“Success is the sum of small efforts made day after day.”

Robert Collier

The following stories prove that, regardless of our circumstances or where we come from, we are all capable of building the future we dream of.

Self Made

Mini-series based on the real-life of Sarah Breedlove, better known as Madam C.J. Walker.

Who is she?

She was the first female self-made millionaire in America. At the beginning of the 20th century, Madam C.J. Walker developed a line of cosmetics and hair care products for African-American women.

This is her story…

At age 36, Sarah worked as a laundress, making a little over one dollar per day. During this time she suffered from hair loss, which led her to try Annie Malone’s Poro Company products. She saw results immediately and decided to become a saleswoman for the products.

This is when she noticed Annie Malone largely ignored the African-American women’s market and Sarah decided to create her own formula. This decision changed her destiny. Her own brand was a success.

Not only her customers preferred her products but she also helped other women make a living by helping them open their own businesses by selling her brand.

The project grew quickly and by 1910, five years after starting her business, she inaugurated her own factory Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company based in Indianapolis.

Lessons from this story

Achieving success is possible even when you are starting under difficult circumstances. You can find the necessary tools along the way and build a successful career.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYDJvnDfB2w

The Pursuit of Happyness

A film inspired by Chris Gardner’s memoirs.

Who is he?

He is now a successful businessman and motivational speaker but in the early 80’s his story was very different. His girlfriend left him, he didn’t have any savings, or a job, or any contacts that could help him. For nearly a year he lived on the streets with his toddler son. He survived these struggles by never losing hope.

This is his story…

After dropping out of medical school at age 26, he was living as a salesman with the firm goal of becoming a successful businessman. This is when Chris came across the man who would show him the way to achieve his goals. The man was getting out of his red Ferrari. Without hesitation, Chris approached him and asked what he did for a living, the man replied: “I am a stockbroker”. Soon after, Bob introduced him to the world of finance and took him under his wing.

Chris was accepted into Dean Witter Reynolds‘ training program. However, this program offered no salary. His only income source came from selling medical equipment for 400 dollars a month, not enough to cover expenses for him and his son.

Evicted from his home and living homeless for nearly a year, he spent his little income on daycare, diapers, food, and trying to save money for a rental house. At some point they had to spend some nights in public shelters, parks, or public restrooms.

He always had hope and always believed things would change. While they were struggling financially, Chris kept working hard on his internship. He arrived at the office early and stayed until late.

Finally in 1982, at age 28, he passed the exam that made him into a stockbroker and a full-time employee of the firm. Later, he was recruited by Bear Stearns & Company. This led him to open his own firm, then sold it for millions of dollars and finally found Christopher Gardner International Holdings, with offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Lessons from this story

Sometimes resilience and will power is all you need to succeed. No matter how difficult times get, if you work hard and put a lot of effort, you will be set up for success.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7guyl6_7sBo

LA Originals

This documentary shows how Estevan Oriol and Mark Machado became LA icons and made a successful living out of their greatest passion.

Who are they?

Chicano artists who revolutionized hip-hop culture with tattooing and photography art. Their success allowed them to work with famous artists such as Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Travis, Pharrell, Slash, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, among others.

This is their story…

They were both born in the United States but had Latino roots. Estevan Oriol has Mexican-Italian parents and Mark Machado’s (Mr. Cartoon) parents are Mexican. Their artistic talents were noticeable from a young age.

At 19, Estevan moved to Hollywood where he worked as a security guard in nightclubs. He developed a talent for photography when he became a tour manager for House of Pain and Cypress Hill. He enjoyed taking photos of their tour atmosphere.

At 8 years old, Mr. Cartoon knew he wanted to draw for a living. In fact, at the age of 12, he got his first paying gig. He studied Sign Graphics at LA Trade-Tech school and learned several techniques, including graffiti and Candy Paint.

In the following years the duo met at a party at the legendary Hollywood Athletic Club building. In 2003 they opened SA Studios in Skid Row, Downtown Los Angeles, a neighborhood with the largest populations of homeless people in the United States. This element gave the studios a particular energy.

This dynamic worked: while Cartoon was doing tattoos, Estevan was photographing the process. Experiencing this became a success among very important people in the music industry. Clients would come to the studio to get a tattoo or be photographed by the duo. At some point Snoop Dogg declared: “If you ain’t got tatted by Cartoon, you ain’t got no tat. If you ain’t got shot by Estevan, you got a weak photographer”.

The impact they had in Los Angeles changed street culture and revolutionized not only the music scene but art and fashion as well. More importantly, they helped build Chicano pride and became an icon for this movement.

Lessons from this story

We were all born with a natural talent that can be perfected. Taking pride in your roots can take you very far, if you truly believe in yourself and your skills.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_01QJYDavw


An original story made into a film about the challenges that chef Carl Casper faces when he is left without a job and no opportunity to find a new one.

Who is he?

Carl Casper is a chef from Miami who works at one of the most successful and famous restaurants in Los Angeles. Things get tough when the owner of the restaurant prevents him from using his creativity. The conflict forces him to redesign his destiny.

This is his story…

After years of being the head chef at Gauloise restaurant, Carl receives an unexpected visit from food critic and blogger, Ramsey Michel. Carl wants to cook something special for the food critic but the owner of the restaurant decides to stick to the traditional menu. As a result, Carl’s work is publicly criticized and his work gets a damaging review. Eventually he is forced to leave his job.

Left without options, he returns to Miami where his ex-wife and son live and rediscovers his passion for Cuban food. He then decides to renovate an old food truck and offers a special recipe on Cuban sandwiches and fried yucca.

His new business becomes a success, in part with his son’s help. Carl discovers a new definition of success by finding the balance between creative freedom with work and family.

Lessons from this story

That professional fulfillment can be outside the comfort zone and sometimes, what appears as a setback, is the big push we needed to thrive.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3OkPRRptgQ

Erin Brockovich

A film based on the true story of Erin Pattee.

Who is she?

A well-known paralegal and environmental activist who built and won a strong case against a gas and electricity company, without any legal education or knowledge. Ever since, she has been an important part of multiple million-dollar litigations working as a consultant.

This is her story…

It was 1991. Erin was recently divorced from her second husband and in need of a job to support her three children (ages 1, 6, and 7). Her image and particular fashion style prevented her employers from taking her seriously. But using her unique skills she gets hired at a small law firm organizing files.

While looking into a case’s documentation she discovers several medical records from the local community of Hinkley. Information suggests that Pacific Gas and Electric Company might be responsible for making people sick. It takes her and her team about 5 years to build a case to prove that the company is responsible for the community’s persisting health problems.

With the evidence and the case settled, the law firm where Erin worked files a lawsuit against the company, winning in 1996. The case was settled for $333 million USD, the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history.

Lessons from this story

External conditions or prejudice cannot prevent us from excelling at what we are set out to do. Sometimes your unique features are what will set you apart from others.

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjqUUxIy_yk