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  • From its birth in 1971 — after overcoming a year’s worth of legal challenges from competitors who tried to keep it grounded — Southwest Airlinessucceeded by daring to be different: offering low fares to its passengers by eliminating unnecessary services and avoiding the ‘hub-and-spoke’ scheduling system used by other airlines, in favor of building traffic in such secondary airports as Albany, Chicago-Midway (instead of Chicago-O’Hare) and Orange County. During his tenure as CEO of Southwest, Kelleher’s colorful personality created a corporate culture which made Southwest employees well known for taking themselves lightly — often singing in-flight announcements to the tune of popular theme songs — but their jobs seriously. Southwest has never had an in-flight fatality, and is consistently named among the top five Most Admired Corporations in America in Fortune magazine’s annual poll. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • In January 1984, Dell banked on his conviction that the potential cost savings of a manufacturer selling PCs directly had enormous advantages over the conventional indirect retail channel. In January 1984, Dell registered his company as ‘PC’s Limited’. Operating out of a condominium, the business sold between $50,000 and $80,000 in upgraded PCs, kits, and add-on components. In 2011, Dell’s 243.35 million shares of Dell stock were worth $3.5 billion, giving him 12% ownership of the company. His remaining wealth of roughly $10 billion is invested in other companies, and managed by a firm called MSD Capital, named after Dell’s initials. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • On February 9, 2009, Cuban announced his own ‘stimulus plan’, involving what he called “an open source exchange of ideas.” His plan entails individuals posting ideas that fit certain criteria (breaking even within 60 days, profitability within 90 days, no advertising, certain banking controls for Cuban) in the hopes that either Cuban will fund them, or other individuals will take up the ideas, thereby stimulating the economy. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • In 1969, Oakland Athletics owner Charles O. Finley introduced ‘ball girls’ (young girls who would retrieve baseballs grounded foul by batters). One of the first ones to be hired, Debbi was paid five dollars an hour, and used the money to buy ingredients for what would become her famous cookies.
  • Rohn graduated from high school third in a class of 140. He went to college for a year-and-a-half before dropping out and joining the work force. At 25, he was working as a stock clerk for Sears, for a weekly $57 paycheck, unable to see a way that would lead to his personal ambitions. Around this time, a friend invited him to a lecture given by John Earl Shoaff, an entrepreneur who impressed Rohn with his wealth, business accomplishments, charisma, and life philosophy. At that time, Shoaff was VP of Sales in a company called AbundaVita. In 1955, Rohn joined AbundaVita, became a distributor of the company’s product line, and began a process of personal development that culminated in his becoming a millionaire at 31. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Much of what is known about W. Clement Stone comes from his autobiography, The Success System That Never Fails, where he tells of his early business life, selling newspapers in restaurants. At the time, this was a novel thing to do, in contrast to the normal practice of hawking newspapers on street corners only.At first, the restaurants tried to discourage him from this practice, but Stone gradually won them over, due in part to his politeness, charm, persistence, and the fact that the patrons seemed to have no objections to this new way of selling his newspapers. From there, he graduated to selling insurance policies to downtown businesses. His mother was the initiator of his new career, and together they did quite well, she as the manager of the business, and he as the salesperson.
  • In 2010, Trump expressed an interest in becoming a candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 election, though in May 2011, he announced he would not be a candidate. In December 2011, Trump was suggested as a possible Vice Presidential selection by Michele Bachmann, if she were to win the Republican nomination. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Vera Wang was born in New York and has an estimated net worth of $115 million. As a fashion designer, Wang is most widely recognized for her wedding gowns, which have been worn by a number of celebrities, including Chelsea Clinton, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Garner, Holly Hunter, and Alicia Keys. She has also designed home ware, footwear, fragrance, eyewear, and jewelry collections.
  • The Virgin Group comprises more than 400 companies. Branson’s first business venture was a magazine called Student at the age of 16. In 1970, he set up an audio-record mail-order business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label.

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  • Herb KelleherYou must be very patient, very persistent. The worldisn’t going to shower gold coins on you just becauseyou have a good idea. You’re going to have to worklike crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people.They’re not going to buy it unless they know about it. Herbert “Herb” Dwight Kelleher is the co- founder, Chairman Emeritus, and former CEO of Southwest Airlines. Kelleher and one of his law clients, Texas businessman Rollin King, created the concept that later became Southwest Airlines, on a cocktail napkin in a San Antonio, Texas restaurant.
  • Michael DellDon’t spend so much time trying to choose the perfectopportunity, that you miss the right opportunity. Michael Saul Dell, American business magnate and author, is best known as the founder and CEO of Dell Inc., one of the world’s leading sellers of personal computers. He was ranked the world’s 41st richest person on the 2012 Forbes Billionaires’ list, with a net worth of US$15.9 billion.
  • Mark CubanIt’s called working your ass off. The difference is whatyou are willing to sacrifice. For every writer who wantsbalance in their life, there is a guy like me who gives upa lot to make their dreams come true. There is alwaysgoing to be someone out there that knows they haveto compensate for maybe having less talent withharder work and preparation. Mark Cuban is a businessman, investor, philanthropist, and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures, and chairman of the HDTV cable network AXS TV. In 2011, Cuban wrote an e-book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, in which he chronicles his life experiences in business and sports.
  • Debbi FieldsThe greatest failure is not to try. Had I listened to allthe people during the course of my life who said, “Youcan’t. You’ll fail. It won’t work. You don’t have…”, Iwouldn’t be here today. Debbi Fields is founder and current spokesperson of Mrs. Fields Bakeries, and the author of several cookbooks. She began her business in 1977 in Palo Alto, California, and it has grown into over 650 retail bakeries in the US, and over 80 in 11 other countries. Though she sold the business to an investment group in the 1990s, Fields remains the company’s spokesperson.
  • Jim RohnSuccess is neither magical nor mysterious. Success isthe natural consequence of consistently applying thebasic fundamentals. Jim Rohn was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. His rags to riches story played a large part in his work, which influenced others in the personal development industry, among them authors Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup book series), author/lecturer Brian Tracy, and T. Harv Eker.
  • Sam WaltonIgnore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else isdoing it one way, there’s a good chance you can findyour niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. Samuel Moore ‘Sam’ Walton was a businessman and entrepreneur best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam’s Club. The first true Wal-Mart opened on July 2, 1962 in Arkansas. When Walton died on April 5, 1992, his company employed 380,000 people. Annual sales of nearly $50 billion flowed from 1,735 Wal-Marts, 212 Sam’s Clubs, and 13 Supercenters.
  • William Clement StoneYou are a product of your environment. So choose theenvironment that will best develop you toward yourobjective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment.Are the things around you helping you towardssuccess? Or are they holding you back? William Clement Stone was a businessman, philanthropist and self-help book author. At the age of 6, Stone was hawking newspapers on Chicago’s South Side. At 13, he had his own newsstand. At 16, he began helping his mother in an insurance agency she had set up. He went from office to office, making cold calls (he called them gold calls), and was soon making $100 a week.
  • Donald TrumpExperience taught me a few things. One is to listen toyour gut, no matter how good something sounds onpaper. The second is that you are generally better offsticking with what you know and the third is thatsometimes, your best investments are the ones youdon’t make. Donald John Trump, Sr. is an American business magnate, television personality and author. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts. In its October 7, 2007 Forbes 400 issue, Forbes valued Trump’s wealth at $3.0 billion. Since 2011, his net worth has been estimated from $2.9 billion to $7 billion.
  • Vera WangI never thought I’d be successful. It seems in my ownmind that in everything I’ve undertaken I’ve neverquite made the mark. But I’ve always been able to putdisappointments aside. Success isn’t about the endresult; it’s about what you learn along the way. Vera Ellen Wang is an American fashion designer and former figure skater. She is known for her wide range of haute couture bridesmaid gowns and wedding gown collections, as well as for her clientele of women figure skaters, designing dresses for competitions and exhibitions.
  • Richard BransonAbove all, you want to create something you are proudof. That’s always been my philosophy of business. I canhonestly say that I have never gone into any businesspurely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then Ibelieve you are better off doing nothing. Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, best known as the founder and chairman of Virgin Group. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, and he is now the fourth richest citizen of the United Kingdom, according to the Forbes 2011 list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion.
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