These famous business men have shaped industries and inspired a mindset shift. They are an example of what can be achieved through hard work and unwavering self-belief.
Entrepreneurs are generally hard workers who are willing to take risks and put in long hours. They are innovative and always on the lookout for new ideas.
John D. Rockefeller
John Davison Rockefeller, also known as JDR, was an American industrialist who founded the Standard Oil Company. The firm dominated the oil industry and was the first great American business trust. He became one of the richest men in history and was credited with changing the face of the American economy. However, he was also a dedicated philanthropist who donated most of his wealth to charitable endeavors.
Rockefeller’s success was based on his focus on efficiency and lowering costs. He was able to achieve this by purchasing raw materials in bulk and establishing his own refining operations. This enabled him to control the price of oil and pass on savings to his customers. He also employed the latest technology to improve production and streamline processes.
In 1863, Rockefeller began experimenting with refining oil. He realized that the Lima oil field in Ohio had a high sulfur content, which caused kerosene to smell like rotten eggs and produce soot on lamp chimneys. His new process reduced the sulfur content and eliminated the odor, making kerosene cheaper and more efficient. He later diversified his products, including making gasoline, tar, petroleum jelly and lubricating oils.
While some have criticized his methods, others have applauded his achievements. His emphasis on efficiency and lowering the cost of goods led to a lower price for gasoline, which then helped make the automobile a viable option for the average person. He was also a pioneer of the chemical industry, which revolutionized manufacturing and increased the quality of life for many Americans.
As a leader, Rockefeller was humble and treated his employees with respect. He often walked around the offices with a notepad and asked employees for their opinions. He was always looking for ways to improve his business, and he believed in the power of teamwork. He also emphasized the importance of spirituality, encouraging his employees to pray at work and spend time with their families.
After his death in 1937, his family continued to run the business, which eventually became the Rockefeller Foundation. The foundation focuses on a variety of issues, including the advancement of scientific understanding of overpopulation and improving cultural relations between Asia and America. It has also supported the creation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
Phineas Taylor Barnum was a master showman, an innovator and one of the most influential business men in history. His traveling shows, museums and world-famous circus helped him amass a multi-million dollar fortune. He was also a successful investor, entrepreneur and political figure. His innovative marketing campaigns made him famous and he was known as “The King of Humbugs.” He is considered the father of modern advertising and showmanship.
He believed in taking risks and never limited himself to his local market. He toured with Tom Thumb and Jenny Lind across the United States, to Europe and even on a lecture tour as a temperance speaker. He knew that there was a customer out there for everything and took advantage of that belief to his own financial benefit.
As a result, his American Museum was the most visited museum in the world during his lifetime and it earned him ninety thousand dollars per year. He was a man who didn’t know the word “no.” He took a gamble on every new act and never looked back.
A flamboyant spokesperson, he had an uncanny ability to see what people wanted before they did. This foresight made him a master of promotion, PR and media coverage. He also understood the power of the printer’s ink and kept newsworthiness at the forefront of his thinking. He gave his performers short names that fit into newspaper headlines and he strategically planned acts to generate press.
Although he was a controversial character and many of his tactics were unethical, he was also an innovator who had the ability to read people like a book. He understood that there was a certain type of person in every city and he used his talent to find them and then lure them into his shows.
During his lifetime, he became friends with Abraham Lincoln, Queen Victoria of England and Mark Twain. He was an acclaimed lecturer and a savvy businessman who made good investments and never stopped believing in himself and his ability to make money. Despite being bankrupt several times, he was always able to get himself back on his feet with new ventures and his famous slogan “There’s a customer born every minute.” He was the embodiment of the belief that there is no such thing as bad publicity.
Born on November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland, Carnegie became a great industrialist and one of the most prominent philanthropists of his time. He is credited with helping to lead the massive expansion of American steel during the late 19th century. He also founded a number of charitable foundations that are still active today.
At the age of 14, Carnegie started work as a messenger and telegrapher for a railroad office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He quickly rose through the ranks and by 1859 he was superintendent of the railroad’s Pittsburgh division. While in this position he began to make wise investments in iron and steel companies as well as other industrial concerns.
He made a fortune in these investments, and by the end of his first decade in America he was one of the richest men in the country. Carnegie also developed a large railroad empire, purchasing and consolidating numerous other companies along the way. He then entered the world of steel production, and by 1901 he had built his company into a giant in the industry.
When he retired from business in 1907, he devoted himself to philanthropy, donating most of his remaining wealth to various causes. He established large pension funds for railroad workers, a fund that later evolved into TIAA-CREF, as well as a fund for American college professors. He also helped to establish the Tuskegee Institute for African-American students under Booker T. Washington, and donated a lot of money to other charities as well.
He was a staunch proponent of free trade and opposed labor unions. He believed that unions prevented prices from falling because they lobbied for higher wages, which would ultimately raise the cost of goods. He was also a champion of arts and literature, and he befriended famous writers of his day, including Mark Twain and English poet Matthew Arnold. His writings and philosophies also drew inspiration from the ideas of English naturalist Herbert Spencer. Although his ideas were in direct conflict with Spencerian evolution, Carnegie took a great deal of influence from the philosopher.
Walt Disney is one of the most famous business men in the world. His creativity, imagination and work ethic helped him achieve some of the most incredible achievements in the history of business. He was also willing to take risks and was not afraid to fail. Although he failed many times, he never gave up and continued to work on his dreams. He believed that if you could dream it, you can achieve it.
Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois to Elias and Flora Call Disney. He was the youngest of six children. His family struggled financially and they often moved in order to find work. When he was 16, Disney quit school and lied about his age to join the Red Cross Ambulance Corps. He was sent to France and Germany where he drove ambulances and other services for the American forces. He returned to Kansas City in 1919. While there, he started taking night classes at the art institute and began to learn how to draw cartoons.
He eventually became a commercial artist and worked in a studio where he met another animator named Ub Iwerks. They worked together to create a cartoon company and in 1923, they created the first animated feature film called Flowers and Trees. It was not a great success, but it helped them get their start in the business. From there, they worked on several other animated films and in 1940, they released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The film was a huge success and it launched the career of Disney and the studio.
After the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney created many other animated films such as Bambi, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Dumbo. He also produced nature documentaries and live-action films. He was also the first Hollywood studio head to embrace television. He created shows such as The Mickey Mouse Club and Walt Disney Presents. Many of Disney’s films have been recognized as classics and he was the first person to win two Oscars for his animation work.
Disney was a visionary and his legacy continues to this day. His Disney theme parks, studios and other ventures continue to bring joy to people around the world. The Walt Disney Company is now a multi-billion dollar television, motion picture, vacation destination and media corporation.