included going bankrupt twice! Now worth an estimated $5.5bn, it is clear he has overcome his past problems and made his mark as a top businessperson.
Branson did not do well at school in the UK and dropped out before starting his own magazine. Following this, he started selling records on a mail-order basis before opening up a physical record store on London’s Oxford Street.
Although this hit legal troubles soon after, he was not defeated and went on to start his own highly successful Virgin record label. Over the years, Branson has diversified his business empire to include flights, telecommunications, media, and even space travel. He is now as successful as ever and a shining example of how someone can start off poor, before making it big.
Rags to riches stories in business not uncommon
Although you might not think it at first, rags-to-riches stories in business are not that uncommon. As the above examples show, there are some pretty famous names who have started off small before making it to the top. This is encouraging for anyone who is thinking of starting a career in business but does not have a large amount of capital or a privileged background to help them.