10 Motivational Stories of Billionaire Entrepreneurs


A fear of failure can often be masked by a lack of motivation. It’s typical to feel unmotivated when you’re overwhelmed by not knowing where to start with your business. It can lead to a fear of failing before you even begin. There’s a lot of vulnerability and trust you put into your leaders, doTERRA, and yourself. With your hard work, you’ll be met with invaluable life skills as you tread through this journey of building your own business. 

When the journey gets tough, remember to focus on what motivates you, rather than fearing failure or focusing on other reasons to quit. It can be helpful reading inspirational stories from entrepreneurs who started from the ground up just like you, and see what motivates them through tough times. 

Oprah Winfrey

“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”

As a black woman living in Mississippi during the 1960’s, Oprah knew her opportunities were few. You could teach in a segregated school, be a maid, a cook, dishwasher, or a servant. Oprah remembers watching her grandmother perform these kinds of strenuous labors day in and day out. She knew she didn’t want the same life, which is when she adopted a mantra that would get her through those rough times: "This will not be your life. Your life will be more than hanging clothes on a line." 

Bill Gates

"It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."

Before creating Microsoft, Bill Gates created a business called Traf-O-Data, which was a company that analyzed traffic data. The company flopped. Rather than hiding in shame due to his failure, Gates used the knowledge from this experience to create one of the most successful technology companies in the world. 

Jeff Bezos

“When it’s tough, will you give up or will you be relentless?”

From his garage to a multi-billion dollar company, Jeff Bezos has nearly perfected convenient one-stop, money-saving shopping with Amazon. With such an innovative company with so many ideas being implemented, some are bound to fail — like Amazon’s smartphone, the Fire Phone. “. . . one of my jobs is to encourage people to be bold. It’s incredibly hard. Experiments are, by their very nature, prone to failure. A few big successes compensate for dozens and dozens of things that didn’t work.

Elon Musk

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

In his youth, Elon Musk was the victim of aggressive childhood bullying. One conflict even resulted in hospitalization. He channeled those emotions and became arguably the most successful engineer and inventor of our age. 

Sheryl Sandberg

“I still face situations that I fear are beyond my qualifications. I still have days when I feel like a fraud.”

Sheryl Sandberg is a beacon of inspiration, as one of the leading women entrepreneurs — the COO of Facebook, with a net worth of 1.1 billion dollars. Reading her biography you'd believe her to be immaculate; but Sandberg is human just like the rest of us. She discusses experiencing “Imposter Sydrome”, which is that negative self-chatter you hear when you believe you’ve earned success as a fraud and are not worthy of it. This is something you’ll likely find in common with women in the workplace. It goes to show even the most successful business women having feelings of insecurity.

Larry Ellison

“Life’s a journey. It’s a journey about discovering limits.” 

Success was a constant uphill battle for Ellison. When he was nine months old he was given up for adoption by his teenage mother. He never graduated from college and dropped out twice during his attempt. It was fear of failure that drove him to defy the odds. He turned his nearly bankrupted company into a multi-billion dollar corporation and became the fifth wealthiest person in the world. 

Michael Bloomberg

“Nobody wants a job where they don't have authority to go along with the responsibility. Quite the contrary. The more authority you give people, the better people you can attract, and the harder they're going to work, and the more loyal they are going to be.” 

Bloomberg had every opportunity at his feet having attened some of the most prestigious Ivy League schools in America. he found himself being pushed, unfairly, out of his firm by enemies he had accrued. Instead of letting this failure derail his career he went went on to be the mayor of New York City.

Larry Page

“. . . sometimes we don’t recognize that the most successful people in the world have had an abundance of failure.”

If you know the history of Google, you then know Larry Page’s place in developing the world's leading search engine, now worth 100 billion dollars. 

Page faced major confrontation along the way to his success. At one point during the growth of his company, he fired several employees on the terms they weren’t doing a good job implementing his vision. He faced outrage from the masses. He was attacked for being uncompassionate and robotic about his behavior towards others. Page had no choice but to let go of the words and move on. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions for the better of your company.

Phil Knight

"There is a sort of a downtrend, I think, in entrepreneurial spirit . . . But everything has a cycle.”

Knight, like some of you may be experiencing right this moment, did not receive the support from others he deserved when building his now incredibly successful retail business, Nike. He was told time and time again that he would fail. Knight knew the probability of failure was high, but his optimism triumphed. Knight’s main motivator was a love and passion for what he was doing. He was inspired by Olympic athletes and wanted to create a brand where everyone believed anything was possible. Because of Knight, we have the simple, yet empowering motto: just do it

Pierre Omidyar

“I once had a hockey stick autographed by Bobby Orr that a kid in my class stole from me, so I created the online marketplace eBay to tempt him to put it up for auction. He never has, but I’ve made a lot of money, which is its own kind of reward.”

Omidyar, the founder of eBay, is an excellent example of optimism and innovation. He considers himself more of a philanthropist than an engineer, spending much of his time with his wife providing funding to nonprofit organizations. For Omidyar, eBay provides him with the means to help citizens of impoverished countries — like Kenya, where he is providing 26,000 Kenyans with a fixed daily income for a period of 12 years. 

Moving Forward

Each and everyone of these leaders were able to move past their failures and find their own success. Let their stories inspire you in your business to see past difficult times and find your own success.

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