Many people aspire to be rich but only a few achieve this dream. Well, being rich is relative since monetarily, one person’s $1000,000 could be another’s $100,000, but are the odds of becoming rich better if one works for oneself or works at a large firm or corporation?
Many people have turned to their own, independent initiative in order to earn a living after losing their jobs. And some of them have given testimonies that they wished they had resigned from their jobs earlier.
A report by Small Business Administration states that about half of all small businesses fail within the first five years. So what separates losers from winners? In most cases it is just a matter of seeing a great opportunity, seizing it and putting it into action with hard work.
The story of Sara Blakely, the woman behind Spanx, can inspire you to do things on your own. She created the product after cutting the feet off her pantyhose and wearing them underneath a pair of pants to control her body shape. This made her look slimmer, but the legs kept rolling up. So she spent a whopping $5000 to create a prototype that would become Spanx.
She created a huge market for shapewear that revolutionized that industry. More than a decade later, Blakely has become the first self-made billionaire with a net worth of $1 billion!
Another story is that of Marcus Lemonis, the CEO of Camping World and Good Sam, who became a multimillionaire and a trailblazer in the recreational vehicle (RV) industry.
Lemonis was born in Beirut and adopted by a family that owned two car dealerships in Florida. He says he definitely did not grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. “I would say that my parents, they’re very generous,” he said. “They gave me an education. They took me on vacations. But they were very matter-of-fact that if you want something, don’t come asking us for it, go get it yourself.”
So Lemonis decided to do things on his own. He knew what he wanted in business, and after his graduation from college, he picked a job at a car dealership. But it was a conversation he had with family friend called Lee Iacocca that set him on his current path. “Look, you can be in the car business forever; you’re just going to be a number,” he recalls Iacocca telling him. Iacocca then pointed him toward the RV industry.
This was in the 2000s. “At the time, the RV business was very fragmented. And … the actual brand Camping World [was] started in 1966 by somebody else. And it started as a catalog business with very few stores,” Lemonis said.
Lemonis began buying private RV dealerships and eventually rolled them into the Camping World brand which had only 30 stores.
In 2010, he merged Camping World with the travel club Good Sam Enterprises. Under his leadership as chairman and CEO, Camping World is set to expand to 115 locations.
“Today, what we have is the single-largest RV and camping company that the world has ever known. Bigger than any manufacturer, bigger than anything,” Lemonis said.
Lemonis also hosts CNBC Prime’s new reality series “The Profit”.