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In a classic storyline, the battle-weary hero overcomes a challenge to reach his or her goal and live happily ever after. For some inspirational businesspeople, this fictional narrative is actually a reality. Dragons, ghosts and villainous individuals are instead replaced with overdue loans, non-existent customers and a dismal profit margin, while saving the princess or slaying the beast becomes having a stable, profitable business model. If you’re experiencing doubts and fears about your own business, read on and discover five motivational best-sellers.

1. Ron Bakir

At the age of 17, Ron Bakir had nothing but a big dream and plenty of naysayers. By 23, he was a self-made millionaire who had everything he wanted. His story encourages us to pursue our dreams at any age and think outside the box; Ron Bakir made the move from Sydney to the Gold Coast with $120 in his pocket, simply after seeing that the area enjoyed the country’s highest mobile phone usage. Today, he is the founder and CEO of HomeCorp, a large urban planning company that operates across Australia.

2. Martha Stewart

A well-known media personality is plunged into disrepute and scandal. How many times have we seen this happen to celebrities, movie stars and sporting legends? While for most people, negative publicity is effectively a career death sentence, some individuals manage to launch successful comebacks. Case in point is Martha Stewart, the American queen of home cooking who very publicly received a prison sentence for insider trading in 2004. Despite the backlash and humiliation that Stewart experienced, she decided to continue working upon her release from prison and has since appeared in television and print.

3. Walt Disney

It’s hard to imagine a world without Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Disneyland. Yet without the talent, enthusiasm and resolve of creator and founder Walt Disney, our childhoods would have been a lot less magical. Disney faced many professional and financial setbacks, including bankruptcy, poor audience reception and a newspaper editor who advised him that he lacked imagination and had no good ideas. The lesson to be learnt is that self-belief is a powerful asset for any aspiring businessperson.

4. Vera Wang

The name Vera Wang is synonymous with elegant and sophisticated bridal couture designs, but did you know that this fashion genius originally had her sights on an Olympic gold medal? From a young age, Wang was involved in competitive figure skating and dreamed of making the U.S Olympic team. However, when she didn’t make the cut, she rechannelled her disappointment by becoming involved in the fashion world and thereby set the course of her life that would lead to much success and acclaim.

5. Andrea McDowell and Rebecca Baldwin

Working in television production for years, friends Andrea McDowell and Rebecca Baldwin realised there was a real gap in the market for fun and intimate wedding videography while planning their own weddings. Shoot It Yourself was then born. Armed with a credit card and some example videos, the duo took out at a stand a Wedding Show convention and within a year and a half, were successful contestants on the BBC’s *Dragon Den *television show. Their story alone will convince you that anything is possible with the right work ethic, a great idea and a little risk-taking.

Are you feeling inspired? Do you have a favourite real-life story that gets you through tough times? Please share your thoughts by commenting in the section below.