Another Entrepreneurship Project of the  Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University

Rags to Riches Millionaires: How did they do it?

In entrepreneurship, there is no age, gender or financial constraints to start a prosperous venture. Anyone can be successful if they are willing to learn from their mistakes. Indeed, the following millionaires were just regular individuals who decided one day to make a difference in the world; aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from their stories!

Catherine Hughes, founder of Radio One, was a mom and a high school dropout by the time she was 16. However, she made it a point to complete high school, and started working at a local radio station in 1969. In 1980, she founded Radio One, but was barely able to make ends meet. She recalls sleeping on the radio station floor with her son, because she could not afford an apartment. All along, her mother urged her to quit, but she soldiered on, and today controls a media empire, including a TV network and other ventures. Her words of wisdom: “Sometimes the ones who love you the most will give you the worst business advice.”

Bert Jacobs (CEO of  “Life is Good” ) and his brother started their tee-shirt business in Boston in 1989, selling their items door-to-door, and sleeping in their van to save money. He admits that they made several mistakes in the early days, because they had “no business plan or growth strategy”. However, after six years of constant improvements, and using their customers and friends as informal focus groups, their business finally took off, and has now yearly revenues in excess of $100 million. Bert suggests that, when choosing your venture idea, you should “shoot for a timeless business, that will work through god times and bad”. In other words, DO NOT be a mere fad! Instead, incorporate your product in people’s lives for the long haul.

Successful entrepreneurs are not made overnight; they have to overcome countless challenges, and not give up in their dreams. For more inspiring stories, please read the full Yahoo! Finance article at:

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/power-your-future/6-rags-riches-millionaires-174215314.html

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