Rags To Riches – Lakshmi Niwas Mittal


Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was born on June 15, 1950 in Sadalpur town in Rajasthan to a traditional Marwari business family. He is the chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company. Called the Steel Baron of India or sometimes Carnegie of Calcutta, he is an Indian born who is settled in United Kingdom. In 2017 Mittal has been ranked as world’s 56th richest man and 2nd richest Indian.

Early Life

Lakshmi Mittal studied at Shri Daulatram Nopany Vidyalaya, Kolkata from 1957 to 1964 and later graduated from the St. Xavier’s College, University of Calcutta with a degree in accounting and business. In his college days he used to help his family in running a small steel business, Nippon Denro Ispat. In 1976, realizing the limiting policies and potential in India, the 26-year-old Mittal moved to Indonesia and opened his first steel factory Ispat Indo there.


Right from the beginning of his business, Lakshmi Mittal had a vision to be a global player. The highlight of his success remained his ability to buy the loss making companies and then turn them around into profitable ventures. He started acquiring companies in Canada and Germany, but his biggest breakthrough and very strategic investment came when he acquired Karmet Steel Works in Kazakhstan, part of former Soviet republic at that time sharing its border with China which witnessed a huge surge of steel demand in those days.

In 2004 he formed Mittal Steel through the merger of Ispat International and LNM holdings. In 2006 he took over European Steel giant Arcelor at a cost of approximately $33 billion and merged it with Mittal Steel and formed Arcelor Mittal. It is only company in world to cross 100 million tons of steel production. His steel empire employs more than 3,00,000 employees and is present in 60 countries worldwide. But due to falling prices and reduced demand, company’s operating income and profits had been falling consistently. Only in February 2017 company announced its first annual profits in five years.

Personal Life

Lakshmi Mittal is an Indian citizen based at London, United kingdom. He is married to Usha Mittal and is blessed with two children, son Aditya and daughter Vanisha. Mittal is known for his lavish lifestyle and his buying palatial houses and daughter’s marriage remained some of the most talked about events in their time.

In 1996 he received the ‘Steel Maker of the Year’ award from New Steel. In 2005, Forbes ranked Mittal as the third richest person in the world. In 2006 The Sunday Times  named him “Business Person of 2006”, the Financial Times named him “Person of the Year”, and Time magazine named him “International News maker of the Year 2006”. In 2007, he was considered to be the richest Asian person in Europe. Indian government awarded him with Padma Vibhushan in 2007. He received ‘Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2008 from Forbes magazine. In 2017, Forbes ranked him as the 56th richest person in the world with a net worth of US$16.4 billion. He is also the “57th-most powerful person” of the 72 individuals named in Forbes’ “Most Powerful People” list for 2015.

Related article: Rags To Riches – Phil Knight


Rags To Riches – Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspire your hopes”Andrew Carnegie

Born on November 25, 1835 in Scotland, Andrew Carnegie is a true example of rags to riches story that inspires everybody. He was born to a poor hand-loom weaver, who with sheer hard work and business acumen went on to become the richest person in the world. He is one of the person who have been credited as the “builders” of America.

Early Life

His family migrated to the Allegheny, Pennsylvania, US in 1848 where he took a job as a worker in a cotton mill changing spools of thread. His next job was as a telegraph messenger boy. From the early age he was very interested in reading books. His uncle introduced him to the writings of Robert Burns and William Wallace which deeply influenced him. Later when Colonel James Anderson opened his own personal library of 400 volumes to working boys each Saturday night, his passion for reading and education got a big boost. He was so impressed with the impact of books and education that when he got wealthy and started philanthropic activities, donating to libraries became his main focus.

In 1853 he started working as telegraph operator in Pennsylvania Railroad Company. By 1859 with his hard work he rose to the position of superintendent. This was the job that gave him his first lessons of management and cost control, which later turned out to be very vital for his success. He started investing in the companies known through his inside contacts and slowly accumulated capital, the basis of his later success.

Success Story

During the time of civil war (1860-1865) there was a huge demand for iron products, Carnegie worked to establish a steel rolling mill. After this the steel production became the source of his fortune. He named his company Keystone Bridge Company and made handsome profits by getting contracts through his old acquaintances in the railroads. He made some great innovations in the steel industry by adapting Bessemer process for steel making. In 1880’s he bought some of his competitors and later merged with his own company and formed Carnegie Steel Company.

In 1901 he retired after selling Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $480 million. This amount was equivalent to $13.8 billion in 2016.

Personal Life

Carnegie was so close to his mother and wanted to look after her failing health that he did not even married during her life. He married Louise Whitfield at the age of 51 and went on to have a daughter with her. He was very passionate about education and turned a philanthropist after selling his business. He donated 90% of his wealth for various charitable purposes.

His main thrust of philanthropic activities was his focus on establishment of public libraries throughout US, Britain and Canada. He is said to have funded some 3000 libraries. He also donated to help set up University of Birmingham in 1899. In 1900, he gave $2 million to start Carnegie Institute of Technology. He also funded Carnegie Institution at Washington D.C., Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and Carnegie United Kingdom Trust.

Carnegie died on August 11, 1919 in Massachusetts due to pneumonia. Before his death he had donated $350,695,653 (approximately $76.9 billion in 2015). His rich philosophy to the life was:

  • To spend the first third of one’s life in getting all the education one can.
  • To spend next third life making all the money one can.
  • To spend the last third in donating it all away for worthy causes.

Related article: Rags To Riches – Oprah Winfrey

Success Rules By Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan was born on October 11, 1942 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. His father Harivansh Rai Srivastava (Bachchan) was a well known Hindi poet and mother Teji Bachchan was a Punjabi Sikh. One of the most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema, Amitabh started his career in 1969 as a voice narrator. His acting debut was with the film Saat Hindustani

Amitabh got famous after he was cast in leading role in film Zanjeer in 1973. Thereafter he never looked back and at the peak of his career was called as one man industry. He entered politics in 1984 when he contested and won with highest margin from Allahabad. However he found politics not his cup of tea and retired from it within three years. He later launched a media company ‘ABCL’ which failed and almost made him bankrupt.

But with his persistence and hard work, Amitabh revived his career when he gave some remarkable performances in box office hit movies that won him many awards and critical acclaims. In 200 he single handedly changed the face of Indian television industry when he hosted the first season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, the indian adaptation of British TV game show, ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’. The show was instant hit and Amitabh has never looked back again. He is said to be most successful Indian film star of all time. We give below some of the success rules as given by him:

1. Be Proud Of Your Work

For achieving any amount of success it is necessary that you love your work. When you work there will times when you make mistakes but right approach is when you take full responsibility of it, learn from it and move ahead. To keep thinking about the bad result will not take you anywhere, keep in mind why you started and remind you about your love for work that you do.

2. Move forward

Life is a constant battle between wins and losses; accomplishments and missed chances. During all this, many a time you will face failures. It is important to keep your spirits high at such times by asking yourself, if you lose everything what will be bottom line. How will you feel and how can you fight from there. Always be prepared for the worse. It is important to move forward daily no matter how small your steps may be. Keep pushing forward with all your spirits only this will give you growth and satisfaction.

3. Do Great Work

Results are not always in your hands but to give your best is totally dependent on you. For success you need to keep your focus right where it is required, that is at your work.

4. Be Humble

One of the great quality of all successful people is that they are humble. They understand that it is ‘WE’ not ‘I’ that is important. Always keep in mind that you are not alone, there are many people who have contributed to your success. It is important that we give credit to all the deserving people.

5. Seize The Opportunities

You need to be vigilant and open to any opportunity that comes your way, nobody knows which ones will make you successful. Amitabh seems to believe this totally as he gives his own example how he started acting on television against everybody’s advise that he is lowering his stature by shifting from big screen to the smaller screen. He went all out, with full conviction, not fearing what ‘they’ will say. This single move not only wiped off all the fiscal and other troubles that he was facing in his career instead catapulted him into a league that very few people had reached during their lifespan. So keep looking and seize the opportunities because there may be only few of them.

6. Accept The Struggle

Amitabh is a firm believer that if things happen according to your wish, it is better but if not then it is even better. He says that it is better to believe that if some things that you want to happen are not going as per your wishes, then they are going as per the wishes of a bigger force, a higher intelligence, which always know what is better for you. You need to accept the fact that life is a struggle. It is not easy but keep faith and avoid any kind of despondency. Think of these struggles and problems as another challenge that you have to face.

7. Love What You Do

For long term success it is required that you love what you do. Only passion for your work will take you through the difficult times because if you are passionate then your focus will be your work and not the results. In life competition will always be there. New people will keep coming and some of them will be equally or even more competent then you, but if you love your work, you will always be able to make through.

8. Keep Challenging Yourself

Life is the name of change. If you want to succeed then you should always look for growth, you can not be stagnant. Look for any new opportunity that may be able to take you to next level. They may be the new door to take you to even better places. Amitabh gives his own example where he say that the fear of the old troubled time drives him to keep looking for something better, more new challenges that will help him grow and eliminate any possibility of going down again.

9. Be A Good Team Player

He is a firm believer that success is all about collective efforts. You need to be around like minded people and work as a team. In your team encourage discussions but once a decision is reached then the word of captain is final. Listen to the captain of the ship. For effective work you may have disagreements before but after a consensus has been reached then you need to be a team player and follow what is good for all.

10. Have No Regrets

Successful people take full responsibility of their life. They don’t have regrets for the tasks or the things that they have done or missed in their past because they they are of the view that failures as well as success are never permanent and it is better to take them as learning lessons to adjust your approach towards life for a more fulfilling experience.

Related article: Success Rules By Bill Gates

Rags To Riches – Oprah Winfrey


She is often called ‘Queen of all media’ and has been ranked as the richest African-American of 20th century, Oprah Winfrey is one great example of people who defy all adversities in their journey from rags to riches. As she famously said,

“Turn your wounds into wisdom”

Early Life

Oprah was born on January 29, 1954 in Mississippi, US. to an unmarried teenage mother who worked as a housemaid. As per her own admission, she was sexually abused for years by a number of male relatives. To be free from all this, she ran away from home and became pregnant at 14. Her son died in infancy. Later she went to live with her father who was a barber in Tennessee, where she discovered her knack for public speaking and debate and landed a job in radio while still at high school. Starting from co-anchoring evening news there, she slowly moved to daytime talk show.

Success Story

In 1983 she shifted to Chicago and started doing television where she boosted a low rated local Chicago talk show AM Chicago to top slot. Later this was renamed as The Oprah Winfrey Show and by 1986 was being broadcasted nationally. Initially classified as a tabloid talk show, it soon evolved into a talk show which was classy and all the celebrities wanted to appear on it. In 1993 she hosted an interview with Michael Jackson which became the most watched interview ever with an audience of 36.5 million. The show was aired for 25 seasons from 1986 to 2011. The show was so successful that within the first year of it’s launch, at the age of 32 Oprah became millionaire.

Winfrey also appeared in films and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. In 1998 she produced and starred in the film Beloved. Winfrey has been well known for her weight loss efforts. She lost estimated 90 pounds to achieve her ideal weight. Winfrey has co-authored 5 books including one weight loss book. She also published magazines: O, The Oprah Magazine and O at Home which remained quite successful.

Winfrey created the website Oprah.com providing online interactive content related to her shows, magazines and charity. More than six million users visit the site per month. She also has her presence on radio with her Oprah Radio channel.

In 2011 Winfrey started Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture with Discovery Communications. The network faced financial hurdles in the beginning but later started doing well. It made headlines early in 2013 when Lance Armstrong appeared on air for interview with her.

Personal Life

Winfrey by her own admission had been a victim of sexual abuse and gave birth to a boy at the age of 14. Her son died shortly after. She has been allegedly involved in few serious and non serious and even drug related affairs. Since 1986 she has been together with her boyfriend Stedman Graham. They were engaged and were scheduled to be married in November 1992, but the ceremony never took place.

Winfrey became a millionaire at the age of 32 and ever since then she has grown to multi millionaire and then multi billionaire. She was listed as the only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006 by the Forbes international rich list. As per forbes her net worth rose to 3 billion USD by 2017. She has been awarded by CNN, Times.com, The American Spectator, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly and host of others with various titles ranging from one of the most influential person of the 20th century to the most powerful celebrity woman. In 2005 she ranked number 9 on the list of greatest Americans in a public poll. In November 1993, Winfrey received highest civilian honor of US, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Winfrey has contributed great deal to philanthropic causes. She has been acknowledged as one among the top 50 generous Americans. In 1998 she created Oprah Angel Network, a charity that supported various charitable causes all around the world. A true example of rags to riches story, her inspiring message to the world:

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness”

Related article: Rags To Riches – Dhirubhai Ambani

Rags To Riches – Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhai Ambani

Born to a school teacher, he was third of five siblings, Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani or Dhirubhai Ambani, as he is popularly called, is the shiniest example of the Indian heroes who rose from obscurity and very humble backgrounds and went on to create one of the largest Indian company featured on Fortune 500 companies list.

Early Life

He was born on 28th December, 1932 in Chorwad village in Gujarat where his parents had very modest means. Though his father was a teacher he showed little interest in formal education. At the tender age of 16 he went to Aden, Yemen and joined A. Besse & Co. which was one of a largest trading firms in the region as a gas station attendant and dispatch clerk and with hard work soon became a distributor for shell products. It was here that he started dreaming about setting up and owning a refinery which he later realized when he started his petrochemical venture.

Success Story

He got married to Kokilaben in 1954 and in 1958 came back to India to start his own business. He set up an office at Masjid Bunder of South Mumbai in 1960’s as Reliance Commercial Corporation and started to import polyester and export spices in partnership with his second cousin Champaklal Damani. They both had difference of opinions regarding the conduct of business and soon separated out. The success of Dhirubhai can be attributed to his tremendous ability to raise huge capital and larger than life vision for the future. He always sensed the next big opportunity and that way always remained ahead of the pack. As he famously said,

“Think big, think fast, think ahead. Ideas are no one’s monopoly.”

Reliance Industries

In 1966 Dhirubhai founded Reliance Textiles Industries Pvt. Ltd. and started his own textile manufacturing unit at Naroda, Ahmedabad. In 1970’s Reliance established itself as a dominant player in the market with Vimal brand. Continued emphasis on quality won Vimal accolades from even world bank technical team and was applauded as best polyester clothing brand. The big breakthrough came in 1977 when Reliance held it’s initial public offering (IPO). 58000 investors showed their interest and the issue was oversubscribed seven times. Thereafter company expanded fast and increased it’s installed capacity for producing polyester yarn as well as amalgamated in it some other smaller textile companies.

Between 1980 and 1985 Dhirubhai fought many a battles at stock exchange where the old established players tried all dirty tricks to weaken the company, but they always fell short in front of his ability and skill to outmaneuver them every time. In 1985 the name of the company was changed to Reliance Industries and shortly thereafter in 1991-92 it diversified into petrochemicals with the commissioning of Hazira Petrochemical plant. Later Reliance diversified into telecom, finance, energy, natural resources and retail among other industries. As of March 2013 the company had 123 subsidiary companies and 10 associate companies. By March 2017 it has grown to be second largest company in India by revenue and market capitalization. Vision for Reliance was set up by Dhirubhai Ambani when he said,

“Meeting the deadlines is not good enough, beating the deadlines is my expectation.”

Personal Life

Possessed with huge ambition, inexhaustible energy and with uncanny business sense the life journey of Dhirubhai is the true story of rise from rags to riches. He got married to Kokilaben in 1954 and they were blessed with four children. He suffered stroke in 1986 which limited him somewhat physically but never in his vision. He has remained one of the most awarded entrepreneur for his contributions. Dean’s Medal in 1998 from Wharton School, Power 50 – the most powerful people in Asia by Asiaweek magazine in 1996, 1998 and 2000, The ABLF Global Asian Award in 2011 and Padma Vibhushan award, the second highest civilian honor in India, in 2016 are some of the awards he received. He died on 6th July, 2002 after suffering another major stroke.

Related article: Rags To Riches – Sam Walton

Rags To Riches – Sam Walton

Sam Walton

Their life is the story of rise from streets to the corridors of power, from scarcity to abundance, from a nobody to height of fame, these are the people who have defied all odds to reach the pinnacle of success. We share today the inspiring story of rise from rags to riches of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton.

“Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom.”

Early Life

Born to Thomas Gibson Walton and Nancy Lee in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, US on March 29, 1918, Sam Walton grew up during the Great Depression at the family farms milking the cows and supplying the surplus to customer to make ends meet. To support his family he did all kind of odd jobs from distributing newspapers to waiting tables.

After high school he decided to attend college and completed his graduation in 1940 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. After graduation he joined as management trainee in a company from where he resigned to be inducted in army for service in World War II. In army he reached the position of captain before leaving in 1945.

Success Story

At the age of 26 he started his first variety store in Newport, Arkansas with the help of a loan of $20000 and his small savings. He named his store Ban Franklin. With some innovations and pioneering concepts the sales of his store increased 3 fold within 3 years. He opened his second store after three years at a distance of 200 miles from the first store. This gave him huge lessons about management and delegation of responsibility. After tasting success with these stores he went into overdrive and started opening new outlets and in 12 years he expanded to 18 Ben Franklin franchises.

He encouraged his managers to innovate and got them deeply involved by offering them equity stakes in business. This motivation of his team went a long way in designing his success. Another unique strategy by Sam was that he chose the location of his stores in smaller towns rather than the big cities, a usual practice at that time. He used to say “If everybody is doing it one way, there is a good chance you can find your niche by going exactly in the opposite direction.”


The first true Wal-Mart opened in Rogers, Arkansas on July 2, 1962. In Wal-Mart stores Sam Walton strategically marketed American products. This helped to bring down his acquisition cost of the merchandise significantly and became more competitive than the foreign companies. As a result of this he was able to pass on the savings in product pricing to the customers. He said “There is only one boss. The customer, and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

Within next five years Walmart expanded to 24 outlets and US$12.6 million in sales. Growing rapidly from a retail chain in Arkansas it has become world’s largest company by revenue and as of January 31, 2017 Walmart has 11,695 stores and clubs in 28 countries around the globe.

Personal Life

Walton married Helen Robson on February 14, 1943. They had four children. Walton was included in Times list of 100 most influential people of the 20th century in 1998. He has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992. Sam M. Walton College of Business at University of Arkansas is named in his honor. He had been ranked the richest person in the United States from 1982 to 1988 by the Forbes magazine. At the age of 74, Walton died on April 5, 1992 due to blood cancer in Little Rock, Arkansas. He left the ownership of his company to his wife and their children.


Related article: Success Rules By Bill Gates

Success Rules By Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, US. He along with Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft which is the world’s largest software company. Gates has remained one of the largest shareholder of Microsoft until recently. He was included in Forbes list of wealthiest people in the world and has remained at the top of the same for many long years. He has been responsible in making computers simple enough to operate for common people.

On education front Gates completed his schooling from Lakeside School in 1973 with merit and enrolled in Harvard College. He took great interest in computer science courses there before dropping out in two years and started Microsoft. Starting from offering a simple operating system for IBM, it went on to become largest company to provide operating systems to most of the hardware manufacturer.

In 1994 Gates started his philanthropic journey when he was hugely inspired by Andrew Carnegie and David Rockefeller’s work and created William H. Gates foundation by selling some of his Microsoft stocks. In 2000 he along with his wife created Bill & Melinda Gates foundation by combining all family foundations he held. It is said to be the wealthiest charitable organisation with assets running in to billions. Gates foundation is actively involved in developing world in various philanthropic endeavors and donate large amount in charities for scientific and welfare works.

We have listed below some of most important rules for success as given by Bill Gates:

1. Have Energy

To be successful you need to work against a variety of obstacles and to do so you must have tons of energy. You should have so much energy that you can overcome the feeling of risk that is associated with any business. Only Your drive will be able to take you to your final destinations.

2. Work Hard

There is simply no alternative to hard work. Bill Gates is himself known to be a very hard working person. He loved to stay up all night working. By his own admission he used to work up to 18-20 hours in the beginning and even when his company was well established with a number of engineers, he himself used to write codes on all important projects. People dream to be successful but those who taste success are those who work super hard to realize that dream. This is a world of ‘Doers’.

3. Create The Future

To look into the future and think of a product or strategy that is ahead of it’s time is the sure shot way to get a big boost in your work. Try to be innovative if you want to make a name for you. When you work on this path of course there are risks involved, but without risk there is no growth. Doing something that is being done by others will make you only living but if you create something new you not only create wealth but also a legacy. Get your creative juices flowing and look for the things or projects that will be able to add value to others. As Bill Gates says, “innovation is the real driver of progress.”

4. Enjoy What You Do

To have passion for the work you do is one of the most essential qualities to move ahead in business. If you don’t really enjoy what you do then at the first sign of difficulty you will leave the task. Only your passion will motivate you to keep up your efforts when no results are in sight. If you enjoy what you do, you no longer perceive it as a job but see it as a fun or fulfilling activity. With passion only you will be able to create a master piece.

5. Work With Smart People

It is said that if you are the smartest person among your group then it is time to change your group. If you want to succeed then get along and work with smart people. It is said that you are sum total of the five people you hang out with. The effect of smart people rub on to you and your whole life direction changes. When you are part of a group of achievers you strive for more and improve your own personal expectations.

6. Ask For Advice

You will benefit yourself a great deal if you develop a habit of asking for advice. This may save you huge efforts and time. Get role models, ask for support and then work hard on it with your own creativity. Always have people around you who know you and are able to correct you when you are wrong. A close circle of your well wishers and moral support will be great help in tough times.

7. Pick Great Team

Always be on look out for great partnerships. To be vastly successful you need to be good in hiring, the people who are smart, hard working, intelligent but most importantly are with integrity. It is huge bonus if you have around you the people whom you can trust in all kind of situations. Bill Gates suggests, if you induct good people then you need to just inform them of the job responsibility and not to worry about managing, they will efficiently complete their tasks themselves.

8. Never Procrastinate

In business people don’t like to work with those who procrastinate. In personal life you may be liked by some for doing work at the last moment, that may be your image but such things never make any reputation in business. Remember if you wait for situations to be perfect to start, you might never be able to start. So start immediately and make situations conducive to your work with consistent disciplined work. The perfect time to start something is always ‘Now’. If Gates found any of his subordinate procrastinating, he used to remark sarcastically, “I will do it over weekend.”

9. Have A Sense Of Humor

Job or business, at the end of day is a part of larger picture called life. Don’t loose your liveliness, sense of humor, compassion and gratitude for what you already have in the daily routine of your job. Live your life fully and enjoy your work.

Gates has been listed in magazines as the richest man in world for many years and also as most influential in 20th century. He has received honorary doctorates from many universities and is the recipient of many national and international awards. He has also authored two books ‘The Road Ahead’ and ‘Business @ the speed of Thought’. These golden rules can go a long way in making your life successful.

Related article: Success Rules By John Maxwell

Success Rules By John Maxwell


John C. Maxwell is an American motivational speaker and author to many bestselling books on leadership. Some of his most famous books are ‘The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership’, ‘The 15 invaluable laws of growth’ and ‘5 levels of leadership’. He served as pastor for many years before making a shift in his career to be more devoted in public speaking. We have listed below some of his most valuable lessons:

1. To Value Today

As John puts it, success in anything is more of a daily thing. It is decided by the daily agenda you follow. Keep in mind that today matters. Decision making and managing that decision daily are altogether different things. It is good that you visualize tomorrow, that offcourse is your goal but important thing is to value today. Consider what efforts you put in daily that take you toward your goal. Your daily schedule will decide whether you are repairing yesterday’s mistakes or preparing for moving towards your goals. Remember your every step is a progressive realization of your goal. You work all life to become overnight success

2. Attitude is difference marker

Many people say that attitude is everything but John says that it is important but not everything. He believes that attitude basically is the difference marker between two people with equal capabilities and caliber. It is the main thing when competence is equal.

3. Work Smart

You have two different aspect of your personality. One aspect is in the area of choices in which you can make big difference by working on them. For example attitude, you can change massively in this area just by changing your choice to improve. In such areas it is better to work on your weaknesses. But the other aspect of your personality where your growth will be slow even when you make big efforts like in giftedness, you need to work on your strengths.

4. Make Trade-Offs

John says that at every step of your life, you need to trade-off something. You need to give something to receive something better or of your liking. As you move higher and become more successful you will need to have higher trade-offs. You will need to trade-off your comfort for growth, office hours for family time and so on. You have to give up in order to go up.

5. Add Value To People

Adding value to people can be the best contribution that a leader can give. One should become a leader for this rather than for just getting a position in hierarchy. To add value to people you are required to make yourself more valuable. Always keep learning and increase  your capabilities because you can’t give what you don’t have. Best leaders will get to know their people and relate through them what they value.

6. Lead By Example

To be successful and a leader in your circle you need to lead by example. If people see that you do what you preach, then they surely will follow you. People do what they see and not what they are told. They want to see that if any difficulties come their leader stand in front and face them first. They want you to guide them and give strength to the organization. If a leader doesn’t do so there will be loss of morale and enthusiasm in team.

7. Ask More Questions

There are few bosses who want to give the impression that they know everything and are in command on every issue. But a true leader is pretty good at asking questions. Your vision increases when you seek answers to these questions. You  will be learning a lot once you start asking more intelligent questions. If you don’t ask questions, there will be no new ideas.  Be very curious and remain on path to learning

8. Now Is The Time

Understand the importance of being in present, don’t procrastinate and never leave a task that you start unfinished. Your goals may be difficult to achieve but leaving them midway will hurt you for long time to come. Don’t settle for comfort to avoid the rigors of today. When challenge arises, face it and never sell your mission for comfort. Don’t fail to realize the importance of present because you will never get back the wasted time.

9. Connect And Communicate

For success in personal and professional life the skill of effective communication will always give you a very decisive edge. You should Communicate to Connect. The most significant requirements in a leader are vision, consensus, charisma and trustworthiness. All these are qualities that give you ability to identify and relate to people and increase your influence with them. Getting along with people and connecting with them is the one must have skill if you want to be a good leader.

10. Find Your Purpose

Finding your ‘why’ and knowing your purpose is very important because the knowledge of purpose gives you immense confidence and become your anchor. It is said that those who have a strong ‘why’ will definitely get to their goals. Any task that is worth doing will have it’s own share of hurdles and only those who are driven with a strong sense of purpose will be able to overcome them.

11. Self Discipline

Nobody can overlook the importance of self discipline. All the qualities described above will be wasted if the leader doesn’t have self discipline. As Elbert Hubbard said, “Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not”. Just do it.

12. Find Mentors

Nobody has all the knowledge. Find mentors, those who have already traveled that path prior to you. The guidance you will receive from them will save you years in learning by yourself. There is no shortage of knowledge rather a shortage of people who want to be educated. John advises, “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”

Follow these few golden rules for success and happiness in your life.

Also read: Golden rules by Warren Buffet

11 Golden Rules by Zig Ziglar


Motivational speaker and author to many bestsellers, Zig Ziglar was born on November,6 1926 in United States. He started his career as a salesman and went on to become vice president and training director for the Automotive Performance company. We have listed here a few of his golden rules for success:


1. Think Like A Champion

To be successful you need to have a dream. Only your vision of yourself will show you the way when times get tough. It’s an old saying that our thoughts make us who we are. Zig said that you could be number one in your chosen field and all what is required to be at the top, you already have within you. You need to think like a champion and have a deep conviction in your potential. Change your picture of who you are in your mind and visualize yourself achieving all your goals.

2. Be Committed

Successful people have a very deep sense of commitment. He said that when you hit a rough spot, which you will almost certainly do, then only commitment will take you through. Difference between taking a safe road by quitting and trying one more time in face of all difficulties is what makes legends. Only perseverance will make it possible for you to reach your dreams.

3. Do It Right Now

If you give yourself flexibility, you will not be able to get on with your work. At all given times you will have many things to do and as it is said most often the most important things are those which people like to do the least. This will cause the important tasks to be delayed. To avoid this you should never procrastinate. Remember there is a difference between being busy and being productive, you will be always busy otherwise. People who wait for perfect moment to start with something big and important find it very difficult to start altogether.

4. Always Be Prepared

No matter how many times you have done a task and no matter how good you are at it, never underestimate the importance of preparation. Always make it a point to get ready for task at hand. It is highly arrogant when you think that you know it all. Only when one thinks that they don’t need to prepare, that is the time when they are most vulnerable to loose at the hand of the competitors who have been working very hard to win with them on the same front. It is your responsibility to be at your best and your preparations for it is the biggest sign of integrity.

5. Work Hard

For any amount of success to be yours, the importance of being present at the place of action is to be understood with great clarity. Reach where you have to be because no amount of knowledge, preparation or dream will be able to substitute hard work. Keep in mind that hard work beats talent all the time when talent doesn’t work. People say ‘so and so’ got lucky, yes people get lucky when they put in hard labor and efforts. The world of successful people is the world of ‘doers’. Remember if you work for someone you work for them all the way. Leave no stone un-turned in your mission to reach your goals.

6. Set Your Goals

You are today what you have chosen all your life up till now. You are at a place by your choice. If you want to realize your potential then it is necessary that you choose to set goals and write them down. Analyze the difficulty and accordingly put a deadline on the completion for these goals. After all this devise a plan with all the details that you can think of at the moment and then start immediately. Zig said goals don’t care who you are, they just deliver.

7. Evaluate Yourself

Most of the time people are so involved in the daily routines that they don’t evaluate what they have and what they need to do. According to Zig Ziglar, to determine what you want out of life you need to evaluate where you are and this evaluation has to be based on not only tangible but also various intangible things like happiness, health and relations. This will allow you to use your resources properly.

8. Integrity Is Important

For success to be sweet for you keep in mind that your work has to be honest. Importance of integrity in our job makes success more fulfilling. Do something that brings value to others and then do it again and again.

9. Don’t Quit

Perseverance is one of the biggest requirement for achieving your goals. You have to do your work now and get rewarded later. Rewards are minimal if efforts are least. He used to say anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well. Many people don’t realize that they might be so close to success, if they stop now they will need to start over again. He used to give example of a hand pump in this regard. You have to pump long enough and hard enough to get water from the ground but once you get that a proportionately small but continuous effort will keep on giving results. There is no thing like to give it try, If you have to do something go all out and don’t quit you might be so close.

10. Read 20 Minutes Daily

A seemingly insignificant 20 minutes reading daily will make a dramatic difference to your knowledge. Read something which is positive, motivational or about human nature. 1 year of reading 20 minutes daily will result in to reading 20 books with 200 pages. This will give a colossal advantage to you in terms of expertise in your field. One book can give you what you may otherwise learn in five years. Be a constant student. Learn from your mistakes, learn from others and keep trying. Don’t fear failure because more you fail more you will learn.

11. Have Gratitude

He used to say eyes are the window of soul. Being grateful is the healthiest emotion, it makes you sleep better. Gratitude increases your excitement and enthusiasm. Change from a fault finder and become a good finder. Keep within you no stinking thinking. Remember you are not going to change others but only you. Change always begins from self. Change your self talk from negative to positive because change in input will lead to change in output.

After a successful career in sales, training and as motivational speaker Ziglar died on November,28 2012. Today he is not between us but his guiding principles will continue to show direction to the coming generations.

Related article: 8 Golden Rules by Steve Jobs

8 Golden Rules by Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs born February 24, 1955 was an American inventor and businessman who co-founded Apple, Pixar and Next. Though he never completed his graduation from college but he was a learner all his life. Steve Job’s philosophy and his passion for providing quality and life changing products to his customer is legendary. Though he made many valuable contributions to the world, we have compiled a list of some of the golden rules as laid down by him.

1. Don’t live a limited life

People usually live life as is expected of them within the societal frame work and as is dictated to them by others. But Steve Jobs used to say life as it is around you is made by people who were no smarter than you and once you realize this you too will be able to challenge the various notions of life as it is and change it for the betterment of the world and have your influence on it.

2. Have Passion

Any new job or challenge is very difficult for any person to bear and usually, on facing difficulties, people quit . Only those who genuinely love their job and have a strong passion persevere and continue on the path, which for common people would be insane. As he once famously quoted: Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, usually do.

3. Build a great team

Most of the people have enough intelligence that they don’t require to be managed at every single step of the job. The job of the leaders is to articulate the vision properly to his people and bring them on a consensus and a common ground, after that they will themselves look after what is to be done and will not require to be managed at all. So the primary job of a great leader is high quality recruiting, and make his team a cohesive unit with clear vision. A great manager needs to be a great individual contributor.

4. Don’t do it for money

Steve jobs used to say, “Don’t do it for money.” Money, he said, is a wonderful thing because it enables you to do things and implement your ideas but besides that if you do it for money only, then the company and products will not make you feel more passionate and you will make decisions only on commercial considerations which may not be good for your products or company in the long run.

5. Be proud of your product

Premium product or services should remain the focus of your company and you should set such high standards for yourself that you feel proud of your product. Do not offer a stripped down version of your products just to compete on price with competition. Work on adding value to your product and there will be even bigger markets opening up for you. Work on making your product so superior that even if you were not part of the company, it would have been your first choice to buy.

6. Build around customers

Start with the customer and work backwards toward technology and not to focus on technology, and then figure out where to sell your product. Just figure out what benefits you can give to customer who should remain at the center of your product design strategy. Always ask yourself the question, whether what we are doing is useful and compelling for our customers or not.

7. Marketing is about values

Today markets are so crowded and competitive that we will not get much chance to get people to remember much about us so be very clear what you want your customer to know about you. Your marketing strategies should convey your values to the customer in very clear terms. You should think beyond the product, beyond money and more towards something higher. Why your product should be customer’s choice, how it helps them in emotional bonding and satisfaction of their desires.

8. Stay hungry, stay foolish

A lot of things happen in  your life which you are not able to understand at that time but as time passes their significance dawn on you and you could connect the dots looking backwards. Believe in destiny and all will work out well. Sometimes life will hit you on the head but keep going and do what you love, keep looking and don’t settle.

Remembering you are going to die soon is one of the best ways to not fall in trap of thinking you have something to loose. You have no reason not to follow your heart. No one wants to die and still death is the destination that we all share and no one has ever escaped it which means that our time is limited so don’t end up living somebody else’s life, don’t let the other people’s opinion drown down your own inner voice and have courage to follow your heart. As Steve Jobs famous words were, Always stay hungry, stay foolish.

In 2003 Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which took a lot of toll on his life but he still remained active and very much involved in designing new products and promoting his philosophy. On October 5, 2011 Jobs  died after making his contributions to this world.

His life will always be remembered and remain a source of continuous inspiration to million of people who want to make their mark.

Also read: Success Rules By John Maxwell