The world is full of amazing perseverance stories that can inspire you to achieve more.
I always wonder…Why do so many people give up on their hopes, dreams, and goals so easily? Why don’t more people persevere?
It’s a question I ask because I see it so frequently. Friends, old coworkers, and even people I meet on the golf course openly admit to giving up.
Why is it so many people choose to go the easy route and give up?
I try to live my life the opposite — one of my biggest fears is dying with regret. The regret of not knowing what I could have accomplished but didn’t because I was scared, didn’t work hard enough or gave up when it got tough.
Whether it’s a fitness goal, business idea, sports or another challenge in life I always try to see it through.
Giving up is easy, finishing a goal is hard.
As motivational speaker Ross Perot says, “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.”
Check out these eight perseverance stories to follow through on your goals and dreams for unlimited potential in your future:
8 Perseverance Stories To Help You Succeed
1. Jack Canfield – Chicken Soup For The Soul Co-Creator
Jack Canfield is the creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series. He’s also one of the best motivational speakers, professional coach, and an incredibly inspiring author who published The Success Principles.
Jack and his co-author Mark Victor Hansen pitched the original Chicken Soup for the Soul to over 130 different publishers. But none of them were interested and said no one “wants to read 100 inspirational stories.”
After 100+ pitches, their agent dropped them as well, but they were determined to get the book published.
Luckily they never gave up and continued to persevere until their book was picked up by a small publisher in Florida.
Now there are over 250 Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and over 500 MILLION copies sold worldwide. If they had given up these inspirational stories wouldn’t have been read across the world and they wouldn’t have made millions of dollars.
Never give up! Could you imagine if he quit on the 129th publisher? Where would his life be now?
If you have a strong vision and clear goals never stop until you achieve them.
2. McDonald’s – Ray Croc
Ray Croc is another one of the coolest perseverance stories that show you can succeed at any time in your life.
The golden arches are also synonymous with one of the oldest, biggest, and most successful businesses in the world.
But without Ray Croc, Mcdonalds would have been a one location burger chain in San Bernardino.
Ray was a 50 plus-year-old struggling milkshake machine salesman who lived a comfortable life but craved more. He met the brothers behind McDonald’s and eventually convinced them of a franchise model to grow the brand. This led him to massive expansion, buying the land where all locations operate and grown into the Mcdonald’s we know today.
A quick synopsis of McDonald’s history (via Biz Insider):
- Started in 19 as a one location burger chain
- Burgers were originally 15 cents
- They hire around 1 million workers in the US every year
- Mcdonald’s $27 billion in revenue makes it the 90th-largest economy in the world
Dream big! Without a dream to grow the franchise Mcdonald’s would have been a one location burger joint.
While the story is slightly sad, the main lesson is to never aim low. Shoot for the stars!
3. Alibaba – Jack Ma
Jack Ma is the richest man in Asia (worth about $39 Billion) and runs one of the largest company in China — Alibaba.
But he wasn’t a genius who instantly created this amazing company. He faced rejection for his whole life.
He applied for 30 different jobs (including the police and KFC) and was rejected. In addition, he applied and got denied 10 different times from Harvard.
But, after discovering the internet in the mid 90’s he understood the possibilities that existed. He went on to create several companies despite all the rejection he had previously faced.
Believe in yourself. If Jack would have listened to others he would have accepted all the rejection and lived a life of mediocrity. Instead, he kept going, built an incredible business and impacts millions of lives every day.
The best part? He spoke at Harvard for a commencement speech, the school that rejected him 10 times.
4. Whats App – Jan Koum
Jan Koum is the founder of What’s App which sold to Facebook for 19 billion dollars. He grew up very poor in Ukraine and didn’t even have running water.
After finding his skills in Silicon Valley he was almost hired at Facebook but got passed over in the last interview. Instead of sulking, Jan went on to found Whats App.
Jan is the epitome of hard work and never giving up. For his full story check out this article.
Don’t take no for an answer. If you believe in yourself keep going towards your goal. Know that once you complete it you will have the satisfaction of succeeding when others doubted you or told you it was impossible.
5. Starbucks – Howard Schultz
Everyone around the world knows Starbucks. It is one of the most recognizable symbols next to the crucifix, Mcdonalds, and Superman. But it didn’t start that easy, without perseverance the coffee giant would never have existed.
Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks went to over 200 banks looking for his original loan. 242!
Not only was he desperately trying to secure a loan, his wife was pregnant with their first child. After a year of rejections, he was able to secure the $400,000 needed from a doctor and two other individual investors.
Today, the brand employs over 137,000 people around the world.
Starbucks Stats (via Business Insider):
- 16,850 Starbucks locations in 40 countries
- As of 2010, Starbucks employed 137,000 people — twice the population of Greenland
- Starbucks adds two new stores on a daily basis since 1987
And did I mention that Howard Schultz is worth nearly 3 billion dollars?
Never give up, no matter how hard it might seem. If Howard had not persevered the world wouldn’t know one of the most iconic brands ever.
6. Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison is the definition of perseverance. Considered unteachable at a young age the inventor went on to eventually create the electric light bulb. While most thought he “failed” he simply said he found over 1,000 ways to not build a light bulb.
If you fail, learn from it and keep moving forward. Failure isn’t meant to be a reason to stop it’s to show you a way that didn’t work. As Tony Robbins said, “Don’t change the goal, change the approach.“
7. Walt Disney
While everyone knows the iconic brand of Disney, the story of how Walt Disney created the empire is very inspiring. As a young man, Walt Disney was fired from a local newspaper as his boss thought he lacked creativity. After a failed animation company went under he was barely able to pay his bills even ate dog food to survive.
With his last few dollars, Walt Disney made his way to Hollywood to try and make it big. Unfortunately, his early time in Hollywood was just as bad. He was told Mickey Mouse would fail, faced constant rejection and seemed destined to never succeed.
But Walt persisted and went on to grow the company with amusement parks, feature films, and is known as a cultural icon.
Learn to take a calculated risk and don’t stop doing what you love just because the world has shown you obstacles. Ironically, years later Walt’s Disney acquired the Kansas City Star newspaper — the one who said he lacked creativity all those years ago.
8. KFC – Colonel Sanders
The last of these perseverance stories is the founder of KFC, Colonel Sanders. He didn’t start KFC until he was 60 years old after receiving his first social security check!
That’s when most people are taught to hang it up, cross off the bucket list and fall asleep watching TV every day.
He worked from age 60 – 73 to master his technique and grow his business. This often came at the expense of sleeping in his car! It was hard work but he loved doing it — and people loved the food.
When he sold the company he earned $2 million and lived out the rest of life in comfort, not needing to depend on his social security check.
It’s never too late! Whether you’re 30, 45, or 60 years old never give up on your dreams.
Perseverance in the Face of Adversity
Success isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be difficult, challenging, and exhausting or everyone would be successful.
Don’t quit when obstacles arise. Persist, trust yourself and your vision until it’s accomplished.
These perseverance stories show that human beings are capable of anything with perseverance, hard work, and belief in themselves.
Never give up on your dreams, keep going, keep striving, and keep persisting. If you give up on something you really care about you’ll end up quitting on the one-yard line.
Learn how to push through your fears and achieve your biggest goals and dreams.
Have you heard of these perseverance stories? Did you have a favorite?
Let me know in the comments!