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Dien Rice
November 21, 2009, 03:25 PM
These stories of "real life" rags to riches shows that it is possible...

These people were at the extreme end of poverty, often homelessness. Yet, they somehow pulled themselves up by their bootstraps to make it!

Do you think you could learn from studying their experiences?

Here are some facts...

After a divorce, Lucinda Yates and her daughter were left homeless and impoverished.

Thankfully, she still had friends and family. With their help, she found a home to live in.

While in this situation, Lucinda taught herself how to make jewelry. While experimenting with the jewelry, she turned a metal pin into a shape of a house.

A voice in her head said, "wouldn't this make a great fundraiser for the homeless?"

She contacted a local homeless shelter, and encouraged them to use the pins to raise money for the homeless. She sold the pins to the homeless shelter for $6 each. The homeless shelter sold the pins for $10, and used the profits to help the organization.

Then, realtors starting using the pins to raise money for the homeless.

Lucinda grossed $89,000 the first year, $300,000 the second year, then $2.6 million the third year.

This story comes from Dane Carlson's excellent "Business Opportunities" blog, which is great reading for more great success stories...



Here's another.

In the past year, a 63-year-old Russian man, Leonid Konovalov, went from being homeless, to become a successful stock market trader.

He got his start by collecting empty beer bottles on the streets. Over the past year, he would collect around 2,000 bottles a day, and be able to exchange them for cash. (In Russia, a glass bottle can be traded for about 2 roubles, or 6 cents. That means that collecting 2000 bottles a day would be worth around $120 a day!)

Russians have been drinking more since the economic crisis hit. Ironically, that has led to more bottles on the streets, which helped Leonid get his life back on track.

After making money by collecting bottles, he invested his own money in the stock market.

Why didn't more Russians do this? Well, rummaging around for bottles isn't exactly the most dignifying sight. However, it is performing a community service, and the community benefits, so it's doing a good thing!

http://www.nydailynews.com/money/work_career/2009/10/13/2009-10-13_rags_to_riches_homeless_man_makes_fortune_colle cting_empty_booze_bottles_for_cas.html

Here's another similar story. It's the story of the man who the Will Smith movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness," was based on.

That man was Chris Gardner. He was barely making ends meet as a medical equipment salesman.

(I've done sales, and it's not easy for everyone to do. I did okay, but I saw a lot of people drummed out because they couldn't do it, at least not at that time. However, it is a skill you can learn. You don't have to be "born" with it - though qualities such as being confident help immensely.)

One day, Chris offered to give up his car parking space to a Ferrari owner who was looking for parking. He did it on the condition that the Ferrari owner answer this question - "What do you do, and how do you do it?"

The Ferrari owner was a stockbroker.

The two of them hit it off. They sometimes met for lunch, where the stockbroker explained how the business worked, and even helped Chris get his start.

While this happened, Chris also had an argument with his girlfriend, and someone called the police. The police found he had unpaid parking tickets - and he spent 10 days in jail. In the mean time, his girlfriend left him, with their son.

However, he managed to get into the training program at a stockbroking firm. The stipend was low, and to survive during this period, he was homeless. His ex-girlfriend decided that he should care for his son (not her), so he was raising and caring for his son at the same time, too.

Eventually, he succeeded as a stockbroker. Not only that, but he ended up starting his own stock brokerage firm, Gardner Rich & Co in Chicago. And he became a multi-millionaire.



There are plenty of these true stories.

Another is a Canadian lady, Cathrine Ann. She grew up in poverty, and her parents were alcoholics. When her parents argued, she often slept on the streets. At the age of 15, she became pregnant and it turned out to be a boy, who she raised.

Throughout her life, she got in and out of trouble. Later on in life, she had decided to start a jet ski rental business in the Bahamas, working together with a Bahamas business person and with her boyfriend.

To get the money to fund it, Cathrine and her boyfriend lived in their car. However, the Bahamas jet ski rental business plan fell through. Now she had no money, and she was living in her car.

However, her son (she was 40 at the time, so her son would have been 25) suggested that she start a mystery shopping business. Her son was able to help her get started by using his credit card

To cut to the chase, this particular business succeeded (it's called "Consumer Connection"), and she became a millionaire.



The point is not that you have to become homeless to succeed! The point is, if these people can succeed - don't you think you could succeed, too?

Best wishes,


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