Rags to Riches Entrepreneurial Success Stories
Larry Namer founder E! Entertainment Television built a media network in the mid 1980s that eventually sold for approximately $3 billion in 2007. Larry started with a job in sewers of Manhattan for a company called Sterling Manhattan which become Manhattan Cable and later Times Inc. A job for which he had to lie about having no education and hence needed the job. However, he was way more qualified academically. The decade between 1970 and 1980 saw a lot of innovation in media, also being the start of HBO around the same time.
Larry with his ability to read contracts and liaison between the unions and the management, eventually moved himself in to management. He became the Director of Operations at age 25, Director of Corporate Development at age 30 at Times Inc in New York and gained experience with Finance, Marketing and Programming at Valley Cable in California when he moved from New York over an offer that was four times higher than what he made in New York.
He founded Movie Time with a friend which later became E! Entertainment Television, it was about broadcasting trailers and local movie timings in the particular city. Raised US $2.5 Million from an investor after 3.5 years of pitching and only $60 in the bank then. The bigger names in a TV network worked with US $60 million people while E! Entertainment started with only $2.5 million, which worked, as the lack of money led to a lot of innovation and launching it in the entertainment capital of the world – Hollywood, which at that point had no TV networks out of that geography.
The partners exited the company at a $3 Billion valuation and since then Larry has worked around the world launching TV networks. Larry Namer’s story is truly a rags to riches or can also call it from a sewer to success.
Another story in Entrepreneurial success is of rags to riches or zero to millions. Dylan Mullan cofounded Happy Skin Co an at home hair removal business from $0 to $20 Million in two years. From an early age Dylan was good in academics, got enrolled into a business and legal course in university, but dropped off it six months later. Then took up a course in acting and spent about four to five years acting and getting close to couple of big roles but could not get through them.
He then found an interest in e-commerce, took up a corporate job and played astound with social media and learning the ropes for couple of years. They launched Happy Skin Co in April 2018, but the launch was followed only after some real grind for nine months or so working off week evenings until midnight and then weekends on the business plans, strategies, products etc…. Sometimes getting stuck on a problem for weeks. The goal Dylan set for 2018 was, to be able to quit his day jobs and only focus on the Happy Skin Co. Which he managed to do slowly and steadily.
Staring up from an apartment with just him and his partner and using Facebook ads to make sales in those initial days, celebrating the first few sales with champagne and then getting smarter by recruiting influencers, reinvesting all the revenue and profits in more stock for more sales, building up the traction before spending big on advertising, creating a group to target the advertising and to, lot of hustle and hands on. A lot of people give up when they are not able to overcome an obstacle, but the key is to keep trying, have the faith and the self belief to pursue that success. And also a lot of people just startup, whereas it is even more important to work on the build up before starting up, draw the plans, vision out, play it out in your head, have a clear picture before getting started.