Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

July 28, 2015

Before You’re A Somebody Too.

BEFORE Michael Dell was the billionaire founder of Dell Inc., he washed dishes at a Chinese restaurant and then bussed table at a Mexican restaurant to get some cash.


BEFORE Tim Cook was the CEO of Apple, he delivered newspapers as a young boy in his Alabama hometown. He also worked at a paper mill and an aluminum plant.


BEFORE Steve Ballmer was the CEO of Microsoft, he sold several dessert-making appliances made by Proctor & Gamble.


BEFORE Doug McMillon was the president and CEO of Walmart, he got his first job at the bottom — working at the company’s Arkansas warehouse.


BEFORE Sheryl Sandberg was the COO of Facebook, she hustled to find work in her local mall as a retail clerk in a clothing store.


BEFORE Charles Best was the founder of DonorsChoose.org, he delivered customers their food from the back kitchen in a local Tribeca restaurant.


BEFORE Marissa Mayer was the president and CEO of Yahoo, she was a 16 year old grocery store clerk at the County Market in Wausau, Wisconsin.


BEFORE Whoopi Goldberg was a TV celebrity, she was a bricklayer and a morgue beautician.


BEFORE Jeff Bezos was the billionaire founder of Amazon, he manned the grill at a local McDonalds and served as a camp counselor.


BEFORE Tony Fadell was the founder and CEO of Nest Labs, he was an 8-year-old selling eggs to local buyers in his neighborhood.


BEFORE Reed Hastings was the cofounder and CEO of Netflix, he worked as a young salesman selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door.


BEFORE Jan Koum was the cofounder of WhatsApp, he swept the floor of a local grocery store to help his mother with their expenses.


BEFORE Mark Cuban was the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, he sold garbage bags as a young boy to his neighbors.


BEFORE Susan Wojcicki was the CEO of YouTube (and rented out her garage to the founders of Google), she worked as a restaurant hostess.


BEFORE Michael Bloomberg became the billionaire CEO of Bloomberg, he paid his way through John Hopkins University by working as a parking lot assistant.


BEFORE Bill Watkins was the CEO of Seagate Technology, he worked the night shift at a mental hospital.


BEFORE Carly Fiorina was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she graduated from Stanford with a degree in Medieval History and worked as a secretary.


BEFORE Terry Lundgren was the CEO of Macy’s, he got a job shucking oysters for a local restaurant to pay his way through college.


BEFORE Craig Jelinek was the CEO of Costco, he worked at a local grocery store cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping the floors, and bagging groceries.


BEFORE Warren Buffet was the billionaire manager of Berkshire Hathaway, he started his first business delivering newspapers on his bicycle.


BEFORE Indra Nooyi was the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, she worked as a receptionist, volunteering for the midnight to 5AM graveyard shift.


Maybe these are your before years right now.


Want more inspiration? Check out the YouTube video or grab the poster (it’s free)

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.