In this article, let’s talk about the inspirational stories of great personalities.
If you think the road to success for most successful people was easy, think again. They experienced their share of failures. And they went through obstacles and uncertainties, too.
But with a relentless spirit and boldness to dream, they went forward in life.
If you want to make it big in life, too, you need to be as bold as these people.
What can inspirational stories of great personalities do for you?
They can help you understand it’s up to you to decide how far you want to go in life. Like the people below have, you may need to adjust your mindset and do whatever it takes.
If these people can accomplish big things, you can, too.
These inspirational stories of great personalities can also:
- Help you believe in yourself – They can encourage you to realize your potential. If you doubt your abilities, these inspiring stories can increase your confidence.
- Make you feel less alone – For anyone who is aiming for success, the stories are relatable. And they can open your eyes to other people’s journey to success.
- Inspire you for the better – They can help you understand how life’s outcomes can sometimes be unfair. But if you have unwavering determination, you can get your heart’s desires.
Five inspirational stories of great personalities
What sets great people apart from the average individuals? They don’t back down.
Here, let’s go over five inspirational stories of great personalities:
1. Walt Disney
“All our dreams can come true
if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Walt Disney’s journey to success started when he worked as a paperboy at age 10. Together with his brother Roy, he would wake up at 4:30 in the morning to deliver newspapers to houses.
By that time, he learned the value of hard work. He knew hard work pays. But he believed work was something he should be passionate about. And delivering newspapers wasn’t his passion.
So he carried on with his life and joined the army. After the time he spent in the army, he pursued a job he wanted, a newspaper cartoonist.
Unfortunately, Walt was “let go” and his employer told him he lacked imagination. Most people would find the words offensive and take it as a hit to their self-esteem.
For him, though, it had almost no effect. The moment he exited his job was the same moment he launched a company with Ub Iwerks, a fellow cartoonist. They named the company Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists.
A month later, sadly, the company went under.
Walt felt sad about the situation. But he moved on from the failed venture and applied for a job at the Kansas City Film Ad Company.
When he proposed an innovative animation project, the ad company rejected it. Because he believed in the power of his innovation, he quit his job and once again, fired up another company. Together with Ub Iwerks and other animators, Laugh-O-Grams came to life.
But while this second venture was better than the first, it still met the same fate as the first venture. Not long after, the company also went under.
Walt didn’t stop there, though. He believed in himself and in his dream.
So he went to Hollywood and dove in on the opportunity there. He met up with Roy, filled him in on his idea, and proposed to co-found another company. Along with other professionals, he set up shop and rented a space at the back of a real estate office.
It was the space for his (and his brother’s) company. He called it Disney Bros. Studio.
From there, Walt tasted success. Sadly, he faced his share of disappointments along the way.
But with his determined spirit, he always moved forward. Under his name are theme parks, animation studios, and other colorful creations.
Additional reading on Walt Disney:
|Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination||Seven years in the making and meticulously researched - Gabler is the first writer to be given complete access to the Disney archives - this is the full story of a man whose work left an ineradicable brand on our culture but whose life has largely been enshrouded in myth.||Click Here|
|Walt Disney: An American Original (Disney Editions Deluxe) Paperback – Abridged, May 1, 1994||Walt Disney is an American hero. From Mickey Mouse to Disneyland, he changed the face of American culture. His is a success story like no other: a man who developed animated film into an art form and made a massive contribution to the folklore of the world.||Click Here|
|Who Was Walt Disney? Paperback – Illustrated, April 16, 2009||Walt Disney always loved to entertain people. Often it got him into trouble. Once he painted pictures with tar on the side of his family's white house. His family was poor, and the happiest time of his childhood was spent living on a farm in Missouri. His affection for small-town life is reflected in Disneyland Main Streets around the world. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this biography reveals the man behind the magic.||Click Here|
|The Disney Story: Chronicling the Man, the Mouse and the Parks Paperback – August 9, 2016||Attention, all Disney Fans! Do you enjoy reading about the Disney theme parks? Perhaps you’re enamored with the man who was Walt Disney? Maybe you’re just plain crazy for Mickey Mouse and the Disney big-screen features? No need to order your serving of Disney history and knowledge a la carte anymore.||Click Here|
2. J. K. Rowling
“By every usual standard,
I was the biggest failure I knew.”
J. K. Rowling is famous for her work — nay, masterpiece:
The Harry Potter series.
But before she became a celebrated author, she faced a series of downturns in life.
The first one was when she had to stop writing. She had a great idea for a fantasy book, but she had to set it aside. She had to because her mother fell ill, and she sank into depression.
As a way of uplifting herself, she got out of the house and applied for a job. She wanted to occupy her mind and be productive.
Luckily (and also because of her qualifications), a school in Portugal accepted her as an English teacher. And during the same time, she married and had a daughter.
Not long after, though, her marriage crumbled. She moved away and raised her daughter on her own.
The times were rough for her. And she believed she was at rock bottom.
She felt alone and worried about money and unemployment. She knew that for her daughter to have a decent childhood, she had to step up her game.
So she did. And she picked up where she left off, years ago, with her idea for a fantasy book. With a better mindset, she finished writing.
She was proud of herself. And she felt that the publishers who will read her work would be proud of her, too.
But when she approached a publisher who read her work, the publisher rejected her. So she forwarded her work for more publishers to read.
Unfortunately, each one of the 12 publishers she approached turned her down.
It wasn’t until the editor at Bloomsbury Publishing got hold of her work. The editor informed J. K. Rowling that the company will publish her work.
From that point on, she went from being a jobless mother to being one of the best-selling authors of all time.
Additional reading on J.K. Rowling:
3. Steven A. Cohen
“Terrorists come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.”
The quote is Steven A. Cohen’s response to someone calling him a terrorist. Some label him a terrorist because of his aggressive behavior. And to such a label, he couldn’t care less.
If he wants something, will go to the ends of the earth to get it. This American hedge fund manager will stop at nothing to have his way. And this unparalleled dedication to his goal is the reason he’s one of the great personalities.
What he wanted most in life is to be wealthy. And so he worked towards getting there.
He sharpened his mind by going to business school. As a business-minded individual, he stocked up on knowledge.
He never stopped learning until he raised enough capital to set up Point72 Asset Management, his own hedge fund from scratch. And to complement his first venture, he founded another company, SAC Capital Advisors.
Unfortunately, he made some questionable decisions along the way. To which, he argued, was part of a bigger picture and all for his goals.
When the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) went after him and his companies, he figured out ingenious ways to outperform them.
While his other company, SAC Capital Advisors, closed, he remains standing — and he’s standing strong. And because it’s what he wants in life, he also keeps up with his billionaire lifestyle.
Steven’s Machiavellian personality may not be admirable to some people. But for the rest who also have a fiery determination to be wealthy, it is — and it is fun to keep seeing him win at life.
His personality even inspired an interesting and powerful TV character:
Bobby Axelrod of Billions.
4. Richard Branson
“There is no greater thing you can do
with your life and your work
than to follow your passions.”
At 16 years old, Richard Branson expressed his desire to be an entrepreneur. He was brimming with optimism and carried a steadfast spirit.
The problem? He had dyslexia, a learning disorder that involves difficulty with speech and decoding.
For many dyslexic people, the road to making it big had to end. But not for him.
Despite having a learning disability, Richard never fell short of believing in his potential. He knew if he was passionate about something, he could learn it.
So he worked hard. He carried on with his life the way any person would.
He may run into obstacles because of his disorder. But he never used it as an excuse to settle for a life he did not want.
He never complained about his situation. Instead, he focused on working better and smarter.
Sure, he had his share of failed business ventures. But he persevered, and he committed to making his dreams come true.
Eventually, Richard’s perseverance came bearing gifts. He found his footing and knew his way to success.
Now, he’s the man behind the Virgin Group, a group that controls hundreds of companies. He’s also a business magnate, a television star, an author, an investor, and more.
Additional reading on Richard Branson:
|Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way Paperback – June 7, 2011||In little more than twenty-five years, Richard Branson spawned nearly a hundred successful ventures. From the airline business (Virgin Atlantic Airways), to music (Virgin Records and V2), to cola (Virgin Cola), and others ranging from financial services to bridal wear, Branson has a track record second to none. Many of his companies were started in the face of entrenched competition. The experts said, "Don't do it." But Branson found golden opportunities in markets in which customers have been ripped off or underserved, where confusion reigns, and the competition is complacent.||Click Here|
|Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons in Life and Business Audible Logo Audible Audiobook – Unabridged||Richard Branson is an iconic businessman. In Screw It, Let’s Do It, he shares the secrets of his success and the invaluable lessons he has learned over the course of his remarkable career. As the world struggles with the twin problems of global recession and climate change, Richard explains why it is up to big companies like Virgin to lead the way in finding a more holistic and environmentally friendly approach to business. He also looks to the future and shares his plans for taking his business and his ideas to the next level.||Click Here|
|Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School Paperback – September 25, 2012||It’s business school, the Branson way. Whether you’re interested in starting your own business, improving your leadership skills, or simply looking for inspiration from one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Richard Branson has the answers. Like a Virgin brings together some of his best advice, distilling the experiences and insights that have made him one of the world’s most recognized and respected business leaders.||Click Here|
|The Virgin Way: If It's Not Fun, It's Not Worth Doing Paperback – October 20, 2015||This is a book on leadership from someone who has never read a book on leadership in his life. While building the Virgin Group over the course of forty years, Richard Branson has never shied away from tackling seemingly outlandish challenges that others (including his own colleagues on many occasions) considered sheer lunacy. He has taken on giants like British Airways and won, and monsters like Coca-Cola and lost.||Click Here|
|Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography Hardcover – October 10, 2017||Twenty years after his iconic memoir Losing My Virginity, the world’s ultimate entrepreneur is back with the rest of the story. Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity shared the outrageous tale of how he built Virgin from a student magazine into one of the greatest brands in history. No challenge was too daunting, no opportunity too outlandish to pursue. And each new adventure started with five simple words: “Screw it, let’s do it.”||Click Here|
5. Sara Blakely
“Failure is not the outcome. Failure is not trying.
Don’t be afraid to fail.”
Sara Blakely is a self-made successful entrepreneur who introduced Spanx to the world. But before she dominated her industry, she was always on the sidelines.
To be blunt (and in her own words), she felt like a failure at a point in her life. And she wasn’t so happy with her place.
She was a weird kid and didn’t often fit in with other kids her age.
But rather than feel bad about others’ treatment of her, she invested her energy into a project.
She worked on this clothing project that made her feel better about herself.
And luckily, Sara got a major break when Oprah, a huge TV personality, mentioned Spanx on TV. After the exposure, irresistible deals came to her.
She learned to take things one at a time. And all that time, she committed to growing her personal brand.
She also asked for the help and guidance of successful advisors. One of which is featured in one of the inspirational stories of great personalities mentioned above, Richard Branson.
And because of her commitment, she succeeded. From someone who wasn’t happy about her life, Sara came a long way.
She’s not only a successful entrepreneur worth billions. But she’s also a celebrated female personality who inspires millions of young girls worldwide.
What you can learn from inspirational stories of great personalities
Excelsior is a Latin term some successful people use to remind themselves to never settle for less. It’s a term that reminds them to aim for better things — for greatness.
To succeed, like in these inspirational stories of great personalities, use the same approach. Like these great and successful people, remind yourself to always aim higher, too.
Chant the word or write it down where you could always see it. And then, you will remember to always aim higher.