Michael Jordan’s Adversity Killing Winning Attitude

Michael Jordan is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest athletes of all time and arguably even the greatest basketball player that ever graced the basketball court. He is also among the most financially successful athlete endorsers and most popular athletes in the world. Much has been said about Michael as a basketball superstar and commercial icon, but it’s also interesting to note his Jordan Championhumble beginnings. His legendary story of being a high-school team reject to being ranked as the most successful athlete of all time is probably the greatest example of overcoming adversity.

Early Years
Michael was born in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He and his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina before his first birthday. His father, a US Army retiree, worked as an equipment supervisor while his mother worked in a bank. As a young boy, his first love and best sport was baseball but soon found out that he could also play basketball quite well. Michael and his older brother Larry played together in their backyard court and their daily backyard games helped develop Michael’s basketball skills, competitiveness, and determination to win as he consistently lost to Larry. Throughout his childhood, he challenged himself to overcome adversity and to work even harder.

Career Highlights
Michael tried out for his high school varsity’s basketball team during his sophomore year but he didn’t make the cut. The day he got rejected, Michael went inside his room and cried. What seemed to be a terrible outcome became a defining moment for him. From that day on, Michael was determined to become better than everyone else. Michael later told a journalist that this adversity helped him move forward. He said, “I knew that I didn’t want to have that feeling ever again.” Each morning throughout the summer, he worked on basketball drills and lifted weights. By the time Michael finished the intense workouts, Michael was considered among the nation’s best high school basketball players. He later accepted a full basketball scholarship offer to play for the University of North Carolina under their legendary coach Dean Smith.

As a 19-year old freshman, he made the headline when he made a game-winning shot. The Tar Heels celebrated victory, defeating Georgetown University during the 1982 NCAA title game. The shot Jordan Scoresbecame a major turning point in his career. For his three years at North Carolina, he scored 1,754 points for a 17.4 point average. The Tar Heels compiled a 88-13 won-lost record and appeared in the NCAA tournament each season.

In 1984, Michael entered the NBA draft after his junior year. He was drafted by third overall pick to play for the Chicago Bulls. He was chosen to play on the US Olympic Basketball team as a shooting guard. He then signed a million-dollar contract to play professional basketball with the Chicago Bulls. Michael’s intent as he began his NBA career was to help the Bulls improve. In his first season with the Bulls, Michael averaged 28 points per game and was deemed NBA Rookie of the Year. He went on to succeed and become the greatest basketball player of all time.

He became a six-time NBA Champion, a five-time NBA MVP, two-time Olympics gold medalist, two-time NBA All-Star game MVP, two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner, NBA Hall of Famer, and a member of NBA’s 50th Anniversary “All-Time Team”.

Game Plan for Success

Michael’s game plan for success is having the right attitude. It was in the way he looked at adversity. Others might have given up but Michael channeled his frustrations into stepping up his game. Refusing to join the ranks of premature quitters, he worked harder through years and years of practice. He maintained an unparalleled desire to win, to never stop even when injured, and to rebound from failure and loss. For him, the greatest success comes after consistent losses. He remarked, “I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot… and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I have succeeded.”


Akio Morita: Traditions and Adversity


As the pragmatic co-founder of Sony Corporation, Akio Morita was admired and honored as the man behind Sony’s international success. Aside from being a businessman and a marketer, he was a visionary for he saw the vast opportunities for gaining global presence.Morita was recognized as a Master of Adversity for his ability to see only opportunity.

Early Years
Akio Morita was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1921 to a wealthy middle class family. His family had been brewing sake or rice wine for nearly 400 years. Since Morita was the eldest son, he was groomedAkio Morita with Camera to become the heir to the family business. At a young age, he was already an expert at brewing and evaluating their product, as well as managing the workers in their factory. Everything had been planned and laid out for him, and it was always assumed that he would eventually take over the family venture. However, Morita deeply preferred electronics, and was fixated on tinkering with electronic equipment at an early age. Mathematics and physics were his favorite subjects during his elementary and junior high school days, which was during the midst of the Pacific War.

Morita graduated in 1944 and rose to the rank of Navy lieutenant that same year. He first encountered Masaru Ibuka in the Navy’s Wartime Research Committee. When he returned to the family home in Nagoya after the war, Morita was offered a faculty position at Tokyo Institute of Technology. Once, he read an article about a research laboratory founded by Ibuka. Upon reading this, Morita immediately visited Ibuka in Tokyo and they decided to start a new company together.

Ibuka and Morita founded Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K. (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation) in a bomb-damaged department store. While Ibuka devoted his energies to engineering and product development, Morita was responsible in leading Sony in the areas of globalization, marketing, human resources and finance. Morita also ushered Sony’s entry into the software business while overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations.

Biggest Breakthrough
The first product prototype of their company was an electrical rice cooker – a Japanese rice cooker made from the fuel tanks of American fighter planes. In May 1954, The rice cooker was a failure, it did not work and it only sold 100 units. Sony launched Japan’s first transistor. They created sophistical electrical equipment from then on.

Akio Morita saw the possibility of expanding their business globally. Then in 1958, he made a brilliant decision when the company changed its corporate name to Sony. This was a combination of the Latin word for sound, sonus, and the colloquial English word ‘sonny’ which symbolizes the company’s ingenious and enthusiastic staff.
In 1963, Morita moved to the United States with his family while he set up the Sony Corporation of America. From there, Morita positioned Sony as a symbol of innovation and world-class quality. Seven years later, they were the first Japanese firm to be included on the list of New York Stock Exchange.

Morita suffered a stroke and was confined to a wheelchair in 1993. But despite his condition, he was able to finish his book entitled “Made in Japan,” in which he explained Japan’s success as an industrial power as a result of creativity and innovation, both of which reflected in Sony’s brand identity.

Rise to the Challenge
Sony is famed for products that have revolutionized the way technology is being used around the world. Sony’s inventions entertain millions of people worldwide with their iconic products such as VAIO laptops, Playstation and Walkman. The Walkman may seem bulky and tacky nowadays but these players are perhaps a distinctive innovation in the popular culture of our time.

Sony's SuccessIt is also interesting to note that when Morita was in New York, he was able to closely observe gangs with boom boxes on their shoulders. Most people saw and heard nuisance and fear but Akio Morita saw opportunity. He saw the need for a device that would allow to people, especially the youth, to listen to music wherever they went. He made this idea come to life and the world was introduced to the iconic Walkman.

Morita was a risk-taker who followed his intuition. It is apparent when he started his own electronics company, when he could have easily been the heir of their family business. His biggest decision was to globalize Sony and help put Japan’s technological expertise on the world map. The original plan was to simply make Sony the number 1 technology company in Japan, but what he envisioned was for Sony to go beyond borders. Morita’s “Think globally, act locally” strategy clearly worked because his company transcended adversity and national objectives as they began to serve international customers, employees and shareholders. Sony surmounted the obstacle that Japanese products have the lowest quality. Through Morita’s borderless vision, Sony became a symbol of Japan’s industrial success.


The Wisdom Gained Through Adversity: The Story of Rowland Hussey Macy

Who would have thought that what was once a simple and modest dry goods store would turn into one of the world’s largest department retail giants? Rowland Hussey Macy, the brain behind R.H. Macy & Co. (or what we all know today as Macy’s), encountered several failed ventures Rowland Macey Master of Adversitybefore overcoming adversity and achieving this huge success.
At the tender age of 15, Macy started working in a whaling ship with his father. He earned a relatively small amount for a tough job, which consequently inspired him to be more ambitious.Influenced by Benjamin Franklin’s story, Macy worked as a printer’s novice in Boston when he was 19. But the printing industry didn’t fit him as it did Franklin. Macy then opened up a dry goods store together with his brother. They both strived to keep the business going, but eventually had to close it down after a year. For a decade, he had four unsuccessful retail ventures—yet he was not discouraged.
Macy and his brother then ventured into gold mining in California. They may not have hit big yet again, but they seized the opportunity to offer their goods to the miners. Despite most circumstances not meeting their expectations, they were able to take home a wealth of experiences and lessons that Macy used and incorporated to pioneer revolutionary efforts in the retail business. He was the first to offer lower prices to encourage cash pays in an age when most shoppers used credit. He also proposed fixed prices instead of offering bargain opportunities in which items were sold at the same price to every customer. Sadly, even with his hard work and modern way of thinking, the business still failed and he eventually had to declare bankruptcy.
Macy’s inventiveness and perseverance paid off at age 36, when he launched R.H. Macy & Co. He knew how to look back to where he started—and it was shown in the store’s business symbol—a red star—which he had tattooed on his hand dating back to his days as a sailor. He was willing to take risks, and he never got tired thinking of groundbreaking ideas in order to sell.Macey's
Aside from this, Macy did not fear investing money into the ideas he strongly believed in. In 1877, he rented 11 neighboring buildings, introducing what we know today as the department store. Macy actively and consistently thought of unprecedented marketing strategies, such as putting up a Santa Claus store during the holidays, and the original themed store exhibits and lighted window displays that never failed to draw customers in.
Macy didn’t stop at innovative business strategies; he also empowered women of his time by hiring a woman executive to be in charge of retail sales. Another proof that he honored his past, Macy continued to believe in the capabilities of women. This is because he grew up in an environment where women headed operations in family businesses while their husbands went sailing.
Macy had indeed become stronger and wiser through overcoming multiple adversities. His initiatives made a mark in retail management, and today, Macy’s success spans to approximately 800 stores in almost every major geographic market in the United States.
Perseverance in the midst of failure is a quality of the brave; and it requires a drastic change of mentality for many. True enough, failures are costly. They cost a lot of time, effort and money. But success also has a price and Macy knew that. He knew that he needed to invest, and he was wise enough to realize that failures and adversities are essential for personal growth. And while failure in itself can be daunting, what he looked forward to is the success that comes after it.
Macy’s: A History. (2014). Macysinc.com website. Retrieved Sept 17, 2014 from https://www.macysinc.com/about-us/macysinc-history/macys-a-history/default.aspx
Macys The Great American Department Store Marketing Essay. (2014). UK
Essays website. Retrieved Sept 17, 2014 from

Anderson, A. (2014). The Star of Retail. Success.com website. Retrieved
Sept 17, 2014 from http://www.success.com/article/profiles-in-greatness-rowland-h-macy.

Steven Spielberg: Adversity and Success in Movies

Steven Spielberg’s path to becoming Hollywood’s most successful motion picture director of all time was not straightforward, nor was it without adversity. Before he got his name up in lights for directing 6 of 25 top-grossing films in Hollywood, Spielberg had to come face-to-face with numerous rejection and adversities.Steven Spielberg

“I dream for a living. This is what I’ve done with my life. This is what I want to do with my life.”

Spielberg knew at a very young age that he wanted to become a filmmaker. Inspired by the first film he watched with his father, he created his first motion picture showing two toy trains crashing into each other. This was followed by more films shot at home using his father’s 8-millimeter Bell & Howell wind-up camera, with his friends as actors.

Spielberg also drew inspiration for his films mostly from his life experiences. Some of his greatest movies were drawn from real-life circumstances he had to face while growing up.

In his high school days, Spielberg was bullied because of his religion. He was harassed by his anti-semitic classmates who would sneeze ‘Hah-jew’ whenever he passed by, and who would also beat him up after school. This experience would later inspire him to create the film Schindler’s List, which is one of the top-grossing creations in his career.

Spielberg was in high school when his parents went through a divorce. It was a rough time, and he attributes his film E.T. to this experience. According to Spielberg, E.T. isn’t just about a boy with a friend from another planet; it is about a young boy searching for some stability in his life. This was reflective of Spielberg’s real-life experiences when his parents’ relationship was on the rocks.

With blockbusters like Jaws, Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T., the Extraterrestrial under Spielberg’s belt today, one might assume that he graduated top of his class from a prestigious film school. But many would be surprised to know that Spielberg, in fact, got rejected from USC and UCLA film schools due to his poor grades in high school. Needless to say, these rejections did not stop him from pursuing his dreams.

He went to a university near Hollywood, the California State University at Long Beach. Due to his lack of interest in his classes and his burning desire to get started with his movie career, Spielberg dropped out from school and started hanging around at the Universal Studios lot to observe how real TV shows and movies were made. He spent most of his time watching and learning everything he can from these shoots.

Boldly introducing himself to directors, actors, and producers, Spielberg was able to build a network within the film industry. Through these connections, Spielberg got the chance to present his first short film, Amblin, to the studio executives at the Universal Studios. Impressed by Spielberg’s talent and determination, the executives gave Spielberg his first directing contract under Universal Studios. From then on, Spielberg became unstoppable- creating top grossing films for cinema and T.V., and eventually becoming the successful filmmaker that he is today.

From Spielberg’s story, we can learn that we should never allow rejection and horrific experiences from the past stop us from pursuing our dreams. Instead of letting his past experiences haunt him, Spielberg used them as inspiration to create blockbuster films. When he was rejected from his dream schools, Spielberg made the “real world” his own school- the professionals producing real films as his teachers and his experiences as lessons. He knew that there’s no single way to success. When opportunities didn’t come to him, Spielberg sought for other opportunities and created his own path to victory.





Soichiro Honda: Turning Adversity Into Opportunity

A single-minded determination will motivate you to venture into new heights with renewed vigor. Soichiro Honda, founder of the Honda Motor Company, is known to be a man who defied clichés where Japanese businessmen are stringent. An

Honda, Adversity
Soichiro Honda

outsider to Japan’s industrial establishment, he became one of the 20th century’s industrial giants. This Japanese engineer and industrialist went from countless failures, innumerable adversities and threatening bankruptcies for over four decades in search of success. His persistent efforts, dedication and confidence finally paid off when he founded one of the largest automobile companies in the world. He was the first Japanese citizen to be inducted into Detroit’s Automotive Hall of Fame. To this day, Soichiro holds more than 100 patents.

Soichiro Honda was born in a small farming village. The eldest son of a blacksmith who repaired bicycles, he spent his early childhood helping his father in the repair business. At age 15, he dropped out of school to travel to Tokyo and look for work. There, he spent six years as a simple apprentice in an auto-repair shop where he quickly acquired a taste for fast cars. At the age of 21, he opened his own automotive shop. In 1923, however, the Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed Tokyo. It was during this calamity that Honda discovered his passion for motorcycles and the value of entrepreneurship.

In 1928, Honda returned to his home region and opened a garage of his own. His business prospered to the point of

Honda, Adversity
Soichiro Honda early Years

having 50 employees in several shops. Before long, his company’s motorcycles and cars started to win numerous races, including national and world titles. During his spare time, he built his own racing car using an old aircraft engine and handmade parts. He even used the car when he entered the 1936 All Japan Speed Rally. But as he was approaching the finish line, he had a near-fatal crash, which cut short his racing aspirations. This accident could’ve stopped him from realizing his dream but instead it fueled his desire to pursue his greatest ambition. While recuperating from his injuries, Honda made a decision to get out of the garage business and expand into manufacturing.

He was never one to remain on the sidelines, and although he wasn’t very good at making piston rings, he persisted. He was painfully aware that he lacked basic knowledge of metallurgy, yet this did not discourage him. At the age of 31, he went back to school to learn about metals.  He then applied the theories he learned inside the classroom later on.

After studying engineering, Honda began to invent and innovate. One of his early patents was a cast piston ring, which took him three long years of trial and error. Before perfecting the manufacture of a piston ring, he again faced another hurdle about quality control. When Toyota placed an order for 50,000 piston rings, only three out of 50 piston rings met the specifications during a random inspection. In 1945, he sold his company to Toyota to take a year’s sabbatical.

After the Second World War, Japan’s roads and railways were destroyed. Food shipments were not reaching cities while city dwellers had to walk or bike into the countryside to find food. Automobiles became a major part of postwar business recovery of Japan. Honda saw this business prospect and so he designed his own small engine out of small army engines left by the war. By 1948, the first product of Honda motor was made.

“Looking back on my work, I feel that I have made nothing but mistakes, a series of failures, a series of regrets,” a humble Honda said after he reached the finish line of his career. “But I am also proud of an accomplishment: Although I made one mistake after another, I never made the same mistake, and I always tried my hardest and succeeded in improving my efforts.”

He elaborated on that principle when he delivered a graduation speech to the class of ‘74 at Michigan Technological University. “Many people dream of success,” he said. “To me, success can only be achieved through repeated failure and introspection. In fact, success represents 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure.”

Until Soichiro Honda’s death in 1992, the company continues to thrive as the most popular motorcycle manufacturer in the world and remains high in rankings of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers.

Soichiro Honda is the Honda Motor Company and everything he upholds—an untiring quest towards excellence in technology, a deep skepticism towards the status quo, an exceptionally democratic approach to business, and a strong interest with all things new and exciting. These qualities make Honda such a vital and important manufacturer of motorcycles. More than simply founding a successful corporation, Honda’s lasting impact to human history is his greatest achievement.

Honda is a man who turned adversities into success. For him, learning from failure is part of success. Honda held on to his belief that true success lies in one’s willpower to overcome hurdles and take risks. He lived by this principle by exemplifying that failure is where we learn most because failure creates and nurtures innovation. He proved that part of learning what works is also learning what doesn’t. Like Honda, we should count every failure as an essential stepping stone to the pinnacle of ultimate success and adversity as an opportunity to take us to a higher ground.










Colonel Sanders Overcame a Lifetime of Adversity with his Recipe For Success

Colonel Sanders master of adversity
Colonel Harland Sanders Innovator and Master of Adversity

At 65, all Colonel Harland Sanders had was his old Caddie roadster luggage trailer, his small pension check, and a recipe for chicken. Little did he know that all of these were enough to change his life and become part of almost every family in the world. Colonel Sanders was indeed a Master of Adversity.

Before he became an icon printed in buckets and KFC fast-food chains from all corners of the globe, he was first a baby-sitter to his siblings. His father died when he was six, obliging his mother to take a full-time job in order to support the family. And because young Sanders was left to look after his siblings and cook for them, he learned to make many different dishes at a very young age. It was during this time that he discovered his passion for simple yet delicious recipes. However, challenging life circumstances did not allow Sanders to pursue his calling until much later.

A sixth-grade dropout, Sanders jumped from one job to another for 30 years; from a farmworker, to an army mascot, an engine fireman, a railroad operative, an insurance seller, a steamboat pilot, a tire salesman, an amateur obstetrician, a country lawyer, a defeated political candidate and finally, to a gas station operator. He often teased by his own brother: “no good fellow… who can’t hold a job.” But although he failed to consistently pursue all of these professions, his passion for cooking never wavered.

When Sanders opened up a service station, he began to cook for travelers who stopped by for gas refills. He didn’t own a restaurant, so customers only ate on the dining table he set up in the station. He then started selling meals to families. It was through this small business that he formulated and completed his famous recipe for fried chicken. Sanders slowly made a name for himself, and Governor Ruby Laffoon even made him a Kentucky Colonel to recognize all of his contributions to the state’s cuisine. He had a short taste of success, but his business was closed down when a highway was built on his restaurant’s location. He retired and received his pension amounting to $105. This marked the beginning of his new life.

Proving that it’s never too late to reach one’s dreams, Sanders travelled everywhere with his trailer in hopes of getting his chicken recipe sold. Many restaurant owners turned him down yet he remained undeterred. He received several positive responses after his long search, not only because of his delicious chicken, but because of his interminable spirit.

Earlier in his life Sanders was involved in several failed business ventures and got fired from numerous jobs. When he finally made up his mind and decided to invest in his trusted chicken recipe, he refused to give up, even in spite of repeated rejection. He knew that if he kept on seeking, and knocking on doors, someone would eventually say yes. He once said, “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, no amount of labor, no amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it.

Sander’s business voyage is the same as with many other businessmen who have bounced from one business concept to another before reaching that one winning idea. The key ingredients have always been to never give up, to believe in one’s self, and to always trust the success waiting to be achieved as one reaches his full potential.





Business Mogul Sheldon Adelson’s Adversity-Ridden Journey To Success

Sheldon Adelson, American business magnate and self-made billionaire, Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, was

Sheldon Adelson Wiki
Sheldon Adelson Wiki

born to a poor Jewish family in Boston in 1933. His father was a taxicab driver while his mother had a knitting shop. When he was 12, he borrowed $200 from his uncle to sell newspapers at busy street corners. What followed was a seemingly endless journey to success of a strong-willed and business-minded young man.

At sixteen, he owned and managed his first business – a small candy-vending machine company. Later on, he began selling ice cream bars from the nickels he collected. He attended college to major in corporate finance and real estate, but decided to drop out later on. Sheldon joined the Army and, afterwards, took a job as a secretary to the owner of a financial magazine in New York City. In the years that followed, he worked as a financial consultant for advertising, a mortgage broker, a real estate investor, and a tour business operator. You can tell that although he had the spirit of a real businessman, he still had to work hard as an employee until he had enough to invest in his chosen ventures. However, it wasn’t a smooth ride.

Sheldon’s financial empire fell as some of these business ventures failed; and it didn’t help that the stock market during that time was experiencing a massive decline. He started recovering when he entered the real estate business by converting apartment buildings into condominiums. He did very well for a while but this venture failed as well. The drastic ups and downs of his businesses could have stopped him but Sheldon relentlessly and actively sought the next big thing. “I have had a couple of set-backs but I have never failed,” Sheldon said in one of his interviews.

 Sheldon is a self-made businessman who didn’t know when to quit. The beginning of his ultimate success was when he went into the media business by acquiring a small publishing company in 1972. One of the magazines he purchased from the company was the Communications User magazine. Once, while attending a condominium-conversion trade show, he had a life-changing vision. He visualized trade shows as “living magazines” and recognized the need for trade shows (for computers) in the communications industry. Sheldon quickly sold his condo business to concentrate on the trade show business. He formed Interface Group Inc. in 1972 and seven years later, Sheldon staged his first high-tech trade show. The company, COMDEX or Computer Dealers Expo, was conceived while the personal computer was emerging.

The timing was perfect. By the 1980s, COMDEX was the leading computer show in the world and one of the largest trade shows in the United States.

The success of his trade shows led to his next logical steps. He decided to build his own convention facility upon recognizing that Las Vegas did not have enough convention space.  He went from renter to owner when he bought the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and redeveloped the property. He then built a shopping mall, resort and convention facility to house COMDEX and other shows. After years of successful shows, he sold COMDEX to a Japanese company for $862 million in 1995. A year later, the Venetian Hotel and Resort Casino was constructed. Not resting on his laurels, he expanded his hotel and casino franchise in Asia by opening Sands Macao in China and Marina Bay in Singapore.

Devout giving

During the 2000s, Sheldon has given millions of dollars to various charitable organizations which support Israeli and Jewish causes. He has been philanthropic in funding for education, religious, cultural, and medical research projects.

Rags to Riches

 Sheldon’s story could be aptly described as a rags-to-riches story. Despite investing and losing a multimillion-dollar fortune twice, Sheldon did not give up. Many a time his ideas failed but he continuously kept his attention on the next big thing. To date, Forbes magazine declares Adelson as the 8th richest person in the world with a net worth of $38 billion. Not bad for a college dropout who started out with a borrowed $200, who jumped around numerous day jobs as a middle-aged man, and who was terribly bankrupt a number of times. Adversity was Sheldon’s constant adversary and Sheldon always won.

Sheldon’s forward and outside-of-the-box mentality is what led him to his enormous success. The self-made billionaire’s inspiring words: “I look at every business and ask, How long can this last? How can I identify the status quo and change it?”