Average Joes That Made it Big!

Do you do a happy dance when your paycheck comes in or are you already thinking of the bills you have to pay with it? Are you grateful when you have cash on hand or are you thinking of how fast it’s going to be gone? It’s time for you to switch your money mindset and get inspired. Below are five stories of average joe’s that became not so average:

Anne Scheiber

  • Anne Scheiber was a retired IRS auditor who was never promoted and never made more than $4,000 per year (this was the early 1900's). Anne retired in the mid-1940s and had $5,000 saved. 

  • During her 50+ year retirement she turned that $5,000 into a whopping $22 million. She wasn't a math wiz and she didn't rely on stockbrokers for advice after getting burned by them in the 1930's. She followed 6 key principles that anyone can follow. More on Anne here.

John Paul DeJoria

  • John Paul DeJoria is a first-generation American from Greek and Italian parents. He endured periods of homelessness until he decided to served the US Navy. After his service, he went on to become an employee of Redken Laboratories. He disagreed over business practices and decided to create his own hair care products with only $700 and some willpower.

  • Today, John Paul DeJoria is a billionaire. He started the successful John Paul Mitchell hair care and Patron Tequila. He has stayed humble throughout his career and has adamantly given to others less fortunate. He is inspired by a quote his mom told him, 'You may be poor, but there are so many people less fortunate than you, and every little bit helps.'

Sara Blakely

  • Sara Blakely was an average girl with an average problem, she felt uncomfortable wearing her white pants. At the time she was going to door-to-door as a salesman for fax machines and kept cutting off the bottoms of pantyhose to wear her beloved white pants. She knew other women had the same problem so she prototyped the product with her own $5,000 at 27. Spanx was born.

  • Today, Sara is a billionaire. She owns 100% of her company and never sought outside financing. She followed a hunch and it paid off big.

Ken Langone

  • Ken Langone was born to parents with only an 8th grade education in Roslyn Heights, NY. Ken said money was always a problem and credits being a hustler as a kid to understanding business opportunities in adulthood. He refined his skills at Bucknell University and went to work on Wall Street upon graduating.

  • Ken put himself through graduate school at NYU while working full-time. He sought out opportunities to take distressed companies and turn them profitable. His claim to fame is becoming the co-founder of Home Depot. Ken has given away an enormous fortune and credits his success to capitalism. Read his book for more information!

Toni Ko

  • Toni Ko was born in South Korea and emigrated to the United States at age 13. She spent most of her teenage years working for her parents. She started the NYX cosmetics company at age 25 and made $4 million in its first year of business.

  • Ko went on to sell NYX to L’Oreal for $500 million. She didn’t stop there. She started Perverse Sunglasses in 2016 and is in the middle of building her second multi-million dollar venture. She also is the founder and CEO of Butter Ventures that invests in start-ups of primarily women-led businesses.

If you think that average upbringings lead to an average life, you’re wrong! Take a bit of inspiration from these entrepreneurs and start to create your dream, financial life.