Category: Famous Businessmen


Theo Paphitis

Theo Paphitis: British business tycoon.

Born: September 24, 1959.

Even as an adult, Theo Paphitis does not like to read.

You know what?  My inspiration to be in business did not actually come from a book.  It actually came from watching telly as a kid.

TV inspired me at that stage and I knew I wanted to run my own business.

He does enjoy learning about what others are doing, however.

I look at other people who are entrepreneurial or successful and you know what?  I don’t have jealousy and I don’t have envy.  I have pure admiration and it drives me so I love to read, I love to see people who are successful, more successful than me because that drives me.

He credits his success to his creative edge.

Every year, no matter how busy I am, I [take off] all the school holidays.  That’s the time I spend with my family and…that’s the time I have most of my creative thoughts.

And to his intrinsic curiosity.

Finance meant getting stuck into other people’s business – and I’m a nosy bugger. You had to go through the business, you had to go through all the bits and pieces. My curiosity was enough to get me to ask the right questions.

Steven Jobs

Steven Jobs: founder of Apple computers.

Born: February 24, 1955

Steven Jobs believes he owes much of his success in life to a very special teacher who was able to look past how he was acting to who he could be.

She said, “Steven, I’ll tell you what. I’ll make you a deal. I have this math workbook and if you take it home and finish on your own without any help and you bring it back to me, if you get it 80% right, I will give you five dollars and one of these really big suckers.”  She  bought and she held it out in front of me….She basically bribed me back into learning with candy and money….

I’m 100% sure that if it hadn’t been for Mrs. Hill in fourth grade and a few others, I would have absolutely have ended up in jail…  [My energy] could have been directed at doing something interesting that other people thought was a good idea or doing something interesting that maybe other people didn’t like so much.

Today he wants to give back to society what he got from Mrs. Hill.

I’ve helped with more computers in more schools than anybody else in the world and I am absolutely convinced that is by no means the most important thing. The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.

James Packer

James Packer: Australian businessman

Born: September 8, 1967

James Packer and his father shared a lot of things, including dyslexia.

We didn’t agree on everything, I’m sure you know that’s typical with all fathers and sons but I think my father and I were… he was and is the dominant relationship of my life and I think that from my perspective, we were very close. If he was here, he’d say the same thing.

Just as Packer’s father had overcome his learning difficulties to become a great businessman, he taught his son to do the same.

My dad occasionally gave me a hard time but I must say that when I needed him to be supportive, when I needed him as a son or as a businessman, when I needed his support, he was always supportive. I think he’s very smart in the sense, that you know when, on occasions and, it wasn’t often, when on occasions he gave me a tough time, it was only ever when he knew I could handle a bit of practical encouragement.

After losing his dad, Packer went out of his way to encourage others to make sure that they always kept things right between themselves and their loved ones.

Looking back on it now, I thought dad had a bit longer to go.  Also looking back now, I think he wanted to make sure that with the people that were in some way important to him, nothing was left unsaid. So that’s a great joy of my life to know that was the case with dad and I.

Billy Blanks

Billy Blanks - famous dyslexic

Billy Blanks - famous dyslexic

Billy Blanks: actor and creator of the martial art Tae-Bo.
Born: September 1, 1955

Billy Blanks learned to fight long before he created his own martial art form.

I was born the fourth of 15 children to poor African-American parents. The streets were pretty mean where I grew up in Erie, Pa., and I was placed in special education classes because of my dyslexia that went undiagnosed. I had to make my own opportunities and teach myself so that I could get ahead. My wife had to read everything for me. When I was acting, I would have her read and coach read me the whole script; I would memorize everyone else’s lines along with mine.

Today things are much different.

I have my own home office with two computers in there now. I have a Mac laptop — my wife and I each have one — that I take on the airplane with me when I travel. I’m always trying to design new Tae-Bo techniques. We’re going to upgrade all the computers and software soon to a whole new system. My office has top-of-the-line digital equipment.

He is in the business of helping others achieve the success he has had.

When I speak to people I tell them the most powerful thing for me in the world is words and what I say out of my mouth goes back into my ears and makes me think about what I’m going to do. So I always tell people first and foremost, watch what you say because you’re going to be what you said.

Franklin Winfield Woolworth

Woolworths supermarketFranklin Winfield Woolworth
Born: April 13, 1852
Died: April 8, 1919

F. W. Woolworth established a chain of stores that would forever change the way America, and eventually most of the world, shopped. And he did it because he was not a good salesman.
I am the world’s worst salesman, therefore, I must make it easy for people to buy.
His biographer remembers,
He had a burning desire to succeed and nothing else mattered.
Lest anyone get the impression that Woolworth was some sort of money crazed tyrant, she adds
And Woolworth’s was the first American chain to offer men a training program so they could work their way up from stock boy to the executive suite. But Woolworth also made his managers sign contracts stipulating they would never gamble in the stock market, though they could buy shares of stock in F. W. Woolworth Company.
And how did he do all this? By simply following his dreams.
Dreams never hurt anybody if you keep working right behind the dreams to make as much of them become real as you can.

Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer: Australian media mogul.
Born: December 17, 1937
Died: December 2005

Kerry Packer loved his father but often found him hard to live with, especially when he did not do well in school, which was most of the time.
I got a lot of hidings because that’s the sort of person I was and the sort of person he was.
It was only on the playing fields that he found any sort of success.
My life was sport. I was academically stupid. My method of surviving through school and those sorts of things was sport.
Eventually, his success on the playing field translated to success in workplace. And he believed that everyone should try to be successful, too.
If a working class Englishman saw a bloke drive past in a Rolls-Royce, he’d say to himself ‘Come the social revolution and we’ll take that away from you, mate’. Whereas if his American counterpart saw a bloke drive past in a Cadillac he’d say ‘One day I’m going to own one of those’. To my way of thinking the first attitude is wrong. The latter is right.

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