Craig McCaw, billionaire founder of McCaw Cellular – Entrepreneur

Craig is the second of four sons of Marion and John Elroy McCaw. McCaw’s father was a broadcasting magnate. He was in the business of buying and selling TV and radio stations, which brought in wealth but also incurred significant debts. Elroy entered the cable television business in the 1960s, and his four sons worked as linemen and door-to-door salesmen.

When Elroy died, the only company not sold to repay the debt was the small Centralia cable company with estimated 2,000 to 4,000 subscribers, which was in trust. He left his his senior year at Stanford to take the helm of the cable company and set out to rebuild his family name.  He used the cash flows from his growing cable company to purchase other remote cable companies, resulting in a profitable conglomerate. By the 1980s, McCaw Cablevision was the 20th largest cable carrier in the United States.

Tips

- Seize the opportunity

- Enlist people you trust to work with you

 

 

Stanley Kubrick, American filmmaker, Entrepreneur

Stanley Kubrick was an American filmmaker.  His poor high school grades made it impossible to attend college. He did take some photography classes at CCNY but never graduated from any college.  Having become interested in photography in as a teen, he became a staff photographer for Look magazine at age 17. His directorial debut came in 1957 with the film Paths of Glory. All of his movies express a formal visual style and meticulous attention to detail. His most memorable works include 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.

Tips:

- Do what you love to do and the rest will follow

-You can be successful if you put your mind to it.


 

 

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Actress

Catherine Zeta-Jones was born on 25 September 1969, in Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales, UK, the daughter of Dai Jones, who formerly worked for a candy factory, and Pat Jones. Her brother David Jones is a development executive and brother Lyndon Jones  works at her production company. Catherine showed an interest early on in entertainment.

Got Her Break as an Understudy

She starred on stage in “Annie”, “Bugsy Malone” and “The Pajama Game”. At 15 she had the lead in the British revival of “42nd Street”. She was originally cast as the second understudy for the lead role in the musical but when the star and first understudy became sick the night the play’s producer was in the audience, she was given the lead for the rest of the musical’s production and dropped out of school to join the tour.

Fame came from “The Mask of Zorro”

She first made a name for herself in the early 1990s when she starred in the Yorkshire Television comedy/drama series. The show was a smash hit and made her one of the United Kingdom’s most popular television actresses. She subsequently played supporting roles in several films before landing her breakthrough role playing the fiery Elena opposite Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro (1998). She starred in many big-budget blockbusters like Entrapment (1999), The Haunting (1999) and Traffic (2000), for which many believed she was robbed of an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. In November 2000 she married actor Michael Douglas. She and Michael has a son Dylan, eleven  and a  daughter Carys, eight.

Tips

- Do what you love to do – you never know where your break will come from

- Have faith in yourself

 

Steve Jobs, “Apple” Entrepreneur

Steve Jobs, the visionary who co-founded Apple in a Silicon Valley garage, built it into the world’s leading tech company and led a mobile-computing revolution with wildly popular devices such as the iPhone, died at age 56.

The hard-driving executive pioneered the concept of the personal computer and of navigating them by clicking onscreen images with a mouse. In more recent years, he introduced the iPod portable music player, the iPhone and the iPad tablet — all of which changed how we consume content in the digital age.

After high school, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Lacking direction, he dropped out of college after six months and spent the next 18 months dropping in on creative classes. Jobs later recounted how one course in calligraphy developed his love of typography.

In 1974, Jobs took a position as a video game designer with Atari. Several months later he left Atari to find spiritual enlightenment in India, traveling the continent and experimenting with psychedelic drugs. In 1976, when Jobs was just 21, he and Wozniak started Apple Computers. The duo started in the Jobs family garage, and funded their entrepreneurial venture after Jobs sold his Volkswagen bus and Wozniak sold his beloved scientific calculator.

Jobs and Wozniak are credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making the machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive, and accessible to everyday consumers. The two conceived a series of user-friendly personal computers that they initially marketed for $666.66 each. Their first model, the Apple I, earned them $774,000. Three years after the release of their second model, the Apple II, sales increased 700 percent to $139 million dollars. In 1980, Apple Computer became a publically traded company with a market value of $1.2 billion on the very first day of trading. Jobs looked to marketing expert John Scully of Pepsi-Cola to help fill the role of Apple’s President.

Tips

- Live life to the fullest while you are here

- Make a difference while you alive


 

Robert DeNiro, Actor/Entrepreneur

Robert De Niro Fans of Vito Corleone and Jake LaMotta can thank one of the world’s most popular actors for leaving high school before his 17th birthday. The two-time Oscar winner studied his craft at Lee Strasberg’s Actor’s Studio and the Stella Adler Conservatory. De Niro learned a thing or two about business along the way, too: His financial portfolio includes film studio TriBeCa Productions and a handful of posh New York eateries.

Tips

-Follow your dream

-Don’t let education stop you

 

David Green, Billionaire Founder of Hobby Lobby – Entrepreneur

David Green, billionaire founder of Hobby Lobby started the Hobby Lobby chain with only $600. and a high school degree.

In a business culture where the bottom line makes the difference and success is spelled m-o-n-e-y, David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby craft stores is definitely swimming upstream with company wide ethics expectations and upfront faith values. Hobby Lobby Creative Centers, as it is now known, is a corporate retail giant that hosts 335 retail stores across the country and employs around 16,000 people. From modest beginnings to enormous success, Green attributes it all to one thing only, total dependency upon God.

Hobby Lobby’s beginnings date back to 1972 when Green founded a small store that retailed his own manufactured picture frames. Green brought years of retail experience to his company, and the company expanded and grew within just three years of conception. Over the years there have been ups and downs, but through prayer and faith Green has managed to build a model corporation, with now over 1 Billion in sales annually, that stands on integrity and gives God all the glory.

Tips

-A strong belief in God or a higher power can take you to success

-If you don’t believe in God, you can live by “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.”

 

Frederick “Freddy” Laker, Billionaire Airline Entrepreneur. High school dropout.

Frederick Alfred Laker British entrepreneur from Kent, Eng., is the brash, ebullient founder and chairman of Laker Airways Ltd. From 1966–82, rhe evolutionized the airline industry by offering the first low-cost commercial transatlantic flights. After an 11-year legal battle, Laker Airways introduced Skytrain international flights in 1977, at a time when major carriers controlled air travel and fares between the U.S. and the U.K. Laker cut costs by introducing a no-frills service that eliminated reservations, meals, and other extras. Other carriers lowered their fares, however, and Laker Airways went bankrupt in 1982. Laker sued, and British courts eventually ruled that the major airlines had engaged in predatory pricing; Laker’s legal efforts thus paved the way for future low-fare carriers. From 1992 he operated small regional airlines servicing Florida and The Bahamas. Laker was knighted in 1978.

Tips

-Although education is important, drive and ambition can carry you a long way.

-Always stand up for yourself

-Remember if others can do it, so can you

 

 

 

Hamdi Ulukaya $700 Million Business – Entrepreneur

The $700 Million Yogurt Startup

In a scant four years, Hamdi Ulukaya has built something even Silicon Valley types should covet: a $700 million business that’s profitable, dominant and growing at a furious clip. Even more incredible: Ulukaya makes yogurt.

Hamdi Ulukaya came to the United States from Turkey in 1997 to learn English and continue his education at the University at Albany. A visit from his father changed the direction of his life.

“When father realized that there were few quality dairy products, more specifically cheese, available to the U.S. market, it became apparent that I was destined to pursue a career in the dairy industry,” says Ulukaya.  Benefiting from his father’s prompting and encouragement, and his own hard work, Ulukaya now runs two companies, Euphrates Inc. in Johnstown, which makes feta cheese, and Agro-Farma Inc. based in South Edmeston in Otsego County, a producer of Greek yogurt.

“Both companies are challenging and rewarding, both personally and professionally,” says Ulukaya. “I love working with people and I have a great team. Competition is great as well. I love the challenge.”

Tips

-Adversity builds strength

-Overcome obstacles that get in your way

 

 

Hyman Golden, Founder of “Snapple” – Businessman and Entrepreneur

Hyman Golden, a businessman was a co-founder of the Snapple Beverage Corporation and served as its chairman as Snapple’s flavored teas and juices and became a national phenomenon.

Started Business with Two Partners

With a small investment in 1972, Mr. Golden and two partners started a business that would eventually produce one of the nation’s leading flavored beverages.  By the time the company was purchased by Quaker Oats Company for about $1.7 billion in 1994, it had annual sales of $700 million, and its bottles of juices with their familiar blue-and-white logos could be found in delis, supermarkets, vending machines and homes across the country.

Little Formal Education

Mr. Golden, who had little formal education, had a humble upbringing in Queens, working first as a window washer for his father, a Romanian immigrant. Along the way he also worked as a business broker and founded a maintenance company with his brother-in-law, Leonard Marsh.

Joining Forces

Then, in 1972, Mr. Marsh introduced Mr. Golden to Arnold Greenberg, a childhood friend who ran a health food store in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The three decided to join forces and founded a company — called Unadulterated Food Products — selling juices to health-food stores.  In 1980, the company introduced a line of all-natural juices with the Snapple name, which came from one of its first products, a carbonated apple juice that had a “snappy apple taste.”

Tips

-You can educate yourself along the way to success

-Formal educations area not required to be successful

 

Tom Hanks, Movie Star – Entrepreneur

Born in California, Tom Hanks grew up in what he calls a “fractured” family. His parents were pioneers in the development of marriage dissolution law in that state, and Tom moved around a lot, living with a succession of step-families. No problems, no abuse, no alcoholism – just a confused childhood. He had no acting experience in college and, in fact, credits the fact that he couldn’t get cast in a college play with actually starting his career. He went downtown, auditioned for a community theater play, was invited by the director of that play to go to Cleveland, and there his acting career started. He met his second wife, actress Rita Wilson on the set of his television show “Boston Buddies” (1980) – she appeared in one episode in the second season (1981). They have two children, and Tom has another son and daughter by his first wife. In 1996, he made his first step behind the camera, directing and writing as well as starring in the film “That Thing You Do.”

Tips

-No matter what your background is, you can make it

-Sometimes what seems to be the worst situation, moves you into the best situation

-Success is in your attitude