This article reminds us that there’s plenty to go around, and we each have a unique talent and skillset that’s waiting to usher us into a successful and financially comfortable life. The catch here is that we all must look within and bring those talents to light!
When we talk about millionaires and people who are financially comfortable, there are so many people from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds who have made it successfully through life irrespective of all the odds that were stacked against them.
Don’t allow where you started to dictate where you’ll end up. What rationale can you possibly offer to justify your failure?
If you did some quick research, you’d realise that those handicaps or circumstances that you whine about are not unique to you. Some people complain about how poorly governed and corrupt Africa is, yet others start businesses and become extremely successful within the same environment.
By the same token, whilst some black people born in the United States of America are busy complaining about marginalisation and racism being the factors hindering their success, others travel from extremely poor countries to America, become successful professionals, build businesses, and live the American dream.
It is indeed true that the moment we justify our circumstances and reasons why we are not successful, we send negative waves into the universe and block our brain power from figuring out the way out.
I am currently writing a book about my father, who remains my number-one hero and an example to emulate. He went from a very poor village in the Northwest region of Cameroon to becoming a very successful entrepreneur.
Personally, I believe we all have a natural talent and ability that goes beyond where we were born, the neighbourhood we live in, the education we have, or all other success “norms” set by society.
We are all born to win, if only we uncover our talents!
There are millions of success stories of people around the world who discovered their talents and used them well. Below is a shortlist of individuals I admire very much and who have powerfully changed the success narrative.
Les Brown has used the story of his poor beginnings to motivate and change the lives of millions of people around the world. He recounts that he and his twin brother were born on a floor in a poor neighbourhood in the United States of America and adopted by a single mom. His mom worked as a domestic servant for the rich neighbours and had other foster kids. Mr. Brown and his foster siblings managed to eat because his mom’s employers would give her the leftover food to take home to the children. They wore hand-me-down clothes and shoes from these wealthy families.
Besides being poor, Mr. Brown was also labelled mentally retarded and was deemed a loss to society. Kids in his school even referred to him as the dumb twin. He went through his struggles in this thing called life, as he often puts it.
At one point in his life, he was sleeping in his office and using the office bathroom to shower before his coworkers arrived. He also washed people’s cars and became an errand boy at a radio station, where he was soliciting for work, just to be able to curry favour and be given a chance to prove his worth. Even without a college degree, he found his talent in his voice and went on to become the greatest motivational speaker of all time.
The same Leslie who was labelled mentally retarded has given talks to Harvard students, received multiple awards for his motivational speeches, and travelled the world impacting the lives of millions of people. In one of his stories, he recounted receiving a single check for $2 million just for speaking! He couldn’t believe his own eyes when he saw it. Mr. Brown now earns more than $70,000 an hour to speak, and he still finds joy in doing so at age 75.
One of his favourite quotes is “It’s not over until I win!”
I encourage you to get some of Mr. Brown’s life-changing books.
Riri was born into a poor family in Barbados and was often seen in the streets hawking clothes with her dad. She also sold sweets at school, just to be able to make some extra cash to cover her immediate needs.
She went through abuse from her father and most likely didn’t obtain a university degree. Instead of using that as an excuse to beat herself down and justify why she can’t and won’t succeed in life, she turned to her talent.
Rihanna registered at the music club in her high school and even formed a band with some of her schoolmates.
Dancing and singing were her passions, and they led her to Mr. Evans Rogers, who was visiting Barbados on holiday with his wife. During a show audition, she and her friends performed in front of Mr. Evans during his vacation. He was particularly impressed with Rihanna, took a liking to her, and invited her to New York for demo recordings; the rest is history.
Last year, her Fendi fashion brand made her the wealthiest female musician with over $1.7 billion in revenue.
Patricia was born and raised by Nigerian parents in the United Kingdom. According to Patricia, her dad was repatriated from the UK to Nigeria by UK immigration services, leaving her mom behind with two kids.
She recounts how hard things became for them and the struggles they went through just to be able to stay afloat and survive every new day. In one of her YouTube videos, Patricia told her viewers that she and her sister had to sneak into offices at 4 a.m. to help their mom, who was a cleaner, before heading to school.
She says they were broke and, at some point, depended on social housing. She was often humiliated by other kids and was even referred to as “the ugly friend” by some of her girlfriends. She wrestled with low self-esteem and irresolution.
Check out her book, in which Patricia tells it all.
However, things got jolly and promising for Patricia when she discovered her talent for fashion and talking. She left the corporate world, focused on YouTube, and grew into a brand ambassador for multiple fashion brands. She created her own company and developed multiple streams of income. She has been featured in Vogue magazine, the BBC, and numerous UK news outlets.
Today, she is a successful book author with over a million YouTube subscribers, an entrepreneur, and she owns multiple properties in the UK.
According to the BBC, Prince began in his mother’s kitchen in a social house in south London, where he grew his Instagram following from 0 to 43000 thanks to his cooking skills. He would record himself cooking, take pictures, and share them with the world.
People began to notice him, and he has since grown into one of the most talked-about entrepreneurs in the food industry in the UK.
He cooks for three evenings a week, and his customers sometimes queue outside his home just to be able to buy his Baller Combo box of spiced lobster tails, prawns, chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, and Belgian waffle for £20.
In order to serve his long line of hungry customers, who were begging to be served, Prince would get some of his friends to deliver food to clients waiting outside.
During his appearance on “The Million Pound Menu,” Prince narrated instances where the number of people waiting around his block of flats became a nuisance to other residents. And on multiple occasions, he has had to call the council authorities to intervene, restore order, and perhaps ask some customers to leave. Can you imagine? From something that started as a hobby in his mom’s kitchen to a situation where the customers are too many to be served? Wow…
Check out the book by Ken Robinson below if you would like to discover your talent like Prince.
In a night, Prince sells over 200 meals and makes around £10,000 a week. Multiply that by 52 weeks, and we are talking £520,000, by using his cooking talent in his mom’s kitchen. Dang!!!
He also recently starred on the UK show “Million Pound Menu,” and although he didn’t secure investment to open his kitchen on the high street, I believe that greater things await him.
Rachel is a best-selling author and a billion-dollar business owner in the United States who started from the ground up. She went through her share of poverty, and food stamps.
During her interview with Lewis Howe, Ms. Rodgers recounted an instance when her mom could not afford to recharge their electricity, and they had to live in the dark for a couple of days before they eventually were able to top up.
She said her parents were drug addicts and alcoholics at different points in their lives, and it made life daunting.
Many people growing up in such circumstances would have gone off the rails or taken the dark path, but not Rachel.
Despite all these things, Rachel kept her head high and rose above her huddles. She went through a period of joblessness, during which she tried figuring out how to start a business with the knowledge and skills she already had.
Fast forward: Rachel is now a billionaire and CEO of her business, where she develops and sells courses to women, teaching them how to upscale their businesses and become millionaires.
She’s a New York Times best-selling author of the book “WE SHOULD ALL BE MILLIONAIRES.”
In her book, Rachel shares the lessons she’s learned both in her own journey to wealth and in coaching hundreds of women through their own journeys to seven figures.
During his speaking engagements and in his YouTube videos, Mr. King uses his personal story to inspire young Nigerians. He reminds his audience that nothing is impossible if we have dreams that scare us enough to keep us awake at night. He reiterates the fact that if he can make it, anyone can.
After losing his dad at age 13, Ubong King was suddenly exposed to a life of struggle.
Mr. King suffered multiple rejections, even from his mom, who disowned him. He slept in uncompleted buildings during the hardest days of his life, and he recounts being greeted by the smell of dumpsters where he laid his head for a night’s rest.
He also stated that he would borrow food from local shops in his neighbourhood on multiple occasions, promising to pay at the end of the month.
He would sometimes wear his suit from the inside out while riding his motorcycle to keep it clean.And if it got soiled by mud during his ride, he would arrive at the destination of his business appointment and change the sides. Talk about a hard life…
Mr. King’s story is an exemplary one for all Africans who go around with a long blame list. The government is corrupt; there are no jobs, there’s nepotism in companies; and the like.
Despite these odds, King went out of his comfort zone, rolled up his sleeves, put on his thinking cap, and went from a security agent to the CEO of his own oil and gas security company, an acclaimed motivational speaker, and Chairman of a number of companies in Nigeria.
You can read more about him here. He didn’t have to travel out of his country of birth to accomplish all these things. So many people won’t even try as hard because they have this idea that success lives in a particular location. King created a long-lasting legacy for himself and created generational wealth for his kids. Well done to him.
Finally, we can all achieve success in our rights and merits if we use our God-given and innate talents. For those who lack the knowledge and skillset to boost their talents in a way that would allow them to reach their full potential, the right thing to do will be to learn through courses, find a mentor, get some coaching, and do any other activities that will take you to the level where you need to be.