Inspiring business success stories you may not have heard before

When it comes to success stories in business, there are some great tales of people who have made it big and enjoyed great success. The problem with all these though is that you will have probably heard the same ones over and over again! While there is nothing wrong with this, it is sometimes nice to dig deeper and find other inspiring entrepreneurial tales to read up on.

As well as simply being interesting, they can give you the motivation to progress in your life and career to achieve greater things. People who are at a low ebb can even relate to some of these inspiring stories as many successful businesspeople did not come from a privileged background or have the best start in life. It can also be worth reading about business success stories as it shows how people have transitioned successfully from other careers into business.

Here are some of the most inspiring but less well-known business successes to take in for aspiring Yucatan entrepreneurs.

Charles Phillips

 Not many people outside of the business sector know of Infor CEO Charles Phillips yet, but that could soon change. As the company continues to grow under his leadership, so does his reputation as a shrewd businessperson. Phillips actually started out life as a captain in the US Marine Corps, where he honed his ability to think fast, engage with people on all levels, and pick up new skills quickly. After leaving the Marines, he became a successful part of the Morgan Stanley firm, where he was MD of the Technology group. After a successful stint with Oracle, which saw the firm triple in size under his tenure, Phillips moved on to cloud-tech company Infor, where he currently works. Infor continues to experience growth under his direction – its ecommerce network processes more than $100bn in annual transactions.

John Paul DeJoria

When people think of business success stories, the usual names of Elon Musk or Steve Jobs crop up among others. One name that you may not hear as much is John Paul DeJoria, but this is a real shame. His journey is every bit as uplifting, and his business acumen certainly demands respect. He initially started out as a lowly newspaper courier before working as a driver and janitor to make some money. This eventually led him to bag a job at a car hire company, where he hooked up with Paul Mitchell. Mitchell lent him $700 to start a new business and the rest is history. They formed the mega-successful John Paul Mitchell Systems before DeJoria went on to co-found Patron Spirits and The House of Blues. He is now thought to be worth over $3bn.

 Kevin Plank

 You may not know the name, but you probably know what his company makes. Plank is the CEO of fitness clothing provider Under Armour, which makes sporting apparel to train or play in. His is something of an inspirational tale, but not one that is widely known. Plank was almost broke when he started out selling clothes under this brand. This saw him take his remaining $20,000 in savings and also rack up around $40,000 of debt on credit cards to fund his new venture. While some might think that this was crazy, his faith paid off as the company began to grow. His first big deal was a $17,000 sale to Georgia Tech University, and this snowballed into making sales to NFL teams. The company has gone from strength to strength since then and left Plank a very wealthy man.

Jan Koum

 Most of us use the popular messaging app WhatsApp on our smartphones now, but many will not know the business success story behind it. Jan Koum was born in a small village near Kiev and came from a very poor upbringing. His luck began to change when his family immigrated to California and Koum began to study computing in his spare time. This saw him hired by Yahoo! in 1997 as a top infrastructure engineer. After spending around 10 years doing this, Koum was quick to see the potential of apps within mobile phones. This led him to start up WhatsApp and eventually sell it to Facebook for a massive $19bn.

Take your cue from these people

The above businesspeople all share one thing in common – they came from outside the business world to make a big splash in it. Whether it is Charles Phillips moving over from the Marines or Jan Koum making it after arriving in the US, they all show what can be done with some talent and a lot of hard work. For any budding entrepreneurs based in the Yucatan and throughout Mexico, using your business acumen to get on is the real lesson.


 The Yucatan Times