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Celine Dion: Adversity, Big Voice, Big Heart

Celine Dion was born into an impoverished but happy family on March 30, 1968. She was the youngest of 14 children and was raised in the small town of Charlemagne, Quebec in Canada. Her childhood was filled with music as she learned to sing with her older brothers and sisters, so she never lacked musicians to accompany her. While still enduring adversity in her early years, Dion already felt the influence of her family’s love for music.
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John Paul DeJoria: Adversity vs. Shampoo and Tequila

John Paul DeJoria, a  70-year-old business tycoon, is one to prove that the American Dream is real. The self-made billionaire now has over $3 billion personal net worth placing him in Forbes 400.  He is well known as the co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and owner of Patron Spirits.

Humbled by his life on the streets, knocking on doors selling shampoo facing adversity every day, he now extends his success to the community by making sure that his companies take part in making the planet a better place to live. He believes that success unshared is failure. With his vision, passion, and perseverance, JP is here to change the world.
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The Life and Works of Steve Jobs Through Adversity and Success

Steve Paul Jobs (1955-2011) was one of our modern digital age’s most passionate entrepreneurs. A visionary with a passion for impeccability and relentless motivation, Steve Jobs revolutionized the way we use our computers, mobile phones, and portable music devices.

Steve Jobs always had a charismatic leadership style matched by his uncanny ability, but his early days at Apple was marked by manipulative, demanding, and overly aggressive behavior. There were some upsides to his occasionally demeaning behavior because it infused an abiding passion and a strong urge to make a good impression to the people he worked with. His personality was tightly parallel to the close-system design of Apples’ hardware and software. His vision of “making a dent in the universe,” and his intense commitment to positioning Apple at the forefront of information technology by foreseeing trends has led to many breakthrough innovations. During his career, he had a fair share of product failures as well as product successes. Most of his successes were based on the lessons he acquired from his failures and the adversities he had to overcome.
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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.”


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
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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.