Starting a business is not for everyone. You need a strong constitution and the ability to face failure. Because if statistics are any guide, you will likely fail.

But the web makes it easier for first-time entrepreneurs to tap into that spirit of risk. What do these go-getters have in common? They likely started a “business” in childhood (a lemonade stand, a paper route, etc.). They’ve likely used their own money to fund their dreams (and are likely to have maxed-out credit cards, as a result). And they are less averse to risk than the average human.

Check out this video by for insight into the mind of the entrepreneur.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, morganl

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If it weren’t for music we would undoubtedly have a very dull existence. The way it affects emotion, moods, and conveys ideas make it one of the most powerful and intimate artistic mediums in the world. We identify with the music we like and through it feel a connection with the people who wrote it. Although we all have our personal tastes there are some pieces and genres that are almost objectively above the rest. These are the men behind those pieces. These are 25 of the most celebrated composers in history.

25. Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven started going deaf at the turn of the century and it became sadly apparent that he could not always hear what he played. After 1819, all conversations with him had to be written down.

24. Antonio Vivaldi

Like Mozart, Vivaldi died in poverty, in an unmarked grave. Both composers were similar in how they achieved greatness in their composition and popularity, yet failed to secure financial greatness.

23. Aaron Copland

Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, he was widely known as “the dean of American composers”.

22. Franz Joseph Haydn

Anyone who can write 108 symphonies makes this list.

21. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Interesting fact: he hated writing The Nutcracker, undoubtedly his most famous work.

20. Carl Nielson

Undoubtedly Denmark’s most famous composer he went against his roots and added foreign, romantic flavors to his music.

19. Gustav Mahler

Sometimes called “the symphonist of death”, he only wrote 9 complete symphonies, all of which are centered around death and the afterlife.

18. Johannes Brahms

One of the finest musical craftsmen of all time, he wrote 4 symphonies which are among the most recorded repertoire ever.

17. Franz Liszt

Liszt was the greatest pianist of all time. He sightread Grieg’s Piano Concerto, playing it perfectly the first time.

16. Modest Mussorgsky

Well known for his smash hit,Night on Bald Mountain, which is the #3 most recorded orchestral piece in history.

15. Frederic Chopin

As a pianist, Chopin was ranked among the greatest artists of his epoch, such as Kalkbrenner, Liszt, Thalberg and Herz, but, in contrast to them, he disliked public performances and appeared rarely and rather unwillingly.

14. Leonard Bernstein

His incredibly popularWest Side Storycombines Jazz, Classical, Puerto Rican and Romantic elements. How could he not make the list?

13. Franz Schubert

Sometimes called the greatest songwriter of all time.

12. Dmitri Shostakovich

Shostakovich himself got into trouble with the goverment for his opera ‘Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District’ (he was made an “Enemy of the People”). They said it was ‘coarse, primitive and vulgar’ and it was banned for almost 30 years!

11. Richard Wagner

In spite of his supposedly less than amiable personality he managed to write the single most famous masterpiece in opera history: The Ring Cycle.

10. Gyorgy Ligeti

A Hungarian-born composer who stands out from the rest of the post-war European avant-garde.

9. Johann Sebastian Bach

He perfected every style of music which existed in his day.

8. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The most gifted musical genius in history, the most famous genius in any field in history, and the perfecter of Classical music had to make the list.

7. John Williams

Williams places above Mozart on this list simply because he is more recent – relatable to modern times – and he wrote the single highest grossing film score ever: Star Wars.

6. Alexander Scriabin

This Russian was born with synesthesia, an extremely rare mental condition where a color is associated with music.

5. Steven Schwartz

His musicalWickedgrossed $56 million its first year on Broadway.

4. Igor Stravinsky

If you have an hour to spare, listen to The Rite of Spring, then you’ll understand. At its premier in 1913, people were so upset by its dissonant harmonies, obtuserhythms, and the fact that the story is of a young girl dancing herself to death, that the most infamous riot in France’s history was started.

3. Bela Bartok

Some say he was the first great ethnomusicologist, and he also pioneered many new string playing techniques.

2. Ennio Morricone

Although he did not ever have as big a hit as John Williams’ Star Wars, Morricone has been named the most successful movie soundtrack composer ever by several musicologists.

1. Andrew Lloyd Webber

The most successful and popular composer in history. His career on Broadway culminated in the 1986 premier of The Phantom of the Opera, which has gone on to become the most popular piece of entertainment of any kind in history, still touring throughout the world to this day. Throughout its 27 year lifespan, The Phantom of the Opera has grossed more than $5.6 billion and been seen by more than 130 million people.

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While some people are handed everything on a silver platter, just because someone is at the top doesn’t mean it was always that way. In fact, many of the wealthiest people in the world started their journeys in slums and orphanages. Many of them even credit their hardship with giving them the motivation, understanding, and personality required to make it to the top. These are 25 inspirational rags to riches stories.

25. Andrew Carnegie

This Scottish-American industrialist started to work at a cotton mill for a 12-hour, 6-days a week job in America when he was only 13 years old after his father lost his jobs as a handweaver in Scotland. Hired later as a telegraph messenger at the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, he was able to climb the corporate ladder where he used his earnings to invest in ventures that led him to build an empire in the steel industry including his large-scale philanthropic legacy.

24. Oprah Winfrey

Born to unwed teenage parents in Mississippi, this media mogul wore dresses that her grandmother made out of potato sacks. After being molested, she ran away at the age of 13 and became a mother at 14, but her son died in infancy. Sent to live with his father, a barber in Tennessee, she got a full scholarship in college, won a beauty pageant and was discovered by a radio station. Her empire is now worth $2.7 billion which she shares with the world through her philanthropic works.

23. Maria Das Gracas Silva Foster

Born in the poverty-stricken shantytown of Morro do Adeus, Brazil to an alcoholic father, she earned extra money by collecting cans and paper to continue her studies. She broke the barriers of the corporate ladder when she was hired as an intern at Petrobras, an oil company, in 1978 and became the first female head of the department of engineering. She also became one of the world’s most influential people as the first female CEO of Petrobras.

22. Sam Walton

During the Great Depression, Sam Walton and his family lived on a farm in Oklahoma where he milked the family cow and delivered bottles to customers to make ends meet. He joined JC Penny three days after graduating from the University of Missouri with a BA Economics degree. After WW II, with capital of $25,000 that he borrowed from his father along with the $5,000 that he saved from the army, he bought a Ben Franklin variety store which he expanded into the retailer giant Walmart and the membership-only retailer warehouse Sam’s Club.

21. Chris Gardner

Born without knowing his real father, he was driven out of his home by his abusive stepfather. He enlisted in the Navy and later became a medical supplies salesman. Due to the slump in his job and with his own family to support, he became interested in stock broking after seeing a stockbroker with a Ferrari. His travails of sleeping in a subway station bathroom, being homeless, passing the licensing exam for stockbrokers, and becoming employed by Bear Sterns was documented in his memoirs, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” which became a hit movie as well.

20. Ingvar Kamprad

Living on a farm most of his growing up years, this Swedish business magnate had always been known for being enterprising even at a young age as he bought matches in bulk and sold them individually to his neighbors. This expanded to fish, pens and Christmas decorations. He also used the cash reward that his father gave him for good grades and used this to create a mail-order business that became the retail company IKEA. Furniture became the company’s biggest seller, which made him one of the richest men in the world today having a net worth of $3 billion.

19. J.K. Rowling

Joanne Rowling, a native of Yate, Gloucestershire in England moved to Porto, Portugal in 1990 when her mother died. While she was already writing the Harry Potter novel even before her mother’s death, the seven-year period that followed entailed a divorce from her husband in 1993, a move to Edinburgh, Scotland and a life with a daughter living on welfare while suffering from clinical depression until she finished the first book in her famous series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in 1997. She was able to finish it by writing on scraps of tissue paper from the numerous cafes they visited to let her daughter sleep. With over 400 million books and the worldwide success of the Harry Potter franchise JK Rowling’s net worth is $1 billion.

18. Jim Carrey

James Eugene Carrey was born in Ontario, Canada to a middle-income family where his musician father worked as an accountant. However, things got worse for his family when his father lost his job and they all had to move to Scarborough. He worked at the Titan Wheels Factory for eight hours a day while attending school, but never finished high school. While living in a camper van, he started doing stand-up routines and eventually landed a gig in the sitcom The Duck Factory. He first gained recognition in 1990 when he became one of the casts in the sketch comedy ‘In Living Colors.’ He later moved on to movies and became one of the highest paid comedians in America.

17. Sheldon Adelson

The son of a Lithuanian immigrant taxi driver, his mother ran a knitting store from their home. He grew up in a tenement where he shared a bedroom with his parents and three siblings, started selling newspapers at the age of 12, and started his candy-vending machine business at the age of 16. Though he tried his hand at various enterprises from packing hotel toiletries to mortgage brokering his biggest break came from developing a computer trade show. He purchased the Sands Hotel & Casino and later the mega-resort, The Venetian, from the profits of his ventures pegging his net worth today at $21.8 billion.

16. Kirk Kerkorian

The Armenian-born Kirk Kerkorian grew up at the time of the Great Depression, where he learned English on the street and dropped out of 8th grade to become an amateur boxer. He became a daredevil pilot for the Royal Air Force during WW II and delivered supplies over the Atlantic flying some of the most perilous routes. After quitting gambling in 1947, he bought some charter planes and also engaged in real estate in Las Vegas in 1962. He became the “father of the mega-resort” when he bought The Flamingo and built the stalwarts of the Las Vegas scene, The International and MGM Grand, which made him worth a few billion dollars.

15. John D. Rockefeller

One of six children born in Richford, New York, Rockefeller might have inherited his good business sense from his father, a traveling salesman who used all the tricks to get out of decent hard work and taught his son to always get the best deal in all things. His mom struggled to raise them and though they moved a number of times, he was able to finish school and get his first job as a bookkeeper where he earned $50 in three months. He decided to put up a firm and built an oil refinery with his friend Maurice B. Clark in 1859. He later bought out the Clark brothers’ refinery firm and renamed it Rockefeller & Andrews. He also founded the Standard Oil Company to become the world’s first billionaire and the richest person in history.

14. Leonardo Del Vecchio

Del Vecchio was sent to an orphanage when his widowed mother could not support all five of her children. He worked in a factory that made molds for auto parts and eyeglass frames where he lost part of his finger during an accident. He opened his first molding shop called Luxottica at the age of 23 which expanded to be the world’s largest maker of sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses. Luxottica, the known maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley eyewear, also owns 6,000 Sunglass Hut and Lenscrafters retail shops. The second richest man in Italy is now worth $11.5 billion.

13. Li Ka-shing

Born to a family that fled mainland China for Hong Kong in 1940, his father died of tuberculosis which made him quit school at the age of 15 to support his family by working for 16 hours in a factory that made plastics and plastic flowers for US export. He founded Cheung Kong Industries in 1950, which manufactured plastics at first but later on ventured into real estate. The 9th richest person in the world has ownership in a number of multi-range companies from cellular phones, banking, satellite television, steel industries, and shipping.

12. Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz came from a poor family living in the Canarsie Bayview Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn, New York, which made him want to have a lifestyle beyond what his truck-driver father can provide. As he saw escape in sport, he became a football scholar at the University of North Michigan where he graduated with a degree in communication, the first in his family to do so. While working for Xerox, he discovered a small coffee shop called Starbucks and became captivated by it. He left Xerox and became the first CEO of Starbucks in 1987, which he expanded from its first 60 shops to over 16,000 outlets worldwide, giving him a net worth of $1.5 billion.

11. Ursula Burns

Ursula Burns grew up in a housing project in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a hub for gangs. She was raised by her Panamanian-immigrant single mother who ran a daycare center at her home and ironed shirts for a fee so that she could send Ursula to Cathedral High School. She earned her Mechanical Engineering degree at NYU and became an intern at Xerox. Ursula Burns became the first African-American woman to ever lead a Fortune 500 Company and the 14th most powerful woman in the world.

10. John Paul DeJoria

Before John Paul Mitchell Systems became a success, its founder, John Paul DeJoria had a rough life. After his parents divorced when he was just 2 years old, he sold newspapers and Christmas cards to help his family until the age of 10 when he was sent to live in a foster home. An LA gang member before he joined the military, he was also employed by Redken Laboratories. He loaned $700 and founded JPM Systems to sell his company’s shampoo door-to-door while living out of his car. Today JPM Systems’ annual profit is nearly $900 million.

9. Guy Laliberte

Before Cirque du Soleil came to life, its founder, Canadian-born Laliberte started his acts in circus as a fire-eater that walks on stilts. His venture paid off when he brought his successful troupe in 1987 from Quebec to the Los Angeles Arts Festival with no guarantee of a return fare for the cast. He now commands a total net worth of $2.5 billion.

8. Do Won Chang

Do Won Chang had to work three jobs as a janitor, gas station employee, and coffee shop attendant to support his family when they moved from Korea to America in 1981. After three years of thrift-spending, he was able to open his first retail store Fashion 21, which grew to be the retail clothing giant Forever 21, a pioneer in fast fashion. The multinational clothing empire with over 480 outlets worldwide generates an annual income of $3 billion.

7. George Soros

After surviving the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1947, George Soros escaped the country to stay with his relatives in London. He supported his studies by working as a waiter and railway porter and then sold goods at a souvenir shop after graduating. He also wrote every merchant bank in England until he gained an entry-level job at Singer & Friedlander. He became “the man who broke the bank of England” due to his famous bet against the British pound in 1992, where he earned more than a billion dollars in profit in one plunge in the Black Wednesday UK currency crisis.

6. Zdenek Bakala

With just a $50 bill wrapped in plastic and hidden in a sandwich, Zdenek Bakala fled communist Czechoslovakia in 1980 when he was 19 years old and made it to Lake Tahoe. He worked as a dishwasher at Harrah’s Casino while studying for his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Dartmouth. He later on ventured in banking, opened his first company Credit Suisse First Boston in Prague after the fall of the Berlin Wall and presided over a coal company that has a $2.52 billion market.

5. Harold Simmons

Harold Simmons grew up in a shack in the poor rural town of Golden, Texas with no plumbing or electricity. He still managed, however, to graduate with a B.A. and masters in Economics from the University of Texas. His first venture was a series of drugstores which were almost entirely funded with a loan. This became a 100-store chain which he sold to Eckerd for $50 million. He became famous as a master of the corporate buyout and currently owns 6 companies that trade on the NYSE including the world’s largest producer of titanium, Titanium Metals Corporation.

4. Richard Desmond

Richard Desmond was raised by a single mother living on top of a garage. He quit school at the age of 14 to focus on being a drummer while working as a coat-checker to help pay bills. Though he never became famous for his musical abilities, he later opened his own record store and published his first magazine, “International Musician and Recording World” and expanded the Desmond magazine empire with publications such as the British version of Penthouse and OK!. He now owns a number of publications around the world and was listed on the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List with a net worth of £950 million.

3. Harry Wayne Huizenga

Harry Wayne Huizenga was born in Chicago, Illinois to an abusive father. His family moved to Florida to save his parents marriage but his father never changed. He moved back to Chicago to go to college but soon dropped out and then signed up to be a reserve in the Army. He went back to Florida after his training and bought his first dump truck to start a trash disposal business. This venture became highly profitable so he purchased more garbage trucks and later built his company, the Waste Management Inc, which became well-known all over the US. He also purchased Blockbuster stores, which later merged with Viacom. He is credited for founding three Fortune 500 companies.

2. Richard Branson

Born to a family of lawyers in Blackheath, London, he had poor academic performance due to his dyslexia. Therefore, he focused more on his business which included growing Christmas trees and raising parakeets. He later started his own record mail-order business at the age of 16. In 1972, he established the record store Virgin Records, which prospered in the 1980s with a number of outlets. He also created Virgin Atlantic Airwaves, which expanded Virgin Records into a music label, making him the 245th richest person in the world today.

1. Roman Abramovich

An orphan at the age of four, this Russian business tycoon was raised by his uncle and grandmother. He got his first break from an expensive wedding gift given by his in-laws. He dropped out of college to pursue his business, which included selling imported plastic ducks from his Moscow apartment. He then ventured into managing the oil giant Sibneft after taking it over in 1995. He continued to flip his investments with profitable ventures such as Russian Aluminum and the steelmaker Evraz Group. He is now the 5th richest person in Russia and owns the $1.5 billion yacht ‘Eclipse,’ the largest private yacht docked in New York City and the Chelsea Football Club, among others.

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Imagine a world without YouTube. Where would all the cat videos live? The FCC is in the process of implementing rules that could squash the next two nerds in a pizzeria with a great idea. Everyone should care about this, but it feels too technical for a lot of people. Sen. Al Franken lays out the argument for net neutrality with a clarity anyone can understand.

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Despite the great controversy in terms of both physical and mental health, drinking alcohol is a worldwide phenomenon. Every country has its own favorite alcohol beverage and there are many nations arguing about who the world´s heaviest drinker is. Alcohol has been around for thousands of years and in the course of time, many interesting alcohol-related facts have emerged. From the pathological fear of an empty glass to a 3.75 million-dollar vodka, check out these 25 unbelievable facts about alcohol you may not realize are true.

25. Discovery of late Stone Age jugs suggest that intentionally fermented beverages existed at least as early as the Neolithic period (about 10,000 BC).

24. Most vegetable and almost all fruits contain a small amount of alcohol in them.

23. Along with a few more countries, United States has the highest minimum drinking age in the world. In some other countries, the legal drinking age is as low as 16.

22. Alcohol is not exclusively a terrestrial matter. Astronomers found out there is a lot alcohol in space as well.

21. It was during the Prohibition when cocktails gained popularity. They were offered to mask the flavor of poorly made alcohol. Popular cocktails included Mary Pickford, French 75, Barbary Coast, Bee’s Knees, and the Sidecar.

20. Researches suggest that at any given time, 0.7% of the world population is drunk. It means 50 million people are drunk right now.

19. You can have a bottle of the world´s most expensive vodka for just mere 3.75 million dollars. “The Billionare Vodka” is first ice-filtered, then filtered through Nordic birch charcoal and lastly passed through sand made from crushed diamonds and gems. It is sold in a platinum and rhodium encased, diamond encrusted crystal bottle.

18. Every year in the U.S., roughly 5,000 people under the age of 21 die from an alcohol-related incident such as car crashes, homicides, alcohol poisoning and other related injuries.

17. A muscular person has a higher alcohol tolerance than someone with more body fat. Water-rich muscle tissues absorb alcohol more effectively, preventing it from reaching the brain.

16. A bottle of champagne contains 90 pounds or pressure per square inch, which is three times the pressure found in car tires. The popped cork from a champagne bottle travels as fast as 60 miles per hour and can cause some serious damage.

15. Fear on an empty glass even got its scientific name. It is called Cenosillicaphobia.

14. Vikings enjoyed alcohol, but they did not drink it from any of the traditional containers. Instead, they allegedly preferred to celebrate their victories by tippling from the skulls of their defeated enemies.

13. Japanese doctors have observed patients with “auto-brewery syndrome,” in which high levels of candida yeast in the intestines churn out so much alcohol that they can cause drunkenness.

12. The most beer-drinking country in the world is the Czech Republic. With an incredible per capita beer consumption of almost 40 gallons a year, the Czechs are way out in front in the beer drinking world league table, leaving the Irish, Germans, Americans and other “beer nations” far behind.

11. One of the most popular drinks in Cambodia is Tarantula Brandy; a delectable concoction that includes rice liquor and freshly dead tarantulas.

10. The world´s strongest beer is Brewmeister´s „Snake Venom”. While regular beer usually have about 5% ABV, this Scottish killer has a stomach-burning 67,5% ABV.

9. Many high school cafeterias in Europe serve alcohol to students who choose to drink.

8. Vodka is the world’s most popular liquor by a huge margin, with about 5 billion liters consumed every year.

7. Abraham Lincoln held a liquor license and operated several taverns.

6. In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk.

5. The word “brandy” derives from the Dutch word “brandewijn”, which means “burnt wine”.

4. The soil of one of the vineyards in France is considered so precious that it is mandatory for workers to scrape the soil off their shoes before they leave.

3. Despite the popularly held belief, real Tequila doesn’t have a worm in it. In fact, the worm, or gusano, actually originated with tequila’s “lower-quality” cousin, “mezcal”, largely as a marketing ploy.

2. A pint of beer, a glass of wine, and a shot of vodka all contain almost the same amount of alcohol.

1. While Adolf Hitler was one of the world’s best known abstainers, Sir Winston Churchill was one of the world’s heaviest drinkers.

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