They say chase your dreams, no matter how long it will take. That is exactly what Jeff Bezos did.
People who don’t share your vision and ideas will misinterpret your ideas. But it shouldn’t stop you from fulfilling your dreams and striving for what you want.
Despite being primarily known by most people as the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos is also an entrepreneur, media proprietor, investor, and computer engineer.
His rise to stardom is exemplary for everyone.
Jeff Preston Jorgensen was born on the 12th of January, 1964. His mother, Jacklyn was 17, and in high school at the time of his birth. His biological father, Theodore Jorgensen, was only 19 years old.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jeff attended a Montessori school when he was two years old. After his parents divorced, his mother married a Cuban immigrant Michael Bezos, who legally adopted young Jeff shortly after the wedding. Then his surname changed to Bezos.
Jeff attended River Oaks Elementary School from the fourth grade until the sixth. After moving to Miami, Florida with his family, he attended Miami Palmetto High School. He worked as a short-order line cook during breakfast shifts at Macdonald’s.
Having shown keen interest in science, Jeff was believed to have rigged an electric alarm to keep his siblings away from his room. At the University of Florida, Bezos attended the Student Science Training Program.
In his graduation speech, he told the audience how he dreamed of the day humanity would colonize space. As earlier noted, people with contrary visions might misinterpret your vision and ideas.
This was exactly what a local newspaper did, quoting Bezos as wanting “to get all people off the earth and see it turned into a huge national park.”
Jeff Bezos had to work in different fields before achieving his dreams. In 1986 after graduating from college, he was offered a job at Bell Labs, Intel, and Andersen Consulting. He first worked at a fintech telecommunication start-up called Fitel.
From 1988 to 1990, Bezos switched to the banking industry as a product manager at Bankers Trust.
In 1990, he joined D.E. Shaw & Co, a newly created hedge fund. At age 30, Bezos had already become the fourth senior vice president at D.E. Shaw.
An internet article in late 1993 stated the internet was fast growing at 2300% a year, so Bezos decided to seize this opportunity and open an online bookstore.
Bezos, alongside his ex-wife Mackenzie Scott left D.E. Shaw and founded Amazon on the 5th of July 1994 in a rented garage in Washington.
Bezos initially named this new company “Cadabra.” Later, he changed the name to Amazon, naming it after the Amazon river in South America. However, there were other reasons for the name change.
An intelligent man, Bezos opted for a name that started with the letter “A,” the beginning of the English alphabet.
At that time, website listings were alphabetized, so a company name starting with “A” would sooner appear to customers when they conduct online searches.
Also, he hoped his new company would take the same vein as the name “Amazon,” the largest river in the world. He hoped his company would become the biggest online bookstore in the world at some point.
This wasn’t Bezos’ dream, as he had already stated during his graduation speech. He dreamed of getting all humans off the earth to preserve it from overuse through resource depletion.
Using the growth of his famous online marketplace Amazon, he achieved this dream sometime in 2000.
Great or successful men aren’t built alone, and no dream is achieved without aid. Bezos initially accepted $300,000 from his parents and other investors to run Amazon. He warned that there was a 70% chance that this new company would fail or go bankrupt.
As earlier stated, Amazon wasn’t his dream; it was simply a means to an end. He made sure to take Amazon to the level he had hoped it would reach. Besides, “Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well.”
In 2000, Bezos founded blue origin, a human spaceflight start-up. He’s known for having a keen interest in developing human life in the Solar system and space travel.
His new company, however, maintained a low profile till the mid-2000s, when it acquired a large piece of land in Texas for a test and launch facility.
Bezos then pointed out his interest in reducing space travel costs and the safety of extraterrestrial travel after his company had gained public attention in the latter part of that decade.
There’s no success without setbacks. In 2011, one of the company’s prototype vehicles crashed during a short-hop test flight. This was considered progress for the company as it advanced spaceflight.
In 2015, he announced that a new orbital vehicle was under construction. It would make its flight later that decade.
In November, there was a milestone achieved when Blue Origin’s New shepherd space vehicle successfully rocketed into space and reached its visioned test altitude before executing a vertical landing back at the launch site.
Everyone needs a plan to achieve something, and Bezos wasn’t an exception. Knowing his dreams and how he hoped to achieve them, he knew it would take a lot of work.
He took advantage of the internet’s growth to create the world’s most prominent online marketplace.
At different points, he began slowly selling shares in Amazon, making huge profits from a company he started in a rented garage.
He also withdrew himself from running Amazon by leaving his position as the CEO of Amazon. He assumed the role of the executive chairman of the Amazon board.
In an email he sent to his employees, he stated that transitioning would give him the “time and energy” needed to focus on his other passions, Blue Origin included.
A man uses his resources to chase and build his dreams. And that was what Bezos did throughout his life. He created Amazon, then switched his attention to his dream of preserving the Earth’s resources from overuse.
Over the years of early growth, Bezos was able to build, brick by brick while creating the required relationships and partnerships needed to get him closer to achieving his dreams.
A man is only partially fulfilled if he has achieved what he set out to accomplish for himself, no matter how long it takes.
Successful people do not back out on their dreams because others do not share in this dream or because they’re ridiculed and misinterpreted, instead, they do what is necessary to make these dreams come true.
If you have a passion for something, why not go for it? Besides, it’s the number one thing you need to succeed. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll do everything necessary to get it done.
Just like Jeff Bezos, who had his intentions misinterpreted and ridiculed, you’ll arrive at where you want to be.
Dreams are meant to be supported as long as it is something you’re passionate about. While the dream is your blueprint, hard work, perseverance, and commitment to your goal are just as key as any other thing.
Build on your failures and setbacks. It is said that “it’s better to try again after failing because this time you’re equipped with more knowledge on what to avoid.”
If the life story of Jeff Bezos is anything to go by, then it certainly is that your dreams might take a long time to come true or that people might not share in those dreams, especially when you’re at the start or still somewhat insignificant as they might perceive you to be.
There are several lessons to take from Bezos’ story;
– Take advantage of opportunities. When you are faced with an opportunity, even if it isn’t in your field, take advantage of it, and utilize it. If all those years while Bezos had read that the internet was growing and simply shunned the prospect of creating something with it, perhaps he wouldn’t be who he is today.
– You can’t do it alone. You need partners, you need investors. Pitch your ideas to people who would see value in what you offer.
– Start simple but dream big. Plan every step of the way. A lot of people these days make the mistake of wanting to start big,
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