Twenty years ago, Michele Hoskins, a divorced mother of three, was struggling to make ends meet. Her ticket to the American dream turned out to be her great great grandmother's recipe for a delicious syrup. Michele sold her home, her car and jewelry, banking her future on the belief that people would love and buy her grandmother's syrup.
"When I first started, I would make syrup in the basement and I would take it around to retail stores and I would tell the merchant, 'If you sold it, I will come back and invoice you,'" Michele says. "Well, I would go back and buy it myself."
Persistence was a major ingredient to Michele's success—after nine years in business she scored a $3 million contract with Denny's after calling them every single week for two years straight. Michele's Honey Creme Syrup is now sold in 10,000 grocery stores bringing in over $8 million a year!
Chances are, you have been to a Kinko's copy store. Did you ever wonder where that funny name came from? Kinko was the nickname of curly haired college student Paul Orfalea who started his very first school-supply store out of an old hamburger stand.
Life hadn't always been good to Paul. He barely made it through elementary school, failing second grade twice. He was even thought to be mentally handicapped, and called a "problem child." Paul didn't know until he was 25 years old that he was dyslexic.
But despite these setbacks, Paul saw an opportunity that would change his life—and the way America did business. One day in college, he saw how busy the copying center was. "I figured, well, if they're busy there, why wouldn't they be busy at another college campus?" So Paul opened a store at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Within nine years Kinko's was in all 50 states and at most college campuses. Now this copycat is a multi-millionaire. Kinko's has gone global with over 1,000 stores worldwide, making 16 billion copies a year.
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