Ever since you were young, you’ve dreamed of making a difference in the world. You’ve dreamed of being successful. All you’ve ever wanted to do with your life is help people in as big of a way as possible.
Yet you’re approaching your mid-20s now, and you’re still waiting for that success train to pull into the station. You want to do something important, but opportunities seem impossible to find.
You’ve probably read by now that wanting to be successful, having a passion and wanting to change the world aren’t quite enough to help you achieve maximum success.
If you haven’t though, there’s still hope for you. It’s sometimes hard to believe you’ll ever get anywhere in life when you haven’t yet. It never seems like you’re making any progress. The clock is ticking.
It might help to look at the lives of those who have found great success in their lives. Success doesn’t come easily to anyone. Reading their stories and seeing how far they have come since they were where you are now is more than enough to motivate you to turn your desires and passions into actions.
Check out these biographies of highly successful industry leaders and overall successful individuals for fresh inspiration and motivation to start working toward the success you have always wanted.
1. Start Something that Matters by Blake Mycoskie
Can you do what you love and make a difference in the world?
Blake Mycoskie did. He founded TOMS, where you don’t just shop and buy: you give back at the same time. Mycoskie’s company provides shoes, water and more to people in need with every purchase a customer makes.
It’s a misconception that, when you are striving for success, you have to choose between working and doing what you love. Mycoskie’s story proves that you can follow your passions and still make a living. You can even follow your passions, make a living and change the world.
Success is a combination of filling a need and finding fulfillment within yourself. This book will inspire you to go after the kind of work that will make you happy to be successful.
2. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
How far can you go when you aren’t afraid to go far?
Like many creative entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs knew his industry and he knew it well. Except he didn’t just specialize in one area of expertise throughout his lifetime. He had hands in the computer industry, animation, publishing and more.
This book tells his story of success through interviews with people he knew and worked with as well as with Jobs himself. It’s honest, it’s detailed and it shows that sticking just to one thing does not make a successful person.
Readers who are trapped between many different interests and searching for an anchor to grab onto will find this book reassuring and motivational. It isn’t what you’re good at, but how you use your skills in different areas, that makes a promising career.
3. Thrive: The Third Metric to Success by Arianna Huffington
What does it mean to be successful, really?
That is the question Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, had to ask herself amidst extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation. How has the definition of success evolved over time, and how do we leave our mark without sacrificing our well-being?
Just because you’re not a millionaire or founder of a world-renowned company doesn’t mean what you do matters any less. Huffington’s exploration of degrees of success other than fortune and power will inspire readers to chase their passions, not the highest possible salaries.
4. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hseih
Can you work hard and still be happy?
Zappos CEO Tony Hseih knows a thing or two about how to run a company—and a happy one at that. Zappos earns over $1 billion in annual sales. They might seem like any other online shoe store, but it’s the quality customer service and vow to put the customer first that has brought the company to where it stands today.
Hseih’s book isn’t a Zappos success story, though: it’s his success story, both professionally and personally. Like many entrepreneurs before him, he’s had his share of failures and small successes.
His story will serve as a reminder to any struggling idealist that you can achieve what you strive to achieve, and stay happy while you do it.
5. Hard Drive by James Wallace and Jim Erickson
What is success if you don’t share the wealth?
This is Bill Gates’s story. Ever heard of him? He’s the Microsoft guy. The billionaire. Possibly one of the richest and most powerful men in the entire world, even since this book’s publishing in the early 1990s.
Why pick up this biography? Bill Gates isn’t just a computer whiz who was in the right place at the right time. He’s also co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which strives to provide all people with the resources necessary to lead successful lives.
Gates has proven over the years that no matter how successful you are, there is always room to give back and help others succeed, too.
These are only five of the many success stories you will find out there. Don’t forget, though, while you’re searching for the story that motivates you the most, to also put time, energy and resources into making success happen for you, too.
No matter how you define success, no matter what you want to accomplish in your life, you can achieve what you want to achieve. You can make money, invent something new, give to those who have nothing and still be happy and fulfilled the whole time.
You don’t have to sacrifice passion for a paycheck. If you can find a way to do what you enjoy, make a living and provide for those in need, you will be successful.
If you give it time, you will learn not just what you are good at, but how you can use your skills and experiences to create something revolutionary.