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Inspiration from Michael Dell

Estimated Lesson Time: 2 minutes

Michael Dell (1965–) is founder and CEO of Dell, Inc., the largest personal computer company in the world.

Success is having the entrepreneurial spirit. At age 12, Dell formed a direct marketing company, which offered a national stamp auction through the mail. Four years later, he created a venture for selling newspaper subscriptions through target marketing and bought a BMW with the $18,000 he earned.

Success does not take much money or an ideal environment. Michael founded the Dell Computer Corporation in 1984 with nothing more than $1,000 and an idea that started out of his dorm room.

Success is doing what you are passionate about. Dell went to college intending to become a doctor. Meanwhile, his hobby was working with computers. His hobby won out.

Success is being efficient. Dell, Inc. is now worth billions because Michael saw an opportunity for bypassing the middleman, who adds little value to the products, and sells custom-built PCs directly to end users.

Success is having vision. Dell offered the first toll-free technical support and on-site service in the PC business—services that are now standard practice throughout the industry.

Success is making your mark. With the addition of Dell Computer Corporation to the Fortune 500 in 1992, Dell became the youngest CEO of a company ever to earn a ranking on the Fortune 500.

Success is sharing. Michael Dell has established a number of foundations within his organization committed to philanthropic and community services. These foundations work to advance educational, environmental, business, economic, and social issues.

Success is making opportunity for others. In just 18 years, Dell, Inc. has grown from a one-person operation to a company with 46,000 employees.

Success is being able to show leadership. Mr. Dell has been honored many times for his visionary leadership, including in 2003 being named one of the top-ten most powerful people in business by Fortune magazine.

[Sources: http://www.askmen.com, http://www1.us.dell.com, http://www.biography.com]

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 Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):

  • Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
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  • What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)
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