They Once Were Nobodies Too

I was reading a soundview summary of Nobodies to Somebodies: How 100 Great Career Got Their Start last week. The main idea of the book is this- "Many successful people were once just ordinary twentysomethings. And everybody starts out as a nobody."

Just like what my mom used to tell me, "Everyone has to start from somewhere."

It's quite interesting to see the early lives of some really successful people. And here's my list of compilation of jobs/life situations of them.

Did you know....

Tom Clancy used to sell insurance
before publishing his first novel in 1984.

Suze Orman
was a waitress in Berkeley for several years in her twenties.

Milton Friedman was intended to become an actuary but didn't like taking the exams.

Albert Einstein was an assistant examiner in a patent office and was pass over for promotion.

Tony Robbins used to wash his dishes in his bathtub


Perhaps what they did early in life was a stepping stone to prepare for something bigger. (This is easy to say as we all have 20/20 hindsight.) Or perhaps they did what they had to do (to pay the bills) while pursuing their more gratifying "real profession/interests/hobbies" on the side.

And then, at one point, when they are ready, like Steven Stern wrote on a review of The Dip by Seth Godin, "they pick the right moment and the right place to quit, so that they can concentrate their fire on an area where winning is a much more likely (and indeed more profitable) outcome."

I was joking with my friend the other day that when we become the very best at something, people will say this:

"Oh, look at these two, they used to be actuarial analysts and doing benefit statements for years...."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Probably being "someone" is not as important as the process of working for your passion. The result is important, but when you really achieve your "goal", you might find out that actually what values is the experience.

yync said...

Hi there, thanks for commenting my post. Yes, you are right. It's the journey that matters. In a way, being a "somebody" or being a "nobody" is all relative.