How many times have you heard about the guy or girl who went to college, got the awesome job, and quickly worked his or her way up to becoming the CEO? Probably more times than you can remember. But what about the girl who started out as a hostess and worked her way up? Or, the guy who retired from the military and got lucky? These stories are out there, and here are the stories of four CEOs and how they got their starts climbing up the corporate ladder.
Kat Cole didn’t come from a life of privilege or even a life that afforded things many of us take for granted. When she was just 9 years old, her mom left her alcoholic father and took Kat with her. Kat’s mom worked hard and did the best she could on her single income. Kat began working at 15 and a year later got a job hosting at Hooters. She stayed with Hooters, and at 18 became a Hooter’s girl/waitress. She worked hard, and at 19 years old she was offered a chance to be part of a team that opened a restaurant in Australia. She worked for them for 15 years learning the business and has now become the successful CEO of Cinnabon.
The current co-CEO of the Oracle Corporation started out doing what many people won’t do — sales. After attending Baylor University on a tennis scholarship and graduating in 1979, he got hired by NCR as a junior salesman. He spent the next 25 years working his way up through general operations, management, and eventually became president. He took on an aggressive sales-like management style that earned him the spot of CEO at Hewlett-Packard. Today, he uses that same management style and is an outstanding co-CEO for the Oracle Corporation.
Not many CEOs can say that they spent several years serving their country in the military, let alone 22 years. But, that is exactly what Robert Myers did before going to work for Casey’s General Stores, Inc. After retiring from the army in 1988, he was hired as a facilities manager. Over the years he worked his way up and eventually became president.
David Rusenko spent his childhood attending schools in Europe and traveling the world, all while developing a growing love for computers. By the time he was 13 years old, he was building websites and increasing his knowledge of web design. Although he went to Penn State and studied information sciences and technology and management information systems, it was his start as a child that led to success. He wanted someone with zero coding experience (like when he was a child) to be able to build a website easily; thus Weebly was born.
Whether you want to be a CEO or not, you have to admit that these stories are inspiring. So no matter you want in life, dream big and don’t sell yourself short — you may just end up in an article about your life like these five one day.