Everyone goes through challenges in life, and some people seem to get dealt a particularly tough hand at certain points that are exceedingly difficult to get through. Yet, with sheer determination, motivation and belief, many are able to rise above, and move from struggle to success - be that in their work lives, personal relationships etcetera. No matter how you define ‘struggle’ or ‘success’, you are bound to find a story you resonate with out of these 10 incredible individuals.
Louisa Forrest (@TheEcoMum)
Louisa Forrest is the founder of a company, Lavenderia NappyCare, and a single mother to two young children. She is successful to say the least - a published author and a business owner who grew her small company from 1 to 6 locations and counting. She has been interviewed on Sunrise, Today and the SBS as well as twice on ABC radio. However, things were not always smooth sailing - she has a tumultuous background, in which she has lost everything twice over and has had to rebuild herself to lead the life she has today. She is a true example of someone who has risen from struggle to success (twice, in fact)! Check out Louisa on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Shelagh Brennand (@astrokeofpoetry)
Shelagh Brennand certainly knows the meaning of struggle, having experienced numerous health scares over the years. She is a prime example of someone who has been able to turn negative life experiences into positivity. Suffering a stroke at the age of only 49, she suffered depression and her brain post-stroke was only working in rhyme. She put this to great use and wrote poetry to help her get through the difficulty time. She practices gratefulness and positivity, and has now self published her book, A Stroke of Poetry, which she has developed into her business and a recognised stroke resource. As of this year she is a StrokeSafe Ambassador, speaking regularly to local communities and health organisations on behalf of the stroke foundation. Check out Shelagh on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Amanda Ray (@Amanda.ray02)
Amanda Ray’s story begins 28 years ago when she found herself in a relationship tainted by domestic violence, which she was finally able to leave after 10 years, escaping to Brisbane with her daughter. The challenge of being in a new state, new city, with no belongings or money with a daughter in her first year of high school was very emotionally trying for both of them. Over the course of the next 12 years, she was involved it another abusive relationship, after which she had to once again rebuild her life. She was then diagnosed with breast cancer, and was attending job interviews just a week after surgery. With confidence and a smile she managed to gain a full-time successful position, despite a serious life threatening infection she was facing at the time. Read more about Amanda’s story soon! For now, check her out on Twitter and Instagram.
Jessica is on the verge of launching her new business, Wanderess Beauty, which you can check out on Facebook and Instagram! They company is all about helping people ignite wild beauty, love of self and this planet, through green beauty and eco fashion! She hopes to help anyone who finds themselves in a tough situation and has lost their sense of self to come back out of their dark side. Jessica herself definitely knows what that’s like, having had her marriage fall apart while being a mother to a 9 month old baby and a 4 year old at the time. She virtually became a single mother overnight, was depressed and had very low self esteem. She has been able to rebuild herself from the inside out through therapy, books and downright hard work!
Ryan Hassan (@MelbCentreofHealing)
Ryan Hassan successfully came out of the difficult journey of overcoming drug addiction. Giving back to the community, he now runs a successful alternative Mental Health & Addiction centre in Melbourne. You can check out The Melbourne Centre of Healing online and on Facebook! He opened the centre just 6 months after recovering from addiction. Ryan credits his recovery to being able to be vulnerable enough to open up and get help with his problems. He says that the key to motivation is having purpose in life, which adds energy to your life. It doesn’t have to be a crazy overarching life mission, as long as you have a clean daily purpose to work towards!
Matty Cornish (@madestatusclothing)
Matty Cornish is the founder of Australian streetwear brand, Made Status Clothing, and he had to work incredibly hard to push through his struggling past just to get the company up and running. You can find the brand on Facebook and Instagram. Matty came from humble beginnings, growing up with a single mother and his little sister. They had very little food and their electricity would often be cut off. He also found school difficult, as he did not have a stable lifestyle like many of the other kids did. However, nowadays he surrounds himself with positive people with aligned visions to help him work for greatness. He has an extremely positive mindset, which he believes is crucial for a healthy lifestyle.
Kim Oakhill (@helpfullove.com.au)
Kim Oakhill runs two successful businesses - a successful modern celebrant business, and a modern celebrant collective. Helpful Love is her priority as of now, and it is a startup aimed at supporting people during their darkest days, especially in times of grief and loss. It is an online community of vendors who supply useful gifts during tough times. The vision for the company came about following the death of a 3 year old girl, Maddie, as flowers were simply not of use to the grieving family left behind. Kim would say her marriage break up has been one of the biggest obstacles she has had to overcome, as it is essentially grieving the loss of someone who is still alive. She is now 31 and is proud of her confident, independent children she has raised, her thriving work life, successful corporate career and the life she has created for herself. Check out Helpful Love on Facebook!
Brett Hansen (@LarrikinPuppets)
Brett Hansen has always been a creative individual, and his talents have always been in artistic fields - drawing, piano and puppetry. He went through struggles during his schooling years, both with his academic subjects and socially, frequently experiencing bullying. He also had trouble breaking into the workforce after studying animation and film, and ultimately experiencing the loss of his mother to ovarian cancer when he was 31. Things turned around when he auditioned for a community theatre production of Broadway puppet musical, “Avenue Q”, as he got to train the entire cast and co-perform two characters! However, he lost his job and his marriage around the time the play finished. After applying for the NEIS entrepreneurial unemployment program, he has been able to get his business, Larrikin Puppets, off the ground really well over the years, and is now remarried to a wonderful, supportive wife. Read Brett’s full story on our blog soon. In the meantime, check out Larrikin Puppets on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.
Adrianne Katmadas (@fitishwoman)
Adrianne’s greatest struggle over the years has been experiencing a fear or phobia of physical activity. She can now proudly say that that she is consistent in exercising every week, and even participates in charity walks frequently! She had a health scare which led to a complete change of mindset, and helped her to overcome her fear. The power of prayer, a consulting mentor and a life coach were all crucial parts of her rise from struggle to success. She found Tracey Mathers, Mentor, to be very helpful in helping her gain clarity in setting goals and making choices about future direction. She refers to Tracey as a Dream Midwife, someone who helps you birth your dreams and encourages you to turn them into reality. Adrianne has also been able to establish Fitish Woman to help others out there. Read Adrianne’s full story soon on the MyDeal blog. You can also check out Fitish Woman on Facebook and Instagram.
Dominic Soh (@industrybootcamp)
Dominic Soh certainly learnt that struggle can sometimes come before success. He arrived as an international student in Australia and worked as a kitchen hand as well as at a car rental company in order to pay his bills while getting his degree. Although he did manage to get a job straight out of university, he was let go within the first few months. Over the next 561 days he sent out 526 resumes before he finally won his dream job as a business and management trainer. He has now spoken to over 1000 students and professionals across different organisations, including The City of Melbourne, Chartered Accountants, United Nations Young Professionals Network, The University of Melbourne etcetera. He has finally found success in a job he enjoys tremendously. Find Industry Bootcamp online, and check out their Facebook page.
There you have it - no matter the struggles you are facing, it is completely possible to rise above and achieve your dreams!