It’s always inspirational to look back at how some of the world’s most prominent, game-changers, and entrepreneurs got started in their journey to success. Achieving sustained success in business is extremely difficult, but these 10 inspiring individuals have definitely earned the bragging rights.
Some of these men and women have taken big risks to build their brands and start businesses but now they’re reaping what they sowed. And, in establishing these amazing businesses, they have flourished and turned themselves into some of the most successful people in their field. But who are they? So without further ado let’s get to know these 10 successful entrepreneurs who had to claw their way to the top.
Jennifer “Jen” Kem
Jennifer “Jen” Kem is a San Francisco Bay Area-based branding and marketing expert who gets entrepreneurs seen, heard, and paid – for being themselves.
She’s the creator of the Master Brand Method: a framework to develop powerful brand archetypes that win customers’ hearts, leveraging Jennifer’s 17 years of corporate experience and her launching of multiple companies.
She uses the Master Brand method in digital strategy coaching for emerging entrepreneurs, celebrity brands like Oprah Winfrey Network and Steve Harvey, and major corporations including Verizon, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Bank of Hawaii.
Jennifer serves up straight talk wrapped in love because she understands entrepreneurs’ challenges: She built a retail business and became a millionaire at 32, only to lose it all in the recession two years later. She is now the successful owner of three million-dollar brand-building businesses and the mother of three children.
Annie Liao Jones
Annie Liao Jones is the founder and CEO of Rock Candy Media, an advertising & marketing agency that is based in Austin, Texas – it has become one of the fastest-growing businesses in Central Texas. Under Annie’s leadership, the full-service content strategy, design, messaging, branding firm, and growth agency went from the ground up to grossing over seven figures a year.
A veteran entrepreneur, Mike Dalewitz specializes in business restructuring and turnaround. He has built a career taking startups to multimillion-dollar success stories. He is also a highly sought-after speaker who coaches young entrepreneurs across the country where he teaches and encourages entrepreneurship through a unique blend of mindfulness and business strategy. By helping both aspiring and experienced business leaders balance the personal and professional, pursue passion projects, and gain a greater perspective, Mike supports talented professionals in developing and sharing ideas with their communities.
Born and raised just outside of New York City, Dalewitz completed New York Law School, earning a Juris Doctorate. He first worked as a lawyer before managing talent in the celebrity entertainment industry and later started a brand marketing firm in New York. He serves on various Non-Profit Boards serving Education Enrichment Programs, including Build NYC for Lower SocioEconomic HS Students, Bucks County Playhouse which brings Drama Programs to underserved communities and creating teaching accreditation for Drama Teachers taught by Broadway talent to improve their craft and help bring Drama class back to the schools.
Dalewitz has founded companies such as The Mindful Mentor, B2L Design Build, Inspired Review, Peak Discovery, and MD Events & Entertainment. He is also the co-founder of 618 Hospitality Group and ReviewRight.
Emily Vavra is an alpha female Entrepreneur who had a dream and went for it. This LA-based wellness leader and the speaker continue to pave the way for others as one of the top network marketing professionals. Since 2011, Emily has helped thousands of other entrepreneurs in building their own health, wealth, and financial freedom.
Emily started from humble beginnings: from being flat broke at the age of 23, she channeled her determination, knowledge, and talent for managing people into building one of the largest network marketing organizations to date. She made her first million at the age of 26, and today, she has helped more than 140,000 entrepreneurs find their own path to personal and professional success.
Dr. Cali Estes
Dr. Cali Estes is a highly sought after Celebrity Addiction Therapist, Life Coach, Recovery Coach, and Wellness Guru that blends talk therapy with a forward and positive change to assist her clients in unlocking their true potential. She has been featured in books, magazines, radio, and television for her work in the addictions and therapy fields. She works with individuals, drug, and alcohol treatment teams and addiction professionals looking to advance their knowledge base.
Dr. Estes has over 20 years of experience working with drug, alcohol, and food addictions. Her deep understanding of drug and alcohol addiction, including the behaviors and ramifications that are associated with it, places her at the top in the field of addiction therapy. She’s is an interactive, solution-focused Positive Psychologist and Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Her unique no-nonsense approach of cognitive-behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and life coaching combine to provide the perfect support for an addict. Her background in food addictions and the emotional and physical tolls it takes on one’s psyche and physical well-being is highly unique.
Dr. Estes is currently serving as private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients. She has been featured on top tier outs such as NBC Universal News, MSN Money, Entrepreneur Magazine, Max Sports and Fitness, among others for her work in Addiction Recovery and has been published in several journals and books for her work on ADD and Relationships.
Dr. Estes is a Certified Masters Level Addiction Professional. She holds a Ph.D. from DSU in Psychology and Life Coaching, a Master’s Degree from WCU, and an undergraduate from PSU, International Certification as a Drug and Alcohol Therapist, Master Certified Addictions Professional, as well as 24 certifications and over 20 years of experience as a Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher, Pilates Teacher, Food Addictions Specialist, and Life Coach. Her unique approach to get to the root cause of the problem with each client and relate on a humanistic level makes her desirable in this industry. She is more than just a ‘sober coach’. She has a background in clinical and personality psychology, addictions, and forensics and has been featured on NBC, CBS, CNN’s Don Lemon, MSN, Dr. Drew Podcast, Washington Post, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times and many more.
Kristin Marquet served as the Creative Director of the award-winning PR firm, Creative Development Agency. She oversaw the day-to-day operations of the agency as well as directed all client accounts and projects. With a strong eye for creating memorable brands and a diverse range of knowledge, Kristin provided strategic counsel to clients interested in developing successful internal and external communication programs across all media platforms for more than a decade.
In 2017, Kristin launched the emerging spinoff media company, FemFounder.co that helps creative female entrepreneurs plan, launch, and scale their businesses. FemFounder is a one-stop resource for everything on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, PR, and social media marketing. Now, Kristin runs Marquet-Media.com, a boutique creative consultancy that designs beautiful and feminine brands in the wedding, beauty and fashion, wellness and fitness, cooking, photography, and interior design industries.
Passionate about learning, Kristin has advanced studies in data and marketing analytics. She has attended MIT, Boston University, and New York University and holds degrees in literature and marketing/public relations. She has also contributed to high profile websites such as Forbes.com, Inc.com, HuffingtonPost.com, Entrepreneur.com, and NYDailyNews.com.
Liz Elting is the founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation. She is an entrepreneur, business leader, linguaphile, philanthropist, feminist, and mother. After living, studying, and working in five countries across the globe, Liz started TransPerfect out of an NYU dorm room. During her tenure as Co-CEO, she grew TransPerfect into the world’s largest language solutions company, with over $600 million in revenue, 5,000+ employees, 11,000+ clients, and offices in more than 90 cities worldwide. Liz has been recognized as a NOW “Woman of Power & Influence,” American Express’ and Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Woman of the Year,” one of Forbes’ “Richest Self-Made Women,” and is a recipient of the 2019 Charles Waldo Haskins Award for business and public service from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Raquel Baldelomar is the founder and president of Quaintise, a marketing and branding agency, based in Santa Monica. For 15 years, Quaintise has produced award-winning creative content for clients in the health and wellness sectors. Raquel has a finance degree from the MBA-modeled Business Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin and began her career managing private equity portfolios as a financial analyst for JP Morgan Private Bank. In 2003, Raquel launched Quaintise and has served leading national health and wellness organizations by building their brand currencies through compelling storytelling, strong messaging, and visually engaging creative assets.
In 2015, Raquel decided to devote more time to one of her passions – changing the conversation of healthcare from sick care management to disease prevention. She is co-author of the book Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage, and Reclaim Good Health. She is also a Forbes columnist where she reports on corporate wellness, executive health, and the creative process. Raquel is also a TV host and producer for CNN focusing on stories related to executive health, wellness, and how travel stimulates creativity. Her goal is to share with audiences compelling stories that educate people on how pausing can lead to a more meaningful kind of productivity, creativity, and wellness.
Fabrizio Moreira is an Ecuadorian politician and businessman. He currently resides in the United States and runs The Moreira Organization which is an organization that was awarded by INC 5000 as one of the world’s hottest digital agencies. Along the way he became a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, eventually co-founding the Brooklyn-based record label VIP Music Records – a label is best known for managing the bookings of the rapper Soulja Boy from 2013-2014. VIP Music Records was born in 2009, and today, the group has agreements with The Orchard Music, Sony Music’s distribution division. To head its A&R department, the company was able to get Dwayne Domonick Grant to join them, a talented hip-hop recording artist, record producer, songwriter, and rapper, known as D-Teck, who is a former executive at Konvict Muzik. He is also a voting member of the Grammy Awards as well as an international speaker.
A.D. Dolphin, the grandson of the 1940s and 50’s music mogul John Dolphin, launched his company, Dherbs Inc., in 2004. Dherbs catalyzed an evolution in the use of herbs as a clear pathway to excellent health, healing, and an improved way of life. A.D. explains, “I always knew I would be an entrepreneur. Everyone in my family owned their own businesses and I wanted to follow in their footsteps.” He pursued a career as a professional basketball and found success overseas in Australia. Upon returning home from Australia A.D. began coaching and professional training. His reputation grew rapidly and amassed 300 private basketball students in under 2 months. “I saw how clients learned and what worked for them,” Dolphin says. “I trained each client not only according to their desires but also to their needs.” Dolphin became a trusted ally, friend, and mentee of his high profile clients.
Sideline conversations propelled A.D into real estate & music, but he found the most success with his herbal supplement business, Dherbs. A.D. road-tested what is still the company’s #1 product to date, the Full Body Cleanse. Within 7 days of the 20-day cleanse, Dolphin felt that his energy increased, his sleep was better, his thoughts were clearer, and he kicked his soda addiction. Dolphin decided to launch Dherbs as an online company. ‘I didn’t even have an email”, he laughs.
Since 2004 when A.D. and his 2 partners opened the virtual doors of Dherbs.com, they have not looked back. After over a decade of growth and success, A.D. is in the herb business to stay. “There is nothing like the feeling you get when you start helping people.” Dolphin’s philosophy is simple and clear, “The body can heal itself if it has the right fuel.” Dherbs has over 400 herbal products that can help remedy a variety of health ailments. A.D. does not rest on the laurels of financial success. He has a thirst for knowledge and information to share with clients that distinguish him as a leader in the field of health and wellness.
A.D. Dolphin, known for being Steve Harvey’s health and wellness expert, has appeared on a variety of media platforms discussing the benefits of clean eating and healthy weight loss. He has also helped transform the waistlines of high profile clientele, including Emmy Award-Winning Actress, Niece Nash, Grammy Award-Winning Singer Brandy, WeTV’s Celebrity Hairstylist Kim Kimble, Actress Sherri Shepherd, ABC’s Blackish star Anthony Anderson, Windy City Host Val Warner and many more.
A.D. has been featured on The Doctors, Sister Circle Live, Great Day Houston, Windy City Live, MNewsOne Now, Yung Joc’s radio show on Streets 94.5 ATL, The Breakfast Club, Essence Magazine, Sheen Magazine, CentricTV.com (now BETHer) and many more. Additionally, he has appeared numerous times on the Steve Harvey Show, where he has not only helped Steve with his own weight loss but has also been involved in food demonstrations, weight loss challenges, and met face to face with people who have succeeded using his methods.