“I doubt I’ll ever go back to corporate work. Once you see the light, there is no turning back”
-Magnus Jepson, WooThemes co-founder
Never settling for less, many have chosen the path of financial independence and being their own boss, even if it was way out of their experience. Our next few entrepreneurs are the perfect examples of this saying.
1- Conrad Hilton (1887-1979)
You all know the name, right? Yes, he is the name behind the mega franchise of Hilton Hotels. Initially, Hilton’s dream wasn’t working in the hoteling business, but rather working in the oil industry. But after he failed, he headed to real estate. In his early beginnings, he faced lots of hardships that he almost declared bankruptcy; however, he managed to save his business until it became the worldly-known phenomenon for almost a century now and in more than 90 countries: Hilton Hotels franchise.
2- Mohamed Mansour (1948-Present)
With a net worth of 2.7 billion dollars in 2017, Mohamed Mansour is the 10th richest man in Africa. His philosophy was a bit different, rather than focusing all his interests in one main industry, Mansour divided his work between real estate, automotive, and even Food & Beverage, and he exceptionally succeeded in all of them. Now, he owns Mansour Group, the sole distributor of General Motors, one of Egypt’s largest markets chain (Metro), and the McDonald’s franchise in Egypt according to Forbes.
3- Earvin “Magic” Johnson (1959-Present)
A.K.A Magic Johnson, the American basketball NBA legend who after retiring took off in the franchise business. After establishing Magic Johnson Enterprises, he invested in almost 30 Burger King franchise branches and 105 Starbucks franchise at some point in his life, making him one of the most successful businessmen in the USA.
4- Harland Sanders (1890-1980)
Even 37 years after his death, when it comes to fast food franchises, there is no bigger name than Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Starting as a chef who cooks chicken in a gas station, Sanders starting his first franchise branch in 1952 at the age of 62, and now KFC franchise chain operates more than 20.000 restaurants in almost 130 countries all over the world.
5- Fred DeLuca (1947-2015)
The co-founder of Subway actually wasn’t a businessman at all! Dreaming of becoming a doctor, Fred didn’t have enough money to study medicine so he took a loan to start a sandwich shop from Peter Buck, who became later the co-founder of Subway. Now, the Subway franchise includes more than 45,000 restaurants in 112 countries over the world making him a pioneer in the F&B business.
So, what did they all have in common? The answer is simply passion, and the will to change even if it was really crazy idea.