Everyone loves a great rags to riches story where an ordinary worker goes from barely making ends meet to striking it rich. And though we often hear about people who were able to build on the success of a family business, but since most of us don’t have those advantages, it is more difficult to relate to those stories. Instead, we prefer to hear about ordinary people who started at the bottom and worked their way up to success. These rags to riches stories about people who toiled anonymously, who didn’t have an investment or a family business—or even immediate success really resonate with ordinary people. These stories resonate and have meaning because they offer inspiration and hope. In some cases, stories of ordinary workers hitting the big time also serve as a roadmap for others, helping to guide them along the way.
Take Shahid Khan. He came to this country as a teenager in order to attend a university. His first job? Washing dishes; he barely made $1 and hour.
But then he started working in an engineering firm. It was small stuff at first, but he kept at it, slowly moving up in the company until he had amassed enough resources to be able to buy the business. Today, that company is worth billions—a far cry from his first job foray as a dishwasher.
Want more inspiring stories? This graphic has five to check out.
Studying the rags to riches tales of these individuals is important because they demonstrate that even the most ordinary of people in the most ordinary of jobs, can overcome difficult circumstances and achieve remarkable success. What’s holding you back?