A success story is a pleasure to read. Particularly, when the success story involves the protagonist fighting against all odds and overcoming adversity to taste the fruits of success. Many a film and novel with such stories have become popular. Moving away from the world of fiction, there are many such real life stories. These are stories of people who started with nothing and ended up becoming millionaires. When these stories involve celebrities, it naturally makes it more interesting to read about.
Many celebrities moved from rags to riches in life’s journey. Starting from a humble background, faced with poverty and other problems, these celebrities learned how to overcome all that fate threw at them. They moved forward with a single-minded determination to achieve success. Having earned millions today, these celebrities are classic examples of the results of hard work and determination. To quote the celebrated Zig Ziglar, “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.”
The stories we present here exemplify this quote. These are stories of well-known celebrities who achieved success the hard way. Their stories are inspirational as they affirm that nothing is impossible. Reading success stories of celebrities can inspire others. After all, these celebrities have a huge fan following, their life stories can inspire their fans to work towards success. ‘If they could do it, why can’t we?’ – this is what should be in your mind when you read such rags to riches stories.
We present to you ten such rags to riches stories of popular celebrities who are multimillionaires. We are sure you would find their story interesting and inspiring.
- J K Rowling
J K Rowling is an acclaimed author who created the magical world of Harry Potter. She has taken the literary world by storm and became a billionaire, thanks to her literary achievements. Her journey to success was not easy by any means. Her life started with poverty troubling her at all stages. She was a single mother, who struggled to make ends meet. She even had to face a situation, where she did not have money for food. She did not allow her troubles to impede her quest for success. She knew that she could write and was determined to achieve success.
Even though she had to survive on welfare, she continued to write with the hope of achieving success. Her manuscript was rejected twelve times. Her agent told her that she could never hope to make a living out of writing. This would be sufficient to make most people give up. Fortunately for the world of children’s fiction, she did not give up. She persisted and finally, her story was accepted for publication. The rest is history! Her story tells us not to give up whatever may be the obstacles we encounter.
- Shania Twain
The story of Eileen Edwards is yet another inspiring rags to riches tale. We know her better as Shania Twain, an internationally renowned singer. Her life story is one of pain and suffering. Her parents divorced when she was young. Her stepfather was a violent man who attacked her on many occasions. With not much money, she could not hope to pursue her singing career. She even had to stay in a foster home for some time. She had to work part-time to sustain herself. Fate dealt a cruel blow when her parents died in an accident. In her early twenties, she now had the responsibility of taking her of her younger siblings.
She got a singing job that could help earn a livelihood. At no stage, did she give up on her dream of becoming a singer. She wrote songs when she could and continued in her quest to achieve her dream. Finally, she ended up in Nashville and got her first break. Even though her first album was not a big hit, she was now ‘on the way’, which is the meaning of her first name Shania. Hit after hit and she achieved success and is now a superstar. Hardships are no obstacles to success. This is what we can learn from her story.
- Jim Carrey
Comedy actor Jim Carrey is a favorite among all those who love this genre. His performance in the Maskandother such movies has won him fans world over. The stories of his early days though are one of sadness. When he was 12 years, his father lost his job and the family lost their only source of income. With no money, they could not even afford a house and to stay in a van. With the family in a desperate situation, Carrey had no option but to drop out of school and take up work.
He worked as a janitor and security guard to earn money for his family. His situation did not make him lose hope or give up. He believed he had a natural flair for comedy and pursued this line. Soon he got into the comedy circuit and people started to take note of him. This opened up a career in Hollywood with movie offers. He went on to become one of the top actors with a great fan following. A multi-millionaire now, he would never have reached this far had he given hope in those difficult days. The lesson we learn is to pursue what you love, no matter what the troubles you may have.
- Selena Gomez
One of the top music, movie, and TV stars Selena Gomez has achieved International fame. A favorite of the paparazzi, she is one of the well-known celebrities in the world. A millionaire leading a life of luxury today, her early days were not so easy. The adulation and fame that she is enjoying today came by overcoming many difficulties. Her mother was a single parent and raised Selena on her own. In fact, her mother was just 16 when Selena was born. She went through many difficulties to make a living.
Selena had a tough childhood with no money and no access to the facilities that other children. Her mother soon remarried. Her mother was a performer and Selena learned from her mother. Her mother’s focus on her work inspired Selena who aspired to be like her. Soon her talent was recognized by Disney and at the age of 7, she entered the world of television. She became a well-known child star on TV. This was followed by movies, music, and fame. Her success would not have come about had she been overwhelmed by the situation she faced when she a child. Talent and determination brought her this ahead.
- Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis is from the Ukraine, a former country of the Soviet Union. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the country was in turmoil and life was difficult. That was when the Kunis family decided to leave the country and move to the US in the hope for a better life. Those days were difficult for the family. Poverty and hardship were what Kunis faced in her childhood. It was even difficult to get a square meal to eat. She had to work as a teen to sustain her family. She chose acting and focused herself on being successful.
She got a break in That 70s show, which led to her being noticed by Hollywood. The world of movies soon followed and fame came her way. From a life of poverty, with only ketchup soup as food to being a millionaire today, Mila Kunis has come a long way. She has not forgotten what she went through and has vowed that she and her husband Ashton Kutcher would not raise entitled children. The struggles she faced and how she overcame them to find successis what we can learn from her story.
- Snoop Dogg
A popular and well-known rapper Snoop Dogg is one of the top stars in the world of rap music. In the 90s, he specialized in gangsta rap music. This is based on his life and his experiences. His success and the wealth he has earned today has come through extreme difficulties. His is a story of someone who came from a very difficult background and worked hard to achieve success. His childhood and young days were spent on the California streets, where he experienced crime firsthand.
He had bitter experiences with the law and his surroundings were sinking him into the world of crime. He, however, did not allow this to happen. He worked hard and used his difficult circumstances to achieve success. His songs talk about his struggles and his life. That has won his many fans and fame. The turnaround he achieved and how he used his experiences to achieve success is what we can learn from his story.
- Leonardo Di Caprio
One of the top stars of Hollywood, Leo at one time was the highest paid actor in the world of movies. He is a millionaire many times over and has earned name and fame. His path to superstardom though was not so easy. He was born in a poor family and struggled through his childhood. The neighborhood where he stayed in LA exposed him to the evils of society. Drugs, violence, prostitution, crime – Leo was exposed to all this at a young age. It can be an experience that can make a youngster go wayward on a path difficult to come back from.
Leo, though, did not lose hope. He remained focused on what he wanted from life. He got a scholarship to a private school. He did not get acceptance and faced bullying and beatings. This did not make him lose hope. He worked hard with a focus on his goal. He soon ended up in Hollywood. Titanic made him an International star and there was no looking back after that. The importance of focusing on a goal, irrespective of the obstacles is what we can learn from his story.
- Sarah Jessica Parker
One of the top actors on Television, Sarah Jessica Parker has become a household name. Her success has made her a multi-millionaire. The fame and money did not come easily. It has been a life of struggle for Sarah to come up in life. Hers is a true rag to riches story. Born in a family that faced poverty daily, she faced difficulties every day of her life. She had to depend on the free lunch at school to get through. There was nor even electricity and telephone at home as her family could not afford to pay the utility bills.
Unlike other children, there were no birthday parties and celebrations. It was an extremely difficult life, where the road ahead seemed to have only darkness. After a divorce, her mother remarried and helped Sarah to focus on her talent on acting. She began working as a child to earn money for the family. She soon got a break in Broadway. Her performance in the title role of Annie changed her career. She found success, followed by her entry into TV, after which there was no looking back. Overcoming obstacles and focusing on a talent is what we learn from her story.
- Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson is one of the top singers in the world today. Having won three Grammies, she is at the top of her field. Success and money came her way and she is today a millionaire. The riches did not come easily. It was a life of struggle that helped her come up in life. Her childhood was difficult with her family broken up after her father left them. She did not lose focus because of her difficulties. She graduated from college and decided to pursue a career in music. Working at odd jobs, she struggled to achieve success.
She got her first break in American Idol. Her performance won her many fans and the appreciation of her judges. She was the first winner of the show. From then on, she moved ahead in the world of music and hit after hit followed. Her success in the world of music has come because she did not allow negative circumstances and obstaclesto affect her.
- Mark Wahlberg.
One of the leading stars of Hollywood, Mark Wahlberg is a millionaire and at one time was the highest paid actor in the industry. Rag to riches exemplifies his life. His childhood was not difficult, but terrible. One of nine children in a poor family, he faced only difficulties at childhood. With no money, he had no option but to enter the world of crime.
He had to sell drugs to make money and faced abuse and violence. He spent 45 days in prison and was on the verge of entering the world of crime when he managed to pull away. He took an oath to be focused on his career. He dabbled in singing before moving to movies and attaining fame. His story tells us that even when everything seems dark, there is still light ahead if you can focus on it.
Each one of these successful persons achieved their dreams by sheer effort with a single-minded focus on their goals. We can learn from their stories and similarly focus ourselves with the hope of achieving our goals. We hope these stories were inspiring for you.
U.S. inauguration turns poet Amanda Gorman into best seller
WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The president’s poet woke up a superstar on Thursday, after a powerful reading at the U.S. inauguration catapulted 22-year-old Amanda Gorman to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list.
Hours after Gorman’s electric performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, her two books – neither out yet – topped Amazon.com’s sales list.
“I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY!” Gorman, a Los Angeles resident, wrote on Twitter.
Gorman’s debut poetry collection ‘The Hill We Climb’ won top spot in the online retail giant’s sale charts, closely followed by her upcoming ‘Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem’.
While poetry’s popularity is on the up, it remains a niche market and the overnight adulation clearly caught Gorman short.
“Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: ‘For words alone are certain good: Sing, then’.”
Gorman, the youngest poet in U.S. history to mark the transition of presidential power, offered a hopeful vision for a deeply divided country in Wednesday’s rendition.
“Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it,” Gorman said on the steps of the U.S. Capitol two weeks after a mob laid siege and following a year of global protests for racial justice.
“We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.”
The performance stirred instant acclaim, with praise from across the country and political spectrum, from the Republican-backing Lincoln Project to former President Barack Obama.
“Wasn’t @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait,” tweeted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
A graduate of Harvard University, Gorman says she overcame a speech impediment in her youth and became the first U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.
She has now joined the ranks of august inaugural poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
Her social media reach boomed, with her tens of thousands of followers ballooning into a Twitter fan base of a million-plus.
“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I,” tweeted TV host Oprah Winfrey.
Gorman’s books are both due out in September.
Third on Amazon’s best selling list was another picture book linked to politics and projecting hope: ‘Ambitious Girl’ by Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena Harris.
(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
Why brands harnessing the power of digital are winning in this evolving business landscape
By Justin Pike, Founder and Chairman, MYPINPAD
Delivery of intuitive, secure, personalised, and frictionless user experiences has long been table stakes in digital commerce, well before the era of COVID-19. As businesses harness the revolutionary power of digital technologies, they have pursued large-scale change to adapt to evolving consumer preferences (some more successfully than others, but that’s a blog for another day). Digital transformation is a term we hear repeatedly, and it looks different for each organisation, but essentially, it’s about utilising technology and data to digitise, automate, innovate and improve processes and the customer experience across the entire business.
As I said, this was already well underway but then came 2020 and no industry escaped the disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, which has had an indelible impact on businesses performance, operations, and revenue. Regardless of whether the impact of COVID has been very positive or very challenging, it has forced organisations globally to re-evaluate and re-orient strategies to adapt.
As lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions continue to change daily life, this raises the question of how we can balance a dramatic shift to digital and the benefits it brings, while ensuring business continuity and innovation both during and post-COVID, and protecting everyone against fraud?
Digital is an essential survival tool, and even more so in a COVID world
No one could have predicted the dramatic digital pivot that has taken place over this year. Indeed, within weeks of the COVID outbreak cash usage in the UK dropped by around 50%. Digital solutions including delivery applications, contactless payments, mobile commerce, online and mobile banking have become essential components of a touchless customer experience in the era of social distancing. It’s no longer just about an enhanced and superior customer experience, it’s also about health, safety and survival.
In store, businesses have benefited from contactless payments enabling faster throughput and reduced need for consumers to touch payment terminals (therefore requiring greater cleaning, which degrades the hardware much faster). Mastercard reported a 40% increase in contactless payments – including tap-to-pay and mobile pay – during the first quarter of the year as the global pandemic worsened. Digital has also become an essential sales channel for many B2C brands. Where brick and mortar stores have been required to close, digital commerce enables continuity of customer relationships and revenue. This channel also provides brands with rich customer data, which can be used to enhance and personalise the customer experience and typically results in greater levels of engagement and uplifts in revenue.
Industry forecasts estimate that worldwide spending on the technologies and services enabling digital transformation will reach GBP 1.8 trillion in 2023 – a clear indication that the process represents a long-term investment and a global commitment to digital-first strategy. The key point here is that digital brings significant benefits, and regardless of COVID, is here to stay.
The challenges that rapid digital transformation brings to businesses
Regardless of whether businesses are operating in developed or less-developed economies, these times of crisis have levelled the playing field in the sense that all businesses are facing similar issues. Access to products and supplies, maintaining customer relationships, accelerating sales for some and declining sales for others, health and hygiene are just a few of the unique challenges brought about by COVID.
Many businesses in physical environments have had to swiftly implement changes to significantly reduce safety risks for staff and customers, such as contactless payments, mobile ordering and delivery options. But with these changes come a host of other benefits of digitisation, such as faster transactions, and reduced human error at the point-of-sale.
The reliance on technology, however, can also expose organisations and consumers to certain vulnerabilities. In particular, the risks of fraud and cybercrime have dramatically increased since the onset of the pandemic as scammers have taken advantage of digital technologies to target both businesses and individuals.
As a McKinsey report illustrates, new levels of sophistication in the activities of fraudsters have placed more pressure on companies that have been previously slow to go digital, bringing “into sharp relief how vulnerable companies really are”, and damaging the financial health of small and large businesses. In fact, the Bottomline 2020 Business Payments Barometer reveals that only one in 10 small businesses across the UK report recovering more than 50% of losses due to fraud.
But take these stats with a grain of salt. While it is important to be aware of the risks and challenges this new business landscape brings, it’s equally as important to have a lens firmly across your own business, industry and audience, and to identify the changes you can make internally to mitigate risk as well as improve your customer experience. Where can you make some quick wins? Do you have the right skillsets internally to achieve what you need to achieve? What technology is out there that will enable your business goals? There are tech companies like MYPINPAD that are making huge strides in software development, which will transform businesses globally.
A digital world post-COVID
Almost a year in, the line between business success and failure remains fragile. However, an ongoing transition towards greater digitisation will be the difference between survival and the alternative.
There is a wide range of initiatives businesses can implement to weather this storm. If we look at the space MYPINPAD operates within, secure digital consumer authentication is crucial to the ongoing success and security of not only financial products but also identification and verification across a range of different industry verticals. Shifting the authentication of consumers securely onto mobile devices enables businesses to completely reshape their customer experiences. By bringing together a more seamless, frictionless customer experience, accessibility, privacy, security and access to consumer data, businesses are able to drive digital transformation across day-to-day activities.
Against this backdrop, software with stronger security standards continue to play an ever more vital role in supporting society, protecting consumers and businesses from the increase in risks that rapid digitisation brings. Already, merchants can deploy PIN on Mobile technology from companies like MYPINPAD, onto their smart devices to speed up the digitisation process many are now tackling.
Essentially, opening up universal payments and authentication methods that feel familiar, for both online and face-to-face transactions, will be key to opening up a world of possibilities when it comes to redefining how businesses engage with consumers.
Brexit responsible for food supply problems in Northern Ireland, Ireland says
LONDON (Reuters) – Food supply problems in Northern Ireland are due to Brexit because there are now a certain amount of checks on goods going between Britain and Northern Ireland, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.
British ministers have sought to play down the disruption of Brexit in recent days.
“The supermarket shelves were full before Christmas and there are some issues now in terms of supply chains and so that’s clearly a Brexit issue,” Coveney told ITV.
The Northern Irish protocol means there are “a certain amount of checks on goods coming from GB into Northern Ireland and that involves some disruption,” he said.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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