“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” — Charles R. Swindoll
There’s an undeniable dream that’s alive today, fervently burning in the hearts and minds of people all across this planet. And as much as the media will downplay much of the world’s biggest success stories in place of disheartening coverage of calamity and strife, there are some truly inspiring entrepreneurs out there who offer up a plate of motivational and heart-warming success that keeps the flame of hope alive.
If you’re an entrepreneur like me, you’ve likely faced some challenges in your life. As business owners, we often struggle to keep the proverbial lights on. There’s an enormous set of demands weighing on our shoulders. In order to start a business and grow it into a successful enterprise, you have to wear many hats, especially in the beginning. Plus, you have to be wary of the bottom line and not overspend. There’s a huge risk-to-reward ratio that you’re always balancing.
That’s why I feel that some of these success stories are truly motivating. These are inspiring entrepreneurs who’ve been in the trenches architecting, building and crafting their businesses through blood and sweat equity. Do you need to know it all in business? No. Of course not. But having a solid basis of an understanding of the macroeconomic forces at play and how to best position your offers, optimize conversions and scale over time is crucial.
Business owners like the following 8 understand the mechanics of business, but they also understand people. They’re leaders and know how to lead, leading by example. But most importantly, what sets them apart is their true inner desire to add an enormous amount of value. And in business, that’s truly what it takes at the end of the day. If you’re not going out of your way to add an enormous amount of value, you’re largely wasting your time.
How Success Stories Are Created
Ever watch the movie, Rocky? I mean, any of those would suffice. But mainly, the original. In fact, if you know anything about Stallone’s life itself, you’ll know that he’s probably one of the biggest success stories in history. But the thing that makes a success story so powerful is the tale of the underdog. We all love rooting for the underdog, don’t we?
Underdogs are constantly battling doubt their entire lives. They’re misjudged and mistreated. They come from severe disadvantages or have suffered heart-wrenching failures. And that’s what makes their success so powerful. Now, there are plenty of famous people who failed. You can find them all throughout history. But there are also modern day business people as well.
However, the 8 success stories that I’m going to present you with aren’t celebrities. But their sagas are powerful enough to make you second guess ever giving up in life.
#1 — Howard Panes
Howard Panes is the pioneer of the electronic cigarette. He created a company called Logic, which brought the disposable e-cig to the American public. After selling Logic to Japan Tobacco, Panes launched a 3-minute-per-day ab product with Don Brown, the inventor of the Ab Roller, which did over a billion in sales. It’s called the Stealth Body Fitness. It gamifies your workout with an app and it’s now revolutionizing the fitness industry around the world.
However, 7 short years ago, life for Panes was far different. He was $600,000 in debt with a line of credit for his gym that was tapped out. He had no money left. In fact, it was so bad that the bank took his house in a short sale. Even worse? He went through a messy divorce.
Imagine this for a moment. Before starting Logic, Panes was 42-years old. He was essentially broke and on the verge of bankruptcy. In fact, in order to start Logic, he had to borrow $10,000 from his dad. Can you imagine that? It’s one of the most famed rags-to-riches stories in America.
Today, Panes collects hypercars. He’s a fervent collector of McLarens, Porsches, Ferraris and also American muscle cars. He loves them all. And he has the means to keep collecting them into the very near future. In fact, I recently went on a trip with Panes to London where he configured his third McClaren, which is the Senna. At home, he has the McClaren P1 and the 675LT Spider. Aside from the Senna, he also has Hennessey’s new Venom F5, amongst many other cars, on the way.
#2 — Kent Clothier
Kent Clothier is someone that I have an enormous amount of admiration and respect for. The funny thing is that for much of his adult life, Clothier was successful. He joined his father at 17-years old in the grocery business. But not in the traditional sense. They were doing arbitrage on a wholesale level, with massive truckloads.
What does that mean exactly? They would buy truckloads of grocery goods like coffee in one market and turn around and sell it in another market. But after doing that traditionally for a while, he started to go directly to the wholesale buyers and ask them what they wanted. He created demand first. Then, turned around and bought what they needed.
This is called reverse wholesaling. By lining up the demand first, then sourcing the product, Clothier figured out that they could exponentially scale their business. And by the time he was 30 years-old, that business was generating nearly $2 billion in revenue. But after a dispute with his partners, he walked away, thinking he could start again and succeed.
Fast forward 18 months, and the million dollars he had left in his bank account after he left, dwindled down to $5,000. With his back up against the wall, he had few choices. One late night, surely battling his biggest fears, he caught a real estate infomercial. It was all about wholesaling properties.
Within the first 30 days after purchasing that program, Clothier studied day and night, went out there and took action, and was holding a check in his hands for $8,000. That $8,000, which paled in comparison to the money he was making previously, was easily worth a million dollars in his mind’s eye. It meant freedom. Freedom from the shackles of despair and the fear of cataclysmic financial collapse.
However, what Clothier did that was so revolutionary was building a system called REWW for reverse wholesaling properties. That means, he brought his knowledge of arbitrage into real estate flipping. And he developed a system that houses all the data to support it. It was sheer brilliance, and by all means Clothier is a leader in the industry, teaching tens of thousands of students his exact strategies for making millions of dollars without risking virtually any capital.
#3 — Dean Graziosi
Dean Graziosi is a legend, someone whom I’ve learned an extremely great deal from over the years. He’s had a 15-year career as a real estate investor and entrepreneur appearing on national television throughout much of that time. He’s succeeded at the highest level, spent time with billionaires like Sir Richard Branson and hung out with politicians like Bill Clinton while his companies have grossed over $100 million per year.
However, some time ago, Dean and I had a discussion about his past that I knew little about. His story is quite possibly one of the most powerful rags-to-riches success stories in America. As a child, Dean’s parents were married an aggregate total between the two of them, 9 times. Dyslexic, moved around from state to state, city to city, school to school, Dean could only see failure around him.
His family was poor and struggled for years. Yet, somehow, one way or another, Graziosi not only managed to extricate himself from the shackles of that debt, but also excelled in life at the highest level. Today, he’s a multiple New York Times best-selling author and multi-millionaire many times over who’s travelled the world and met presidents and celebrities from country to country. Certainly a very inspiring entrepreneur and one who’s helped me immensely.
#4 — Roland Frasier
I met Roland Frasier through his business partner, Ryan Deiss. Frasier is one of the principals of Digital Marketer, a leading online marketing company that’s fairly well known. Together with Perry Belcher, Frasier is also the co-founder of Native Commerce. However, Frasier is a tax attorney with roughly 20+ years of experience in the online marketing industry and has long been one of the top affiliate marketers in the world.
Frasier is also vested in numerous other companies and real estate ventures. He’s a shareholder of REWW, Clothier’s company, along with the CEO of the War Room Mastermind, amongst many others.
Frasier is quite possibly one of the smartest marketers in the world, and also the most well-connected. I remember early on not knowing who he was. When I asked a friend, Justin Anderson, who he was, he spilled the beans and I was shocked that I had no idea. He’s effectively the brains behind some of the biggest marketing ventures in the world. Plus. I literally cannot say enough good things about this individual.
#5 — Jason Fladlien
Jason Fladlien is co-founder of a company called Rapid Crush. He’s also the world’s number one authority on webinars. He’s generated over $100 million in webinar sales without ever having to sell his own product. I’ve learned a lot about webinars from this individual and he’s helped me remarkably.
Today, everyone turns to him for advice on webinars. Even the illustrious Russell Brunson has been coached by Fladlien. There’s no one in the world better at selling through the webinar medium. No one. Today, he tours the circuit of masterminds speaking and teaching his knowledge that he’s accumulated after over a decade of high-level marketing online.
Fladlien’s earliest starts, where he really crushed it with webinars, was when he sold the Amazing Selling Machine, which was an Amazon store offer. Since then, he’s joined forces with people like Joe Polish, Dean Graziosi, Peter Diamondis, and many others in the business world.
#6 — Russell Brunson
Russell Brunson, founder of ClickFunnels, is another inspiring entrepreneur. One that I’ve gotten to know recently quite well. In fact, Brunson was on the brink of bankruptcy himself a couple of times. However, he recovered thanks to the power of the webinar and his list of email subscribers at the time.
However, today, Brunson is on a mission. ClickFunnels is very soon turning into a billion-dollar business, and Brunson is succeeding at the highest level. I still remember listening to an early podcast when he said that he would never want to build a $10 million dollar company. Today, ClickFunnels is nearly 100 times that size. Go figure, right?
Still, the thing that makes Brunson unique is that he’s on a mission to help entrepreneurs. This is probably one of the kindest and most good-hearted persons in the entire world. He actually cares. In fact, he cares so much that he wishes he could help more people around the world. His message is powerful. And if you’ve never heard of Russell Brunson, you’ve probably been living under a rock somewhere.
#7 — Frank Kern
Frank Kern is a legend in the internet marketing industry. He’s the purveyor of many highly successful systems like Mass Control and Stompernet. He’s one of the most successful digital marketers in the world and you’ve likely seen or heard about Kern if you’re at all vested in the marketing or business opportunity industries.
However, at the outset, when Kern had just started, he was shut down by the FTC. That experience put a big scare in him. However, he learned and improved and changed the way he structured his offers. There are no more glorified promises of riches and wealth. And if there are, they’re heavily disclaimered.
Today, Kern is one of the most successful business consultants in the world. He only takes on 7, 8, and 9-figure clients, teaching them how to scale up their businesses. It’s fascinating to watch his continual rise top the top. Hats off to you, Mister Kern.
#8 — Joe Polish
Joe Polish is someone I’ve gotten to know in the recent year. He’s one of the most successful marketers out there, and also the founder of Genius Network. Genius Network is a massive networking mastermind that currently costs $25,000 to join. Polish also has his 100k Group, which is $100,000 per year to join, which he does in collaboration with Dean Graziosi.
Polish is also the founder of the wildly successful, I Love Marketing podcast. Here, he brings on some of the most successful marketers and dishes out incredible advice about marketing, conversions, lead generation and sales. Definitely someone to follow if you’ve never heard of him.
Polish is also one of the most well-connected people in the world. He can ring up, on demand, people like Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Ariana Huffington, and others. However, his humble beginnings were as a carpet washer. Things have certainly taken off for him since those early years.