Sometimes life gets tough and we feel like we must put aside our dreams to make things work. Many people have struggled throughout life and still found ways to succeed. You should use their stories as inspiration to lead you to achieve all your own hopes and dreams. Sure, everyone has a different situation in life. It’s what makes us unique and special, but also what fuels us to create whatever world we want to live in. It also ensures that the person who is in control of your dreams is you, so make sure you are doing everything you can to achieve them.
The Story Behind the Man
Chris Gardner, CEO and founder of Gardner Rich & Co.
Net worth: $60 Million
Gardner was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and had a tough life early on. He was the only son out of twelve siblings. He was raised by a single mother after his father left and she would go on to be arrested twice. He didn’t have the best environment to flourish in, but one day Gardner met a man who was well dressed and driving a Ferrari. The man was a stockbroker making $80k a month and Gardner decided in this moment that his career should be in investments.
He didn’t have the knowledge or experience, but he set out to find a firm willing to give him a chance to make his dreams a reality. Gardner found a firm willing to give him this chance but was later disappointed to find that the manager that had initially hired him had been fired. He was denied his opportunity to work there without the previous hiring manager, but he did not let his disappointment deter him from what he had set out to accomplish.
Since he wasn’t a broker yet and could not find a firm to take him, he began to take odd jobs to make ends meet. One day, Dean Witter offered to train him if he would be willing to go through a ten-month training process. When he went in for his first interview, he was at a low point. The mother of his son had taken off on him, he had no money, and he wore the dirty shirt and jeans he had worn to spend the night in jail the night before. The interviewer sympathized with him and gave Gardner the trainee position. To show his determination, he worked hard in the trainee program making 200 calls a day. This would lead him to pass his series 7 exam in 1982 and eventually begin working for Bear Stearns & Company in San Francisco.
In 1987, Gardner started his own company called Gardner Rich & CO. He would quickly obtain big clients, such as the Chicago Teachers Union Pension Fund. His company would continue to grow into the company it is today. Gardner admits he started on his journey looking to make lots of money, but that changed when he became excited about starting his own company and helping his clients. He now travels the world telling his story and helping others achieve their dreams.
Gardner is an inspiration to us all. He went from being homeless to becoming a multi-millionaire that owns his own business and is a philanthropist aiming to help tons of people. Many of you might know his story because of the movie “The Pursuit Of Happyness”, which is based on his life. You can also check out his book of the same title, “The Pursuit of Happyness”. Just know that you, too, can follow your pursuit of happiness and can succeed in this world if you persist like Gardner did. You can be the next big success story if you put your mind to the task.